Many immigrate for family reasons


A total of 42 100 persons with non-Nordic citizenship immigrated to Norway in 2017 – 9 000 fewer than the year before. Family is now the most common reason for immigrating to Norway.


Among the 42 100 persons with non-Nordic citizenship immigrating to Norway in 2017, family was the most common reason, with 16 000 persons, followed by 13 800 labour migrants and 7 800 refugees granted protection. Just over 4 000 persons immigrated to Norway for education in 2017, according to updated figures from Immigrants by reason for immigration.

Among those who immigrated for family reasons, 12 000 persons arrived due to family reunification, while 4 000 came for family establishment by marriage. In the last group, 43 per cent married a person with a non-immigrant background.

The immigration of non-Nordic citizens to Norway in 2017 was the lowest since 2006. Compared to the previous year, fewer refugees and labour migrants arrived in Norway. The number of refugees dropped by almost 50 per cent from 2016 to 2017. There was also a decrease in the number of persons immigrating for family reasons or for education.

Labour migration continues to fall
Labour migration to Norway continues to fall. From a peak in 2011 of 26 700 labour migrants, the number has been falling every year since. In 2017, 13 800 persons immigrated for work – down 5 per cent from 2016.

Labour migrants from Poland are still the largest group, with 3 600 persons arriving in 2017 – a decrease of 13 per cent from the previous year. The second largest group, labour migrants from Lithuania, increased by 4 per cent from 2016 to 2017. Nearly 2 000 Lithuanians immigrated to Norway for work in 2017.

Not everyone stays
Not everyone who immigrates to Norway stays here for the rest of their life. The reason for immigration has a bearing on whether they leave the country. Of those who immigrated for education from 1990 to 2017, only 38 per cent still lived here on 1 January 2018. The corresponding percentage for refugees was 86 per cent.

Many labour migrants leave Norway after some years. Among those who arrived in 2011, a peak year in labour migration, 67 per cent still lived in Norway on 1 January 2018.


Source: SSB / Norway Today