Montreal good for living, bad for business, study suggests

A new study paints Montreal as a city of contrasts - ranking high on things like air quality, affordable housing and public transit, but lower on innovation and other factors that make a city thrive.

City rates low in human capital, high in quality of life in new Institut du Québec report

A new study reveals Montreal to be a place with a high quality of living but low human capital. (CBC)

A new study paints Montreal as a city of contrasts — ranking high on things like air quality, affordable housing and public transit, but lower in terms of innovation and other factors that make a city thrive.

The study, published by the Institut du Québec, compares Quebec's largest city to 14 others across North America in 29 different categories.

Montreal ranked 13 out of 15 on the "human capital" index, a yardstick for such categories as education and innovation.

On mobile? Tap here to see the chart ranking cities in terms of human capital.

In the category of university graduates per capita, Montreal ranked 14 out of 15 cities, with only Phoenix, Ariz., ranking lower.

Montreal fared slightly better among the 25-to-34 demographic, placing 11 of 15. 

The city fared worse when it comes to integrating immigrants, placing last among the 15 cities.  

It also came in last in terms of productivity and income per capita. 

Montreal fared better when it comes to personal disposable income, placing second. The city also ranked second in employment rate. It came in fourth in growth in productivity. 

"We know that Montreal is a poorer city than many others in North America but our growth in many sectors is encouraging. We're in catch-up mode," said former provincial finance minister Raymond Bachand, now with the Institut du Québec.

On mobile? Tap here to see the chart ranking cities in terms of growth.

Montreal fared more poorly when it comes to innovation, a category in which it placed 11th, beating out only Vancouver, Phoenix, St. Louis, Mo., and Charlotte, N.C.

According to the study, Montreal has good conditions for creative pursuits, but workers are have difficulty taking advantage of those resources.

As a result, Montreal fares very poorly in such categories as the number of patents recorded with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

On mobile? Tap here to see the chart ranking cities in terms of registered patents.

There are some other positives, however. 

Montreal came first in the supply of affordable housing as well as the lowest number of homicides.

Montreal also topped other cities in terms of using public transportation.

The city's air quality also ranked near the top of all 15 cities.


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