Norway's population: Everything you need to know.
In 2012 it was a pretty big deal, at least in the country, when Norway broke the 5 million mark on inhabitants. The numbers have continued to grow and in the 2016 census the population was counted at about 5.25 million.
Change over time
Recent years have seen the population rising steadily, with a very consistent upward trend starting back in the 1960’s. Right around the time that oil started being discovered in the Norwegian Sea.
Norway’s population hasn’t always been so high. Several events throughout history have led to serious downfalls in the numbers.
One of the more famous of these would be The Black Death, which hit Norway extremely hard in the mid and late 1300’s. It is estimated that around 50% of the population in Norway succumbed to the disease. Some estimates even report higher than that number.
Emigration to the USA
Another historical change to population was the mass emigration to North America. Just about every European country (and many others across the globe) at one time or another had people flocking to the shores of America. Though Norwegians were counted as some of the earliest settlers crossing the Atlantic, the organised exodus began en masse around the middle of the 19th century.
The reasons for Norwegians to leave their home vary as much as the people did. Some left for religious freedom, other for the promise of the New World, and even more because of the economic pressures, famines, and crop failures that were occurring throughout Scandinavia at the time.
By the 1900’s the number of immigrants from Norway began to decline: particularly after The Immigration Act of 1924 that restricted the number of immigrants from any given country. But still, 87% of the permits issued after this were given to immigrants from the UK, Germany, and Scandinavia. This still slowed the flow of Norwegian immigrants to a few thousand per year, a pattern that persists to the modern day.
Today more than 4.5 million Americans claim Norwegian ancestry.
Immigrants in Norway
Norway has taken in immigrants for some time, but the upward trend got started in the middle of the 20th century. People from all over the globe have found a new home in Norway, myself included.
Immigrants made up just under 17% of the population in Norway during the 2017 census. This census also included children who were born in Norway to two immigrant parents.
The countries that had the most people moving to Norway were Poland, Lithuania, Sweden, Somalia, and Pakistan. The cities in Norway are becoming more and more international and it’s easy to find people that have recently begun to call Norway home.
Where do people live in Norway
Big cities like Oslo, Bergen, and Trondheim make up a large bulk of the Norwegian population. The entire Oslo metropolitan area in itself counts to be almost half of the entire population!
From there, most people are clustered in the cities that stretch up Norway’s impressive west coast. Though there are quite a few areas inland housing sizable populations.
Though the cities draw more and more people, rural life in Norway still attracts a number of people. Small villages and towns dot the country – from stunning coastal fishing villages, to breath-taking mountainous retreats. Farming is also still relevant in Norway, and many farms have stayed within the same family for generations.
There is somewhere for everyone in Norway, whether that be the busy, bustling city of Oslo, the mellower town vibe of Lillehammer, the cosy hamlet of Aurland, or even an isolated cabin up in one of the many mountain areas in the country.