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On 1 January 1998, Norway had 4,417,600 permanent residents. In 1997 the population increased by 24,900. Since 1988 the number of inhabitants has increased by 219,000. This five per cent increase is far from evenly distributed among the individual age groups, and the age profile has considerable regional differences. The highs and lows from the age composition in 1988 have propagated in waves visible today 10 years later. At the same time, the population has been topped up by new citizens through births and net immigration to Norway, while the older age groups are gradually dying off.
Big changes have taken place in the age composition of Norway's population over the past 10 years. The number of 30 year olds has peaked, causing a temporary baby boom. At the same time the number of 50 year olds has peaked.
Through immigration, the cohort (age group) of 18- and 19-year-olds from 1988, which constituted one of the largest segments of the population that year, has grown into an even larger segment today of 30 year olds. This surge of people in their most active age is in turn producing a wave of small children behind today's modest sized youth cohorts. But the number of potential parents will now begin to sink year by year, producing fewer births in the years to come. People making up another one of the largest segments in 1988, 40-year-olds, are now 10 years older. Today, however, the age groups of people in their 50s are starting to decline: At this stage the number of years lived has the visible effect of producing higher mortality. The crest, which culminated in the cohort of 67-year-olds 10 years ago, has now subsided and has flattened out in the interval between 60 and 77 years of age.
Weekly Bulletin issue no. 20, 1998