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Immigration in Canada: A Portrait of the Foreign-born Population, 2006 Census: Immigrants in the provinces and territories

Quebec: Highest proportion of foreign-born population ever

The foreign-born chose to settle in Quebec at a faster pace than in any other province during the past five years, according to data from the 2006 Census.

The 2006 Census enumerated a total of 851,600 foreign-born residents in Quebec, an increase of 144,600 individuals, or 20.5%, from 2001. This was higher than the 13.6% growth rate in the foreign-born population for the entire country during this period.

People born outside Canada accounted for 11.5% of Quebec's total population in 2006, the highest proportion ever in the province's history. In 2001, they represented 9.9% of the population.

In fact, Quebec was the province with the second-highest share, of newcomers who had arrived in Canada during the previous five years, the first being Ontario. This was due to increased immigration to the province since 2001. Of the estimated 1,110,000 new immigrants, 17.5% lived in Quebec. In 2001, a smaller proportion of newcomers (13.7%) chose to live in Quebec.

Most of Quebec's foreign-born chose to live in the census metropolitan area of Montréal (86.9%). However, in 2006, there was an increase of foreign-born settling in other Quebec metropolitan areas, such as Québec (3.1%), the Québec portion of the census metropolitan area of Ottawa - Gatineau (2.7%) and the census metropolitan area of Sherbrooke (1.2%).

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