Québec’s demographic growth slowed somewhat in 2015, but started picking up speed in the first six months of 2016

Québec, December 7, 2016 – Québec’s population increased by 50,000 in 2015. The annual growth rate was 6.1 per thousand (0.61%), compared with 7.0 per thousand (0.70%) in 2014. This slowdown in the growth rate may be explained by an increase in the number of deaths, a drop in the number of births and immigrants, and a pause in the increase in the number of non-permanent residents. Data for the first six months of 2016 revealed, however, an increase in the growth rate caused mostly by an increase in the number of immigrants and non-permanent residents. Over the first half of the year, the population grew by 38,000, bringing the total Québec population to 8,326,100 on July 1, 2016. These findings were drawn from the 2016 edition of the Bilan démographique du Québec published today by the Institut de la statistique du Québec.


Québec welcomed 49,000 immigrants in 2015, down when compared with 2014 (50,300). France was the leading country of birth among 2015 immigrants (9.2%), ahead of China (7.4%) and Iran (7.3%). The number of immigrants increased in the first half of 2016. Syria was the main country of birth for immigrants over that period (14.5%).

Migration losses due to interprovincial exchanges between Québec and the rest of Canada are estimated at –14,700 people in 2015; this is similar to the losses recorded in 2014. Preliminary data for the first six months of 2016 suggested a slightly less negative migration balance than for the same period the previous year.

Births, deaths and marriages

The number of births in 2015 was 86,800, which was 1% fewer than in 2014. The total fertility rate was estimated at 1.60 children per woman, down slightly from the peak of 1.73 children per woman recorded in 2008 and 2009. A total of 64,400 deaths were recorded, with more than 700 of this number being individuals aged over 100. Life expectancy remained stable at 80.2 years for men and 84.1 years for women.

Approximately 22,400 marriages were celebrated in Québec in 2015, the same as in 2014. The propensity for getting married remained very low. According to current nuptiality conditions, only 27% of men and 30% of women are expected to marry at least once before their 50th birthday.

Population structure by age and sex

Québec’s population comprises slightly more women than men (50.3% vs. 49.7%). The proportion of those aged 65 and up continues to grow and stood at 18.1% in 2016. Those under 20 represent 20.6% of the population, and those between the ages of 20 and 64 represent 61.3%. Note that the youngest members of the populous baby-boomer generations (born between 1946 and 1966) turned 50 in 2016, while the oldest turned 70.

Regional assessments

The 2016 edition of the Bilan démographique du Québec includes a succinct demographic portrait for each of Québec’s 17 administrative regions.


The Institut de la statistique du Québec produces, analyzes and disseminates official, objective and quality statistical information on various aspects of Québec society. It is responsible for carrying out all statistical surveys of general interest. 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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