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The rush to rural

From mid-2020 to mid-2021, some 232,000 Quebecers packed their bags and headed to a different region. And while the phenomenon may have started a few years back, the pandemic definitely accelerated the trend.

The past few years were marked by major interregional movements

Source: Statistique Québec, Migration interrégionale au Québec en 2020-2021 : des gains records pour plusieurs régions en dehors des grands centres

These major migrations, which benefit our province’s remote regions, are stimulated by:

  • social mutations: long-term implementation of teleworking, online learning, etc.;
  • the significant increase in real estate prices in large metropolises, which is pushing people to consider moving to rural areas.

Rethinking the future elsewhere

Apart from the pragmatic considerations, for many Quebecers, it’s a more fundamental life change they’re after.

There are various reasons people want to leave the city

A movement supported by regional players

Source: Radio-Canada, La grande séduction de Petit-Saguenay, March 2022

End of the rural exodus

Most regions located outside urban centres have experienced an increase in population. And significantly so: for many zones, we’re talking the biggest demographic gain in 20 years! Inversely, during this same period, the province’s five major urban areas have recorded a net loss of close to 58,000 residents.

Demographic movements in Quebec

Sources: Statistique Québec, Migration interrégionale au Québec en 2020-2021 : des gains records pour plusieurs régions en dehors des grands centres / Le Devoir, Pour rattraper son retard, Québec compte accueillir 70 500 nouveaux arrivants en 2022, October 2021

An effervescence that leads to opportunities

With this major shift towards the outskirts, new social and economical poles are emerging, outside traditional hubs.  

Judging by real estate dynamics, the effervescence in rural areas is here to stay

Source: APCHA, bilan 2021 des mises en chantier résidentielles au Québec

For brands and advertisers, this regional revitalization represents a not-to-be-missed opportunity. Most of these newly settled Quebecers (many of them young families coming from urban centres) have important consumer needs as part of their new lifestyle. Think products (furniture, renovations, food, restaurants, transport, etc.) and services (health, home maintenance, sports and leisure, etc.). Without a doubt, it’s time to make yourself known in even the most remote regions across Quebec!  

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