Quebec is a province located in east-central Canada. Quebec is the largest province in Canada in terms of area and the second-largest administrative division after Nunavut. The province is bordered by Ontario, James Bay and Hudson Bay to the west, Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay to the north, the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the provinces of New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador to the east. It also shares a border with the U.S. states New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine and maritime borders with Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Nunavut.
Quebec has an estimated population of 8.18 million, which makes it the second-most populous province in Canada. This compares to the population of 7.9 million at the 2011 census. The province has a population density of 8 people per square kilometer, or 15 per square mile. Quebec accounts for 24% of Canada's total population.
Cities in Quebec
In 2011, the racial composition of Quebec was: 87.2% white, 11% visible minority groups and 1.4% Aboriginal (1.1% First Nations, 0.5% Metis, 0.2% Inuit). There are also a large number of Indian bands who refuse to participate in the census for political reasons about the question of aboriginal sovereignty. The larger groups are the Mohawk Indian reserves.The visible minority groups include:
- Black: 3.2%
- Arab: 2.2%
- Latin American: 1.5%
- South Asian: 1.1%
- Chinese: 1.1%
- Southeast Asian: 0.9%
- Filipino: 0.4%
- West Asian: 0.3%
- Korean: 0.1%
- Japanese: 0.1%
Quebec has a smaller number visible minority groups than British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Manitoba and most visible minorities live in the Montreal metropolitan area.
The most common ethnic origins are:
- Canadian: 60.1%
- French: 28.8%
- Irish: 5.5%
- Italian: 4.0%
- English: 3.3%
- North American Indian: 3.0%
- Scottish: 2.7%
- Quebecer: 1.9%
- German: 1.8%
- Chinese: 1.2%
- Haitian: 1.2%
- Spanish: 0.97%
- Jewish: 0.96%
- Greek: 0.89%
- Polish: 0.84%
- Lebanese: 0.83%
Other ethnic origins include, in order of size: Portuguese, Belgian, East Indian, Romanian, Russian, Moroccan, American, Metis, Vietnamese, Acadian, Ukrainian, African, Filipino, Algerian, British Isles, Armenian, Dutch, Hungarian, Swiss, Egyptian, Salvadoran, Syrian, Colombian, Mexican, Berbers, Inuit, Iranian, Peruvian, Jamaican, Pakistani, Chilean, Turk, Austrian, Sri Lankan, Congolese, Cambodian, and Welsh.
Quebec is the only province in Canada with a French-speaking majority and where English-speakers are an officially recognized minority group. Francophones account for 81% of the total population, although their birth rate is very low.
Interestingly, Quebec has one of the world's most important founder populations, the Quebec Founder Population, which is important to medical genetic research. This population arose from an influx of people into Quebec from France during the 17th to mid-18th century. About 7 million Canadians are descended from these original 2,600 colonists.
In 2011, life expectancy in Quebec reached a new high of 83.2 years for women and 78.6 years for men, which is the third-longest life expectancy in Canada after British Columbia and Ontario.
Quebec Population Growth
Quebec has a fertility rate higher than the Canadian average at 1.69 children per woman, but this is still far below the replacement rate of 2.1. Compounding this is the fact that Quebec's population is aging. Along with this, the province is set to lower its immigration targets to better integrate new immigrants and make sure they can function and prosper. Around 55,000 immigrants came to Quebec in 2012, and the government believes this is too many. The target for 2014 was lowered to 49,000 to 52,500 and that target has been reduced again for the years of 2017 through 2020.
All of these factors will hold back growth in the province, but Quebec is projected to reach a population of 9.2 million by 2056.
- Quebec is the only province where French is the only provincial official language with a mostly French-speaking population.
- Quebec has the highest number of international adoptions in Canada with 42% of all international adoptions carried out in the province.
- The word Quebec comes from an Algonquin word meaning "it narrows," in reference to the narrowing of the St. Lawrence River near Quebec City.
- The Château Frontenac in Quebec is the world's most photographed hotel.
- Quebec's motto is 'Je me souviens', or 'I remember.' No one actually remembers the meaning of the phrase, or what Quebec is remembering and it has been debated for decades.
- Lines on the road dividing the direction of traffic was first seen near the border of Quebec in 1930.