Trump & Norway: How The World Reacted

Donald Trump Norway

The world's media has had a lot to say about Trump's preference for Norwegians.

When Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg met with the US President Donald Trump just two weeks ago, she can't have expected what would come next. He would welcome immigrants from Norway, he said! Not like immigrants from those… well, you know what comes next.

Trump has denied making the comments but members of Congress that attended the meeting say the reports are true. Whatever was said sparked a firestorm in America, and around the world. Let’s take a trip around the world’s newspapers to see how this episode was reported.

Stunning beach in Lofoten
Norway's natural beauty keeps Norwegians right where they are.

Norwegian: No thank you, President Trump

CNN: “Although we love to visit America, Mr. Trump, it is highly unlikely that Norwegians are going to flow into the US to live. As a citizen of Norway, I can tell you we're not flattered, but offended by the President's eagerness to have us emigrate.”

Who'd prefer their country to Trump's US? Norwegians would

Fox News: Norwegians generally live longer than Americans. There's a generous safety net of health care and pensions. And although it's pricey, the country last year was named the happiest on Earth. President Donald Trump says the United States should take in more Norwegians, but is it any wonder that more Americans are going the other way?

Working in Oslo
The Norwegian capital Oslo

Trump may love Norway, but Norwegians can't stand him

Newsweek: A survey conducted by Ipsos, a polling organization, indicated that 71 percent of Norwegians believed Donald Trump and the United States constituted a “real threat to world peace.” The poll results emerged in August, when more than 1,000 Norwegians were questioned about their thoughts on prominent world leaders, including Trump.

Migrants from Norway to US would be Trump’s worst nightmare

Irish Times: “Having lived in Oslo for the last five years, I have seen first-hand how Norwegians have a pragmatic and just view of the world. Racism is not in their fabric, hence the disgust. The disbelief was because this was the president of the United States reportedly talking in such rancid, profane terms (which he has since denied). When he added that he would like to see more migration to the US from countries like Norway, there was ample mirth piled on top of the disbelief.”

Beach in Kristiansand city centre
The clean beach at the heart of Kristiansand

More Americans move to Scandinavia than vice versa

Independent: More people are moving from the US to Norway than the other way around. In 2016, 895 people emigrated from the US to Norway, while only 502 went the other way, according to Statistics Norway. There are, of course, many people of Norwegian ancestry living in the US.

Why Norwegians aren't moving to the U.S.

The Atlantic: The country discovered oil in the late 1960s, and, unlike other resource-rich countries that have succumbed to mismanagement and corruption in the face of sudden wealth, invested heavily in its people and its economy to become one of the world’s wealthiest places.

Additionally, Norway is the world’s happiest country (the U.S. ranks 14), the place with the most political freedom (the U.S. ranks 45), most press freedom (the U.S. ranks 43rd), and most prosperity (the U.S. ranks 18). Simply put, there’s little economic incentive for Norwegians to immigrate to the U.S.

Nidaros Cathedral

Norway's prime minister on Americans moving to her country

CNBC: Solberg, prime minister of the non-European Union member Norway since 2013, put a diplomatic spin on a controversial topic in an interview with CBS MoneyWatch, saying it's “good for Norwegians to hear they are liked.”

Still, she threw some good-natured cold water on Mr. Trump's perhaps fleeting desire for more Norwegians to come live in the U.S., saying that trend peaked in the late 1880s. “There are in fact more Americans coming to live in Norway than there are Norwegians going to the U.S., so maybe we are getting some back.”

On sh*tholes and immigration

Norwegian American: An op-ed from editor Emily C. Skaftun: “That’s why our Norwegian ancestors came to this country, the largest wave of them back in the late 1800s—because they were poor in Norway. The country had more people than farmland and if they weren’t actively starving they sure weren’t eating well. All they had to offer this country was their hard work, and they gave that.”

“They “assimilated”—often because nationalistic hatred by those already here forced them to—and they prospered. It was easy for them to assimilate. All they had to do was give up their language, and then, being white, the second- and third-generation immigrants blended right in to the dominant culture here.”

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About the Author: David Nikel

Originally from the UK, David now lives in Trondheim and was the original founder of Life in Norway back in 2011. He now works as a freelance writer for technology companies in Scandinavia.


    1. I agree. Fortunately I lived in Norway for only one year as a young gurl as an exchange student. I had the most amazing experience of my life.
      Jeg elsker dette land … for alltid.

  1. I am from Norway but live in us
    Will not go back medical is better have have free medical also my money would not go far in Norway . Norway is a beautiful country and I like to visit my family. But live there no I get very sentimental when I hear ja vi elsker dette lanrdet but also when I hear the Americans national anthem.

  2. My parents were from Norway, and always wanted to return, but because of finances and 9 children were
    unable to fullfil this dream. I am the youngest daughter and spent one months holiday there. I know now why they dreamed of going back. It is a rich and lovely land, but a little too expensive for me for me to stay. So I will dream on. Elisabeth McMahon

  3. I like your articles, and I appreciate Norway for many things.
    However, saying they are not racist/nationalist is just not true. They are very much so, and full of wrong prejudice. But you cannot see that easily if you are not from the group of the nations they don’t like (EU (with UK) and US are OK, and maybe some more ‘developed’ country). They will assume that you are a kidnapper, rapist, thief… if you come from ‘eastern European’ country or they will constantly ask you ‘when are you going back to India?’ (if you are from India:) ).
    Related to that, but also, in general, I wouldn’t call them friendly or hospital either. I would actually call them the least friendly nation I had an opportunity to live in or visit. Of course, there are nice and friendly people here, but compared to Spain or any south European country (but also with UK people) it is just completely another level (not to mention South America or even US).
    Basically, how they treat you in average depends on the country where you come from. I had many nice first contacts with Norwegians, and everything was ok until I said where I come from. Then they tend to change their attitude completely towards me. The ones which didn’t can become friends, and of course I will focus on them.

  4. i`m sure that Norwegians , even after being assimilated in order to be fully accepted in the American melting pot , are still proud of their Scandinavian roots!

    1. I am so proud of my Norwegian heritage! If I were younger and had more money I would move to Norway today! I am very discouraged with all the corruption and hate in the US. This country has certainly made no progress in caring for people or the planet. Yes, there are always some exceptions, but not to the degree of Norway. I will continue to visit, as often as is possible. Perhaps, one day, my children and/or grandchildren will move to this beautiful, clean, caring and progressive country.

  5. I am from Norway (Oslo) and now live in the US. I have been here for many years, have travelled back to Norway to see family many, many times. To say that Norway is not racist is a lie. Last June, when I was home there was frequent negative comments about Muslims and Eastern Europeans.
    I think this happens everywhere, people tend to be suspicious of foreigners.
    I came to the US as a young woman. The opportunities offered me here for business success, was not available in Norway.
    We have great medical services here, too. The difference is, we pay for it out of our own pocket, not through taxes.
    I love Norway and the US.
    I am so glad we have President Trump at the helm. I have full confidence in him and his skills.

  6. My Norwegian ancestors also emmigrated to U.S. in the late 1880 era because my grandma said there were no opportunities for them and they were starving in Norway at the time they came to the U.S. The Norwegians were and always have been very smart and hardworking people. When you study history in the U.S. you quickly see how the Norwegians and decendants helped the U.S. florish and become the strong nation it became. I really think President Trump was meaning this but as anyone knows, he is horrible at saying one thing but actually meaning a good thing. The U.S. has had massive influx of people from other countries, (Not Norway of course) but other countries who come to the U.S. and do not want to work hard or Educate themselves but rather to use the United States for what they can get from the goverment. With millions of these immigrants now here we are not moving forward as the great Country that we could be in the U.S. The remark Trump said is really not about race. It is about getting back to basics of what made the United States a once great innovated thriving country. The Norwegians that came here certainly worked hard , were smart and further educated themselves to contribute to the United States. This is what Trump meant, but he is not good at all with speaking .

  7. To say that the Caucasian people who were born and raised in the USA are racists is an outright lie.
    President Trump was never called a racist until he ran for President.

    It is Projection……the left side of politics copied Goebbels and Marx who both said……control media….then…accuse your enemies of the very things you do…..repeat it over and over.

    If Norway was bordered with third world countries Norway would not be the country it is and not be so arrogant, self righteous and smug. So far Norway is escaping the moslems and other third world countries being brought to Europe by Soros NGO’s.

    I have experienced prejudice and racism from every race and culture that I had dealings with….both European Caucasian and non Caucasian.

    I grew up as a minority race in the Southwest USA….the Mexican descended population is the majority. I could not get a job if I did not speak Spanish, according to the Mexican descended person doing the hiring. Never was an issue when a Caucasian was doing the hiring.

    In high school the Mexican descended teachers treated the Caucasian students badly. They would say something in Spanish then all the Mexican descended students would laugh and point at the Caucasian students. The teachers were rude to the Caucasians. I learned the cuss words and phrases. Soon I could speak Spanish to a point, and I could understand it enough to fight back.

    Why is it that until the 1980s no other Caucasian founded country had no illegal or legal immigration like the USA has had? People from every non Caucasian country in the world comes across the Southern border everyday, illegally. Even Caucasion people from Europe come illegally.

    Quit bashing the USA. The USA has been and is the most charitable nation on the planet. We have saved our cousins twice in war.

    Our politicians are corrupt as Hades. They enrichich themselves, their families and friends with taxpayer money. They leave politics as millionaires. They have sold out America to China and the drug cartels. More people need to wake up to this fact. That is why President Trump is hated…..he promised no more stealing from the taxpayer, no more screwing American citizens and the country,. He disrupted Soros and his puppet’s agenda. That is why the constant attacks and smears.

    If America falls so goes the entire West.
    This is what George Soros and his henchmen, minions and puppets are working to do….. destroy the USA and Europe…..and install Communism Globalism.
    If Soros succeeds then the death and destruction from two world wars was for naught.

    Wake up people.

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