Reports 2021/08

Immigrants and Norwegian-born to immigrant parents in municipalities, 2020

The report covers the municipal distribution of immigrants and Norwegian-born with immigrant parents at the start of 2020. Immigrants and Norwegian-born with immigrant parents are two separate categories. We describe immigration to the municipalities in the period 1990-2020 and its impact on population trends in the municipalities. We have also examined the domestic migration pattern of immigrants within Norway.

Since 1990, there have been 1 170 000 registered migrations to Norway, and the municipality with the most immigrants is Oslo. Immigrants from the EU/EEA mainly leave the cities and move to the surrounding municipalities, while immigrants from outside the EU/EEA tend to move from small municipalities to larger and more central ones.

14.7 per cent of the Norwegian population were immigrants at the start of 2020, while Norwegian-born with immigrant parents was 3.5 per cent. The proportion of immigrants has grown significantly in many municipalities since 2012, especially in small outlying municipalities. Gamvik and Båtsfjord have surpassed Oslo in terms of the proportion of immigrants, and now have 28.3 and 26.7 per cent, compared to 25.6 per cent in Oslo. The immigrant population in Oslo has seen the most growth, but the proportion has only increased by 2.9 percentage points.

Immigrants as a group live more centrally than the population as a whole, but this varies between country groups. Immigrants from Syria live least centrally and immigrants from Pakistan most centrally. Immigrants from Somalia and Poland are somewhere between these two groups. Length of residence and reason for immigration may be possible contributors to these differences.

Immigrants with education as the reason for immigration show the strongest regional centrality, while newly arrived refugees are settled in more decentralized areas. The largest proportion of migrant workers are found in various small coastal municipalities. Municipalities with high proportion of migrant workers and/or refugees often have large numbers of family immigrants.

Norwegian-born with immigrant parents have a stronger regional concentration in central areas than the rest of the population. Those with parents from Morocco, Pakistan and Turkey are settled more centralized than those with parents from the Netherlands, the USA and the Nordic countries. Within Oslo, Norwegian-born to parents from Pakistan, Turkey and Sri Lanka establish their own household within the same general areas as immigrants with the same background, while Norwegian-born to Vietnamese parents deviate from this pattern.

The distribution of immigrants within Oslo can often be said to follow the traditional east-west divide in the city. The most easterly and south-easterly districts in particular have large immigrant populations. Polish and Swedish immigrants are relatively evenly distributed across the city, while the Pakistani and Somali populations are more concentrated. All parts of the city nevertheless have a large diversity of immigrant groups.

Since 2010, immigration has had a major impact on population trends in Norwegian municipalities. Without net immigration, 114 of the country's municipalities would have had population growth, but net immigration has led to population increases in 99 municipalities. 143 municipalities have had a population decline despite of net migration.

Read more about the publication