VitalSigns of Greater Montreal 2008 Foundation of Greater Montreal's website
Comment Vital Signs

With nearly 3.7 million residents, the Greater Montreal region accounts for 48% of Quebec’s population and, among Canadian cities, ranks second after Toronto. Over the past five years, Montreal’s population has grown faster than that of the rest of the province.

This growth is mainly due to a net migratory inflow of 12,435 persons (2006-2007), primarily the result of the arrival of new immigrants.

The increase in the region’s population is also due to a rise in the birth rate for the third year in a row – reaching 11.6 births per 1000 residents in 2007 – an increase that has been more pronounced in the suburbs. It is worth noting that the highest fertility rates are found among women aged 30 to 34, followed by women aged 25 to 29. What also sets Montreal apart is the greater proportion of common-law couples, now over 25% while the national average is 15.5%. Moreover, common-law couples are less likely than married couples to have more than one child.

The greatest proportion of children under 15 in Quebec is found in the Montreal region (17.1%). While this figure is lower than in 2001 (18.1%), the 65-and-over group is larger than five years ago, accounting for 13.6% of the Greater Montreal population in 2006.

French remains the language most often spoken at home by nearly 70% of the population. More than half the people in the greater region have knowledge of both official languages.

On the economic front, Greater Montreal’s GDP of $132 billion* in 2007 represented 10% of the national GDP and 50% of the Quebec GDP. The region had more than 1.5 million workers, 81% of whom were in the service industries, a substantial increase relative to the 70% recorded in 2000.

In 2006, the pre-tax median family income was $55,100, an increase of only 1.8% relative to the inflation-adjusted figure for 2000.

*In 2002 dollars
Fertility rates (per 1000 women) by age group,
Montreal Metropolitan Region, 1991 and 2007
Fertility rates graphic

Common-law Couples,
by Number of Children, 2006
Married Couples,
by Number of Children, 2006
Number of children
Source : Statistics Canada
  • • The social economy (cooperatives, non-profit organizations, mutual associations) is a significant component of the island’s economic make-up, generating about $2 billion in revenue annually. When excluding the Mouvement Desjardins and the Coop fédérée, Montreal’s social economy sector includes
    3,590 establishments and generates slightly over 61,000 paid jobs, 59% of which are held by women.
    More than 100,000 volunteers are also active in this sector..1
  • In 2005, the Greater Montreal region displayed the same entrepreneurial dynamism (with 9.4% of adults at the business pre-startup or startup stage) as in the early 2000s (9.5%), a notable improvement from the 5.4% low experienced in 2003.2
  • In 2007, Greater Montreal ranked first among the 20 largest metropolitan areas in Canada and the United States for the most competitive operating costs in a number of research and development sectors (biotechnology, clinical trials and testing of electronic systems),. Operating costs encompass 27 cost elements, including labour, transportation, facilities, etc. 3 4
  • One of the major functions played by a large city is the coordination of economic activities. The total office space surface area provides a good benchmark to compare the level of activity between cities. In 2008, this indicator was 6.8 million square metres (m2) for Montreal, compared with 16.7 million m2 for Toronto and 4.8 million m2 for Calgary. However, 65% of economic activities in Montreal were concentrated in the downtown area, compared with less than 50% in Canada’s three other large cities.5

1 Marie J. Bouchard (ed.). Portrait statistique de l’économie sociale de la région administrative de Montréal. Cahier hors série 2008-01. Chaire de recherche en économie sociale. Montreal: UQAM, 2008.
2 Nathaly Riverin. (2006). L’entrepreneuriat à Montréal. Cahier de recherche 2006-17, Chaire d’entrepreneuriat Rogers-J.-A.-Bombardier, HEC Montréal.
3 Montréal International, “KPMG Competitive Alternatives Study: Greater Montréal ranks 1st among the 20 largest metropolitan areas in Canada and the United States for the most competitive operating costs in the R&D sectors,” Press release dated March 31, 2008.
4 KPMG, Competitive Alternatives: KPMG's Guide to International Business Location, 2008
5 Colliers International. (2008). North America Highlights Office, first quarter 2008.

One of many intergenerational events organized by Santropol Roulant.