Busting the Myth that Quebec Anglophones Earn More than Francophones



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Busting the Myth that Quebec Anglophones Earn More than Francophones

Jack Jedwab, Executive Director Association for Canadian Studies


and
Christian Bourque, Vice-President, Leger Marketing

May 3, 2010

Introduction
The 1960’s and 1970’s was a period marked by profound economic and social transformation within Quebec society. One of the issues that the political leadership of that era sought to address was the chronic disparity in income between Quebec’s English and French populations (then more often referred to as British or French). The widely documented income disparities between the groups were attributed by some to economic problems encountered by francophones in attempting to access capital while others maintained that there were cultural factors that accounted for the inferior income of francophones-that is, they simply were not attracted to entrepreneurial activity. Clearly the “cultural explanation” has proven unfounded with the rapid progress achieved by many francophones when the Government of Quebec moved to make capital and economic opportunity more accessible to the French population.
Yet the idea that anglophones possess a comparative income advantage over Quebec francophones persists some fifty years after the Quiet Revolution. That which follows will examine the results of a survey commissioned by the Association for Canadian Studies and the Quebec Community Groups Network from the firm Leger Marketing that asks Quebecers whether they believe that on average, anglophones earn more than francophones, francophones earn more than anglophones, they both earn the same or they are unaware. The responses are then compared to the actual results for data on average income collected from the 2006 census by Statistics Canada.
The field dates for the survey were 19th – 26th March 2010. All surveys were carried out via a representative online panel and a similar phone poll would yield a maximum margin of error of 3.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Survey Results


Some three percent of Quebecers believe that on average francophones earn more than anglophones. Most Quebec respondents believe that Quebec’s Anglophones earn more than Froncophones in the province. For those over 55, the majority believe that on average, Quebec Anglophones earn about the same as Quebec Francophones. Overall, a large segment of the population is either unaware or unwilling to guess which linguistic group earns more than the other (1/3rd of the total respondents, on average).


Which Statement best reflects income of Quebec Anglophones and Francophones?

On average Quebec Anglophones earn more than Quebec Francophone

On average Quebec Anglophones earn about the same as Quebec Francophones

On average Quebec Francophones earn more than Quebec Anglophone

I Don't Know

18-24 years of age

28,8%

23,4%

1,8%

45,9%

25-34 years of age

40,2%

28,4%

3,0%

28,4%

35-44 years of age

32,4%

21,2%

2,9%

42,9%

45-54 years of age

37,6%

23,3%

5,4%

32,2%

55-64 years of age

36,8%

38,0%

1,8%

23,3%

65-74 years of age

31,4%

45,3%

1,3%

22,0%

75 years of age or older

25,0%

46,4%

3,6%

25,0%

Total Quebec

34,7%

30,3%

2,9%

31,6%

When the data was broken down by language spoken at home, one observes that less than one percent of francophone respondents believe that the majority language group earns more than anglophones. Almost a third of them (29%) claim that they don’t know. English speakers generally feel that that earn as much as Francophones (29%), but, like the Francophone respondents, almost 2 in 5 (40%) don’t know.





Quebec

On average Quebec Anglophones earn more than Quebec Francophone

On average Quebec Anglophones earn about the same as Quebec

On average Quebec Francophones earn more than Quebec Anglophone

I Don't Know

French

39.0%

31.6%

.5%

28.5%

English

13.3%

28.9%

16.9%

39.8%

Other

22.4%

25.0%

9.5%

43.1%

Total

34.8%

30.2%

2.9%

31.6%

Those with a higher income were more likely to have an opinion on which language group earned more.







On average Quebec Anglophones earn more than Quebec Francophone

On average Quebec Anglophones earn about the same as Quebec Francophones

On average Quebec Francophones earn more than Quebec Anglophone

I Don't Know

...$19,999 or less

30.6%

24.5%

2.0%

42.9%

...between $20,000 and $39,999

30.5%

33.0%

1.5%

35.0%

... between $40,000 and $59,999

40.7%

27.9%

4.7%

26.7%

... between $60,000 and $79,999

33.1%

29.6%

2.8%

33.1%

... between $80,000 and $99,999

49.0%

30.6%

2.0%

17.3%

...$100,000 or more

40.9%

39.1%

7.3%

12.7%

I prefer not answering

25.6%

27.2%

1.7%

45.0%

Total

34.7%

30.2%

3.0%

31.7%

Looking at the respondents on the basis of geography, every single municipality and sub-region (except Western) are more likely to believe that English speakers earn more than French speakers. This opinion is most apparent in the Montreal and Eastern regions of Quebec. Once again a highly significant percentage (32%) of respondents claimed that they didn’t know the answer to this question.







On average Quebec Anglophones earn more than Quebec Francophone

On average Quebec Anglophones earn about the same as Quebec

On average Quebec Francophones earn more than Quebec Anglophone

I Don't Know

MTL CMA

35.9%

28.5%

4.4%

31.2%

QC CMA

37.2%

33.0%

1.1%

28.7%

East

38.5%

31.9%

1.1%

27.5%

Center

28.2%

26.9%

1.3%

42.3%

West

34.6%

35.7%

2.2%

27.0%

Total

34.8%

30.3%

2.9%

31.6%

Workers in office jobs, scientific and technological occupations, professionals, homemakers, students and the unemployed are more apt to believe that Anglophones are earn more than Francophones. On the other hand, sales people, manual workers, skilled and semi-skilled workers, managers and administrators and retired persons are of the opinion that the two linguistic groups earn about the same. The numbers for those who don’t know are once again very high (32%).


Which Statement best reflects income of Quebec Anglophones and Francophones?

On average Quebec Anglophones earn more than Quebec Francophone

On average Quebec Anglophones earn about the same as Quebec Francophones

On average Quebec Francophones earn more than Quebec Anglophone

I Don't Know

Office worker

31.0%

25.0%

.9%

43.1%

Personnel specialized in sales

17.9%

32.1%

7.1%

42.9%

Personnel specialized in services

29.2%

30.8%

.0%

40.0%

Manual workers

18.2%

50.0%




31.8%

Skilled, semi-skilled workers

32.1%

39.3%




28.6%

Science and technologies workers

42.5%

25.0%

7.5%

25.0%

Professionals

47.1%

18.4%

7.5%

26.4%

Managers/administrators/owners

28.1%

37.5%

6.3%

28.1%

Homemaker

40.4%

27.7%

4.3%

27.7%

Student (full-time or whose studies take up most of his/her

40.8%

23.7%




35.5%

Retired (pre-retired or private means)

37.6%

42.6%

.8%

19.0%

Unemployed (unemployment, welfare)

20.3%

14.1%

3.1%

62.5%

I prefer not answering

11.8%

17.6%




52.9%

Total

34.8%

30.1%

2.9%

31.7%

When looking at the level of education of respondents those with more schooling were more likely to think that Anglophones earn more than Francophones. The only exception were those with PhD’s, one-quarter of whom responded that Francophones earn more than Anglophones.






On average Quebec Anglophones earn more than Quebec Francophone

On average Quebec Anglophones earn about the same as Quebec

On average Quebec Francophones earn more than Quebec Anglophone

I Don't Know

... Elementary (7 year or less)

22.2%

5.6%




72.2%

... High school, general or professional (8 to 12 years)

30.1%

32.9%

1.1%

35.7%

... College pre-university, technical training, certificate

35.9%

30.4%

3.7%

30.0%

... University certificates and diplomas

37.1%

27.4%

3.2%

32.3%

... University Bachelor (including classical studies)

43.3%

28.7%

5.1%

22.5%

... University Master's

39.5%

28.9%




31.6%

... University Doctorate (PhD)

56.3%

12.5%

25.0%

6.3%

I prefer not to answer




47.6%




42.9%

Total

34.8%

30.3%

2.9%

31.6%

The Gap Between Perception and Reality: Results on Income from the 2006 Census


Looking at the 2006 census data to determine which group actually earns more or less relative to the other invites Quebecers to modify their perception of the income relationship between French and English Quebecers. We have chosen to focus on median employment income, though other income variables reveal roughly the same thing.
As observed below the mother tongue French population earned more than the English population on the basis of median employment income This is also the case for those between the age of 25 and 44. However in the 45-64 category mother tongue anglophones earned more than francophones.



Quebec Province

Median employment income in 2005 $







English

French

Total – All Age groups

24 617

26 388

25 to 44 years

30 057

31 058

45 to 64 years

34 294

32 415

A geographic comparison of the earnings of French and English speakers in the Province is much more demonstrative of the overall trend. Going through the table, we find that except for Hampstead, every other region has French speakers earning more (sometimes significantly so) than English speakers.





Median employment income in 2005 $

English

French

Quebec Prov

24 617

26 388

Québec Ville

27916,0

27734,0

Trois-Rivières

23091,0

24332,0

Sherbrooke

20511,0

24998,0

Longueuil

25991,0

29894,0

Brossard

27365,0

31781,0

Saint-Lambert

27184,0

41130,0

Boucherville

48802,0

36882,0

Longueuil Ville

24380,0

27740,0

Laval

25656,0

29718,0

Laval

25656,0

29718,0

Montréal

24132,0

27477,0

Montréal

22882,0

27149,0

Westmount

34635,0

42696,0

Montréal-Ouest

30021,0

30032,0

Côte-Saint-Luc

22939,0

26237,0

Hampstead

42921,0

35307,0

Mont-Royal

30024,0

40715,0

Dollard-Des Ormeaux

25073,0

30251,0


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