La «migration de remplacement» au Québec: à quel point peut-on compter sur l’immigration pour contrer les problèmes démographiques appréhendés?
Quebec, as most Western societies, is facing the ageing of its population, producing many economic, political and social impacts. One solution often considered is to rely on immigration to reduce, delay or even counter certain consequences. For this purpose, replacement migration is sometimes seen as a solution: it aims to establish the number of immigrants needed to reach specific demographic targets, which are, in this study, to prevent total population decline, to prevent working-age population decline and to prevent the percentage of those 65 years and over from exceeding 25% of the total population. The results show that it could be possible for Quebec to prevent the decline of its population if fertility does not decrease further and if immigration is well managed; that is replacement migration would not be excessively high. However, raising the immigration level too quickly could impede reaching this objective. The decline of the population aged between 20 and 64 years is inevitable: whatever the level of fertility, even if migration were much higher for the next two decades than has been planned for Quebec. Finally, immigration has no significant impact on the age structure of a population: it is quite unrealistic to expect this component to prevent the percentage of those 65 years and over in the total population from exceeding 25%. The only way to reach this objective is a rapid increase of fertility to the replacement level. This means that immigration can in no way prevent the ageing of the population or have a significant impact on the process.
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