Nine scenarios to look into the future of the Québec population

Québec, October 6, 2015 – If recent demographic trends continue, the Québec population could exceed 10 million people in 2061. However, with a fertility rate of 2.1 children per woman—the generation replacement level—the population would stand at over 11 million, while the absence of immigration would reduce it to 7.5 million. Although far from the current situation, these two exploratory scenarios quantify the effect of several changes in demographic phenomena on the Québec population. To better understand these effects, the Institut de la statistique du Québec is releasing the results of nine projection scenarios that put forward varying hypotheses concerning fertility, mortality and international immigration. These analytical scenarios are a complement to the Québec population projections published in September 2014. The main conclusions are published today in an article of the bulletin Données sociodémographiques en bref.

If recent demographic trends continue, the proportion of persons aged 65 and over would increase from 16% in 2011 to 25% in 2031, but this share could vary between 24% and 28% depending on the scenario. Population aging would be slightly mitigated by stronger fertility or immigration rates, as well as by a more moderate growth in life expectancy. According to some of the scenarios, the share of seniors could stabilize after 2031, but none of the scenarios developed points to a decrease in this share by 2061.

The nine scenarios studied signal a more or less significant decline in the population aged 20 to 64 during the 2020s. Until 2031, changes in the mortality or fertility hypotheses have no effect on this age group, but variations in the projected level of immigration have a significant impact. Without international migration, the working age population would stand at 4.3 million people aged 20 to 64 in 2031, compared to 4.9 million if recent trends continue. A higher fertility rate would only affect this age group after a 20-year period. However, it would have an immediate effect on the number of youth aged 0 to 19.

The Institut de la statistique du Québec produces, analyses and disseminates official, objective and quality statistical information on various aspects of Québec society. It is the statistical coordinator for Québec and the relevance of its work makes it a strategic ally for decision makers and all those wishing to learn more about Québec.


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