SSB: Non-Western immigrants in Norway felt strong concern when the pandemic began

Migrants in OsloPhoto: Thomas Brun / NTB

Almost one in three non-Western immigrants felt strong concern in the period after Norway closed down in 2020. Others were considerably calmer, according to the Living Conditions Survey 2020, which Statistics Norway (SSB) published on Monday.

Even before the pandemic began in earnest, immigrants from outside Europe were more concerned than the general population. 

In the period between March 9 and 11, 15% of those with a non-Western immigration background answered that they had felt strong concern in the previous week, against 9% of Norwegian-born people and 13% of immigrants from Western countries.

On March 12, 2020, large parts of Norwegian society shut down to stop the spread of coronavirus. At the time, there was a slight increase in the level of concern of the Norwegian-born population and Western immigrants. The increase among non-Western immigrants, on the other hand, was considerable.

29% of non-Western immigrants who responded to the survey after March 19 felt a strong concern over the past week – almost double. 17% of Western immigrants and 11% of Norwegian-born people answered that they felt the same way.

Economic security

There was also a significant difference between different population groups regarding the feeling of economic security. Among those asked between March 9 and 11, 9% of Norwegian-born people, 12% of Western immigrants, and 22% of non-Western immigrants thought it was difficult or very difficult to make ends meet.

In the period after the lockdown of Norway, there were, in fact, fewer Norwegian-born people struggling with financial worries, while there was a sharp increase among the general population: 6% of Norwegian-born people found it difficult to make ends meet, compared with as many as 32% of non-Western immigrants.

Better social networks

In addition, the proportion of non-Western immigrants who felt confident that they would receive help from the public sector in the event of illness or injury fell from 57% to 47% during the period. Among Norwegian-born people, there was a slight increase.

However, there were far fewer immigrants who felt they lacked people they could trust in social problems.

Immigrants generally have weaker social networks and less social support than the majority population. Still, only 43% of non-Western immigrants answered that they had two or fewer people they could count on in relation to personal problems after March 19, compared with 53% among those who answered between March 9 and 11.

Among Western immigrants and Norwegian-born people, the numbers were very stable. One in five Norwegian-born people answered that they have two or fewer people to count on in the event of personal problems.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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