Population of 5 258 000 at year start


The population of Norway reached 5 258 000 at the start of the year. The number of foreign citizens grew by 21 000 in 2016 to 559 000 on 1 January 2017.

The total population increased by 44 3000 in 2016. The strongest growth was in Akershus. Oslo now has 667 000 inhabitants. The strongest growth was among men.

Figure 1

Figure 1. Population, after age and sex. 1 January 2017

The number of men grew by 24 000, and the number of women increased by 20 300, giving a total of 2 649 100 men and 2 609 200 women. Norway has had more men than women since 2010. This trend continues, and as per 1 January, there was a surplus of almost 40 000 men.

Figure 2

Figure 2. Females per 1 000 males. 1769-2017

Most elderly, 80 years and over in Hedmark and Sogn og Fjordane

At the turn of the year, 61.4 per cent of the residents were in the age group 20-66 years, while 10.4 per cent were in the age group 67-79 years. The oldest, 80 years and over, represented 4.2 per cent of the population. Seen in relation to the population, Hedmark, Sogn og Fjordane and Oppland had most residents in this group. Oslo had the lowest share in this group.

Figure 3

Figure 3. Population by age 1 January 1900-2017

11 300 more Syrians in 2016

Among foreign citizens, the number of Syrians grew most in 2016, from 7 600 on 1 January to 18 900 at the end of the year. This is related to the large flow of refugees from Syria to Norway in autumn 2015. Many of these were granted a residence permit in 2016 and are included in the statistics on residents in Norway.

The Poles are still the largest group of foreign citizens in Norway, with 102 000. The other large groups are the Swedes and Lithuanians.

Number of foreign nationals has doubled since 2008

In line with the strong population growth over the last ten years, the number of foreign citizens has more than doubled from 2008. In 2008, the 266 000 foreign citizens represented 5.6 per cent of the total population. The comparable figure in 1991 was 3.4 per cent.

Figure 4

Figure 4. Foreign citizens. The whole country. 1 January

Nearly 108 000 of the foreign citizens are resident in Oslo, where they represented 16.2 per cent of the population at the turn of the year. Outside of Oslo, the counties Rogaland, Akershus, Finnmark and Buskerud have the largest percentages of foreign citizens.

Figure 5

Figure 5. Foreign citizens. Counties. 1 January 2017

Population growth in all counties

The population of Norway increased by 44 300 in 2016, which is 3 850 less than in 2015. Of all counties, Akershus increased most, by 9 800 to 604 000 residents on 1 January 2017. In Oslo, the population increased by 8 400, and the capital city now has 667 000 residents. The growth in Oslo was about 2 300 lower than in 2015. The population in the oil county of Rogaland also increased in 2016, by 1 800. However, growth was 2 000 less than in 2015.