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Flag of Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean
Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean's location in comparison to the whole Canadian province of Quebec.
Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean's location in comparison to the whole Canadian province of Quebec.
CountryCanada Canada
ProvinceQuebec Quebec
 • Table régionale des élus (TRÉ) du Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean (Regional conference of elected officers)André Paradis (President)
 • Total98,712.71 km2 (38,113.19 sq mi)
 • Total276,368
 • Density2.8/km2 (7.3/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
WebsiteTourism Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean

Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean (French pronunciation: [saɡnɛ lak sɛ̃ ʒɑ̃], locally [saɡne lak sẽ ʒã]) is a region in Quebec, Canada. It contains the Saguenay Fjord, the estuary of the Saguenay River, stretching through much of the region. It is also known as Sagamie in French, from the first part of "Saguenay" and the last part of "Piekouagami", the Innu name (meaning "flat lake") for Lac Saint-Jean, with the final "e" added to follow the model of other existing region names such as Mauricie, Témiscamie, Jamésie, and Matawinie.[2] With a land area of 98,712.71 km2 (38,113.9 sq mi), Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean is the third-largest Quebec region after Nord-du-Québec and Côte-Nord.

This region is bathed by two major watercourses, Lac Saint-Jean and the Saguenay River, both of which mark its landscape deeply and have been the main drives of its development in history. It is also irrigated by several other large watercourses. Bordered by forests and mountainous massifs, the southern portion of the region constitutes a fertile enclave in the Canadian Shield called the Saguenay Graben. Both the scenery and the cultural sites and activities of Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean attract tourists every year. Lac Saint-Jean is a popular vacation destination in the summer for residents of the more urban regions of Quebec.


The name Saguenay is possibly derived from the Innu word "Saki-nip" which means "where water flows out".[3][4]


The population of the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region was 275,552 at the Canada 2021 Census, representing 3.2% of Quebec's population. It is concentrated primarily in three clusters: the city of Saguenay (pop. 144,723), the city of Alma (pop. 30,331) and the agglomeration of Roberval (pop. 9,840), Saint-Félicien (pop. 10,089) and Dolbeau-Mistassini (pop. 13,718).[5] Saguenay, the region's largest city, is located slightly west of the fjord, mostly south of the river. It makes up 52.5% of the region's population.


The flag was incorporated in 1938 on the centenary of the first settlers' arrival in 1838 and was created by Mgr. Victor Tremblay, a local historian. The four colours represent the four elements of the richness of Saguenay: the grey cross represents aluminum, which is an important product of local industry; the red border represents the inhabitants' labour; green, at the top represents the forest; and yellow, at the bottom, represents agriculture.[6]

Administrative divisions

Following the Saguenay municipal reorganization in 2002, the region now counts 49 municipalities (including unorganized territories).[a]

Regional county municipalities

Equivalent territory

Native reserve


In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region had a population of 275,552 living in 126,404 of its 138,331 total private dwellings, a change of -0.4% from its 2016 population of 276,368. With a land area of 95,542.70 km2 (36,889.24 sq mi), it had a population density of 2.9/km2 (7.5/sq mi) in 2021.[7]

The median age is 47.2, as opposed to 41.6 for all of Canada. French was the mother tongue of 98.0% of residents in 2021. The next most common mother tongues were English at 0.6%, followed by Spanish at 0.4% and the related languages of Atikamekw and Innu at 0.3% total. 0.4% reported both English and French as their first language. Additionally there were 0.1% who reported both French and a non-official language as their mother tongue.

As of 2021, Indigenous peoples comprised 5.1% of the population and visible minorities contributed 1.5%. The largest visible minority groups in Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean are Black (0.7%), Arab (0.2%), and Latin American (0.2%). The region is home to 555 recent immigrants (i.e. those arriving between 2016 and 2021). 190 of them come from France, and 180 come from various African countries, with Cameroon leading at 75 recent immigrants.

In 2021, 73.4% of the population identified as Catholic, while 19.2% said they had no religious affiliation. Muslims were the largest religious minority, making up 0.3% of the population.[8]

Counting both single and multiple responses, the most commonly identified ethnocultural ancestries were:

Ethnic origin 2021
Canadian 41.8%
French 19.4%
Québécois 15.8%
French Canadian 11.4%
First Nations 3.6%
Irish 2.0%
Innu 1.7%
Métis 1.6%
Scottish 1.2%
Acadian 1.0%

(Percentages may total more than 100% due to rounding and multiple responses).

Visible minority and Aboriginal population (Canada 2021 Census)
Population group Population % of total population
White 257,820 93.4%
Visible minority group


South Asian 170 0.1%
Chinese 395 0.1%
Black 1,770 0.7%
Filipino 125 0%
Arab 490 0.2%
Latin American 620 0.2%
Southeast Asian 210 0.1%
West Asian 55 0%
Korean 30 0%
Japanese 25 0%
Visible minority, n.i.e. 70 0%
Multiple visible minority 155 0.1%
Total visible minority population 4,115 1.5%
Aboriginal group


First Nations 6,885 2.6%
Métis 5,790 2.2%
Inuit 185 0.1%
Aboriginal, n.i.e. 560 0.2%
Multiple Aboriginal identity 200 0.1%
Total Aboriginal population 13,615 5.1%
Total population 275,550 100%

Major communities

School districts

Each school service centre (French: centre de services scolaire) give services to five school distics of 20 in the region:

The whole region is part of the anglophone district Central Quebec School Board.

See also


  1. ^ 2016 Census populations. Sources: Government of Quebec, Ministry of Municipal Affairs (MAMROT)


  1. ^ a b "Census Profile, 2016 Census: Saguenay--Lac-Saint-Jean [Economic region], Quebec". Statistics Canada. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
  2. ^ "Les Outils: Liste des Gentilés" (in French). Gouvernement du Quebec - Commission de Toponymie. Archived from the original on December 22, 2008.
  3. ^ "La rivière et chemin du Royaume et terre du Saguenay". (in French). Archived from the original on October 25, 2007.
  4. ^ "Histoire du Saguenay depuis les origines jusqu'à 1870". Our Roots / Nos Racines (in French). University of Calgary, Université Laval. Archived from the original on June 15, 2011.
  5. ^ "Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean (Code 2475) Census Profile". 2011 census. Government of Canada - Statistics Canada.
  6. ^ Luc-Vartan Baronian and Nelson Belley: Royaume du Saguenay (Quebec - Canada): Flag use in the Saguenay. 27 January 1997 and 12 January 1998. Retrieved on 16 July 2018.
  7. ^ "Population and dwelling counts: Canada, provinces and territories, and census subdivisions (municipalities), Quebec". Statistics Canada. October 25, 2022. Retrieved December 13, 2022.
  8. ^ Government of Canada, Statistics Canada (2013-05-08). "2011 National Household Survey Profile - Census subdivision". Retrieved 2019-07-16.
  9. ^ [1], Community Profiles from the 2006 Census, Statistics Canada - Census Subdivision
  10. ^ [2], Aboriginal Population Profile from the 2006 Census, Statistics Canada - Census Subdivision
  • Allen, H. D. (May 1968). "Le Saguenay: Region in Transition". The Teachers' Magazine. XLVIII (242). Montreal: Provincial Association of Protestant Teachers of Quebec: 10.

49°52′00″N 71°45′00″W / 49.8667°N 71.7500°W / 49.8667; -71.7500

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