Statistics Norway’s new national population projections show that the population in Norway will grow from around 5.4 million people today, to 6.1 million people by 2060 and 6.2 million by 2100.

“Future population growth in Norway will be lower than what we have witnessed in recent decades”, says demographer Ane Tømmerås of Statistics Norway.

Population growth occurs when more people are born than die, and when more people immigrate than emigrate. High net immigration, especially during the 2010s, has contributed to high population growth in Norway, while the contribution of the Births minus deaths. When the number is positive we have a birth surplus, when the number is negative we have a birth deficit. has reduced over the same period.

“We expect that immigration will continue to be the strongest driver of population growth in Norway in the future, but the growth will not be as high as it has been in recent decades. This is because we also expect somewhat lower immigration in the long run”, says Ane Tømmerås.

The population projections assume that Immigrants are persons registered in Norway who were born abroad to two foreign-born parents. Immigration is the number of people recorded as having moved to Norway over a given period, usually one year, and includes both persons born abroad as well as in Norway. Net migration is the number of immigrants minus the number of emigrants over a given period. will initially increase, largely as a result of arrivals from Ukraine, before declining to a long-run level of between 11 000-12 000 annually.

“By 2050, we expect that more people will die each year than are born, meaning that immigration alone will contribute to continued population growth”, says Ane Tømmerås.

SSB makes population projections at both the national and regional levels. The regional population projections detail the projected development in each county and each municipality.

Figure 1. Population growth, net migration and excess of birth

What contributes to the population growth? Population growth, net migration and excess of births. 1980-2060 Main alternative (MMM). Persons In 2021, Annual population growth of 33 900 persons. In 2060, Annual population growth of 4 600 persons. A deficit of 6 200 births.

An ageing population, even among immigrants

Lower population growth will be combined with a pronounced ageing of the population. By 2060, around one in four people living in Norway will be 70 years of age or older. Today, just 13 percent of the total population are aged 70 or older.

“The ageing of the population is inevitable because it is already written into the age structure of today’s population. The speed of ageing is more uncertain, and depends on the extent to which fertility and migration can work to replenish the share of younger people in the population”, says Ane Tømmerås.

Births and immigration help to reduce the ageing of the population. The latter because immigrants tend to be drawn from younger age groups.

“In any case, Norway will see an historic shift sometime in the next decade. For the first time, there will be more people over the age of 65 than children and young people under the age of 20”, says Ane Tømmerås.

Figure 2. The population in broad age groups

More older people than children The population in broad age groups. 1900-2100 Main alternative (MMM). Persons In 2031, More older people than children and teenagers.

While the immigrant population will continue to grow due to positive net migration, the composition of the immigrant population will gradually shift towards an older population with long durations of residence. The older age population in Norway will thus be more diverse in the future, with immigrants making up almost 25 percent of the population aged 70 years or older in 2060. Today, immigrants account for just 5 percent of the population aged 70 years or above.

Figure 3. Number of immigrants 70 yrs or older, by country background

Sharp rise of older immigrants Number of immigrants 70 yrs or older, by country background, 2010-2060. Main alternative (MMM). Persons. In 2022, 5 % of all persons aged 70 or over are immigrants. In 2060, 24 % of all persons aged 70 or over are immigrants.

Assumptions for the national population projections

SSB creates several different alternatives for population development in Norway. The main alternative (MMM) shows how the development will be when we use medium assumption developments for fertility, life expectancy and immigration. This means that:

  • Fertility will decline in the short term, before rising and stabilising at a long-term level of 1.7 children per woman
  • Life expectancy will continue to increase by approximately 7 years for men and 6 years for women, by 2060
  • Net immigration will initially increase, largely as a result of arrivals from Ukraine, before declining to a long-run level of between 11-000 and 12 000 annually.

Population growth is far higher in the high national growth alternative, which assumes high fertility, high life expectancy and high immigration. In the low national growth alternative, with low fertility, low life expectancy and low immigration, the population begins to decline by 2035. The fact that the projections vary between the various alternatives illustrates the importance of the assumptions underpinning our projections.

Assumptions relating to immigration are particularly uncertain, but fertility, mortality and emigration can also end up being quite different from what is projected. Due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, it has been especially challenging to formulate even short-term immigration assumptions. Users must bear this in mind when they employ the different alternatives of the 2022 national population projections.

StatBank Norway contains detailed results from this year’s national population projections, providing information on the entire population up to and including the year 2100. Figures from previous projections are also available from StatBank Norway. Detailed descriptions of the model, assumptions and results are available in the report.

Figure 4. Population projections. 2022-2060

Because the future is uncertain, we present several alternative projections. These combine different assumptions for the components which determine the population size and structure. Fertility: How many children will each woman in Norway have? Life expectancy: How long will we live? Net migration: How many will immigrate and emigrate? Population The components are combined into different alternatives: High national growth (HHH): High fertility. High life expectancy. High immigration Main alternative (MMM): Medium fertility. Medium life expectancy. Medium immigration Low national growth (LLL): Low fertility. Low life expectancy. Low immigartion The population was around 4 million in 1980. The population was 5.43 million in 2022. The population is projected to exceed 6 million before 2050. The uncertainty increases with time.