Greater Montreal's VitalSigns 2007
Foundation of Greater Montreal's Website
Getting Started in the community

More than half the immigrants from various countries who settled in Montreal in recent years came to Canada for economic reasons. Although nearly one third had scientific or technical training, newcomers were more likely than Canadian-born residents to experience unemployment.

  • In 2001, the unemployment rates of recent immigrants relative to Canadian-born workers were 1.7 times higher across Canada, 2.6 times higher in Quebec and 3.4 times higher in the Montreal region. 1
  • That same year, the population of recent immigrants in Greater Montreal was more diversified than in Toronto: there, 41.3% of newcomers came from the top five countries of origin, whereas the corresponding figure for Montreal was 29.5%. From the perspective of integration, 53% of newcomers in Montreal spoke a language other than English or French at home, compared with 64% in Toronto. 2

Region of Origin of Immigrants in Québec, 2006
Source: Ministère de l’Immigration et des Communautés culturelles 3

  • In 2006, recent immigrants in Quebec came from a variety of regions: 25% were from North Africa, the Middle East and Europe and 22.5% from Asia. Latin American immigrants were half as numerous (11%) as those from Asia, and immigrants from the Caribbean and Sub-Saharan Africa also fell within the same range (7%), while immigration from North America was the lowest (2%), proportionately. Newcomers were not evenly distributed across the metropolitan area: Montreal received somewhat fewer Europeans (22.5%), while Longueuil received comparatively more of them (28.6%); Laval received fewer immigrants from Sub-Saharan Africa (3.4%) and Asia (14.6%); more newcomers from North Africa and the Middle East settled in Laval (34.4%), but the opposite was true in Longueuil (19.6%). 3
  • In 2001, the average size of immigrant households in the region (2.7 persons) was appreciably greater than that of Canadian-born households (2.3 persons). The average size was greatest among immigrants in Laval and the North Shore communities (3.2 persons). 4
  • Of the 210,125 immigrants who came to Canada between 1995 and 2004 and lived in the Montreal metropolitan region in 2006, more than half (51.5%) were economic immigrants, 28.1% had been admitted as part of a family reunification program and 19.1% were refugees. Among the 46,625 immigrants living elsewhere in Québec, there were proportionately fewer economic immigrants (42.2%), about as many cases of family reunification and more refugees (27.5%). 5
  • Also in 2006, economic immigration played a bigger role in Longueuil (55,6 %) while family reunification was less significant (25.7%) than elsewhere. 5
  • Overall, nearly half of all immigrants from the years 1995-2004 who were still present in 2006 had some knowledge of French upon being admitted, and more than one fifth spoke both official languages of Canada. Linguistic abilities also varied by place of settlement: proportionately more people only spoke English in Montreal (19.2%) or only spoke French in Laval (30.3%). Longueuil had the largest proportion of immigrant who spoke neither French nor English upon being admitted. 5
  • Among recent immigrants aged 15 and over who lived in the region in 2001, 31.4% had scientific or technical training as their main field of study, compared with 17.4% of Canadian-born residents. 6

1 Labour Force Activity, Immigrant Status and Period of Immigration, 1996 and 2001 Census, Statistics Canada
(consulted on July 31, 2007)
2 Andrew Heisz, Canada’s Global Cities: Socio-economic Conditions in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, Trends and Conditions in Census Metropolitan Areas, Statistics Canada, July 2006
(consulted on July 31, 2007)
3 Portraits régionaux 2000-2004. Caractéristiques des immigrants établis au Québec et dans les régions en 2006, Immigration et Communautés culturelles, Gouvernement du Québec, April 2006
(consulted on July 31, 2007)
4 Xavier Leloup, Conditions de logement des ménages immigrants: aperçu de la situation québécoise, INRS- Urbanisation, culture et société, March 2005
(consulted on July 31, 2007)
5 Présence au Québec en 2006 des immigrants admis de 1995 à 2004, Ministère de l’Immigration et des Communautés culturelles du Québec, April 2006
(consulted on July 31, 2007)
6 L’intégration et le maintien au travail des personnes immigrantes: Diagnostic sectoriel, Comité d’adaptation de la main-d'œuvre, Personnes immigrantes, Institut pour le progrès socio-économique, February 2006
(consulted on July 31, 2007)