Montreal, Canada Population

Population in Urban Area, now

4,227,059
  • World: 103rd
  • North America: 16th
  • Canada: 2nd

Population in City Area, 2019-02-25

1,600,000
  • World: 157th
  • North America: 9th
  • Canada: 2nd

Montreal Urban Area Population Graph

Montreal Population Review

Montreal is the second-most populous city in Canada and the only major city in North America where French is the official language. It is one of the five largest French-speaking cities in the world, with Paris, France being the first.

The population of Montreal’s urban area is 4.2 million people and the city proper has 1.6 million people calling it home. Until the 1970s, Montreal was the largest city in Canada until Toronto surpassed it. While Montreal’s urban area is predicted to grow to 4.7 million residents by 2035, the city’s growth rate is behind the national average.

A city unified

In 2002, Montreal’s borders rapidly expanded when the city was merged with 27 nearby municipalities on the Island of Montreal to form a unified city. A lot of these mergers were later rescinded since the move was quite unpopular in several areas. Two years later, 13% of the population of the island voted to leave the unified city, with only 15 total municipalities eventually staying.

Post-secondary institutions galore

Even though Montreal is not a massive city, it still has 11 university-level institutions in the city, four of which are world-class. These post-secondary institutions have a combined student body of 180 thousands people and has one of the highest concentrations of graduate students in any city in North America. Students in Montreal also pay the cheapest tuition in the whole country.

An immigrant-friendly city

Montreal is a very diverse city. 34% of the population of Montreal and 22.6% of the population of Greater Montreal are members of a visible minority. Montreal has been a destination for immigrants for several decades and 70% of the foreign-born population living in the province of Quebec call Montreal home. There are more than 120 cultural communities represented in Montreal, with the main countries of birth being Europe, Asia, and Africa.

A center of Catholicism

Montreal has historically identified as a center of Catholicism in North America. It boasts some of the most stunning cathedrals and churches on the continent and Roman Catholicism is the most widely practiced religion in the region. About 65% of the Montreal population is Christian, with 52% being Catholic. Much of this has to do with the French settlers who founded the city and brought their religion with them. However, weekly church attendance is one of the lowest in the entire country. Montreal also has a large Muslim and Jewish population, with 154,000 people identifying as Muslims and 36,000 identifying as Jewish.

The most bilingual city in the country

Montreal is a French city and French is the official language. It is the language most spoken at home, with 49.8% of the population listing it as the main language they communicate in when home. Only 22.8% of the population list English as their main language, with the last 18.3% of the population speaking another language at home. It is considered the most fully bilingual cities in Canada and in Quebec. Almost 59% of the population can speak both English and French with ease and signage, restaurant menus, and metro stops are all listed in both English and French. However, Quebec’s robust language laws mandate that French must be placed first on all signage. Montreal is the second largest primarily French-speaking city in the entire world, apart from Paris.

An underground city

Montreal has a unique feature that allows visitors and tourists alike to avoid the city’s harsh winter weather: the Underground City. This series of interconnected tunnels run beneath the city for over 32kms. When the weather turns frigid (and Montreal is especially known for it’s hard winters), there are over 500,000 people who use the tunnels on a daily basis. These brightly lit corridors connect shopping malls, universities, museums, banks, hotels, and run off several metro stations.

Review Updated: July 8, 2020
Montreal city skylineMontreal city skyline

Montreal Urban Area Population History

1950 1,343,000
1951 1,400,000
1952 1,459,000
1953 1,521,000
1954 1,585,000
1955 1,652,000
1956 1,722,000
1957 1,794,000
1958 1,870,000
1959 1,949,000
1960 2,031,000
1961 2,115,000
1962 2,176,000
1963 2,240,000
1964 2,306,000
1965 2,373,000
1966 2,442,000
1967 2,500,000
1968 2,560,000
1969 2,621,000
1970 2,684,000
1971 2,744,000
1972 2,756,000
1973 2,768,000
1974 2,780,000
1975 2,791,000
1976 2,803,000
1977 2,808,000
1978 2,813,000
1979 2,818,000
1980 2,824,000
1981 2,830,000
1982 2,848,000
1983 2,867,000
1984 2,885,000
1985 2,904,000
1986 2,926,000
1987 2,981,000
1988 3,038,000
1989 3,095,000
1990 3,154,000
1991 3,211,000
1992 3,234,000
1993 3,258,000
1994 3,282,000
1995 3,305,000
1996 3,330,000
1997 3,354,000
1998 3,379,000
1999 3,404,000
2000 3,429,000
2001 3,458,000
2002 3,510,000
2003 3,564,000
2004 3,619,000
2005 3,674,000
2006 3,728,000
2007 3,770,000
2008 3,812,000
2009 3,854,000
2010 3,897,000
2011 3,939,000
2012 3,971,000
2013 4,004,000
2014 4,037,000
2015 4,070,000
2016 4,104,000
2017 4,138,000
2018 4,172,000
2019 4,196,000
2020 4,221,000

Montreal Urban Area Population Projections

2021 4,247,000
2022 4,277,000
2023 4,308,000
2024 4,342,000
2025 4,377,000
2026 4,415,000
2027 4,453,000
2028 4,493,000
2029 4,533,000
2030 4,573,000
2031 4,613,000
2032 4,653,000
2033 4,692,000
2034 4,732,000
2035 4,771,000

Map of Montreal, Canada

All Biggest Cities in Canada