The proportion of women candidates in municipal elections has progressed slowly but surely this year compared to the last election, going from 28.8 per cent in 2013 to 31.3 per cent in 2017.

More than 4,000 women are running as mayor or municipal councilor in the November 5 elections, according to preliminary figures released recently by Quebec’s Minister of Municipal Affairs.

In 2013, that number was just over 3,800.

The 2013 elections saw the greatest increase in female candidates. In 2005, women accounted for barely 25 per cent of the applications, and their number increased to just over 26 per cent four years later.

Moreover, politicians represent a significant proportion of the youngest elected representatives. In the 18-34 age group, 39.7 per cent of the candidates are women. Among those aged 34 to 44, this figure climbs to 40.9 per cent.

The percentage of women declines gradually after 45 years-of-age. In candidates aged 65 and over, they represent less than 20 per cent of the candidates.

A similar trend was observed in 2013.

Less young people

While there has been a steady increase in female candidates over time, young applicants are down slightly.

The percentage of applicants aged 18-34 has decreased from 9 per cent in 2013 to 8.7 per cent this year. There are only 1125 young people aged 18 to 34 out of a total of 12,965 candidates.

The largest proportion of candidates are in the 55-64 age bracket, with 31.2 per cent. Groups aged 45 to 54 and 65 and over each represent slightly more than 21 per cent of the candidates.

The average age, which was 53 in 2013, increased to 54 this year.