High refugee immigration

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The highest immigration growth in 2016 was among persons from Syria who, in the wake of the refugee crisis, ended up in Norway. Around 9 500 Syrian citizens were granted protection in Norway in 2016. In addition, 1 500 Syrians arrived through family immigration last year.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported in 2016 that 65 million people have been displaced globally. This figure is the highest since World War II. Around 30 000 asylum seekers arrived in Norway, with particularly large numbers from Syria. It is only when an asylum seeker’s application is accepted and he/she is classified as a refugee in Norway that he/she is included in the population statistics. The statistics on reasons for immigration show that 15 200 new refugees resided in Norway in 2016. This type of immigration increased by 64 per cent from 2015 to 2016.

In the past decade, refugees have accounted for 10–20 per cent of all non-Nordic immigrations. The corresponding figure in 2016 was 30 per cent.

Figure 1. Immigrations, by reason for immigration
Figure 1. Immigrations, by reason for immigration
Total Labour Family Refuge Education Other Unknown
1990 11057 1029 4568 4277 975 208
1991 11091 1050 4391 4509 1057 84
1992 12236 1152 4896 4997 1139 51 1
1993 16775 1140 4768 9613 1210 44
1994 11348 1215 4242 4596 1225 70
1995 10222 1427 4335 3085 1296 79
1996 9676 1487 4622 1988 1485 94
1997 11546 1858 5872 2138 1574 104
1998 14364 2508 6782 3137 1834 103
1999 22247 2077 7481 10638 1954 97
2000 18968 1997 7610 7144 2131 86
2001 17370 2376 8388 4270 2238 98
2002 22688 2706 12850 4494 2526 112
2003 19814 2379 9226 5512 2605 92
2004 21252 4063 9247 5083 2758 101
2005 23963 6433 10458 3936 3034 102
2006 29628 11778 11344 3159 3237 110
2007 44408 21377 13768 5274 3875 114
2008 48817 23249 16925 4464 4057 122
2009 44657 17926 15295 6451 4237 136 612
2010 50648 23754 15009 6406 5274 132 73
2011 54553 26730 16273 5359 5817 374
2012 56749 25541 18132 7188 5430 458
2013 54521 23543 17447 7377 5854 300
2014 50107 21411 16364 7026 5026 249 31
2015 49336 18091 16720 9279 4961 251 34
2016 50490 14372 16465 15190 4147 308 8

Most from Syria

Syrian refugees constituted the largest group, with 9 500 immigrations. This corresponds to 63 per cent of all registered immigrations due to refuge in 2016. Citizens from Eritrea and Afghanistan were also large groups of refugees, with 1 800 and 1 700 immigrations respectively.

Increase in number of family immigrants of a refugee

A total of 16 500 persons immigrated to Norway for family reasons in 2016. Of these, 4 200 persons came to a refugee. The corresponding figure for 2015 was 3 600 persons.

Even though the number of family immigrants of refugees increased in 2016 compared to the previous year, this group still accounted for only 25 per cent of all family immigrations last year.

High portion of residents among refugees

The reason for immigration has a bearing on whether immigrants leave the country. Refugees emigrated to a very small extent. Of those who immigrated as refugees, 86 per cent were still living in the country on 1 January 2017.

Figure 2. Resident immigrants, by reason for and year of immigration
Figure 2. Resident immigrants, by reason for and year of immigration
Labour Family Refuge Education
1990 26.6 65.1 63.2 21.4
1991 19.8 61.1 63.9 23.7
1992 19.5 64.3 67.6 19.2
1993 16.2 63.4 70.1 19.3
1994 26.9 65.6 74.5 19.2
1995 28.9 67.0 76.6 18.0
1996 30.1 64.6 74.1 21.1
1997 33.4 66.9 80.0 21.7
1998 34.5 68.3 81.3 19.9
1999 35.1 71.9 57.7 23.8
2000 42.7 73.3 73.1 27.3
2001 44.8 73.1 87.4 29.6
2002 46.6 77.1 87.8 31.7
2003 48.9 78.4 92.3 30.7
2004 55.4 77.6 92.7 32.6
2005 60.4 78.9 93.0 35.0
2006 60.9 78.1 93.7 32.0
2007 61.4 78.1 91.8 29.8
2008 61.4 78.9 93.6 28.6
2009 69.6 78.3 95.8 32.6
2010 69.2 80.5 96.8 32.9
2011 71.3 80.5 96.1 34.3
2012 73.4 81.9 97.5 36.5
2013 78.5 83.4 97.4 38.9
2014 85.3 85.4 99.3 49.3
2015 90.9 92.2 99.8 75.9
2016 98.2 98.7 99.9 97.1

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