Reports 2020/36

Monitor for secondary migration

Among people with refugee background domiciled in 2007-2016

This publication is in Norwegian only.

Open and read the publication in PDF (1.5 MB)

In this monitor we study persons with refugee background that have been settled in a municipality in 2007-2016, and whether they either remain in their first municipality of residence or migrate. For each year we see changes in what groups who remain settled in the first municipality and who migrate. We analyze where and when these people were settled the first time, where they came from and where they move to in addition to demographic aspects like gender and age.

The migration frequency is lower the first years after settlement, and the total proportion of refugees migrating from their settlement municipality is now at lower level than in earlier settlement cohorts. The introduction scheme for newly arrived immigrants contribute to a stronger connection between persons with refugee background and their settlement municipality.

Oslo has the largest settlement of persons with refugee background. General decrease in migration is however also reflected in less migration to Oslo. The migration between districts in Oslo is significantly higher than the migration from Oslo to other municipalities.

Persons with refugee background are at first settled in less central municipalities than the rest of the population. After five years there has been a migration towards more central areas. Persons with refugee background in the age group 18-24 years migrate most frequently, but not to the same degree as the rest of the population in this age group. Men with refugee background migrate more than women, but the difference is decreasing.

We also compare the economic well-being of refugees that choose to stay in the settlement municipality with those that choose to move to another municipality. For the cohorts arriving in 2007 and 2008, there is a clear tendency that those who choose to stay fare better financially than those who choose to move. Refugees that stay in their settlement municipality also receive a larger proportion of their household income from work and a smaller proportion from social assistance than refugees that choose to move on. For more recently arrived cohorts, 2009 and later, the picture is more mixed. In general, within these cohorts there are only marginal differences in the income level and income composition between those who stay and those who leave. There may be differences in the demographic composition of cohorts that arrive early compared to more recently arrived cohorts, that explains the difference in income levels. In addition, business cycles may have an impact. Refugees that arrived in 2007 and 2008 entered the labour market in the middle of a financial crisis, while the situation was more favourable for more recently arrived refugees.

Looking at individual earnings, men that choose to leave their settlement municipality in general seems to earn more than men who chooses to stay. In respect to women it is the other way around. This may be explained by the fact that some men probably move to another municipality in order find a better paid job (or a job at all), while this will not always be the case for their spouses.

Many of the refugees that choose to move end up in the larger cities. There are, however, huge differences in the size of household income they end up with, depending on where they choose to relocate. Those that move to either of the two cities Fredrikstad or Sarpsborg, end up with a substantially lower household income than those that move to other parts of the country. On the other hand, refugees that move to Lørenskog or Skedsmo, fare substantially better and have a larger household income compared both to those who stay put but also those that move to other parts of the country. Again, much can be explained by demography. A large proportion of the refugees that choose to settle in Fredrikstad or Sarpsborg come from Somalia or Iraq. Immigrants from these two countries in general earn less than other immigrants and have a weaker attachment to the labour force.

Read more about the publication