Immigration to Norway
According to Statistics Norway, Norway's immigrant population makes up 16.3% of the country's total population. This includes immigrants and children born in Norway to two immigrant parents. The five largest immigrant groups in Norway are in turn Polish, Lithuanian, Swedish, Somali, and Pakistani.
At the beginning of 1992, the immigrant population in Norway was 183,000 people (4.3% of the total population). At the beginning of 2015, this number had risen to 815,000 people (15.6% of the total population). Immigration to Norway has increased drastically in recent years, with net immigration exceeding 40,000.
- 1 History
- 2 Contemporary immigration
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Effects of immigration
- 5 Legal and administration issues
- 6 Immigrants and Norwegian-born to immigrant parents, by country of origin
- 7 Opposition
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 Further reading
- 11 External links
The Viking Age introduced the practice of Royal intermarriage common in European aristocracies and elsewhere. Norwegian kings used to seek their wives from other Royal houses, in order to foster ties with foreign countries. See the Kings of Norway family tree.
Other historical fields linked to migrations were trade and academia, bringing workforce and innovation respectively. The Hanseatic League introduced large scale trade in Bergen and Northern Norway. Mining in Kongsberg, Røros and other places was made possible by immigrants from nearby countries. During the 19th century the evolution of dairies and the industrial exploitation of waterfalls depended on immigrants. Before the University was established in Christiania in 1811, almost all civil servants from up to circa 1500, were migrants.
The Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg stated in an interview that in Norwegian work environments it is essential to see each other's faces and therefore anyone wearing a niqab will be less attractive on the job market. Solberg also views the wearing of the niqab as a challenge to social boundaries in the Norwegian society, a challenge that would be countered by Norway setting boundaries of its own. Solberg also stated that anyone may wear what they wish in their spare time and that her comments applied to professional life but that any immigrant has the obligation to adapt to Norwegian work life and culture.
The main waves of immigrants in the 20th and 21st century were caused by wars and riots in the migrants' home countries: Jews from eastern Europe early in the 20th century, refugees from Hungary in the 1950s, from Chile and Vietnam in the 1970s. In the mid-1980s, there was an increase in the number of asylum seekers from countries such as Iran and Sri Lanka. In the 1990s, war refugees from the Balkans were the predominant immigrant group accepted into Norway; a large number of which have since returned home to Kosovo. Since the end of the 1990s, new groups of asylum seekers from countries such as Iraq, Somalia, and Afghanistan arrived.
From 2000 to 2010, 510,748 persons received permanent residence permits.
In 2012, net immigration was 47,300, a national record high. About 62% of the immigrants were European citizens. The largest immigrant groups were Poles and Lithuanians who mainly came as labour immigrants, followed by Somalis and Eritreans who mainly came as refugees. Other countries in the top ten were Romania, Latvia, the Philippines, Spain, Afghanistan and Thailand.
Immigration of Married Children
In April 2016, Reuters reported that in the past year, Norway admitted 10 married children (children under 16 years of age). Four had children of their own. The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) stated that "some" of the married children in Norway live "with their partners." The head of the PLAN charity stated: ""If the girl is aged under 16, the minimum age for sexual intercourse in Norway, the child bride refugee should be separated from her husband even if they have children together."
As of 2014, an official study showed that 4,081,000 people or 79.9% of the total population were Norwegians having no migrant background (both of their parents were born in Norway) and more than 759,000 individuals (14.9%) were immigrants—or descendants of recent immigrants—from neighbouring countries and the rest of the world. A further 235,000 (4.6%) were born in Norway to one foreign-born parent, and 34,000 (0.7%) were born abroad to one parent born in Norway.
In 2012, of the total 710 465 with immigrant background, 407,262 had Norwegian citizenship (60.2 percent). Of these 13,2%, 335 000 (51%) had a Western background mostly from Poland, Germany, and Sweden. 325 000 (49%) had a non-Western background mostly from Turkey, Morocco, Iraq, Somalia, Pakistan and Iran. Immigrants were represented in all Norwegian municipalities. The cities or municipalities with the highest share of immigrants in 2012 were Oslo (30.4 percent), Drammen (25 percent), Lørenskog (23 per cent) and Skien (19.6 percent). According to Reuters, Oslo is the "fastest growing city in Europe because of increased immigration". In recent years, immigration has accounted for most of Norway's population growth.
In 2010, the immigrant community grew by 57,000, which accounted for 90% of Norway's population growth; some 2% of newborn children were of immigrant background (two foreign parents). These statistics indicate that Norway's population is now 87.8% ethnic Norwegian, a figure that has steadily decreased since the late 20th century. Some 12.2% of the population is of solely immigrant background, while 5.7% of the population is of mixed Norwegian-foreign ancestry. People of other European ethnicity are 5.8% of the total, while Asians (including Pakistanis, and Iraqis) are 4.3%, Africans 1.5%, and others 0.6%.
Immigration has altered the religious demography of Norway. Among the immigrants, 250,030 have background from predominantly Christian countries, 119,662 from predominantly Muslim countries, 28,942 from mostly Buddhist countries, and 7,224 from countries that are predominantly Hindu. The proportion of Muslim immigrants has fallen drastically in recent years, from about 80% in 2000 to less than 20% in 2007.
As of 2008 there were living in Norway somewhere between 120,000 and 163,000 persons who had either immigrated from or who had parents who had immigrated from countries where Islam is the predominant religion, accounting for up to 3.4% of the country's total population. This number should, however, be interpreted with caution according to a report by Statistics Norway, as there are significant religious minorities in several of these countries, and varying degrees of commitment to the religion. In the same year, 84,000 persons were members of an Islamic congregation. The largest single denomination besides the state church is the Roman Catholic Church, which had a membership of more than 54,000 in 2008. It gained about 10,000 new members, mostly Poles, in the period 2004-2008. Other religions which have increased mainly as a result of recent post-war immigration (with percentages of adherents in parenthesis), include Hinduism (0.5%), Buddhism (0.4%), Orthodoxy (0.2%) and the Bahá'í Faith (<0.1%).
Immigrant employment rates are generally higher in Norway than overall employment rates in most countries, the overall unemployment rate among immigrants being 6.5% in May 2011, totalling about 20,000 persons. The unemployment rate in the population as a whole was 2.7% at this time. There are differences between immigrant groups. People with African backgrounds have the highest unemployment rates, with 12.4%. Unemployment rates among immigrants from Asia and Eastern Europe were 8.2% and 7.4%, respectively. Persons born in Norway to immigrant parents, still a young and relatively small demographic, had an unemployment rate of 5.0%, totalling 766 persons. This was 1.6 percentage points above persons with Norwegian-born parents in the same age group, and 2.1 percentage points below immigrants in the same age group.
Overall workforce participation in the immigrant population was 61.6% in 2010, compared to 71.9% for the population as a whole. African immigrants had the lowest workforce participation, with 43.9%. Persons born to immigrant parents had a workforce participation of 53.0%, similar to that of the corresponding age demographic with Norwegian-born parents.
Effects of immigration
From 1977 to 2012, the number of non-Norwegian citizens living in Norway of European descent has increased from around 46,000 to around 280,000. In the same period the number of citizens of nations on other continents increased from about 25,000 to about 127,000, of which 112,230 from Middle East, Asia, Africa and South America. If persons with two immigrant parents are counted, the total immigrant population has risen from 57,041 in 1970 to 710 465 in 2012, the non-European proportion rose from 20.1% to 46.1%. The proportion of women in the immigrant population shifted from 56.1% in 1970 to 48.0% in 2012. According to a book chapter published by Amsterdam University in 2008 and authored by Prof. Mete Feridun of University of Greenwich, immigration has a positive impact on economic growth in Norway and it has no statistically significant impact on unemployment in the job market.
The overall probability that a person living in Norway would be convicted for a felony (Norwegian: forbrytelse) was increased by about 0.5 percentage points for the immigrant compared to non-immigrant populations for felonies committed in the years 2001-2004. The incidence was especially high among immigrants from Kosovo, Morocco, Somalia, Iraq, Iran and Chile, and reached more than 2% in all these groups. In comparison, the incidence in the non-immigrant population was about 0.7%. Incidence was lower than for the non-immigrant population among immigrants from among others, Western European countries, Eastern Europe except Poland, the Balkans and Russia, the Philippines, China and North America. Incidence was also higher for persons with two immigrant parents for all countries of origin, including Nordic and Western European countries. When the data was corrected for the population group's age and gender structure (the most over-represented immigrant groups also have a considerable over-representation of young men), place of residence (rural–central) and employment situation, the over-representation was found to be significantly lower, especially for those groups which had the highest incidence in the uncorrected statistics. For some groups, among them immigrants from Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Poland, Russia and the other Eastern European countries, as well as Turkey, the corrected incidences did not differ significantly from the non-immigrant population.
According to data released by the European Council, 341 out of the year 2000 prison inmate population of 2643 were foreign nationals, a share of 12.9%. In the year 2010 foreign nationals represented 1129 out of a 3636 total, a 31.1% share. These figures were corroborated by officials of the Norwegian Correctional Service which stated the rising trend escalated when 8 countries joined the Schengen Area in 2007. In order to decrease costs for interpreters and other special needs of foreign inmates, foreign nationals serving sentences involving subsequent deportation were in 2012 incarcerated in an institution holding only foreigners as they are not intended to be re-integrated into Norwegian society. This institution opened in December 2012 in Kongsvinger.
In the cases available to a descriptive study of crime among immigrants and non-immigrants for sexual crimes committed in the years 2001-2004, there were a total of 1,804 cases, with an immigrant perpetrator in 155 of them, i.e. 8.6%. In 2010, 1,368 sexual crimes charges were filed in Norway, 1,213 of these, i.e. 87%, were filed against Norwegian citizens.
In a news report in 2010, a spokesperson for the Oslo Police Department stated that every case of assault rapes in Oslo in the years 2007, 2008 and 2009 was committed by a non-Western immigrant. This picture has later been nuanced, as only perpetrators in the solved cases were counted, and 4 of the victims in the 16 unsolved cases described the perpetrator as being of White (not necessarily Norwegian) ethnicity. The report shows that, of 131 individuals charged with the 152 rapes reported in 2010, in which the perpetrator could be identified, 19,8% African, 14,5% Middle Eastern, 11,5% Asian, 2.3% from the Americas, 13,7% European countries, and 38,2% were of Norwegian origin. In the cases of "assault rape", i.e. rape aggravated by physical violence, a category that included 6 of the 152 cases and 5 of the 131 identified individuals, the 5 identified individuals were of African, Middle Eastern or Asian origin. In the cases of assault rape where the individual responsible was not identified and the police relied on the description provided by the victim, "8 of the perpetrators were African / dark-skinned appearance, 4 were Western / light / Nordic and 4 had an Asian appearance". The report states that statistical differences in criminal behavior among ethnics vanishes when figures are controlled for socio-economic circumstances.
Legal and administration issues
The Directorate of Immigration (UDI) is responsible for the administration of immigration into the country. Before the UDI was established in 1988, several government organisations were involved in administrating immigration. Another body, Integrerings- og mangfoldsdirektoratet (IMDi) (Directorate of Integration and Diversity), "contribute[s] to equality in living conditions and diversity through employment, integration and participation".
|This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (January 2011)|
Immigrants and Norwegian-born to immigrant parents, by country of origin
|Rank||Country of origin||Population (2001)||Population (2014)|
|23.||China, People's Republic of||3,654||9,491|
|45.||Macedonia, Republic of||789||3,595|
|49.||Congo, Democratic Republic of||276||2,590|
|113.||United Arab Emirates||33||293|
|116.||Trinidad and Tobago||204||269|
|119.||Congo, Republic of||60||251|
- "Immigration from countries outside the EEA must be strictly enforced to ensure a successful integration. It can not be accepted that fundamental Western values and human rights are set aside by cultures and attitudes that certain groups of immigrants bring with them to Norway."
An extreme form of opposition to immigration in Norway was carried out by the terrorist Anders Behring Breivik on 22 July 2011. He bombed government buildings in Oslo and massacred 69 young people at a youth summer camp held by the Labour Party. He blamed the party for the high level of Muslim immigration and accused it of "promoting multiculturalism".
- List of countries by foreign-born population
- List of sovereign states and dependent territories by fertility rate
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10 of those aged under 16 -- the minimum local age for sex or marriage -- were married and four had children, the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) said [...] Of the 10 "some live in adult asylum centers, some in their own rooms and some with their partners," it said in emailed replies [...] "If the girl is aged under 16, the minimum age for sexual intercourse in Norway, the child bride refugee should be separated from her husband even if they have children together and even if they say they want to stay together," said Kjell Erik Oie, head of PLAN Norway.
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