Reports 2013/46

Settlement (or Residential) and migration patterns among immigrants and their children born in Norway

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The immigration to Norway has increased strongly since the turn of the millennium, and especially during the years following the EU-enlargements in 2004 and 2007.

The immigration has changed from a gender balance during the first years of the 2000 towards a clear male dominance after 2005, mostly due to increased labour immigration.

The immigration has changed from a dominance of refugees and their families towards labour immigrants and their families, where family unifications with labour immigrants have exceeded the family unifications with refugees since 2007.

Refugees and their families show the strongest tendency to stay in Norway after immigration, while immigrants from other Nordic countries and immigrants that immi¬grate for education show less probability to stay in Norway and higher emigra¬tion. Labour immigrants show an average probability to emigrate among the immigrants.

The immigrants in Norway have been more regional dispersed since the turn of millennium, and the capital of Oslo has reduced its share, while especially the surrounding county of Akershus and the counties in Western Norway and Sør-Trøndelag have increased their share of immigrants. The number of immigrants has, however, increased in all regions, also in Oslo.


A stable immigration of refugees towards less central areas, results in a strong and persistent domestic patterns of migration towards central regions for this group. The family immigration connected to refugees show a stronger central regional settlement pattern and domestic migration compared to the regional settlement pattern of family immigration connected to labour immigrants.

The refugees show the strongest regional centrality in their domestic migration followed by family immigrants. Children of immigrants born in Norway and immigrants that immigrate for education do also move towards more central areas. The same observation is made for persons without immigrant background, but this tendency seems to be connected to the business cycle. Labour immigrants and immigrants from other Nordic countries deviate from this pattern, by moving out of central areas in several years of the period.

All counties had positive net-migration in the period of 2008-2010, but the composition of the migration flows by person group vary. Most important is the net-immigration from abroad, where immigration connected to labour and family show the highest surplus, but also refugees and immigration connected to education and Nordic immigrants contribute to a population increase in many counties. Without net-immigration from abroad many counties would have negative net-migration due to negative balance in the domestic migration.

Refugees and their families do mainly migrate in direction of other immigrants with similar background as themselves, while labour immigrants, and partly also immigrants from other Nordic countries, mainly migrate away from larger concentration of immigrants with similar background.

Refugees and their families show strong and positive relationship between domestic migration and regional employment change due to strong domestic migration towards central areas, while labour immigrants and immigrants from other Nordic countries show weak and partly negative relationship between migration across regions and regional employment change. They rather move away from other labour immigrants than towards central regions.

Persons without immigrant background have turned from a positive and significant towards a weak and non-significant relationship between domestic migration and regional employment change.

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