This is an archived release.
Minor growth in urban settlements
The number of residents in urban settlements increased by 57 300, or 1.5 per cent, in 2008. The increase is 15 per cent, or 10 000 people less than the corresponding increase in urban settlements in 2007.
On 1 January 2009, the total number of residents in urban settlements was 3 780 000 divided between 919 urban settlements, or 79 per cent of the total population of Norway. In the period 1990 to 2009, the population in urban settlements increased by more than 800 000. In the same period, the population in sparsely populated areas decreased by 126 000.
While the number of residents in urban settlements increased by 57 300 in 2008, the total population of Norway increased by 62 100 people the same year. More than 90 per cent of the growth occurred in urban settlements.
Figures also show that the number of residents in sparsely populated areas increased by 8 500 in 2008.This represents a break with the development in the last three years where there has been a decrease in the number of residents in sparsely populated areas.
Major regional differences
Numbers living in urban settlements vary between the counties. In the county of Oslo, almost 100 per cent live in urban settlements, while in the counties of Hedmark, Oppland, Sogn og Fjordane and Sør-Trøndelag, less than 60 per cent of the population lives in urban settlements.
In Oslo, almost 30 per cent of the total area is urban settlements´ area, while in Finnmark only 0.09 per cent of the total area is urban settlements’ area.
The urban settlements Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger/Sandnes, Trondheim and Fredrikstad/Sarpsborg all have more than 100 000 inhabitants. The population of these five urban settlements increased by 32 100 in 2008, or 56 per cent of the total increase in urban settlements. Figures show that a total of about 1 555 700 live in these five urban settlements and this figure constitutes 32 per cent of the country’s population and 40 per cent of the total population in urban settlements as of 1 January 2009.
|2009||Change from 2008 to 2009|
|Residents||Area. km2||Residents per km2||Number of urban settlements||Residents||Area. km2||Residents per km2||Number of urban settlements|
|Total||3 780 068||2 339,83||1 615||919||57 282||6,10||20||-3|
|200-499 residents||114 305||165.62||690||334||-3 421||-4.50||-2||-10|
|500-999 residents||153 653||189.68||810||221||833||-0.70||7||3|
|1 000-1 999 residents||209 059||210.39||994||148||2 198||1.30||5||2|
|2 000-19 999 residents||1 055 914||791.44||1 334||196||-3 935||-5.18||4||1|
|20 000-99 999 residents1||691 396||396.35||1 744||15||29 521||13.19||17||1|
|100 000 or more residents||1 555 741||586.35||2 653||5||32 086||1.99||46||0|
|1||Lillehammer is now included in the sizegroup 20 000-99 999 residents.|
Larger urban settlements in minority
Only 95 of Norway’s 919 urban settlements have 5 000 residents or more as per 1 January 2009. These urban settlements accounted for 78 per cent of the urban settlements’ population and 62 per cent of the total urban settlements’ area.
Three urban settlements were omitted last year.
The growth in urban settlements’ area diminishes
The total land area of the urban settlements now amounts to 2 340 square kilometres: an increase of 6 square kilometres or 0.3 per cent from 2008 to 2009. By comparison, the change in urban settlements’ area was 40 square kilometres from 2007 to 2008.
Increase in population density
The increase in the number of residents in urban settlements was larger than the increase in urban settlements’ area in 2008, which shows an increasing efficiency in land use. The population density for urban settlements in Norway is averaged to 1 615 as per 1 January 2009, compared to 1 595 on 1 January 2008.
People live most densely in the largest urban settlements and more sparsely in the smaller urban settlements, but here the variations are large. Some smaller urban settlements are among the most densely populated. These urban settlements are housing estates (commuter villages) without any special central functions or commodity trade, and with a larger urban settlement in the vicinity.
The population density for urban settlements in the group size 100 000 or more residents is averaged to 2 653, while the population density in the group size 200 to 499 residents is averaged to 690.
A hub of buildings is to be registered as an urban settlement if it is inhabited by at least 200 persons. The distance between the buildings must not exceed 50 metres. Exceptions are allowed for areas that cannot/are not to be occupied, for example parks, sports facilities, industrial areas or natural barriers such as rivers or arable land. Agglomerations that naturally belong to the urban settlement with up to a distance of 400 metres from the centre of the urban settlement are also included.