[Study] Annual update: the outlook for Greater Montréal

High quality of life for Montréalers; economic catch-up pending

Mardi 20 décembre 2016

Today, the Institut du Québec (IdQ), in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal (CCMM) and Montréal International (MI), releases its 2016 outlook for Greater Montréal (Tableau de bord de la région métropolitaine de Montréal). It compares Montréal with 14 North American cities, applying 29 social and economic indicators in five categories: economic vitality, human capital, innovation, quality of life, and attractiveness.

“Using the new interactive tool available on our website, comparermontreal.ca, anyone can now measure and compare Montréal’s situation using their own values and preferences, instead of being limited to GDP and productivity,” says Raymond Bachand, President of the IdQ. People can now compare “their” Montréal by choosing their own indicators and metropolitan areas.



According to the 2016 edition of the outlook, Greater Montréal:

  • comes first in terms of quality of life for its residents. First for wealth distribution, with the lowest crime rate and a public that uses alternative modes of transport, Montréal provides its residents with a safe, high-quality living environment;
  • lags in terms of economic vitality. Per capita GDP, productivity, and individual disposable income are still low, in terms of both level and growth rate. Economic catch-up seems to be hard to achieve;
  • ranks 13th in terms of human capital. The school dropout rate and the university graduation rate remain Montréal’s main weaknesses in this respect. However, an encouraging catch-up trend has begun with the 25–34 age group. Montréal attracts high-quality immigrants, but seems to have difficulty integrating them into the job market;
  • is just below average for innovation, ranking 10th. It still faces major challenges in this area. Montréal has the capacity to innovate, but experiences difficulty in translating potential into actual innovations;
  • is a relatively attractive city to do business in for companies looking to locate there. It ranks 7th, particularly because of its business tax rates, which are among the most competitive in North America.


“We have to be happy about the excellent quality of life Montréalers enjoy. This is a significant advantage because it stimulates investment and job creation in our city and the surrounding area,” says Michel Leblanc, President of the CCMM. “This report justifies the positions adopted by the Chamber on the importance of producing more graduates, reducing the dropout rate, and putting more effort into innovation. These are prerequisites if we are to maintain our quality of life and our collective economic growth rate in the years ahead.”

“Greater Montréal offers an attractive business environment for multinationals, which enjoy numerous tax breaks and operating costs that are among the most competitive in North America,” notes Hubert Bolduc, President and CEO of MI. “However, given the demographic crunch and the significant growth in high-tech fields, the availability of a skilled workforce is still one of the main challenges facing our metropolitan area. That is why Montréal International is involved in a comprehensive effort to retain international students, who constitute a strategic pool of candidates for permanent residency.”

The findings in the 2016 outlook confirm the magnitude of the challenges Montréal faces if it is to become one of the best cities in North America in economic terms. Some promising steps have been taken in recent years, but we have to double our efforts and continue to play to our strengths in order to bring about rapid change.


 A new tool for comparing Montréal your way: comparermontreal.ca

In the 2016 edition of the outlook, the data and related documentation have been assembled on a single platform. Full information on past and present indicators, methods used, and cities selected is now available on the comparermontreal.ca website. In addition to facilitating year-over-year comparisons and providing an overview of how the data have changed over time, the new platform lets anyone create their own index.

To consult the 2016 edition of the outlook (Comparer Montréal : Tableau de bord de la région métropolitaine de Montréal – Édition 2016), go to www.comparermontreal.ca or the IdQ website, www.institutduquebec.ca.



About the Institut du Québec

The result of a partnership between The Conference Board of Canada and HEC Montréal, the Institut du Québec’s research and reports are focussed on the social and economic issues facing the province. Its aim is to provide public authorities and the private sector with the tools they need to make informed decisions, thereby helping to build a more progressive, competitive, and prosperous society.    
www.institutduquebec.ca | @InstitutduQC

About the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal 

The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal has over 7,000 members. Its mission is to act as the voice of Montréal’s business community and to promote the prosperity of the city and its businesses. It is involved in key sectors of economic development, advocating a philosophy of action based on engagement, credibility, proactivity, collaboration, and innovation. The Chamber also provides a range of specialized services to individuals and enterprises regardless of size to support their growth at home and internationally.
www.facebook.com/chambremontreal | @chambremontreal
To continue the discussion: #ccmm

About Montréal International

Established in 1996, Montréal International is a not-for-profit organization funded by the private sector, the governments of Canada and Quebec, the Montréal Metropolitan Community (MMC), and the City of Montréal. Its mandate is to attract foreign direct investment, international organizations, and strategic talents to Greater Montréal. www.montrealinternational.com


Julie Lajoye, Media Relations Adviser
HEC Montréal
Office: 514-340-7320; cell: 438-823-1328; or e-mail: julie.lajoye@hec.ca

Sylvie Paquette
Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: 514-871-4000 ext. 4015; or e-mail: spaquette@ccmm.ca

Céline Clément, Director, Public Relations
Montréal International
Tel.: 514-987-9317; or e-mail: celine.clement@mtlintl.com

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