Election participation lower among immigrants than in the rest of the population

Parliamentary elections 2017Parliamentary elections 2017.Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB scanpix

The proportion of voting immigrants who go the election booths during election time is lower than in the rest of the population, according to Statistics Norway (SSB).

At this year’s Parliamentary elections, 259,900, or 7 percent of the voters, will have immigrant backgrounds.

This is an increase of 44,800 since the previous Parliamentary election, which amounts to 1 percentage point, SSB reveals in a new report. Most of the immigrants with voting rights are from Pakistan, Iraq, Vietnam and Somalia.

In previous Parliamentary elections, this group used their voting rights to a lesser extent than the rest of the population. The total election participation amongst the general population was 78 percent.

Election participation among people without immigrant background was 80 percent. For immigrants with Norwegian citizenship, the election participation was 54 per cent, and among those Norwegian-born with immigrant parents it was 53 per cent.

Øyvin Kleven, statistical advisor in the Division for Population Statistics in Statistics Norway, has tried to see why there are fewer voters with immigrant background compared to the rest of the population.

Among other things, he has examined whether the demographic composition of the two groups can explain some of the difference.

“Even though we take into account various factors that we know are indicative of the election participation, such as education, age, occupational activity and the like, we find that immigrants vote less frequently than the rest of the population,” he said.


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today