Key figures for immigration and immigrants
Do you wonder how many immigrants are living in Norway, what are the most common reasons for immigration or how many immigrants have jobs? Here is a selection of key figures, statistics and analyses on immigration and immigrants in Norway.
Statistics Norway publishes statistics on regal residents. We do not publish statistics on asylum seekers, i.e. those who have applied for protection (asylum) in Norway and whose application has not yet been finalized. Please consult The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) for statistics and information about asylum seekers.
|Number||Five years earlier||Ten years earlier||Period|
|1Due to rounding of the numbers at an aggregate level, the sums may deviate from the actual numbers in the Statbank|
|2Includes Norwegian and foreign citizens|
|Immigration||66 800||79 498||45 780||2016|
|EU/EEA, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand||33 620||57 819||30 949||2016|
|Asia, Africa, Latin America, Oceania excl. Australia and New Zealand, and Europe outside EU/EEA||32 249||21 256||14 600||2016|
|Emigration||40 724||32 465||22 056||2016|
|EU/EEA, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand||32 852||25 462||18 204||2016|
|Asia, Africa, Latin America, Oceania excl. Australia and New Zealand, and Europe outside EU/EEA||7 812||6 943||3 832||2016|
|Net migration||26 076||47 033||23 724||2016|
|EU/EEA, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand||768||32 357||12 745||2016|
|Asia, Africa, Latin America, Oceania excl. Australia and New Zealand, and Europe outside EU/EEA||24 437||14 313||10 768||2016|
|EU/EEA, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand||69.7||2016|
|Asia, Africa, Latin America, Oceania excl. Australia and New Zealand, and Europe outside EU/EEA||51.8||2016|
|EU/EEA, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand||66.4||2016|
|Asia, Africa, Latin America, Oceania excl. Australia and New Zealand, and Europe outside EU/EEA||49.7||2016|
|EU/EEA, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand||72.1||2016|
|Asia, Africa, Latin America, Oceania excl. Australia and New Zealand, and Europe outside EU/EEA||54.1||2016|
|Share||Change in % previous year||Year|
|Norwegian-born to immigrant parents||44.2||2.6||2016|
|Norwegian-born to immigrant parents||50.6||1.8||2016|
|Norwegian-born to immigrant parents||38.2||3.2||2016|
- Persons with an immigrant background
As of 1 January 2017, around 884 000 persons resident in Norway were either immigrants (725 000) or born in Norway to two immigrant parents (159 000). These groups combined make up 17 per cent of the population of Norway.
- From many different countries
The population of Norway includes persons with backgrounds from 221 different countries and autonomous regions. The largest groups of immigrants are from Poland, Lithuania and Somalia.
- In all municipalities
There are immigrants in all Norwegian municipalities, most in Oslo, Båtsfjord and Drammen, where immigrants and Norwegian-born to immigrant parents make up 33, 29 and 28 per cent of the population respectively in 2017.
- Many young immigrants
Immigrants and Norwegian-born to immigrant parents are, on average, much younger than the population in general. The immigrant group is made up of a large number of young adults. Half of all immigrants in Norway are aged between 20 and 40. Only 9 per cent are over the age of 60. Children born to immigrants in Norway are even younger. Slightly more than half are below the age of 10, 80 per cent are under 20 and just 1.7 per cent are over 40 years of age.
- Period of residence
There are major disparities in how long immigrants have lived in Norway. Some groups, including those from Pakistan, Vietnam, Turkey and Morocco, have lived in Norway for a long time, while immigrants from the new EU countries – particularly Poland and Lithuania – have lived here for a shorter period of time; mostly less than five years. Refugees from Syria, Somalia and Afghanistan have also lived in Norway for a relatively short period of time.
- Various reasons for immigrating
Immigrants move to Norway due to work, family, as refugees or to study. Between 2007 and 2015, work has been the most common reason for immigration, followed by family immigration. In 2016, family migration to immigrants or to persons without immigration background was the most common reason for immigration to Norway, followed by refugees and labor migration.
- Participation in the labour market
A total of 60.2 per cent of immigrants aged 15-74 years were in employment in 2016, compared to 65.6 per cent of the population as a whole. Among immigrants, the share of men in employment is far higher than for women. The gender gap is twice as large among immigrants compered to the population as a whole. There are also major disparities in employment between the different country groups. 69.7 per cent of the immigrants from the EU etc. were in employment in 2016, while the share among immigrants from Asia was 51.9 per cent and from Africa 42.3 per cent.
- Many take tertiary education
In 2016, 44 per cent of the 19-24 year-olds born in Norway to two immigrant parents were university or college students. The corresponding figure for immigrants was 18 per cent, and for all 19-24 year-olds as a whole the figure was 35 per cent. The relatively low share among immigrants is largely due to the fact that many immigrants in this age group come to Norway to work – not to study.
- Statistics since 1865
Statistics Norway has published figures on “foreign-born persons” ever since the census of 1865. At that time, 1.2 per cent of the population were born abroad; mostly in Sweden. By 1920, the share had risen to 2.8 per cent, but sank again during World War II, and in 1950 was 1.4 per cent. After the war, Norway received refugees from Eastern Europe, followed by labour immigrants from other parts of the world. After the freeze on labour immigration in 1975, it was mostly refugees from Asia, Africa, South America and Eastern Europe that came to Norway. The expansion of the EU in 2004 led to a marked increase in immigration from new EU countries, particularly from Poland and Lithuania.
- Religion and ethnicity
No register is kept of persons broken down by religion, beliefs or ethnicity. Details are available, however, on the number of members of religious and philosophical communities that receive government funding.