Nearly 60% of Quebecers who changed regions in 2015-2016 had done so before

Québec, October 3, 2017. – Among the 193,500 Quebecers who changed administrative regions of residence in 2015-2016, nearly 6 out of 10 had already done so at least once in the previous 20 years. Individuals returning to regions where they had previously lived accounted for 40% of interregional migration. Return migration often occurs shortly after the previous migration. Three times out of four, migrants return to their previous region five years or less after leaving it, with a quarter of them returning after just one year. These findings come from an article entitled “Première migration, migration de retour ou migration secondaire? Les migrations interrégionales de 2015-2016 à la lumière des parcours résidentiels antérieurs” published today in the bulletin Données sociodémographiques en bref of the Institut de la statistique du Québec.
Return migration contributes significantly to migration flows in certain regions. In Montréal and in the regions farthest from large centres, nearly half of in-migrants in 2015-2016 were actually return migrants. Meanwhile, other regions, including those adjacent to Montréal, attract more people who have never lived there before.

These findings were obtained by tracing the residential trajectories of interregional migrants since 1996. Analyzing annual movements in light of previous trajectories greatly adds to our understanding of migration flows between Québec 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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