Demographics of Montreal
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The Demographics of Montreal concern population growth and structure for Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The information is analyzed by Statistics Canada and compiled every five years, with the most recent census having taken place in 2011.
- 1 Population history
- 2 Ethnicities
- 3 Ethnic origin
- 4 Language
- 5 Religion
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 Notes
- 9 Further reading
|Population of Montreal, and Metropolitan Area by year|
According to Statistics Canada, at the time of the 2011 Canadian census the city of Montreal proper had 1,649,519 inhabitants. A total of 3,824,221 lived in the Montreal Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) at the same 2011 census, up from 3,635,556 at the 2006 census (within 2006 CMA boundaries), which means a population growth rate of +5.2% between 2006 and 2011. Montreal's 2012-2013 population growth rate was 1.135%, compared with 1.533% for all Canadian CMAs 
In the 2006 census, children under 14 years of age (621,695) constituted 17.1%, while inhabitants over 65 years of age (495,685) numbered 13.6% of the total population.
According to a recently published report by the city of Montreal, the population of the island is expected to number 1,991,200 by 2012, with 3.9 million in the Greater Montreal Area, an increase of 15.8% over 2001. The current estimate of the Montreal CMA population, as of July 1, 2013, according to Statistics Canada is 3,981,802. According to StatsCan, by 2030, the Greater Montreal Area is expected to number 5,275,000 with 1,722,000 being visible minorities.
Some 26% of the population of Montreal and 16.5% that of Greater Montreal, are members of a visible minority (non-white) group. Blacks contribute to the largest minority group, with Montreal having the 2nd highest number of Blacks in Canada after Toronto. Other groups, such as Arabs, Latin Americans, South Asians, and Chinese are also large in number. " Visible minorities are defined by the Canadian Employment Equity Act as "persons, other than Aboriginals, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour."
|Visible minority and Aboriginal population|
|Population group||Population (2011)||% of total population (2011)||Population (2006)||% of total population (2006)|
|Visible minority group||South Asian||53,515||3.3%||51,255||3.2%|
|Visible minority, n.i.e.||4,435||0.3%||2,385||0.1%|
|Multiple visible minorities||10,150||0.6%||6,820||0.4%|
|Total visible minority population||510,665||31.7%||414,830||26%|
|Aboriginal group||First Nations||35,165||2.2%||4,285||0.3%|
|Multiple Aboriginal identities||220||0%||95||0%|
|Total Aboriginal population||40,620||2.5%||7,600||0.5%|
|North American Indian||74,565||2%|
Montreal is the cultural centre of Quebec, French-speaking Canada and French-speaking North America as a whole, and an important city in the Francophonie. The majority of the population is francophone. Montreal is the largest French-speaking city in North America, and second in the world after Paris when counting the number of native-language Francophones (third after Paris and Kinshasa when counting second-language speakers). The city is a hub for French language television productions, radio, theatre, circuses, performing arts, film, multimedia and print publishing.
Montreal plays a prominent role in the development of French-Canadian and Québécois culture. Its contribution to culture is therefore more of a society-building endeavour rather than limited to civic influence. The best talents from French Canada and even the French-speaking areas of the United States converge in Montreal and often perceive the city as their cultural capital. Montreal is also the most important stop in the Americas for Francophone artists from Europe, Africa and Asia.
The cultural divide between Canada's Francophone and Anglophone culture is strong and was famously referred to as the "Two Solitudes" by Canadian writer Hugh MacLennan. Reflecting their deep-seated colonial roots, the Solitudes were historically strongly entrenched in Montreal, splitting the city geographically at Saint Laurent Boulevard.
Montreal is also the cultural capital for English Quebec. The Montreal Gazette newspaper, McGill University, and the Centaur Theatre are traditional hubs of Anglo culture. Notable English-speaking Montrealers such as Oliver Jones, Leonard Cohen, Oscar Peterson, William Shatner, Nick Auf der Maur, Melissa Auf der Maur and Mordecai Richler have been influential. Anglophones from the Eastern Townships, Ottawa Valley and Northern Quebec enjoy radio and television that is produced in English in Montreal.
Some 30 years after the adoption of the Charter of the French Language, French is the mandated lingua-franca of Montreal's various cultural communities. There are effectively two distinct kinds of English spoken in Montréal; the standard English, with its local idioms and eccentricities, passed down through Anglophone community and its institutions. Then there is 'frenglish' or 'franglais' - a highly malleable combination of both languages into cogent sentences, thoughts and expressions, well-seasoned with local slang borrowed (and often used inter-changeably) from both principal languages. The rate of bilingualism among Montréal Anglophones is estimated to be in excess of 67% with a rapidly growing number among them able to speak three or more languages. It is now common to hear the children of Vietnamese, Italian, Haitian and Arab immigrants speaking French with a distinct Québécois accent, as well as English and their own mother tongues.
While socio-cultural differences and a demonstrable general income disparity between Anglophones and Francophones have led to violence in the past, contemporary Montréal is home to a diverse collection of cultures and peoples who live together quite amicably. Montréal, like many American and Canadian cities, has experienced racial and cultural conflicts during the same specific periods of time as other cities such as the increased racial and linguistic tensions towards the late-1980s and early-1990s, concurrent with similar periods of racial violence in New York City or Los Angeles, or in the late-1960s and early-1970s, at the height of the Civil Rights Era, when Montréal was beset with strikes, armed confrontations with revolutionaries, occupations etc.
Montreal's Italian community is one of the largest in Canada, second only to Toronto. With 250,000 residents of Italian ancestry, Montreal has many Italian districts, such as Little Italy, Saint-Leonard (Città Italiana), R.D.P., and LaSalle. Italian is the 3rd most spoken language in Montreal and in the province of Quebec. There is such a large number of Italian Canadians in Montreal that when Italy won the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the number of Italian Montrealers taking to the streets to celebrate en masse resulted in the closure of many major streets, such as Saint Lawrence Boulevard.
Black Canadians and West Indians
Montreal's Haitian community of 100,000 people is the largest in Canada. Large percentages of Haitians live in Montréal-Nord, Saint-Michel and R.D.P. Today, Haitian Creole is the sixth most spoken language in Montreal and the seventh most spoken language in the province of Quebec.
|This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (October 2014)|
As of 1985 there were 9,000 Sikhs in the Montreal area. Around 35 of Air India Flight 182's passengers were Sikhs from Greater Montreal. A memorial to AI182, located in Lachine, Montreal, opened in 2010.
According to CH (Montreal's multicultural channel) there are now over 117,000 people of Arab origin in Montreal. Montreal has sizeable communities of Lebanese, Moroccan, Syrian and Egyptian origin. The main Arab district is the borough of St. Laurent, which contains an Arab population of about 32,000 (52 percent of the population).
In 1931 the Syro-Lebanese were the largest non-French and non-British ethnic group in Ville Marie.
According to the 2011 Census there were 190,275 Canadians who claimed Lebanese ancestry, with the largest concentration in Montreal, making them by far the largest group of people with Arabic-speaking roots.
Other European ethnic groups
In 1931 the largest non-French, non-British ethnic group in St. Eusebe and St. Gabriel was the Poles.
In 1931 the largest non-French, non-British ethnic group in Cremaizi was the Czecho-Slovaks.
In 1931 the largest non-French, non-British ethnic group in St. Marie was the Lithuanians.
In 1931 the largest non-French, non-British ethnic group in St. Georges was the Finns.
As of 2005 there were almost 30,000 ethnic Armenians in Montreal.
There are Armenian community institutions such as schools, youth organizations, and churches. The authors of "The Chameleon Character of Multilingual Literacy Portraits: Researching in "Heritage" Language Places and Spaces" wrote that in Montreal "there is no recognizable materially bounded Armenian neighborhood". As of 2005 there are three Armenian schools in Montreal, one of which is a day school, L'École Arménienne Sourp Hagop.
The Armenians first settled Canada in 1880. The first Armenian community in Montreal originally had 225 people.
As of 2005 there were an estimated 2,360 ethnic Japanese in Montreal. As of 2003 there was no particular place where ethnic Japanese were concentrated, E. Bourgault wrote in Perspectives on the Japanese Canadian Experience in Quebec (Repartir a Zero; Perspectives sur/ L’Experience des Canadiens d’Origine Japonaise au Quebec) that Japanese in Montreal historically "lived relatively anonymously" and that they "have avoided visible concentration as a collective, hoping to blend in, unnoticed into the larger population."
Greek is the eighth language in importance. The Greek community remains vibrant: several neighbourhoods contain a number of Greek-owned businesses and local festivals and churches add to the multicultural character of the city. The neighbouring city of Laval also has a sizable Greek community, predominantly residing in the borough of Chomedey.
As of 2006 Montreal has Canada's third largest ethnic Chinese population at 72,000 members. As of 2005 there is an estimate of 42,765 ethnic Chinese in Montreal. Of the ethnic minorities, the Chinese are the fourth largest. National origins include Hong Kong, Taiwan, Southeast Asia, and Singapore.
The South Shore suburb of Brossard in particular has a high ethnic Chinese population, at 12% of its population. Montreal also has a small Chinatown sandwiched in between Old Montreal, the Quartier international and downtown.
Epoch Times is the most widely distributed Chinese language newspaper in Great Montreal area. Several Chinese-language special schools are in Montreal. The Montreal Chinese Hospital is located in the city.
Montreal is host to the second largest Latin American community in Canada at 75,400 (Toronto ranks first, with 99,290). The majority of Latin American Canadians are recent immigrants arriving in the late 20th century who have come from El Salvador, Colombia, Mexico, Chile and Guatemala with relatively smaller communities from the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Ecuador. Spanish is currently the fifth most spoken language in Montreal.
As of 1999 the Communauté Khmere du Canada (Khmer Community Association) and the Pagode Khmer du Canada (Khmer Buddhist Temple) cooperate with one another.
As of 1999 in Montreal duan chee give active help in resolving emotional issues with Khmer women, while this is not the case with duan chee in Toronto.
Montreal's Jewish community is one of the oldest and most populous in the country, formerly first but now second to Toronto and numbering about 100,000 according to the 2001 census. The community is quite diverse, and is composed of many different Jewish ethnic divisions that arrived in Canada at different periods of time and under differing circumstances.
In terms of mother language (first language learned), the 2006 census reported that in the Greater Montreal Area, 66.5% spoke French as a first language, followed by English at 13.2%, while 0.8% spoke both as a first language. The remaining 22.5% of Montreal-area residents are allophones, speaking languages including Italian (3.5%), Arabic (3.1%), Spanish (2.6%), Haitian Creole (1.3%), Chinese (1.2%), Greek (1.2%), Portuguese (0.8%), Romanian (0.7%), Vietnamese (0.7%), and Russian (0.5%). In terms of additional languages spoken, a unique feature of Montreal among Canadian cities, noted by Statistics Canada, is the working knowledge of both French and English possessed by most of its residents.
|Note that percentages add up to more than 100% because
some people speak two or more languages at home.
|Canada Census Mother Tongue - Greater Montreal, Quebec|
French & English
|Year||Responses||Count||Trend||Pop %||Count||Trend||Pop %||Count||Trend||Pop %||Count||Trend||Pop %|
The Greater Montreal Area is predominantly Roman Catholic; however, weekly church attendance in Quebec is among the lowest in Canada. Historically Montreal has been a centre of Catholicism in North America with its numerous seminaries and churches, including the Notre-Dame Basilica, the Cathédrale Marie-Reine-du-Monde, and Saint Joseph's Oratory. Some 65.8% of the total population is Christian, largely Roman Catholic (52.8%), primarily due to descendants of original French settlers, and others of Italian and Irish origins. Protestants which include Anglican, United Church, Lutheran, owing to British and German immigration, and other denominations number 5.90%, with a further 3.7% consisting mostly of Orthodox Christians, fuelled by a large Greek population. There is also a number of Russian and Ukrainian Orthodox parishes. Islam is the largest non-Christian religious group, with 154,540 members, the second-largest concentration of Muslims in Canada at 9.6%. The Jewish community in Montreal has a population of 35,785. In cities such as Côte Saint-Luc and Hampstead, Jewish people constitute the majority, or a substantial part of the population. As recently as 1971 the Jewish community in Greater Montreal was as high as 109,480. Political and economic uncertainties led many to leave Montreal and the province of Quebec.
The religious breakdown of the population of Montreal is:
|No religious affiliation||296,215||18.4%|
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On specific ethnic groups:
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- Lam, Lawrence. From Being Uprooted to Surviving: Resettlement of Vietnamese-Chinese "Boat People" in Montreal, 1980-1990. Toronto: York Lanes Press, 1996.
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