MRC Pontiac’s population continues to dwindle

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Laurent Robillard-Cardinal

The Outaouais’ population continues to increase, but the growth is not reflected equally in each MRC. While the population in some MRCs is increasing, such as Gatineau and Les Collines-de-l’Outaouais, other MRCs like La Vallée-de-la-Gatineau and the Pontiac saw their population shrink between 2011 and 2015.

Laurent Robillard-Cardinal

The Outaouais’ population continues to increase, but the growth is not reflected equally in each MRC. While the population in some MRCs is increasing, such as Gatineau and Les Collines-de-l’Outaouais, other MRCs like La Vallée-de-la-Gatineau and the Pontiac saw their population shrink between 2011 and 2015.
According to Stats Québec, the Pontiac’s population declined by 8.4% from 2011 to 2015; it fell from 14,466 in 2011 to 13,988 in 2015 which
represents the biggest decline in the past 14 years. From 2001 to 2006, the Pontiac’s population had decreased by 0.7% and between 2006-2011, it had declined by 4.1%. From 2001 to 2015, the number of residents dwindled from 14,822 to 13,988, representing a loss of 834 residents.
Meantime, neighbouring Les Collines-de-l’Outaouais saw its population explode with 13,309 new residents between 2001 to 2015. From 2011-2015, the
population increased by 12.5%, making it the Outaouais MRC with
the highest growth during that period.
Gatineau was not far behind; its population rose by 9.1% from 2011 to 2015 going from 268,838 residents in 2011 to 278,780 in 2015. However, this represents a considerable slowdown from the last measured period (2006-2011) where Gatineau’s population jumped by 18.7%.
As for the eastern Papineau MRC, it saw its population increase only by a nudge between 2011 and 2015. The number of residents went from 22,756 in 2011 to 22,828 in 2015, representing a growth of less than 1% which is more positive than the La Vallée-de-la-Gatineau MRC whose population dropped 3.3% between 2011 and 2015.
Unlike the Pontiac, which experienced a decline in population for the past three periods presented by Stats Québec (2001-2006, 2006-2011, 2011-2015), the MRC de La Vallée-de-la-Gatineau’s population grew by 9.3% from 2001-2006, remained stable from 2006-2011 and has now reported this recent drop.