Many come and many leave
befsvalbard, Population of Svalbard, population, settlements (Norwegian, Russian and Polish), in-migration, out-migration, period of residence, births, deathsPopulation count, Population, Population, Svalbard

Population of Svalbard1 July 2010



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Many come and many leave

The population of Svalbard increased by 39 during the first six months of 2010, from 2 490 on 1 January to 2 529 on 1 July. A sixth of the population in the Norwegian settlements has been on Svalbard for less than a year.

In the Russian settlement Barentsburg the increase was 29. The Norwegian settlements Longyearbyen and Ny-Ålesunnd increased by 10, from 2 061 to 2 071. Eighteen children were born in the Norwegian settlements.

High level of migration

In the Norwegian settlements, the population of Norwegians decreased by 12 during the first six months, while the number of foreign nationals increased by 22. Given a population of some 2 000, the in- and out-migrations have a considerable impact on the size of the population. The in-migration to Longyearbyen and Ny-Ålesund from July 2009 to July 2010 corresponds to 17 per cent of the population in July 2009. Furthermore, since the in- and out-migrations normally arrive at different times of the year, the size of the population varies between six month periods.

Fewer children and more adults

From 1 January to 1 July, the number of people below 20 years of age decreased by 19. At the same time, the number of people above the age of 19 increased by 29. The figures from 1 January 2011 will reflect whether this drop in the number of children is just a seasonal variation. Nevertheless, there are a large number of children born on Svalbard. The 18 children born during the first six months corresponds to 49 per 1 000 women in the age 20-39 years, which is at the same level as in Norway as a whole.

More Russians in the Norwegian settlements

Thai citizens are still the largest group of foreign nationals in the Norwegian settlements, followed by Swedes and Russians. A growth in the number of Russians, from 25 to 33, during the last year, is the biggest change in the foreign population. At the same time, the number of Thais has dropped slightly, from 102 to 96.

About the statistical basis

The population register for Svalbard, which was established in summer 2008, provides data for statistics on the population of the Norwegian settlements. Those intending to stay in the Norwegian settlements for less than six months are not registered as having migrated to Svalbard, and are therefore not included in the official population statistics. Since at any given time many are on Svalbard for a shorter duration, there are always considerably more people on Svalbard than reflected in the statistics.