English newcomers to Quebec City are young and educated and plan to stay, new VEQ survey finds

New English-speaking arrivals to the Quebec City region are likely to be young, educated Canadians who are eager to learn French, according to a new survey released last week by the Voice of English-Speaking Québec.

A significant majority, or 42 per cent, of the survey's 192 respondents were between the ages of 25 and 34.

The next largest age group, 35 to 44 years of age, were half that size at 22 percent.

Newcomers tend to be well-educated with 45 percent having earned a bachelor's degree and another 15 per cent having completed some kind of post-graduate work.

Just over half of the respondents moved to the city from another province in Canada.

Americans moving to Quebec City nearly matched migrants moving from other regions in Quebec with 12 per cent of respondents for the former and 16 per cent for the latter.

Nearly half of the respondents had sought formal French training since arriving.

Of the total respondents, 68 per cent said English was their mother tongue, four per cent said it was French, and 26 per cent said a language other than English or French was their first.

VEQ tabulated the results from people who filled in questionnaires online or distributed through partner organizations.

The objective of the survey was to assess the integration of newcomers and the frequency of interaction of newcomers with local institutions and organizations.

"It was important to see if we could better integrate newcomers," VEQ executive director Jean Sébastien Jolin Gignac said in an interview.

"We know we can do more."

As for the type of services sought after moving to the city, 64 per cent of respondents said they needed information about health care and social services, 51 per cent on employment, and 45 per cent on education.

At the time of the survey, 38 per cent were still seeking information about health care, 33 per cent on employment, and 25 per cent on education.

Personal relationships were cited by 38 per cent of people as the the reason for moving to the city.

Another 20 per cent came for employment, while 10 per cent came because of a desire to learn or improve their French.

Eight per cent came because of a military posting and with the remainder of those choosing "for other reasons."

Many said they were unaware of the extent of English-language services in Quebec City before their arrival.

Given that many services are only available only in French -- including newcomer tours offered by the City of Quebec -- Jolin Gignac said VEQ will use the survey results to pursue new funding to create initiatives aimed at integrating English-speaking newcomers.

Despite challenges to adapting to life in Quebec City, including crossing the language barrier in French and feelings of isolation from the wider Quebec City community, almost 60 per cent of the 192 people who answered the survey said they intend on staying in Quebec City longer than three years.