Interregional migration in Québec in 2014-2015: strongest gains in the Laurentides, sharpest losses in the Côte-Nord region

Québec, March 9, 2016 – Between July 1, 2014 and July 1, 2015, 190,500 persons changed their administrative region of residence, i.e. 2.4% of the Québec population. The propensity to migrate continued a downward trend noticeable in most age groups. The Laurentides region once again benefited from its migratory exchanges with other regions. It recorded a net inflow of 5,000 persons, equivalent to 0.87% of its population. This rate was higher than in 2013-2014 and vastly exceeded that of other regions. Conversely, the Côte-Nord region registered the largest relative losses (-1.42%). With a net outflow of -1,350 persons, its losses were more significant than in the previous year. These findings come from the bulletin Coup d’œil sociodémographique, No. 46, published today by the Institut de la statistique du Québec.

Once again, Montréal posted losses in its migratory exchanges with other regions, but these losses shrank for the fifth consecutive year, as it recorded a net outflow of -14,600 persons in 2014-2015 (-0.77%), compared to -23,600 persons in 2009-2010 (-1.28%). This change can be attributed to a decline in the number of people leaving Montréal, in particular for adjacent regions.

Lanaudière and Laval saw their gains decrease in 2014-2015, continuing the trend observed over the past few years. Chaudière-Appalaches stood out with a largely improved net interregional migration. The Côte-Nord region and other regions far from major centres continued to post interregional migration losses. Whereas the Bas-Saint-Laurent, Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine and Nord-du-Québec regions posted smaller migration losses than in the previous year, both Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean and Abitibi-Témiscamingue recorded sharper declines.

At the RCM level, Mirabel, in the Laurentides region, posted the largest migration gains for the fourth consecutive year (3.09%). Other RCMs located north of Montréal, in the Laurentides and Lanaudière regions, also recorded gains over 1%, including La Rivière-du-Nord and Montcalm. This was also the case for La Jacques-Cartier, located north of Québec City. Brome-Missisquoi (Montérégie) and Memphrémagog (Estrie) were also among the RCMs that benefited the most from interregional migration. Contrary to several RCMs on the outskirts of large centres that benefited from the inflow of families, these two RCMs mostly benefited from the inflow of persons reaching retirement age. Among regions far from large centres, Rimouski-Neigette was one of the only RCMs that posted migration gains in 2014-2015 (0.52%). In the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Côte-Nord regions, all RCMs recorded declines. Caniapiscau, in the Côte-Nord region, recorded the sharpest losses (-4.71%).

Additional data on interregional migration, including data by age group, are available on the ISQ website.

Internal migration is a major component of the demographic balance of administrative regions and RCMs. However, other components also impact the size of their populations. They include natural increase, i.e. the difference between the number of births and deaths, as well as interprovincial and international migration. In certain regions such as Montréal and Nord-du-Québec, net interregional migration is negative, but the population continues to increase, since other growth factors compensate for internal migration losses.


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