Quebec

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Quebec is a French speaking ("francophone") province of Canada. The province has the most distinctive culture in North America and tremendous natural resources, and is one of the world's largest producers of hydroelectricity. Quebec borders New Brunswick, Ontario, New York, Vermont and (in remote regions) New Hampshire and Maine, and also Labrador and Nunuvat in far Northern Canada.

Population of Quebec since 1851

Year Population Five Year
 % change
Ten Year
 % change
Rank Among
Canadian Provinces
1851 892,061 n/a n/a 2
1861 1,111,566 n/a 24.6 2
1871 1,191,516 n/a 7.2 2
1881 1,359,027 n/a 14.1 2
1891 1,488,535 n/a 9.5 2
1901 1,648,898 n/a 10.8 2
1911 2,005,776 n/a 21.6 2
1921 2,360,665 n/a 17.8 2
1931 2,874,255 n/a 21.8 2
1941 3,331,882 n/a 15.9 2
1951 4,055,681 n/a 21.8 2
1956 4,628,378 14.1 n/a 2
1961 5,259,211 13.6 29.7 2
1966 5,780,845 9.9 24.9 2
1971 6,027,765 4.3 14.6 2
1976 6,234,445 3.4 7.8 2
1981 6,438,403 3.3 6.8 2
1986 6,532,460 1.5 4.8 2
1991 6,895,963 5.6 7.1 2
1996 7,138,795 3.5 9.3 2
2001 7,237,479 1.4 5.0 2

Source: Statistics Canada [1]


In the 1960s and 1970s, Quebec was home to the Front de Libération du Québec, a "national liberation group" employing kidnapping and bombing (thus often called a terrorist group though they targetted only official buildlings and persons) that formed in response to political and cultural oppression by the English speaking ("anglophone") majority.

Outright oppression of francophones diminished in the 1970s and ceased in the 1980s. However, its legacy was an active secessionist movement in Quebec. In 1980 a referendum was soundly defeated, but in 1995 a referendum on Quebec independence was defeated 50.6% to 49.4%. 2005 polls showed support for separation at 54%. By 2010 another referendum is expected - see Quebec sovereignty referendum for more details on this single issue, and Canadian Maritimes for the region East of Quebec that would be most drastically and directly affected by its separation.

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