No demographic increase on the North Shore

The North Shore is the only region in Quebec not to have observed a demographic increase in 2023, according to the Quebec Statistics Institute.

0.0%. This is the annual growth rate of the population on the North Shore between 2022 and 2023, indicates theISQ in its report published Wednesday.

This result is explained in particular by a migration of Nord-Côtiers to other administrative regions of Quebec and by the low number of residents from elsewhere in Quebec who settle in the region.

Compared to the Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine and Bas-St-Laurent regions, which for several years have attracted more residents from other regions of the province, migratory exchanges continue to cause significant population losses for the North Shore, according to the demographer of theISQMartine St-Amour.

The North Shore has been in deficit in its internal migratory exchanges for several years. […] which is not the case for Bas-Saint-Laurent or Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine, where there was a reversal of the situation.

A quote from Martine St-Amour, demographer at the Institute of Statistics of Quebec

Population growth (2022-2023)

Region Rate
Montreal 4.3%
All of Quebec 2.3%
Bas-St-Laurent 1%
Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeline 0.3%
North Coast 0%

Source: Quebec Statistics Institute

More deaths than births in Eastern Quebec

Both the North Shore, Bas-St-Laurent and Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine find themselves with a negative natural increasethat is to say a number of deaths which exceeds the number of births, explains the demographer.

Although this situation is observed since a long time in the rest of Eastern Quebec due to the aging of the population, it has only been observed over the last four years on the North Shore.

Previously, the North Shore stood out for its above-average fertility rate. This is no longer the case, at least not in the last yearanswers Martine St-Amour.


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Interregional migration, the aging of the population and the decrease in the number of births are some of the factors that explain the lack of increase in the population on the North Shore. (Archive photo)

Photo: Radio-Canada

Eastern Quebec also records a year record regarding migratory gains, according toISQ.

Moreover, international immigration has been the real motor of the province’s population growth in the last year, according to the organization.

However, these migratory gains, resulting from international immigration, are much lower on the North Shore than elsewhere in Quebec and do not translate into a real increase in the population, according to Martine St-Amour.

Furthermore, this international immigration is made up of % of temporary workers”,”text”:”90% of temporary workers”}}”>90% of temporary workersestimates the head of Alpha Lira’s immigrant service, Hélène Lejeune.


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The Alpha Lira center received $375,000 from Quebec to promote the integration of newcomers to the North Shore last March. (Archive photo)

Photo: Radio-Canada / Paul Fontaine

It is especially the catering, hotel and food industries that benefit most from this arrival of temporary workers, according to Ms. Lejeune. Many of them also work as welders, plumbers and heavy equipment operators.

The Alpha Lira center, which offers support services to newcomers to the North Shore, now helps 10 times more newcomers than 5 years ago.

5 years ago, we had a target of helping 15 immigrants per year. There we are at 150 […] and these are the ones we see.

A quote from Hélène Lejeune, head of immigrant services at the Alpha Lira center

A sign of a housing crisis that is hitting the region hard, obtaining housing has become problematic for new arrivals, deplores the manager.

The same goes for places in daycare and schools, which also represent a major challenge for communities from international immigration, judges Hélène Lejeune.

With information from Renaud Chicoine-McKenzie