Reports 2013/10

Change and integration

Norway's population groups of developing countries' origin

A Nordic cooperation has made it possible to compare on a very detailed level integration of immigrants and descendants originating from Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Turkey and Vietnam..

A Nordic cooperation has made it possible to compare on a very detailed level integration of immigrants and descendants originating from Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Turkey and Vietnam. The first results of the comparisons will be available in a few weeks. The results of the Norwegian contribution to the project is available now.

Key aspects of population dynamics are studied for immigrants as well as for their descendants, along with three facets of integration into the host societies:

  1. changes in demographic behavior
  2. participation in the education system
  3. labour market integration

The study makes extensive use of national register data, and constitutes one of the first efforts to conduct a comparative, policy relevant analysis for the same population groups across different host countries. Comparative analyses will be published by Malmö University and the University of Geneva later in 2013.

Growing population

The immigrant population and in particular our six groups in focus have been increasing through immigration as well as high birth numbers related to high fertility, declining with duration of stay, and to young age structure. The Pakistani group is the largest, immigrants and descendants taken together, but the immigration from Iraq and Somalia during the decade gave larger numbers of immigrants from these two countries. The growth for these two groups with a short history in Norway is much faster than for the other, more mature groups. Duration of stay is a variable closely related to demographic behavior and integration of immigrant groups. The marital pattern is characterized by a clear tendency, although varying between the nationalities and generations, to marry someone of their own background. The descendants are still too young to make it possible to conclude how their marital pattern will be.

The level of participation in education is generally much higher for descendants than for immigrants, and varies less between the population groups for them. The participation rates for descendants in tertiary education have been strongly increasing during our decade, bringing descendants from Vietnam, but also from Iran and Pakistan, to higher participation rates than the natives in Norway.

Employment prospects for immigrants and descendants have been quite positive. Still, the participation rates for immigrants, and in particular immigrant women, are much lower than for the natives. Young immigrants, and descendants, do better than the older immigrants. The gender gap for some countries (like Pakistan) is still very high. The level economic inactivity is high, especially among immigrants towards the end of their active period in the labour market, and among women.

The project is carried out in cooperation between the immigration authorities in Denmark, Statistics Norway and Malmö Institute for Studies of Migration, Diversity and Welfare (MIM) at Malmö University, and coordinated by Miroslav Macura the University of Geneva. It was financed by a grant from the Nordic Council of Ministers, and the participating organisations.


Tel: +47 21 09 47 95

About the publication


Norway's population groups of developing countries' origin. Change and integration


Lars Østby

Series and number

Reports 2013/10


Statistics Norway


Immigrants , Population

ISBN (online)


ISBN (printed)


Number of pages




About Reports

Analyses and annotated statistical results from various surveys are published in the series Reports. Surveys include sample surveys, censuses and register-based surveys.