Record many received Norwegian citizenship last year

Passports, dual citizenshipPassports.Photo: Norway Today Media

A total of 21 600 persons were naturalised in 2017; 7 900 more than the year before. Eight out of 10 who were granted Norwegian citizenship were former citizens of non-European countries.


Among those who were naturalised in 2017, most people were former citizens of Eritrea (3 000), Somalia (1 700), Thailand (1 650) and Philippines (1 400), according to updated figures from Naturalisations.

Majority with 8 years of residence
About 75 per cent of those who received Norwegian citizenship in 2017 had lived in Norway for 8 or less years. This indicates that a large number of persons most likely applied for Norwegian citizenship shortly after they fulfilled the necessary residence requirement. The remainder who were granted Norwegian citizenship had a longer period of residence in Norway, which means they could have applied for citizenship sooner if they wanted. The distribution between ‘short’ and ‘long’ residence was the same as in 2016.

The sharp rise in 2017 compared to 2016 may be the result of an increase in the number who were eligible to apply for citizenship and because more of those who could have applied earlier waited until 2017.


More women than men

Between 1986 and 1996, more men than women received Norwegian citizenship, whereas in 1997 and 1998 the gender balance was almost equal. Since 1999, more women than men have received Norwegian citizenship.

In 2017, 56 per cent of those who received Norwegian citizenship were women. However, the gender distribution varies greatly from country to country. The proportion of women was particularly high among former citizens of Thailand and Ukraine, with 86 and 79 per cent respectively. In some countries, the proportion of men was higher. For example, among the former citizens of Sudan the proportion of men was 65 per cent and from Syria 63 per cent.

Three out of ten are children

Thirty per cent of those who were naturalised in 2017 were under 18 years of age. The proportion of children is more than 30 per cent in most of the largest groups receiving Norwegian citizenship. Among Somalians and Eritreans, there were 44 and 37 per cent under 18 years respectively. However, former citizens of Thailand had only 15 per cent of children.


Source: SSB / Norway Today