Future population growth is mainly due to positive net migration. We expect more births than deaths until approximately 2050, after which the situation reverses. There will be an increasing number of older persons in the population, with the number of people aged 70 years or above expected to almost double by 2060. By 2100, more than 25 percent of the population will be aged 70 years or over, according to the main alternative. Within a decade, the main alternative suggests that the population will be composed of more older persons (65+ years) than children and teenagers (0-19 years).

The results of population projections depend on the assumptions used for the underlying demographic components. We apply different assumptions for future developments in fertility, life expectancy and immigration: Medium (M); high (H); low (L); constant (C); zero net migration (E); and no migration (0). Taken together, we project the population in 15 combinations of these assumptions. Each projection alternative is described using three letters in the following order: Fertility, life expectancy, and immigration. The term ‘main alternative' is used to refer to the MMM alternative, which indicates the use of the medium level assumption for all three components.

The main alternative suggests that the total fertility rate (TFR) will decline in the short run, from its current level (1.55 children per woman) to 1.5 by 2025. TFR is then assumed to stabilise at around 1.7 (low fertility alternative 1.3, high fertility alternative 1.9). Life expectancy is assumed to increase throughout the century. For men, the medium assumption projects an increase from 81.6 years in 2021, to 89 (low 86, high 91) years in 2060 and 94 years (low 90, high 97) in 2100. For women, we assume an increase from 84.7 years in 2021 to 91 (low 89, high 93) years in 2060 and 95 (low 92, high 97) years in 2100. Immigration is expected to increase in the short term due to the arrival of refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine. In the medium assumption, we project immigration to Norway to increase from 53 000 in 2021 to 67 000 in 2022 (low 54 000, high 95 000). From this peak, we assume a sharp decline before the assumptions settle on more stable long-run trajectories. From 2025, we assume that immigration to Norway will decline from around 43 000 (low 35 000, high 52 000) to around 35 000 (low 15 000, high 81 000) in 2100. The projected emigrations depend partly on the immigrations. In the main alternative, we project net migration to rise from almost 20 000 in 2021 to around 37 000 in 2022 (low 24 000, high 65 000). From 2025, the main alternative projects a broadly stable net migration of around 11 000-12 000, annually.

This report documents how the national population projections are produced, using Statistics Norway’s BEFINN model. The population is projected by age and sex to the year 2100. Immigrants from three country groups, Norwegian-born children with two immigrant parents and the rest of the population are projected as separate groups. The report starts out by providing an overview of the main results, before a more detailed presentation and discussion of the assumptions for the different demographic components (fertility, life expectancy and international migration) is given.

Population projections are inherently uncertain. The uncertainty usually increases the further into the future we look. Due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, it has been especially challenging to formulate immigration assumptions this year – even for the short term. Users must bear this in mind when they employ the different alternatives of the 2022 national population projections.