Geographic coding: publication of a reference document

Québec, October 12, 2017. – Did you know that every one of the 1,294 municipalities in Québec have a unique geographic code? And that with this code, it is possible to trace the changes made to a municipality’s geography or to learn in which territorial division it is located? The Geographic Code System provides the Québec government with its official statistical foundation. You can find out more about this process in the reference document entitled Système du code géographique du Québec – Guide explicatif et lexique.

This document describes the evolution of the system throughout the years as well as the associated geographic concepts and territorial divisions. It therefore provides complementary information for users of the Territorial Division Directory and interactive maps.

The Institut de la statistique du Québec is responsible for managing a unique geographic coding system for Québec, which has been in effect since 1964 and includes about twenty different geographies (administrative regions, electoral districts, judicial districts, etc.). This system is centered on municipalities, with various departments and agencies providing the data that feeds into it. It is an essential product as it enables the different government authorities to organize and exchange statistical data.

Going further: combining geographic codes and postal codesOM

In collaboration with Adresses Québec, the Institut produces the postal code geo‑referencing tool AQgéopostal, which makes it possible to combine administrative data files and statistical survey files by matching postal codesOM with the basic geographies presented in the Territorial Division Directory.

For example, postal codesOM can be used to match survey results with municipality geographic codes. The survey data can therefore be compared with other sociodemographic and economic variables compiled based on Québec’s territorial divisions.


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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