Unaccompanied minor refugees 2011
Employment, education and income
Unaccompanied minor refugees are children and young people under 18 years of age, not accompanied by their parents or other persons who have parental responsibility for them , who have applied for asylum and been granted residence in Norway on this basis. Of the near 11 400 who have applied for asylum in the period from 1996 to 2011, around 5 000 have been granted a permanent residence and have settled in Norway.
Most come from Asia, mainly from Afghanistan
Nearly two out of three of the unaccompanied minor refugees who arrived in the period 1996-2011 and are still living in Norway, came from Asia, while nearly one out of three came from Africa. A total of 90 percent have a background from Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia or Eritrea. Eight out of ten of the unaccompanied minor refugees are boys.
Nearly one out of four lives in Oslo
Many of the unaccompanied minor refugees have moved to Oslo. At the beginning of 2012, 22 percent lived in Oslo, while only nine percent were originally settled there. About a third of all unaccompanied refugees have moved from their original settlement municipality.
Activity levels vary with age, length of residence, country of origin, and sex
71 percent of the unaccompanied minor refugees 18-29 years old were active at the end of 2011, which is considerably lower than in the general population in the same age group (86 percent). The activity level, and particularly the employment level, increases with age and length of residence. The unaccompanied minor refugees from Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Eritrea and Ethiopia have a higher activity level than those from Somalia and Iraq. However, the active from Iraq have a larger share of employed compared with those from the other countries.
For men, we see that the rate of employment increases with length of residence, while women more often go to school, often in combination with work. Compared with women in the general population and among the other minor refugees aged 18-29 years, the unaccompanied minor women in the same age group have a significantly higher share with cash benefits for parents of young children or benefits for single mothers in 2011.
A higher share in education among the other minor refugees
The report compares those who have been settled as unaccompanied minor refugees with those who came as minor refugees with parents in the same period (called "other minor refugees"). In average, this group was younger when they arrived in Norway, and thus have longer residence time. Among the other minor refugees, the share of active is lower than for the general population, but slightly higher compared to unaccompanied minor refugees. The difference between the unaccompanied minor refugees and other minor refugees is mainly that among the other minor refugees there is a greater share in education.
Lower income than the general population
For the unaccompanied minor refugees aged 18-29 years, the share of income from employment account for 60 percent of total income, which is a much lower share than in the general population in the same age group (80 percent). The unaccompanied minor refugees have a large share of their income from benefit transfers. Share of income from employment increases with length of residence. The average income for the unaccompanied minor refugees is much lower than average income in the general population, and we find a higher share with persistent low income among unaccompanied minor refugees compared with the general population.