Education;Immigration and immigrants;Public sector
introinnv, Introduction programme for immigrants, introduction benefitEducation, KOSTRA , Adult education, Immigration and immigrants, Public sector, Education

Introduction programme for immigrants


Next update

Not yet determined

Key figures

28 800

participants in introduction programme for immigrants in 2017

Participants by age and sex
Total28 81118 04510 76662.637.4
18-25 years7 9435 4242 51968.331.7
26-35 years12 8777 8715 00661.138.9
36-45 years5 7623 3752 38758.641.4
46-55 years1 9801 20677460.939.1
56 years or older2481688067.732.3

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Table 1 
Participants of introduction programme, by country of birth and sex

Participants of introduction programme, by country of birth and sex
Participants (persons)Participants (per cent)
Both sexesMalesFemalesBoth sexesMalesFemales
Total28 81118 04510 7661006337
Of this:
Syria12 9978 7814 2161006832
Eritrea7 0094 7442 2651006832
Somalia2 2188931 3251004060
Sudan1 4139614521006832
Ethiopia1 0825745081005347
Saudi Arabia15493611006040

Table 2 
Participants of introduction programme, sex and selected municipalities (100 or more participants)

Participants of introduction programme, sex and selected municipalities (100 or more participants)
Participants (persons)Participants (per cents)
Both sexesMalesFemalesBoth sexesMalesFemales
Total:28 81118 04510 7661006337
Of this:
0101 Halden12575501006040
0104 Moss12775521005941
0105 Sarpsborg198120781006139
0106 Fredrikstad3031801231005941
0213 Ski180113671006337
0217 Oppegård11180311007228
0219 Bærum4632811821006139
0220 Asker211144671006832
0228 Rælingen10260421005941
0230 Lørenskog12078421006535
0231 Skedsmo2781591191005743
0235 Ullensaker13279531006040
0301 Oslo municipality1 9751 2776981006535
0402 Kongsvinger10565401006238
0403 Hamar12269531005743
0412 Ringsaker11766511005644
0417 Stange12580451006436
0427 Elverum10058421005842
0501 Lillehammer14693531006436
0502 Gjøvik206118881005743
0533 Lunner10461431005941
0534 Gran13685511006338
0602 Drammen3532151381006139
0604 Kongsberg13684521006238
0605 Ringerike192125671006535
0625 Nedre Eiker11777401006634
0626 Lier11568471005941
0627 Røyken10166351006535
0701 Horten172106661006238
0704 Tønsberg227140871006238
0709 Larvik (-2017)199120791006040
0710 Sandefjord2881691191005941
0722 Nøtterøy (-2017)14093471006634
0805 Porsgrunn194115791005941
0806 Skien2411381031005743
0807 Notodden12977521006040
0814 Bamble10562431005941
0815 Kragerø11172391006535
0904 Grimstad189114751006040
0906 Arendal300202981006733
1001 Kristiansand7024722301006733
1002 Mandal161100611006238
1004 Flekkefjord12989401006931
1014 Vennesla13685511006338
1101 Eigersund10670361006634
1102 Sandnes3081961121006436
1103 Stavanger4762831931005941
1106 Haugesund250154961006238
1119 Hå10364391006238
1127 Randaberg11972471006139
1130 Strand11776411006535
1149 Karmøy14484601005842
1201 Bergen1 1717923791006832
1235 Voss12073471006139
1246 Fjell10360431005842
1401 Flora11668481005941
1420 Sogndal10968411006238
1502 Molde2341301041005644
1504 Ålesund17289831005248
1505 Kristiansund12671551005644
1601 Trondheim (-2017)1 0316813501006634
1653 Melhus (-2017)10074261007426
1702 Steinkjer (-2017)147107401007327
1703 Namsos (-2017)10157441005644
1714 Stjørdal (-2017)12975541005842
1719 Levanger (-2017)12578471006238
1721 Verdal (-2017)10451531004951
1804 Bodø2901681221005842
1833 Rana10468361006535
1860 Vestvågøy10866421006139
1865 Vågan14199421007030
1902 Tromsø3682141541005842
1903 Harstad - Hárstták197118791006040
1931 Lenvik12783441006535
2003 Vadsø13274581005644
2004 Hammerfest10161401006040

Table 3 
Participants of introduction programme by sex an measures

Participants of introduction programme by sex an measures
Participants (persons)Participants (Per cent)
Both sexesMalesFemalesBoth sexesMalesFemales
Participants, total28 81118 04510 766100100100
Norwegian language training with social studies26 49216 5549 938929292
Language in practice5 3593 5101 849191917
Approval of education21115160111
Work (in public sector, from 2011 also private sector)1 198905293453
Work practice5 3383 7821 556192114
Occupational approval...000
Course organized by municipality/state...000
Primary and lower secondary school5 4403 6631 777192017
Upper secondary education1 6241 216408674
Labour market courses7004842162.42.72.0
Occupational courses organized by others1 3018714304.54.84.0
Measures that promote health / physical activities3 7832 4121 37113.113.412.7
Measures that promote social networking6 7874 1272 66023.622.924.7
Other17 22710 8906 337606059

About the statistics

 From 2017 the statistics include participants in the introduction programme with information about content
and status immediately after completion, as well as recipients of introduction benefit.

Until 2016 the statistics include recipients of introduction benefit with information about the content in their introduction programme and status at the end of the year.

Former participants are defined as those who have completed or left the programme. Their status in the labour market and in education is followed over five years.


Definitions of the main concepts and variables


A person who, during the reference year, was registered by a local authority as a participant on the introduction programme.

Former participant

A former participant is someone who completed the programme or for different reasons dropped out of the programme in a given year, and is registered as resident in Norway in November the following year.

Introduction benefit

The introduction benefit is the benefit that introduction programme participants receive from the local authority to cover subsistence expenses during the period of the programme. The benefit on an annual basis is equal to twice the basic amount of National Insurance (2G). Participants under the age of 25 receive two-thirds of the benefit. The benefit is taxable, and if the participant is absent from training and initiatives without a valid reason, their benefit is reduced for each hour they are not in attendance. Everyone receives the same amount of benefit as it is not means tested. This means that it is not reduced due to child allowance, cash support etc. Nor is the benefit reduced due to income from self-employment or other work, or due to the possession of capital. To the extent that paid work is included in the programme, the benefit is reduced correspondingly for the period that the work is carried out. National insurance benefits, such as sickness benefit and unemployment benefit, are nevertheless reduced accordingly.

Initiatives in the introduction programme

The introduction programme is available for persons in need of basic qualification, and as a minimum must include Norwegian language training, knowledge about society and initiatives that prepare participants for further education/training or the labour market.

In addition to traditional Norwegian language training, initiatives are also offered outside the traditional classroom teaching, such as language practice in a workplace. Language practice is part of the Norwegian language training, where participants are placed in a workplace for part of the week in order to practice their Norwegian skills in an authentic setting.

Initiatives that prepare participants for further education/training or the labour market may entail practice work or other initiatives organised by NAV, vocational training, computer training, lower secondary or upper secondary studies etc. Vocational training is a method of real competence assessment that documents both theoretical knowledge and practical skills.

Ending reasons

When a participant finishes the introductory program, detailed reasons for ending the programme are recorded in NIR. The statistics use the following categorization of ending reasons: work, high school and higher education, elementary school, public-sector qualification measures, social assistance, other benefits and relocation.

 Immigrants are persons born abroad to two foreign-born parents and four foreign grandparents. Immigrants have immigrated to Norway at one time or another.

Persons with a refugee background

Persons who have come to Norway seeking refuge, and family members of these groups who came here as part of family reunification. Children born to persons with a refugee background after their parents came to Norway are not included in this category, and neither are asylum seekers.

Country of birth is mainly the mother’s country of residence when a person was born.

Employment/education is made up of persons who are registered as employed or in education, and those who are registered with a combination of employment and education. Employed persons are defined as those who performed paid work for at least one hour during the reference week, and persons who had such work but were on temporary leave during the reference week due to illness, holiday, paid leave etc.

Registered unemployed/on initiative is defined as persons who are registered as unemployed with NAV, and persons on ordinary labour market initiatives.

Other or unknown status are part of a collective term for the weakest degree of labour market attachment. Other status relates to individuals with a reduced ability to work who are on initiatives organised by NAV, those on long-term sick leave and recipients of social assistance. Unknown status means that they are not registered in any of the available data sources we use in the status reporting for labour market attachment. These individuals are therefore not employed, in education, registered unemployed or participating in labour market initiatives.

Standard classifications

Country background is a person or a person’s mother’s or father’s country of birth. Persons without an immigrant background only have Norway as a country background. When both parents are foreign-born, they are normally born in the same country. In cases where the parents were born in different countries, the mother’s country of birth is used.

Municipality in this context is the programme participant’s municipality of residence.

Administrative information

Name and topic

Name: Introduction programme for immigrants
Topic: Education

Responsible division

Division for Population Statistics

Regional level

National, county, municipal and district in Oslo for previous participants, and breakdown by industry region. 

Frequency and timeliness


International reporting

Not relevant


Files at an individual level with data are processed and stored long term.


Background and purpose

Act no. 80 of 4 July 2003 on an introduction programme and Norwegian language training for newly arrived immigrants (the Introduction Act) made the introduction programme and introduction benefit mandatory for local authorities as of 1 September 2004. Prior to the programme being made mandatory, a growing number of municipalities had various types of trial schemes.

The purpose of the Introduction Act is to strengthen immigrants’ potential to participate in the labour market and society, and facilitate their financial independence. Section 2 of the Act stipulates who has the right and obligation to participate in the introduction programme. These are persons with a refugee background, family members of these groups who came here as part of family reunification, and persons who have been allowed to stay on an independent basis following a relationship breakdown due to abuse. Furthermore, the person must be between 18 and 55 years old and in need of basic qualification. The introduction programme is adapted to the individual’s needs for qualification and can generally last up to two years. In special cases, the programme may be extended to three years. The aim of the programme is to provide newly arrived immigrants with a refugee background with basic skills in Norwegian, a basic insight into Norwegian society, and to prepare them for participation in the labour market and/or education. Programme participants are entitled to introduction benefit, which, on an annual basis, equals twice the basic amount of the National Insurance. Participants under the age of 25 receive two-thirds of the benefit.

Users and applications

Users of the statistics include the Ministry of Justice and Public Security (until 16 December 2015: Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion), Directorate of Integration and Diversity (IMDi), KS (the municipal sector’s association), municipalities, researchers, students and the media. Statistics based on KOSTRA data aim to provide management information on local authorities and county authorities, for use by the population and media, local authorities and central government bodies. 

Equal treatment of users

Not relevant

Coherence with other statistics

KOSTRA - Municipality-State-Reporting – main page: http://www.ssb.no/offentlig-sektor/kostra

Immigrants and Norwegian-born to immigrant parents: http://www.ssb.no/emner/02/01/10/innvbef/

Population statistics. Persons with a refugee background: https://www.ssb.no/befolkning/statistikker/innvgrunn/aar-flyktningbakgrunn

Legal authority

Statistics Norway has retrieved the information about participation in the introduction scheme from the Introduction Act. Pursuant to section 2-2 of the Statistics Act of 16 June 1989, Statistics Norway will compile official statistics from data received.


EEA reference

Not relevant




 The statistics on participation in the introduction programme include information about each participant of the introduction programme in the municipalities. The statistics include all who are registered as participants in the current year, and include information about the participant's gender, age, marital status, start date and end date of participation in the introduction programme, which initiatives they have participated in during the reference year, their ending reasons/status, which months they have received the benefit, and the total benefit amount for the year.


Former participants

Information about former participants on the introduction programme includes those who have completed or for various reasons left the programme in a given year. We follow their status in the labour market and in education over the next five years.

Data sources and sampling


From 2017, statistics on participants in the introduction programme are based on data from the National
Introduction Register (NIR) of the Directorate of Integration and Diversity (IMDi). More information about NIR: https://www.imdi.no/nir-og-bosetting/nir/

In addition, information about the municipalities' reporting of payment of introduction benefit is obtained from A-meldingen (https://www.altinn.no/a-ordningen/).

Until 2016 the statistics are based on local authorities’ annual submissions of electronic forms and file extractions in relation to participants who are registered on KOSTRA form 11B.

The data is then synthesised with the population statistics of 31 December in the reporting year.

Full count, i.e. all local authorities with participants on the programme should report to Statistics Norway.

Former participants

The statistics of former participants are based on KOSTRA information for all years, up to and including those who completed the introductory program in 2016.

For former participants, the data is further synthesised with the System for personal data, where information from a number of registers is collated. Register data has a reference date in November each year and contains information about whether a person is employed, registered unemployed, on an employment initiative, in education, or is in receipt of specific types of state benefits or measures. A person may, on the reference date, have more than one status at the same time, for example where they are both in employment and receiving benefit. One of the aims of these statistics is to examine how many people are active, and we have examined the activities of employment and education in addition to the combination of these. The following prioritisation was made: if a person is registered as unemployed, but is also in education, they are considered to be in education and not unemployed. As regards the other statuses, such as health-related benefits and social assistance, there are many who receive these in combination with, for example, employment, education or registered unemployment. In such cases, work and other activities, as well as registered unemployment, are prioritised.

Collection of data, editing and estimations

Data is collected from the local authorities through the KOSTRA reporting. Most of the local authorities have their own business systems from which data is retrieved, while some report using an electronic form. All participants with a valid personal identification number are linked to population data from 31 December of the reporting year. Only persons who are resident in Norway at the end of the year are included in the statistics. The KOSTRA tables, however, include all participants in the year. 

Checks are performed on personal identification numbers, in addition to logical value verification. In addition to the checks carried out in the National Population Register, Statistics Norway also performs checks for statistical purposes.

Former participants, leaving cohort

In order for former participants to be assigned a leaving cohort, the following processing is done: (a) All participants on the introduction programme whose status in KOSTRA is ‘completed’ or ‘dropped out’ at the end of the year are initially included in the population; (b) Only those who have actually completed the course, i.e. who are not just on temporary leave from the programme, are included in the cohort. The population is therefore checked against those who participated in the programme the following year; and (c) Women who drop out of the programme because they give birth immediately after dropping out of the programme or who for various reasons do not return to the programme once their leave ends, are added to the next cohort. Thus, they are only included in the statistics once they have had a year’s leave for child care.

Seasonal adjustment

Not relevant


Figures are not shown where there are fewer than four units.

Comparability over time and space

The statistics were first published in 2006 for the statistics year 2005.

Accuracy and reliability

Sources of error and uncertainty

Errors in connection with the collection and processing of data can occur. There may be coding errors, revision errors, or errors in the electronic data processing etc. Extensive efforts are made to minimise such errors. Thus, they can normally be disregarded in a statistical context.

There should in principle be no sampling errors as this is a full count.


Not relevant