Quebec Life Expectancy Fell & People Spawned Fewer Offspring Last Year

But Quebec also saw record-breaking immigration.

Senior Editor
An expecting couple strolls hand-in-hand in Quebec City with the Château Frontenac visible in the background.

An expecting couple strolls hand-in-hand in Quebec City with the Château Frontenac visible in the background.

Quebec's Institut de la statistique (ISQ) has released its 2022 demographic estimates, showing a nine-month decrease in Quebec life expectancy and the lowest number of births since 2005.

Record-breaking immigration, meanwhile, drove the province's overall population increase of 149,900, to 8.8 million residents. But that growth, representing a rate of 1.7%, lagged behind the 3% year-over-year population increase in the other provinces and territories, the ISQ says.

Immigration accounted for 97.7% of Quebec's 2022 population gain. 146,400 people moved to the province, a figure that blasted past the former record of 95,300 newcomers in 2019. 36,000 left Quebec for either another province or country.

The estimated net natural population increase, as the ISQ puts it, was just 2,300: 80,700 births minus 78,400 deaths.

"The decrease in births in 2022 is part of a general downward trend observed since 2013," the institute states. "A recovery had been seen in 2021, but this has not continued and may in part be a one-time catch-up of some births that were delayed in 2020 due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic."

The life expectancy drop, to 82.3, is due to an increase in the number of deaths in the province in 2022, which itself might be due, in part, to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ISQ posits: "from the beginning of the pandemic to December 2022, excess mortality, i.e. the difference between the observed and expected number of deaths, is estimated at 5.6% in Quebec. [...] In early 2022, during the Omicron wave, excess mortality peaked at 26%."

Even with the lower life expectancy, 84.1 years for women and 80.5 years for men, the province still claims among the longest average lifespans in the world, the institute assures.

Thomas MacDonald
Senior Editor
Thomas is MTL Blog's Senior Editor. He lives in Saint-Henri and loves it so much that he named his cat after it. On weekdays, he's publishing stories, editing and helping to manage MTL Blog's team of amazing writers. His beats include the STM, provincial and municipal politics and Céline Dion. On weekends, you might run into him brunching at Greenspot, walking along the Lachine Canal or walking Henri the cat in Parc Sir-George-Étienne-Cartier.