Reports 2015/04

The population with an immigrant background in 13 municipalities in Norway


This report provides an analytical summary of the situation in the 13 municipalities with the highest share of immigrants in Norway. The report was originally published in Norwegian as the introductory chapter of «Befolkningen med innvandrerbakgrunn i 13 kommuner» (Høydahl 2014).

This report presents the follow-up of a project Statistics Norway did for The Directorate of Migration and Diversity (IMDi) in 2006-2007 (Aalandslid 2007). The background for that project was IMDi’s need for a better knowledge basis for their activities, in particular for their policies towards the municipalities with the largest numbers of non-western immigrants. In this new report, it is our aim to give an update of the 2007-project, with new figures and standard classifications, to include new variables and new knowledge, and to describe the basic changes in the migratory pattern since 2006.

The most important change since 2006 is the strong increase in the number of immigrants, in particular from the new EU member states. In 2012, most immigrants were from Poland, Lithuania, Sweden, Somalia and Eritrea, ten years earlier, Sweden, Russia, Somalia, Denmark and Afghanistan were top five. In 2003, 27 000 foreign citizens moved to Norway, in 2013 the number was 72 000. In 2007, only 10 000 Norwegian-born to immigrant parents had reached the age of 20, seven years later the number was more than doubled.

The data used in this publication are all, directly or indirectly, taken from the Central Register of Population (CRP). Everyone with a legal right to stay in Norway, and with an intention to stay for at least six months, should be included in CRP. Individual records from the CPR are linked with a number of other registers available in Statistics Norway.

At the beginning of 2013, Norway had 593 000 immigrants (11.7 per cent of the population) and 117 000 Norwegian-born to immigrant parents, together 14.1 per cent of the total population. In 2006 the numbers were 320 000 and 68 000, respectively. Of all immigrants and Norwegian-born to immigrant parents, 42.6 per cent had a background from EU etc., 57.4 per cent had a background from Africa, Asia etc. The largest groups of immigrants came from Poland, Sweden, Lithuania, Germany and Somalia (between 77 000 and 24 000). The largest numbers of Norwegian-born to immigrant parents had their background from Pakistan, Somalia, Vietnam, Iraq, Turkey, Poland and Sri Lanka (15 000 to 6 000).

In 2013, three of ten inhabitants in Oslo were immigrants or Norwegian-born to immigrant parents. In 2006 one third of those with an immigrant background in Norway lived in Oslo, in 2013 it was one in four. From 2006 to 2013 the number of immigrants and Norwegian-born to immigrant parents increased with 325 000 individuals, almost 80 per cent of the total population growth of 410 000 individuals. The last few years, the population growth of Norway has been slightly higher than the global population growth; 1.2 per cent versus 1.1.