Montreal is a city in the Canadian province of Quebec. It is the largest city in the province, the second-largest in Canada and the 9th-largest in North America. In 2011 the city had a population of 1,649,519.

Population diversity

The profile of Montreal inhabitants is complex. According to the 2006 Statistique Canada report, the majority group includes people of Canadian and of French origins. People of Canadian origin are 537 625 (339 595 of both Canadian parents and 198 030 of mixed parents). People of French origin are 371 200 (148 965 of both French parents and 222 240 of mixed parents).

Migrant population consists of 488 090 people which correspond to 31 % of Montréal population. Non-permanent residents are 32 810, or 2 % of the population. The main groups of the population by origin are as follows4: Carribean - 86 490, Central and South America - 57 190, Europe - 393 100, African - 49 005; Western Asia - 29 745, Southern Asia - 53 980, East and South-East Asia: 105 295; Oceania – 5955. The largest migrant groups have their origins in: Italy (49 240), Haïti (39 280), China (25 070), France (23 930), Algeria (21 480), Morocco (20 850), Lebanon (18 845), Viet Nam (17 155)

Among residents aged 15 and over, 489 965 people (36 %) are foreign-born and therefore considered first generation migrants. Second generation migrants comptent are 174 040 (13 %). 679 people aged 15 and over (51%) belong to the third and following generations.

Globalisation and the economic downturn affect the economic fabric of the city and the prospects of migrants. Sectors which traditionally employ a lot of migrants,  particularly manufacturing, have been affected the most. Skilled migrants find it difficult to have their qualifications recognised. Some groups, expecially those belonging to visible minorities have difficulties finding employment despite the fact that the many of them have equal or higher levels of education compared to the general population. This trend concerns also the second the third generation. The city therefore is confronted with new challenges and needs to increase its efforts in enabling the social and economic integration of migrants and fight poverty and exclusion.

Profile and activities
Intercultural cities index
good practice


Valérie PLANTE


"Exchanging is everything": Nadia Bastien tells us why is important for a city like Montreal to be part of the Intercultural Cities network (in French).