Immigration to Quebec

The population of Quebec includes some 700 thousand immigrants who have come from Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia. Since 1970, immigration has become highly diversified in the province.

Contacts with newcomers have enriched Québec society from a cultural, social, economic, scientific and technological standpoint. Immigrants have largely contributed to Quebec's cultural diversity and vitality.

Today, Quebec admits about 40, 000 immigrants every year. Quebec is a pluralist society, which means, among other things, the possibility of freely choosing one's lifestyle, beliefs, values and belonging to specific interest groups. Quebec's pluralism grew out of a policy that promotes an approach centred on civic relations.

Quebec is open to an array of influences, from other cultures, while honouring basic democratic values. Québec expresses a wish to go beyond exclusive reference to cultural origin and simple coexistence of diverse peoples. In fact, Quebec has adopted a wider vision, one of civic relations. The province encourages its people to express their diversity in a context where, citizens share the same feeling of belonging to the local society and express this feeling through a respect for common laws and institutions.

The population of Québec is growing increasingly diversified. In 1986, about 12 % of Quebecers claimed to be of origins other than French, British or aboriginal. In 1991, the proportion was 16 %.  More than 75 % of the total population gains in Quebec are attributable to Quebecers who claim to be of origins other than French, British or aboriginal. Diversity is visible in the Greater Montréal region, where nearly half of all Quebecers live.

This area accounts for more than 65 % of Quebecers whose mother tongue is French, and about 15 % of Quebecers whose mother tongue is English. Many people speak also Spanish, Italian, Greek, Chinese and other languages.

Among the leading groups, some more than doubled in number in recent years, i.e. the Lebanese, the Haitian community, the Latin Americans, the Russians, the Chinese and many other.

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