Declining population
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 Svalbard2nd half-year 2010



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Declining population

By 1 January 2011, the population of Svalbard was 2 400; a decline of almost 100 during 2010. During the last six months of 2010 the population dropped by 135, with the biggest drop in Barentsburg. In the Norwegian settlements, 15 were born, while 200 moved in and 266 moved out.

The most profound change during the second half of 2010 is the decrease in the Russian settlement Barentsburg, from 449 to 370 inhabitants; a drop of 18 per cent. In the last 10 years Barentsburg has lost almost 60 per cent of its population. In the Norwegian settlements the population slipped back from 2 071 to 2 017. In total, the population of Svalbard dropped by 135 to 2 394. In the Norwegian settlements the number of foreigners has been stable, while the number of Norwegians has fallen to 1 700. Not since 2005 has there been fewer Norwegians at Svalbard.

Statistics Norway has data on the number of people in Barentsburg and at the Polish research station at Hornsund, but has no further information about them. However, we know a lot more about those living in the Norwegian settlements. The figures below are on the Norwegian settlement only.

Stable birth figures

Since Svalbard is a place with no facilities for elderly people, very few old people live there, and there are few deaths. On the other hand, some 30 births are registered every year. Even though the births take place on the mainland, they are registered at Svalbard, where the mother has her usual place of residence. During 2010 there were 33 births by women living in Longyearbyen; 18 in the first half of the year and 15 the second.

Still many moving in and out

Migration is the demographic component that has the greatest effect on the size of the population at Svalbard. In the period from 1 July to 31 December 2010, 200 people moved to and 266 moved from the Norwegian settlements. Approximately 10 per cent of the population was then replaced, while there were 66 more people moving out than in. Migration varies considerably during the year, depending on the tourist seasons. During the second half of 2010 both in and out migrations were at almost the same level as the second half of 2009. For the whole year, immigration was less in 2010 than in 2009 due to fewer immigrations during the first half of the year. At the same time there were also somewhat fewer emigrations in 2010.