Population in Urban Area, now
- World: 718th
- North America: 93rd
- Canada: 7th
Population in City Area, 2021-07-25
- World: 692nd
- North America: 29th
- Canada: 8th
Quebec City Urban Area Population Graph
Quebec City Population Review
Quebec City is the capital of the province of Quebec, located in Canada. It is home to 827,000 people in the urban area and 528,000 people in the city area. It is the eleventh largest city in Canada and the seventh largest metro area in Canada. It sits bordered by two rivers: the St. Charles River and the St. Lawrence River, which is why the Algonquian people originally named the area Kébec, an Algonquian word that means “where the river narrows”, since this is where the St. Laurence and the St. Charles narrow to a final meeting point.
Quebec City is spread over 485 square kilometers with a population density of about 228 people per square kilometers, which puts it much higher than the province’s population density of about 5 people per square kilometer.
Municipal mergers and an expanding city
In 2002, Quebec City annexed 12 former towns. These include: Sainte-Foy, Beauport, Charlesbourg, Sillery, Loretteville, Val-Bélair, Cap-Rouge, Saint-Émile, Vanier, L'Ancienne-Lorette, Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures and Lac-Saint-Charles. This was one of several municipal mergers that took place across the province of Quebec around that time. Four years later, L'Ancienne-Lorette and Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures were reconstituted as separate municipalities after a demerger referendum, however the other ten towns remain part of Quebec City. In 2009, Quebec City also restructured its boroughs down from 8 to 6.
Since 1950, the city has more than tripled in population—going from 268,000 inhabitants to its current number of 826,000 people. The city is predicted to continue growing steadily, with an estimated increase of another 100,000 people by 2035.
Demographics of the city
The cities demographics are almost equally split between male and female, with 48.2% of the population being male and 51.8% being female. Almost 21% of the population of the city are of retirement age (65 years and older) and 4.7% of the population are children under five. The median age of the city is around 43 years of age, which is a bit older than the country’s average of 41 years.
The number of visible minorities in the city is relatively low compared to other large cities, with only 6.3% of the population identifying as a visible minority. This is in comparison to the national average of 22.3%. The largest visible minority are Black Canadians, who make up 2.4% of the population.
A more equal income distribution
Compared to many other cities in North America, there is less income inequality in Quebec City across neighborhoods than in many other cities across the continent. There are some minor disparities between neighborhoods, such as the wealthier residents living in the former towns of Sillery, Cap-Rouge, and Sainte-Foy and the working-class residents living in the lower towns before Old Quebec, like Saint-Sauveur and Saint-Roch. However, Saint-Roch and Saint-Sauveur have also been seeing a lot of gentrification over the past 20 years, with many young professionals moving into the area and the construction of new condos and offices.
From a village, to a city
Quebec City was originally the capital of the French empire in North America. While this may seem like it was always a large and bustling city, it was actually nothing more than a generous village for many years. In 1608, it only had 28 residents. By the time of the Conquest in 1759, the village had become a town with 8,000 residents. Rapid growth continued in the 1800s, with the city adding over 50,000 residents by 1861. The economic expansion that the timber trade and administrative and political activities were providing the city meant that it was attracting many new people to the city.
The city’s growth is still above that of the rest of the province, with Quebec City growing by 6.5% a year, compared to the rest of the province at 4.9%