02/26/2014 05:30 EST | Updated 04/28/2014 05:59 EDT

Family and friends the No. 1 reason anglophones stay in Quebec

Almost half of anglophones and allophones who live in Quebec say that their loved ones are what keep them in the province.

The new Ekos poll, commissioned by the CBC, asked more than 2,000 Quebecers why they choose to live in the province.

According to the poll, 47 per cent of anglophones and 41 per cent of allophones say they stay because their family and friends are in Quebec.

That was the case for Meghan Low, who grew up on Montreal’s West Island.

Low moved to Toronto for work, but was back in Montreal before long.

“It's a great city … but I think what makes it home, for me, is just the people,” Low said.

Longtime Montrealer Janet Torge left the city in 1991 to move back to Ohio, where she grew up.

Torge said her son had learning disabilities, and she felt it would be best for his education to move to the United States.

“There was a bit of anger in me. I felt like I had to leave — for my kid at least,” she said.

But Ohio never felt like home. Six years later, Torge had found her way back to Montreal.

“I missed the coffee, I missed the terraces … Montreal fit with me. It fit better even than where I came from.”

Torge said she has advice for those who are fed up with Quebec politics:

“Leave! You'll either find a comfort level somewhere else, or you won't and you'll come back,” Toge said.

Work and quality of life

Our exclusive poll found that after loved ones, work was the second most common reason anglophones said they are staying in Quebec.

About 19 per cent of anglophones said they are staying put because of their jobs

Quality of life was the main reason cited by 17 per cent of those polled.

For allophones, the results were reversed ​— quality of life was cited by 17 per cent, while 14 per cent said work was the reason they stayed in Quebec.

Of the francophones who were polled, 29 per cent said they continue to live in Quebec because of family and friends, while 23 per cent said quality of life is the main reason they stay.

Just 13 per cent of francophone respondents said their jobs are what keep them in Quebec.

About the survey

As part of an exclusive two-week series, CBC Montreal will look at what is pushing people to consider leaving Quebec, what is keeping them in the province, and what hopes they have for their future in Quebec.

A total of 2,020 Quebec residents were interviewed by phone between Feb. 10 and 18, 2014, as part of this CBC-commissioned Ekos study. The margin of error for a sample of 2,020 is plus or minus 2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Those surveyed included 782 anglophones (with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points 95 per cent of the time), 1,009 francophones (with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points 95 per cent of the time) and 223 allophones (with a margin of error of plus or minus 6.5 percentage points 95 per cent of the time).

Anglophones are respondents who identified their mother tongue as English; francophones are people who identified their mother tongue as French; and allophones identified their mother tongue as "other."

Percentages for total respondents have been weighted to reflect linguistic population make-up of Quebec.