Attitudes towards immigrants and immigration

Updated: 27 June 2023

Next update: 24 June 2024

Proportion agree that most immigrants make an important contribution to Norwegian working life
Proportion agree that most immigrants make an important contribution to Norwegian working life
2023
87
%
Attitudes towards immigrants and receiving refugees. Per cent
Attitudes towards immigrants and receiving refugees. Per cent
201420222023
Most immigrants make an important contribution to Norwegian working life
Strongly agree324549
Agree on the whole453638
Disagree on the whole943
Strongly disagree311
Most immigrants enrich the cultural life in Norway
Strongly agree364345
Agree on the whole333534
Disagree on the whole1355
Strongly disagree533
Most immigrants are a cause of insecurity in society
Strongly agree943
Agree on the whole191111
Disagree on the whole312634
Strongly disagree294338
Attitudes towards refugees' and asylum seekers' access to residence permits in Norway. Compared to today, should it be easier, more difficult or remain the same as today?
Easier182222
As today505458
More difficult28129
Explanation of symbols

Selected tables and charts from this statistics

  • Attitudes towards seven statements on immigrants. Per cent
    Attitudes towards seven statements on immigrants. Per cent
    2014201520162017201820192020202120222023
    Most immigrants make an important contribution to Norwegian working life
    Strongly agree32302127293140484549
    Agree on the whole45424544434538323638
    Neither agree nor disagree1015141512111312127
    Disagree on the whole9714101196443
    Strongly disagree3343332211
    Don't know1211221322
    Most immigrants abuse the system of social benefits
    Strongly agree8889676533
    Agree on the whole21172217191814111110
    Neither agree nor disagree13181518131313141312
    Disagree on the whole33323537363433263235
    Strongly disagree21201819222529373435
    Don't know3522345865
    Most immigrants enrich the cultural life in Norway
    Strongly agree36362833343841474345
    Agree on the whole33353935373531273534
    Neither agree nor disagree121213131181313129
    Disagree on the whole138121312107555
    Strongly disagree5665554433
    Don't know2222233434
    Most immigrants are a cause of insecurity in society
    Strongly agree9799785443
    Agree on the whole19192318221615131111
    Neither agree nor disagree10151314121315121312
    Disagree on the whole31303133313228262634
    Strongly disagree29272325262935434338
    Don't know2211322222
    All immigrants in Norway should have the same opportunities to have a job as Norwegians
    Strongly agree67665864707076807776
    Agree on the whole20212824191915141716
    Neither agree nor disagree4554354323
    Disagree on the whole6564432123
    Strongly disagree2333322111
    Don't know1111111101
    Immigrants should make an effort to become as similar to Norwegians as possible
    Strongly agree21212323202017141412
    Agree on the whole25232826292524182019
    Neither agree nor disagree13151210111416181816
    Disagree on the whole26252727252724262530
    Strongly disagree1315913131317212121
    Don't know2211221232
    Labour immigration from non-Nordic countries makes a mainly positive contribution to Norwegian economy
    Strongly agree29292126242634393938
    Agree on the whole41374239444237333441
    Neither agree nor disagree1215161614121513158
    Disagree on the whole119121212117654
    Strongly disagree3554443213
    Don't know4653355876
    Explanation of symbols
  • Attitudes towards the statement that all immigrants in Norway should have the same opportunities to have a job as Norwegians. Per cent
    Attitudes towards the statement that all immigrants in Norway should have the same opportunities to have a job as Norwegians. Per cent
    All immigrants in Norway should have the same opportunities to have a job as Norwegians
    Strongly agreeAgree on the wholeNeither agree nor disagreeDisagree on the wholeStrongly disagreeDon't know
    199358178782
    199453246961
    199557234970
    199667193650
    199766205530
    199876153420
    199973173421
    200074173320
    201467204621
    201566215531
    201658285631
    201764244431
    201870193431
    201970195321
    202076154221
    202180143111
    202277172210
    202376163311
    Explanation of symbols
  • Attitudes towards refugees' and asylum seekers' access to residence permits in Norway. Per cent
    Attitudes towards refugees' and asylum seekers' access to residence permits in Norway. Per cent
    Compared to today, should it be easier, more difficult or remain the same as today?
    EasierAs todayMore difficultDon't know
    20141850284
    20151550295
    20161251335
    20171652284
    20181553293
    20191456236
    20201756207
    202120521612
    202222541212
    20232258911
    Explanation of symbols
  • Answers to four questions on relation to immigrants. Per cent
    Answers to four questions on relation to immigrants. Per cent
    2023
    Would you feel comfortable if you or somone in your close family had an immigrant as home help?
    Yes (per cent)94
    No (per cent)4
    Don't know (per cent)2
    Would you feel comfortable if you had a doctor who was an immigrant?
    Yes (per cent)97
    No (per cent)2
    Don't know (per cent)0
    Would you feel comfortable if you had a son or daughter who wanted to marry an immigrant?
    Yes (per cent)87
    No (per cent)6
    Don't know (per cent)7
    Would you feel comfortable with having an immigrant as a close colleague?
    Yes (per cent)98
    No (per cent)1
    Don't know (per cent)0
    Explanation of symbols
  • Contact with immigrants in different arenas. Per cent
    Contact with immigrants in different arenas. Per cent
    2014201520162017201820192020202120222023
    All arenas
    Yes70787278798079777880
    No30212822212021232220
    At work
    Yes46544852525454515655
    No54465248484646484445
    Among friends and acquaintances
    Yes34403743483946464244
    No66606357526154545856
    In the neighbourhood
    Yes27323236373735353035
    No73686864636265647065
    Among close relatives
    Yes12151114151618181419
    No88858986858482828681
    Through school/studies
    Yes........1317
    No........8783
    Through activities/organizations
    Yes........1923
    No........8177
    Other
    Yes9121214111514181111
    No91888886898586828989
    Explanation of symbols
  • Number of arenas where contact with immigrants takes place. Per cent
    Number of arenas where contact with immigrants takes place. Per cent
    2014201520162017201820192020202120222023
    No contact30212822212021232220
    One arena35343128293430272425
    Two arena20262227252323232421
    Three arenas10101215181316161516
    Four arenas45666788810
    Five arenas2312132345
    Explanation of symbols

About the statistics

The statistics are based on a survey. The purpose of the statistics is to map the attitudes of the Norwegian population towards various aspects of the national immigration and refugee policy and towards immigrants as a group. This year's survey was conducted between January 2 and February 10.

Last updated: 4 July 2023

The following instructions have accompanied the questions posed from 1993 to 2000:

“Neither agree, nor disagree” exists as a hidden response alternative, which means that it should not be read to the respondent, but be used if the respondent gives no other answer.

Immigrants

Persons with two foreign-born parents. (For adopted from abroad it is the social, not the biological parents, who count.)

Refugees and asylum seekers

Subgroups within the category “immigrants”. Refugees are persons granted political asylum or have the right to stay on humanitarian grounds. That may be due to having obtained refugee status by the UN High Commissioner or being part of the refugee quota accepted by Norway each year, or they may have come as asylum seekers and granted asylum or right to stay on humanitarian grounds."

In 1998, a supplementary question was added to the four permanent questions. This new question had the following instruction: &“This question very much resembles Innv1 - but here we distinguish between those who want to give residence to more or &“as many” refugees and asylum seekers as today. The question was deliberately placed at a distance behind the other immigrant questions. The idea behind the supplementary question was to investigate how the answers to it deviate from the answers to the question (Innv1): “Norway should give residence to refugees and asylum seekers to at least the same extent as today.”

In 2002 the instruction is being changed to the following:

An immigrant is a person having two foreign-born parents. For adopted from abroad it is the social, not the biological parents, who count.

Refugees is a subgroup within the category “immigrants”´. A refugee is a person granted asylum. This may happen in several ways. Either by being granted refugee status by the UN High Commissioner or being part of the refugee quota accepted by Norway each year, or by having successfully applied for asylum in Norway. Persons granted right to stay on humanitarian grounds are also covered by the term refugee.

Asylum seeker is a person having applied for asylum in Norway.

Please, also note that the concept refugee in colloquial language often is used about persons who are fleeing infringements of human rights, war, riots or environmental disasters.”

Upon request by an interviewer - in 2003 the first paragraph of the instruction was supplied with these additional sentences: “In the present questions we aim at immigrants with a non-Western background. This should be conveyed if the respondent asks for clarification.”

The current instruction as from 2009 and onwards is as follows:

Definition of concepts

Immigrants

Foreign-born persons registered as resident in Norway having two foreign-born parents. Persons adopted from abroad are not considered immigrants. The attitude questions generally relate to immigrants with national backgrounds from Eastern Europe, Asia (incl. Turkey), Africa and South and Central America. This should be conveyed if the respondent asks for clarification.

Refugees

A subgroup of immigrants who have migrated to the host country due to reasons of flight and have obtained asylum or right to residence on humanitarian grounds. Some are transferred from refugee camps abroad according to agreements with the UN High Commissioner of Refugees. Others have come as asylum seekers.

Asylum seekers

Persons applying for asylum or residence on humanitarian grounds. Their application for residence is still under consideration.

Labour immigration

Immigration accepted on grounds of labour. The Nordic countries have had a common labour market since 1954. As a member of the EEA (European Economic Area), Norway is also obliged to receive labour immigrants from countries within the EU/EEA/EFTA. In May 2004, this area was expanded by 10 new EU countries (Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Cyprus and Malta), and later also Bulgaria and Romania. Beyond that, access to the Norwegian labour market is severely restricted for citizens of other countries. Skilled workers and specialists from &“third countries" may be granted access if they cannot be substituted by labour resident within the area. Persons employed on a short-term basis (less than 6 months) and not registered as residents of the country are also usually included as labour immigrants. Before the ban on immigration was introduced in 1975, labour immigration to Norway was more or less free. The first immigrants from Yugoslavia, Turkey, Morocco, India and Pakistan were labour immigrants.

Not relevant

Name: Attitudes towards immigrants and immigration
Topic: Population

24 June 2024

Division for Population Statistics

Whole country, but also broken down at province level.

The statistics were published every October/November from 1993 to 2000. As an exception, the 1994 results were published in January 1995. After a break in 2001, the statistics were resumed in 2002 and published yearly in November/December.

Results have been cited in SOPEMI reports (Continuous Reporting System of Migration of OECD) from Norway.

Depersonalized micro data for both the Omnibus surveys and the Travel and holiday surveys (now: the Travel and social surveys) have been transferred to NSD - Norwegian Centre for Research Data.

The questions were posed for the first time in Statistics Norway’s Omnibus survey in June 1993, and thereafter yearly in the Omnibus for the second quarter (except in 1994 when it was the third quarter) until 2000. Every year, apart from in 2000, a document giving a simple analysis of the results has been published.

From 2005 and onwards the attitude questions were transferred to the third quarter of the Travel and holiday survey (now: the Travel and social surveys), as Statistics Norway decided that year to discontinue its Omnibus survey. In 2007, the analyses of the results were transferred from the series Notater (Documents) to the series Rapporter (Reports).

The relevant ministry responsible for immigrant integration finances the research and uses the data as a basis for evaluating how its policy aimed at immigrants and immigration is being perceived by the population. The media has given considerable coverage to the results.

No external users have access to the statistics and analyses before they are published and accessible simultaneously for all users on ssb.no at 08 am. Prior to this, a minimum of three months' advance notice is given inthe Statistics Release Calendar. This is one of Statistics Norway’s key principles for ensuring that all users are treated equally.

Not relevant

Statistics Act § 10

Not relevant

The Norwegian population aged 16-79 years, registered as resident in Norway. The unit is person.

The data source is now Statistics Norway’s Travel and social survey (previously: Travel and holiday survey). During the years 1993-2004, the Omnibus survey was used.

The net sample size has followed the development of the samples drawn in Statistics Norway’s Omnibus surveys: in 1993-1994 approximately 1 800 persons, 1995-1997 about 1 400 persons, 1998 about 1 200 persons and 1999-2000 about 1 400 persons. By the 2000s, the sample size has fluctuated between 1 400 and 1 100.

The Omnibus surveys and the Travel and social surveys (previously: - holiday surveys) follow Statistics Norway’s general sampling procedures. In the early publications presenting the results of the surveys an appendix containing details about the collection of data has been added. Since 2002, the appendix on data collection has been replaced by some paragraphs at the beginning of the publication rendering the most basic facts about the data collection: units sampled not belonging to the target population, non-response, fieldwork period, possible sample biases etc. For further details, the reader is recommended to consult documentation materials for each specific survey.

Total interview time is cited in the document/report, but not for each separate part of the survey.

Not relevant

Nothing is ever published that makes it possible to detect the identity of the respondents.

Questions that have been kept unaltered, allow for comparisons over time.

The documentation reports from the surveys include paragraphs on data collection and processing errors. They also present data on non-response and sampling bias in connection with known parameters, such as sex, age, and province.

From 2008 and onwards a part of the above mentioned documentation has been presented in the data chapter in the same reports that present the findings from the surveys on attitudes towards immigrants and immigration. Here is also exposed how the educational level distribute among the respondents in the net sample compared to the corresponding distribution in the gross sample. In 2010 the difference between the two distributions had grown so large that a weight was constructed to eliminate the bias in the educational distribution of the net sample. The results in 2010 and consecutive years have been presented with this weight activated.

Not relevant

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