Le Saguenay-Lac St-Jean
Situated north of Quebec City, Saguenay-Lac St-Jean takes its name from the Saguenay River and Lac Saint-Jean. Representing a vast territory of 95,893 km2, it is 90% covered by woodland. The region is home to 3.6% of the Quebec’s population, who inhabit the area at a density of 3 residents per km2.
The regional economy is based on forestry; hydro-electricity; aluminum production; tourism; and agriculture – the area is reputed for its blueberry farms;
As is often the case within economies based on natural resource extraction, the regional jobless rate is higher than the national average, and the average income lower. In 2007 it registered an unemployment rate of 9.1% - which was the lowest in 20 years.
Even before the downturn in the global economy, the region’s economy had been undermined by decline in the forestry sector and the falling price of aluminum.
Regional unemployment is a key factor in the prolonged exodus of young people from the area – a pattern that’s been clearly established since 1991, prompting numerous initiatives to stem or reverse the flow.
Alma is one of 49 municipalities within the region.
Alma: Some facts & figures the 2006 census:
Population: 29, 998 - a drop of 0.4% since 2002
Density: 153.4 inhabitants per km²
Average age: 43.1
84% of the population is over 15
Total number of households: 12,740
Household comprised of couple and at least 1 child: 3,535
Households comprised of childless couples: 4,005
One-person households: 3,615
Population of people aged 15 or over: 24,920
Among the 24,920 residents who are 15 or over:
• 24.5% have no high-school diploma or college degree
• 21.1% possess high school diplomas or equivalent
• 23.2% have trained in a trade
• 17% possess a post-secondary college
• 9.8% have university degrees
Average income after taxes in 2005: 50 364 $
Statistics Canada; Economie sociale Québec