Low population growth continues

People Karl Johan Oslo population growthPeople on Karl Johans gate in Oslo. Photo Norway Today Media

The low population growth continues

The population in Norway grew by 8 829, or 0.17 per cent in the first quarter. This is the lowest population growth in the 1st quarter since the EU’s internal market expanded in 2006.


As per 1 April 2017, the population was 5 257 100. A total of 13 700 children were born in the first quarter and 11 300 persons died. The excess of births is the lowest since the first quarter of 2003.

The immigration was somewhat higher than in the first quarter last year, while the emigration was roughly as high.

About 15 200 persons were registered as immigrated and about 8 800 as emigrated. The relatively low immigration during recent years is in contrast to the period with high labour migration after the expansion of the EU’s internal market in 2006.

The two largest groups of citizens that immigrated were Syrian and Polish, which amounted to 14 and 10 per cent of the total immigration this quarter.

Looking at the net migration, it was highest from Syria and Eritrea. Citizens from Syria amounted to a third of the net migration among foreign citizens.

The reason for the high net migration among these two groups is that very few people from these countries emigrate; the majority stay in Norway.

A lot of Norwegian citizens emigrated

A fifth of the persons who emigrated were Norwegian citizens. There was a net emigration of Norwegian citizens, i.e. more people emigrated than immigrated.

A quarter of the Norwegian citizens were born in a country other than Norway.

Among citizens from countries like Iceland, Germany, Estonia, India and Sweden, more people emigrated than immigrated.

Three counties without population growth

Oppland, Møre og Romsdal and Telemark were three counties with a population decrease in the 1st quarter. All other counties had a population growth.

In Oppland, there was a birth deficit and a negative internal in-migration.

In Møre og Romsdal there was a negative internal in-migration. All counties had positive net migration from abroad.

The highest percentage growth in relation to the population was found in Troms, with 0.4 per cent growth. The main reason is high immigration. Akershus and Oslo were also two counties at the top of the list.

A total of 3 300 new inhabitants immigrated to Oslo from abroad, but the net migration was relatively low due to a lot of internal out-migration from the county – about 9 900 this quarter. Akershus had high net-migration, both internal and from abroad.

Some medium-sized cities, like Kristiansund, Molde, Porsgrunn and Arendal, also had a population decrease in the 1st quarter.


© SSB / Norway Today