Quebecers still leaving for other provinces in droves

Once again, census figures show more Quebecers leaving for other provinces than other Canadians coming to Quebec.

In the period from 2011 to 2016, Quebec registered a net loss of 36,955 residents — 55,365 people moved to Quebec from elsewhere in Canada, while 92,320 Quebecers left for other provinces.

The outflow from Quebec has accelerated over the last two census periods — between 2006 and 2011, the figure was at just over 20,000, while it was just 11,650 between 2001 and 2006.

Jack Jedwab, the executive director of the Association of Canadian Studies, says he believes people are leaving to pursue better job opportunities in other provinces.

"Usually, departures like this are associated with economic conditions. That would be my first guess," Jedwab says. "We want to look into it further, but usually, it's people looking for better opportunities elsewhere."

Despite the province's efforts to keep its young people in recent years, about a third of those fleeing Quebec for other provinces belong to the 25 to 34 age group.

Jedwab also suggests that while Alberta gained more than 67,000 out-of-province Canadians during that period — the most of any province — most of the Quebecers moved to Ontario and B.C.

The figures also show that it isn't just anglophones that are deserting Quebec for other provinces — a growing number of francophones are, too.

Quebec registered a net loss of 9,255 francophones between 2011 and 2016, while also losing 10,175 anglos and 15,440 allophones. A decade earlier, Quebec registered a net gain of about 5,000 other French-speaking Canadians.

Only four provinces registered net gains in the last census period — B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Prince Edward Island. Ontario's net loss stood at 37,580.