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Income and salary, taxes, cost of living, budget, purchasing power …

Income and salary

Une paye aux 15 jours 

In Quebec, most employees are paid every two weeks (26 pay cheques per year), and not once a month like in many countries. They can even be paid every week in some cases. 

Usually, the amount received is “net”, meaning that the employer has already deduced fixed amounts according to tax regulations (including a percentage used to pay income taxes). 

Other deductions are applied, including: 



  • Employment insurance: 1.58% rate (2020) 


  • Québec Pension Plan: 5.70% rate (2020) 
  • Québec Parental Insurance Plan: 0.494% rate (2020) 

The median annual income for a couple is $90,900 after taxes. This is higher than the Canadian median annual income.

Median income by province


86 900 $


86 700 $


94 400 $


90 900 $


95 300 $


83 100 $

Median income by type of household


Type de ménage  Revenu après impôt ($ CA)
Economic families and persons not in an economic family         $65,500
Couples $90,900
Couples with children $115,100
Couples with other relatives $124,800
Persons not in an economic family (living alone) $36,000


Income tax

File your taxes every year 

Each year, you will need to file an income tax return and pay taxes in your province of residence on December 31 of the taxation year, even if you arrived that year. 

Although salaried workers generally receive a net pay (meaning that the employer has already deduced fixes amounts based on taxation regulations), it is still mandatory in the province of Quebec to file two tax returns each year:  

Do not hesitate to get help from an expert for your first income tax return!  

Income tax for students 

In Quebec, students’ income is often below the tax threshold, which means that they do not have to pay income tax. However, if you work during your studies, you will still need to report your income to the federal and provincial governments. 

Learn more about work opportunities during your studies

Cost of living

Free health care, affordable tuition (or free until secondary school), competitive current consumption fees... All these factors make Québec City a very nice and affordable place to live. 

When planning your immigration, do not only consider the salary: take all variables into account!  

One key factor to keep in mind is how much money you will have after you have paid all your expenses and income taxes. 

Purchasing power 

Purchasing power refers to your disposable income compared to the cost of living. For example, if your disposable income is higher than the cost of living, your purchasing power will be higher. Purchasing power varies based on inflation.  


Ville  Available income per capita in major Canadian CMAs in 2021 (Can$) 
Vancouver           40 792 $
Toronto 38 061 $
Québec 34 973 $
Montréal 33 427 $



Even though the cost of living in Québec City is relatively low compared to other big cities in North America, it is important to plan enough money to get settled. 

Average annual budget for a family in Québec City (Can$)

Total expenditure   $79,639  
Current consumption   $58,208 
Food   $9,847  
Shelter   $15,821  
Household operations   $4,398  
Household furnishings and equipment   $2,100
Clothing and accessories   $3,014  
Transportation  $10,492  
Health care   $2,964  
Personal care   $1,236  
Recreation   $3,776  
Reading materials and other printed matter   $138  
Education   $936  
Tobacco products and alcoholic beverages   $1,894  
Games of chance   $173  
Miscellaneous expenditures   $1,421  
Income taxes   $15,030  
Personal insurance payments and pension contributions             $5,186  
Gifts of money and contributions   $1,215  



Would you like to come and live in the beautiful city of Québec or its surroundings? Tell us if you would like to come to study or work there and we will send you relevant information related to your immigration project!