Weaker growth in persons with refugee background
Last year saw an increase of 5 600 persons with a refugee background in Norway. This is the lowest growth in the last 20 years.
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The number of persons resident in Norway with refugee background increased by 5 600 in 2018. This constitutes a growth of 2.5 per cent from 1 January 2018 to 1 January 2019, which represents one of the lowest growth rates in several years.
A total of 170 100 persons had the status principal applicants as per 1 January 2019, which is 73 per cent of all persons with a refugee background. Out of the total number of principal applicants, 114 000 were asylum cases. This amounts to almost half of all persons with a refugee background. There are also 38 100 resettlement refugees resident in Norway, which constitutes 16 per cent of all persons with a refugee background. A total of 63 700 persons have immigrated to Norway as family members of a principal applicant. This group constituted about one out of four of the total number of persons with a refugee background.
Syrians now the largest group
Persons from Syria constitute the group with the largest growth in recent years. A total of 29 500 Syrians were resident in Norway as per 1 January 2019. This is 3 300 more than 1 January 2018. Syrians now constitute the largest group of persons with a refugee background. Eight out of ten Syrians have arrived as principal applicants. The remaining 20 per cent are persons who are related to a principal applicant.
A total of 27 500 Somalis have arrived in Norway for reasons related to displacement. Whilst Somalis have made up the largest group of persons with a refugee background for many years, they now constitute the second largest group. Eritreans (21 800) are the third largest group, followed by Iraqis (21 400) and Afghans (16 400).
Figure 1. Persons with refugee background 1 january
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Large number of resettlement refugees from Syria
There are 38 100 resettlement refugees in Norway as per 1 January 2019, which is an increase of 2 600 (7.4 per cent) from 2018. Almost one out of four resettlement refugees originate from Syria. With an increase of 1 800 persons, this group accounted for almost 70 per cent of the growth in resettlement refugees from 2018 to 2019.
Most family-related refugees are from Syria
At the start of 2019, there were 63 700 persons resident in Norway with a connection to a principal applicant as a family member. Among these, 46 400 arrived through family reunification and 17 300 through marriage (family enlargement). In total, this group amounts to about one out of four of all persons with a refugee background.
Somalis constitute the largest group of family-related refugees. While six out of ten Somalis have arrived as principal applicants, four out of ten have arrived due to family. Somalis constituted 18 per cent of all family-related refugees at the beginning of 2019. Iraqis amounted to the second largest group. About one out of three Iraqis came to Norway for family-related reasons and make up 12 per cent of all family-related refugees.
A total of 27 per cent of all persons with a refugee background have lived in Norway for 20 years or longer. An almost equal share – 26 per cent – have been resident for a short period of time, 0-4 years.
One out of five live in Oslo
Most persons with a refugee background live in Oslo – 49 800 persons. This means that 21.3 per cent of all persons with a refugee background live in the capital. Persons with a refugee background constitute 7.3 per cent of the total population in Oslo. The municipality with the second largest number of persons with a refugee background is Bergen. A total of 11 800 principal applicants or family-related refugees are resident in Bergen, which amounts to 5 per cent of the total number of persons with a refugee background.
The municipality with the largest share of persons with a refugee background is Vadsø, where this group make up almost 10 per cent of the total population. Drammen and Skedsmo also have large shares, with about 8 per cent of the population having a refugee background.
Minja Tea Dzamarija
Statistics Norway's Information Centre