Québec 1608-2008: 400 years of Censuses
From Jean Talon's time to our modern times, the population of Québec City has been enumerated on numerous occasions. This constant look through the lenses of the various Censuses is a good way to track the infinite number of changes that have shaped the history of Québec City's population. This presentation will summarize and analyze the major growth periods of the population as well as looking into geographic and demographic variables.
The first Census in North America
The first Census took place in 1666 under the supervision of Intendant Jean Talon. As a representative of the King of France, Talon's tasks were to stimulate the economic expansion of New France, increase the colony's self-sufficiency and organize its financial administration. Talon began his administrative appointment by taking stock of the colony. This included a systematic Census in the winter of 1665–1666.
This first Census enumerated a total of 3,215 inhabitants. There was 2,034 men and 1,181 women. The Census also measured the wealth of industry and agriculture, the value of local lumber and mineral resources, and the number of domestic animals, seigneuries, government buildings, and churches.
Statistics Canada, then and now
Today, apart from Statistics Canada's world-renowned Census conducted every five years, the organization is also responsible for conducting close to 350 surveys on practically all aspects of life in Canada, such as international trade, agriculture, industry, railways and many other economic indicators.
In this day and age, the Census plays the same fundamental role in the development of the economic, demographic and social fabric of Canada, by painting a statistical portrait of the country and its population. In the first Census 3215 inhabitants were enumerated. In 2006, the total number of inhabitants was 31,612,897.
In order to highlight the 400th anniversary of Québec City, Statistics Canada shares its expertise by making a review of the population's historical data for the last 400 years.
What's been done
- May 2008
- Presentation to the Association canadienne française pour l'avancement des sciences (ACFAS) on May 7th at 9:00 a.m.
- August 2008
- Presentation to the Association internationale des démographes de langue française (AIDELF), from August 25th to August 29th
- Presentation to the Federation of Canadian Demographers, on August 25th
- Other events
- June 2008 - An article was published in the Statistics Canada’s issue of Canadian Social Trends
- A section of the Statistics Canada's Web site will be dedicated to Québec City's 400th anniversary and will include an animated vignette in Flash format of the data tables, maps and various documents illustrating the population trends of Québec City's in the last 400 years.
What will remain
The article published in the June 2008 issue of Canadian social Trends will serve as a reference document for future generations and will be available for consultation long after the celebrations are over.