More foreign citizens at Svalbard
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 2011



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More foreign citizens at Svalbard

The population of Svalbard increased by 145 persons in the first half of 2011. Two thirds of the total increase was made up of foreign citizens.

On 1 July, 2 539 persons were registered on Svalbard. Although the population in the Russian settlement Barentsburg increased by 55, reaching 425, it is still 24 lower than one year earlier. The population in the Norwegian settlements increased from 2 017 to 2 104. Of these, 363 have come to Svalbard from abroad, while 1 741 have their background in the Norwegian mainland. The share of foreign citizens in the Norwegian settlements is steadily increasing, from 14 per cent on 1 January 2009 to 17 per cent on 1 July 2011.

Thais, Swedes and Russians

In the Norwegian settlements, Thai citizens (103) constitute the largest group of foreigners, followed by Swedish (75) and Russian (36) citizens. Earlier, there were more German than Russian citizens, but the number of Russians has increased slightly year by year. There is a female surplus among those from Thailand, Russia and the Philippines, whereas there is a male surplus among the other foreigners.

Largest migration surplus by foreigners

During the first half of 2011, one death and 14 births and were registered in the Norwegian settlements, and 214 moved in, whereas 143 moved out. The birth surplus therefore totalled 13 and the net in-migration 71. There is always a birth surplus on Svalbard, as deaths are rare. Net migration, however, can vary considerably over time and by place of dwelling outside of Svalbard. Following three half-years with larger out- than in-migration, this trend turned in 2011. During 2009 and 2010, 121 more persons with a background in Northern Norway moved out than in. Among those from Southern Norway, the figure was 15. Among foreigners, there was a net in-migration of 24. Looking at the first half of 2011, there was a net out-migration among North Norwegians of 2, whereas there was a net in-migration among the “Southerners” of 33 and among the foreigners of 40.

Many live alone

Statistics Norway for the first time presents household statistics for the Norwegian settlements. The close to 2 000 persons for whom a distribution was possible, live in a total of 1 024 households, averaging 1.9 persons per household. In mainland Norway, each household averages 2.2 persons. The greatest difference between Svalbard and mainland Norway is that it is more common to live alone in the Norwegian settlements on Svalbard. More than half the households consist of one person, whereas 40 per cent of the households in mainland Norway do so. As many as 25 per cent of the persons on Svalbard live alone, whereas 18 per cent in the rest of Norway do so. This is in spite of the fact that very few elderly live on Svalbard, signifying few widows and widowers; a group constituting a significant share of those living alone elsewhere in the society.

Among the Norwegian citizens on Svalbard, one person is the most common size of the private households, whereas among the foreigners, living in households consisting of two persons is the most common.