French version

October 2019

Over the next 20 years, Quebec's major urban centres will share most of the population growth, according to the ISQ

On October 17, the Institut de la Statistique du Québec (ISQ) published the Données sociodémographiques en bref bulletin, which presents the 2016-2041 population projections for the province's regional county municipalities (RCMs). This publication follows up on the 2016-2066 demographic outlook for Quebec and its regions, which was published by the Institut last July.

According to the latest bulletin, if recent demographic trends continue, 64 of Quebec's 104 RCMs will have more inhabitants in 2041 than in 2016. In the other 40 RCMs, which are generally less populous, a demographic decline is projected.

Overall, Quebec's population is expected to grow by 14 per cent between 2016 and 2041.

Here is a summary of the detailed results taken from the ISQ's press release.

A growing population in the RCMs of Montreal and adjacent regions

All of the RCMs in the Laurentides, Lanaudière and Montérégie administrative regions, as well as Montreal and Laval, are expected to have more inhabitants in 2041 than in 2016.

  • Mirabel, in the Laurentides, tops the list with a projected population growth of 45 per cent in 25 years.
  • The RCM of La Rivière-du-Nord is expected to post a 34 per cent increase.
Seven RCMs in Quebec could see their population drop by more than 15 per cent

Quebec's other RCMs will experience a combination of growing and shrinking populations, except in Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine and Côte-Nord, where all RCMs are expected to register a decrease in population. Seven RCMs could lose more than 15 per cent of their population, including two in the Côte-Nord region that could register the largest population decreases between 2016 and 2041: Le Golfe-du-Saint-Laurent (-24 per cent) and La Haute-Côte-Nord (-21 per cent).

Aging populations will impact all RCMs, but at different rates

Whether their population is growing or shrinking, all RCMs will experience an aging of their population. In 2016, the share of people aged 65 and older was more than 25 per cent in 16 of the province's 104 RCMs, and no fewer than 90 RCMs will have crossed this threshold by 2041.

However, population aging will be experienced at different rates in the 104 RCMs. While the share of the population aged 65 and over in Quebec should increase from 19 per cent in 2019 to 26 per cent in 2041, seven RCMs could have a share of seniors equal to or greater than 40 per cent in 2041. They are:

  • Communauté maritime des Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Le Rocher-Percé and La Haute-Gaspésie (Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine);
  • Témiscouata (Bas-Saint-Laurent);
  • Mékinac (Mauricie);
  • La Haute-Côte-Nord (Côte-Nord);
  • L’Islet (Chaudière-Appalaches).
At the other end of the spectrum, Caniapiscau (Côte-Nord) as well as Administration régionale Kativik and Eeyou Istchee (Nord-du-Québec) are the three RCMs with the lowest share of seniors. However, this share is expected to more or less double, reaching between 6 and 13 per cent in 2041.

The share of people aged 20 to 64 is decreasing in almost all RCMs – another facet of the aging population

This age group, which is associated with the potential labour pool, should see its share decrease in virtually all RCMs in Quebec by 2041, reaching less than 45 per cent of the population in the following RCMs:

  • Communauté maritime des Îles-de-la-Madeleine (Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine);
  • Les Basques and Témiscouata (Bas-Saint-Laurent);
  • L’Islet (Chaudière-Appalaches);
  • Mékinac (Mauricie).

Interestingly, only 10 RCMs are expected to have a share of people aged 20 to 64 years that exceeds 55 per cent in 2041. The highest shares are expected to be in the RCMs of Caniapiscau (Côte-Nord), Montreal, La Jacques-Cartier (Capitale-Nationale) and Mirabel (Laurentides).