The high population increase continues

In the third quarter of 2009, Norway’s population increased by 17,100. Slightly more than 60 percent of the growth resulted from inward migration, but the birth surplus contributed more than last year – 39 percent. The number of children born was the highest since the mid 1970s.

The population reached 4,842,700 on Oct. 1. The population increase of 17,100 is the second highest ever registered in a third quarter. A total of 18,750 persons migrated to Norway and 8,350 left during this period, resulting in a net inward migration of 10,400. In the third quarter last year, the net inward migration was 11,900, whereas in previous years it was no more than 6,000 at its peak.

Excess of births, net migration and population growth. 3rd quarter 1987-2009

Excess of births, net migration and population growth. 1st, 2nd and 3rd quarter 1987-2009

Fewer Polish citizens migrated to Norway

A total of 15,500 immigrants without Norwegian citizenship arrived in the third quarter; 800 fewer than last year.

With regard to 2009 so far, Polish citizens continue to be the largest group, but their number decreased from last year’s 11,500 to 7,200 this year. Whereas 1,400 Polish citizens left Norway during the first nine months of 2008, 3,100 left this year, resulting in the net inward migration decreasing by 60 percent, from 10,100 in 2008 to 4,100 this year. The net inward migration of German citizens also decreased similarly, whereas the figures for the Swedish citizens remained unchanged from last year.

Icelandic citizens returning “home”

Icelandic citizens now constitute the sixth largest group if immigrants. In the first three quarters of 2008, only 200 Icelandic citizens migrated to Norway, but this year, the figure was 1,300. This constitutes 0.4 percent of Iceland’s population, and the impact would be the same in Norway if 19,000 Norwegian citizens had left for another country.

The immigration from Eritrea also increased markedly, from 400 during the period January-September last year to 1,400 so far this year. From its neighbouring countries – Ethiopia and Somalia – the figures remained unchanged.

In migration, out migration and net in migration, by citizenship. 1st, 2nd and 3rd quarter 2009

Many children born

A total of 16,400 children were born in the third quarter; 400 more than last year. Not since the mid-1970s have more children been born in a single quarter. A total of 9,700 persons died; 200 fewer than in the corresponding period last year. The birth surplus thus reached 6,700; 10 percent higher than in the same quarter in 2008, which again was 12 percent higher than in 2007. Oslo had the highest birth surplus (1,700), and only one county saw a birth deficit, Hedmark (35).

In the first three quarters of 2009, 47,400 children were born, whereas the number of deaths was 31,000. This resulted in a birth surplus of 16,400; 800 more than the corresponding period of 2008.

Largest population growth in central areas

Thirty-seven percent of the population growth took place in Akershus and Oslo, and 26 percent in Rogaland and Hordaland. Unlike last year, none of the counties experienced a population deficit.

Eleven counties experienced domestic migration loss in the third quarter

All counties had an inward migration surplus from abroad, with Oslo having the highest figure

(2,000). Eight counties had a domestic migration surplus, with Hordaland having the highest figure (550). Eleven counties had a domestic migration deficit, with Nordland having the highest (400).

In the first three quarters of 2009, Oslo had the highest inward migration surplus from abroad (4 000), but in the corresponding period last year, the figure was 8,600. Ten counties had a domestic migration surplus, with Akershus having the highest figure (1,600). Nine counties had a domestic migration deficit, with Nordland having the highest (900).

Net migration. Domestic and from abroad, as a percentage of population 3rd quarter 2009.

Population growth in 293 municipalities in the first three quarters of 2009

The population increased in 293 municipalities in the first three quarters of 2009, and decreased in 133 municipalities. If it had not been for immigration, 184 municipalities would have experienced an increase and 240 a decrease. As has been the case in recent years, centralised municipalities experienced a population increase, while less centralised areas were more likely to see a migration loss as well as a birth deficit.

Birth deficit in many inland municipalities

A total of 235 municipalities saw a birth surplus, whereas 183 experienced a birth deficit. Of the 10 municipalities with the largest birth deficit, eight were situated in the inland county Hedmark. Birth deficit is a larger problem, however, in many coastal municipalities with few inhabitants.

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