The truth about immigration in three charts

“80% of immigrants go to Montreal, do not work, do not speak French or do not adhere to the values ​​of Quebec society. The key is regionalization and francization. This quotation from the outgoing Minister of Immigration, Jean Boulet, threw a stone into the pond of the debates on immigration in Quebec. What is it really? Verification in three graphs.

The share of newcomers who settle in Montreal has been declining in Quebec since 2018. No more than 70% of them preferred the metropolis last year, according to the Institute of Statistics of Quebec.

On the other hand, if we mean by “Montreal”, “Montreal and its suburbs”, Jean Boulet is not wrong. Year after year, more than 80% of new Quebecers settle either on the island of Montreal, Laval or Montérégie.

Beyond the Montreal / Regions dichotomy, it should be noted that Quebec City has been attracting more and more immigrants in recent years, rising from 5% in 2018 to 8% in 2021.

These data relate only to the « projected destinations » of candidates admitted to immigration. Their final destination may therefore differ, and their declared destination does not mean that they will stay there all their lives.

The « francization »

Don’t newcomers speak French? Indeed, four or five years ago, half of them had no knowledge of French. The share of immigrants who could speak only English then exceeded the proportion of those who could speak only French.

Since then, the trend has been reversed, and it is rather bilingualism that dominates the language of new Quebecers.

We can even speak of multilingualism, since approximately 70% of newcomers have a mother tongue that is neither French nor English. Statistics Canada lists approximately 150 different mother tongues spoken in cottages in Quebec.

At work

Are immigrants mostly unemployed? It is true that new Quebecers, especially those who have just arrived, have more difficulty finding employment. The gap between the unemployment rate of Quebecers born here and those born elsewhere is mainly explained by the difficulty of having skills recognized, observed a recent study by the Advisory Committee for Immigrants.

Although declining, the immigrant unemployment rate has not returned to pre-pandemic levels.

However, the inverse statistic, the employment rate, shows that newcomers want to work more than ever. In 2021, the number of immigrants in employment in Quebec stood at 818,700, a peak since 2006, the first year in which this data was compiled. This growth can be seen as much among immigrants who arrived in the country recently as among those who have been established for a long time.

Quebec has even caught up with Ontario in prime-age immigrant employment. Nearly 82% of New Quebecers between the ages of 25 and 54 are occupied with work, compared to 81% in the neighboring province, according to the latest report from the Institut du Québec.

To see in video

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