Essais sur le québec contemporain




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The changing proportions of French in the Province of Quebec.



The proportion of French origin (i.e. of French ancestry, which is very nearly the proportion French-speaking) in the Province of Quebec increased from 78.0 to 82.0 per cent between 1871 and 1951.

This reflects the relative rates of natural increase of French and non-French, subject to two conflicting limitations : one is that a larger proportion of non-French than French have left the province, from year to year, for other parts of Canada ; the other, that few French are included among the immigrants from abroad who have settled in Quebec. This last limitation does not deserve any proof for it is rather obvious from common experience. The first one can be checked by taking statistics as to origin of people now living in the other Canadian provinces and coming from Quebec. If the same proportion of the French-speaking population as of the English-speaking left Quebec regularly, we would expect that the ratio of the French-speaking to the total population would be the same for the Quebec-born who live in the rest of Canada as for those who have remained in Quebec. But this is not so. Taking Ontario, for example, we note for 1941, that of 104,251 persons born in Quebec, 58,563 were of French origin 1. Although these were more than half, they are a far smaller proportion that the French actually living in Quebec are of the total living in Quebec. Somewhat the same picture is revealed for the provinces west of Ontario.

It is, however, with the way in which the percentage French has varied from one part of the Province of Quebec to another that we are here concerned. The zones already introduced are of use in exhibiting the data on French and English.

The Montreal Plains area which extends south from Montreal increased slightly less in proportion French than the province as a whole, and this applies to the industrial and agricultural subzones separately. Change in the Montreal-Laurentian percentage also showed little deviation from that in the province, but the Eastern Townships show an enormous deviation. The industrial

[p. 70]
TABLE 1
TOTAL AND FRENCH POPULATION OF THE PROVINCE OF QUEBEC,
BY COUNTIES AND ZONES, 1871 AND 1951




1871

1951




Total

French

French as a % of total

Total

French

French as a % of total

Total

1,191,516

929,817

78.0

4,055,681

3,327,128

82.0

Montreal Metropolitan

164,014

105,946

64.6

1,436,006

934,390

65.1

Chambly

10,498

9,775

93.1

77,931

58,216

74.7

Montreal and Jesus Islands

153,516

96,171

62.6

1,358,075

876,174

64.5

Montreal Plains



















Industrial

65,237

60,058

92.1

136,352

128,604

94.3

Beauharnois

14,757

13,251

89.8

38,748

35,876

92.6

Richelieu

20,048

19,317

96.4

30,801

30,097

97.7

Saint-Hyacinthe

18,310

18,075

98.7

38,101

37,425

98.2

Saint-Jean

12,122

9,415

77.7

28,702

25,206

87.8

Agricultural

123,594

99,889

80.8

186,509

114,243

83.7

Châteauguay

16,166

11,288

69.8

17,857

13,714

76.8

Huntingdon

16,304

4,924

30.2

13,457

7,501

55.7

Iberville

15,413

13,971

90.6

13,507

12,777

94.6

Laprairie

11,861

10,154

85.6

18,639

14,331

76.9

Napierville

11,688

10,815

92.5

9,203

9,062

98.5

Rouville

17,634

16,954

96.1

19,506

17,629

90.4

Soulanges

10,808

9,724

90.0

9,233

8,798

95.3

Vaudreuil

11,003

9,392

85.4

17,378

13,952

80.3

Verchères

12,717

12,617

99.2

17,729

16,479

92.9

Montreal Laurentian

134,688

118,349

87.9

263,725

241,655

91.6

Argenteuil

12,806

3,902

30.5

25,872

16,971

65.6

Berthier

19,993

19,586

98.0

24,717

24,280

98.2

Deux-Montagnes

15,615

13,972

89.5

21,048

18,057

85.8

Joliette

23,075

22,020

95.4

37,251

36,497

98.0

Labelle

314

163

51.9

27,197

26,696

98.2

L'Assomption

15,473

14,979

96.8

23,205

21,801

93.9

Maskinongé

15,079

14,782

98.0

19,478

18,790

96.5

Montcalm

12,742

10,794

84.7

17,520

16,330

93.2

Terrebonne

19,591

18,151

92.6

67,437

62,233

92.3

Eastern Townships



















Industrial

98,720

49,381

50.0

298,072

257,638

86.4

Drummond

10,975

7,036

64.1

53,426

50,807

95.1

Mégantic

18,879

12,074

64.0

45,325

43,392

95.7

Missisquoi

16,922

7,114

42.0

24,689

18,983

76.9

Richmond

11,213

3,718

33.2

34,102

28,645

84.0

Shefford

19,077

12,683

66.5

43,722

39,150

89.5

Sherbrooke

8,516

3,544

41.6

62,166

50,356

81.0

Stanstead

13,138

3,212

24.4

34,642

26,305

75.9

Agricultural

120,000

96,668

79.6

188,722

174,067

92.2

Arthabaska

17,241

15,890

92.2

36,957

36,560

98.9

Bagot

19,491

19,037

97.7

19,224

19,066

99.2

Brome

13,757

3,471

25.2

13,393

6,758

50.5

Compton

11,988

2,890

24.1

23,856

18,293

76.7

Frontenac

5,445

4,648

85.4

30,733

30,128

98.0

Nicolet

23,262

22,621

97.2

30,335

30,050

99.1

Wolfe

8,823

7,504

85.1

18,153

17,470

96.3

Yamaska

19,993

19,472

97.4

16,071

15,733

97.9

[p. 71]
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