Norwegian-born to immigrant parents - demography, education, work and income
The number of Norwegian-born to immigrant parents have increased from only 2 000 persons in 1970 to almost 180 000 persons in 2019 – a rise in share of the resident population from 0.06 to 3.4 per cent in the period. Many of them are still young at age – three out of four are under 18 years old. Only 14 per cent are 25 years or older.
Norwegian-born to immigrant parents achieve somewhat weaker results in lower secondary school compared to the rest of the population. They also have a lower completion rate in upper secondary education. This is, however, no longer the case when the parent’s educational level is taken into consideration. Among those whose parents’ highest completed education level is lower secondary education, Norwegian-born to immigrant parents achieve better results than the rest of the population. Norwegian-born to immigrant parents also have a higher participation rate in higher education after upper secondary education than the rest of the population. In adulthood (25-39 years) the differences even out. Approximately one of four Norwegian-born with immigrant parents have attained lower secondary education, while almost half have attained higher education – roughly equivalent to the rest of the population.
An important goal for Norwegian integration policy is to ensure financial self-support by participation in the labour market. To be considered employed according to Statistics Norway’s income statistics, annual income from work must exceed two times the basic amount in the National Insurance Scheme. According to this definition, we find that Norwegian-born (age 25-39) to immigrant parents from India and Vietnam have a very strong labour market participation – in line with, and even better, than among persons in the same age-group with a non-immigrant background. This is the case for both sexes. Norwegian-born women and men, age 25-39, with immigrant parents from Turkey, Pakistan, Chile and Morocco have a much weaker labour market participation – well below the level of women and men with a non-immigrant background.
Differences in employment and income from work explain much of the differences in household income between different groups of Norwegian-born with immigrant background. Regardless of type of households, Norwegian-born with Indian or Vietnamese background have a higher household income than Norwegian-born with Chilean, Moroccan, Pakistani or Turkish background – and also compared to the non-immigrant population in the same age group. Among couples, there are clear differences in the extent to which both adults participate in the labour market. The percentage share with at least two employed persons in the household, is lowest among Norwegian-born with Turkish or Pakistani background, and highest among Norwegian-born with Indian or Vietnamese background. This is the case for both couples with children, and couples without children. Among Norwegian-born with Pakistani background, age 25-39, in the household type ‘couples with children’, 59 per cent had at least two employed persons in the household. The corresponding figure among Norwegian-born with Turkish background was 53 per cent. In comparison, the corresponding figure was 83 per cent among persons with a non-immigrant background, and 86 per cent among Norwegian-born with Indian or Vietnamese background.
A comparison of income and education between Norwegian-born and their immigrant parents, show that many children have received a higher income level, and more education, compared to what their parents had at the same age. Many Norwegian-born have attained (higher) education, contributing to a stronger labour market participation and higher earnings compared to their immigrant parents when they were at the same age (25-39 years). These findings are consistent with findings in other surveys, where the conclusion is that many Norwegian-born to immigrant parents have performed a strong upward mobility, moving up the social ladder compared to both their parents, and in some cases also compared to the non-immigrant population in the same age group.