Immigration Behind Montreal’s 5.3% Population Surge 

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The post-pandemic resumption of immigration is behind Montreal’s 5.3 per cent population increase in the last year.

These estimates have been proposed by the Institut de la statistique du Quebec (ISQ), which is the governmental statistics agency for the French-Canadian province.

The city – with a 100,000 boost in its population – grown more than any other major city or province, including its suburbs.  The Quebec government’s population decree for 2024 put Montreal’s population at 1,895,211.

This data includes all people on the territory except tourists, according to CityNews Everywhere. 

It is not just Montreal, however; Quebec municipalities with more than 100,000 people have seen their population rise by an average 3.5 per cent, and those with populations between 10,000 and 100,000 have seen their numbers boost by 0.7 per cent between 2022 and 2023.

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As per ISQ experts, downtown Montreal (the Ville-Marie borough) had a 14 per cent rise in population between 2022 and 2023. While it had 117,823 inhabitants on July 1, 2023, it had only boasted 103,017 a year before.

Côte-des-Neiges-NDG and Montreal North would also have seen significant growth.

Just in November of last year, Quebec had tabled documents in its legislature that laid out plans for the admission of more than 60 thousand immigrants to the French-Canadian province in 2024.

Speaking to reporters in Quebec City then, Legault had said that he did not want to raise the annual immigration rate as that would threaten the French language in the province.

“We chose … to keep the thresholds, so the total number of permanent immigrants accepted per year at 50,000,” he had said, as per CTV News. “We had evaluated the possibility of increasing it to 60,000, but it’s important for us, to stop, to reverse the decline of French.”

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The 2024 immigration plan, however, indicates that Quebec wants to take in more than 12,000 more immigrants per year than Legault’s stated target of 50,000.

The document had said that Quebec – through “regular admission” programs – would welcome around 50,000 people, which will include skilled workers, refugees and people reunited with family already in the province.

It would also accept another estimated 6,500 graduates from French-language university programs, and around 6,000 people who had applied through a stream for investors, entrepreneurs and self-employed workers, reported CTV News in November.

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Colin Singer
Colin Singer is an international acclaimed Canadian immigration lawyer and founder of featured on Wikipedia. Colin Singer is also founding director of the Canadian Citizenship & Immigration Resource Center (CCIRC) Inc. He served as an Associate Editor of ‘Immigration Law Reporter’, the pre-eminent immigration law publication in Canada. He previously served as an executive member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Quebec and National Immigration Law Sections and is currently a member of the Canadian Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Colin has twice appeared as an expert witness before Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. He is frequently recognized as a recommended authority at national conferences sponsored by government and non-government organizations on matters affecting Canada’s immigration and human resource industries. Since 2009, Colin has been a Governor of the Quebec Bar Foundation a non-profit organization committed to the advancement of the profession, and became a lifetime member in 2018.