New book about the Norwegian emigration to America

A new Norwegian book written by author Sverre Mørkhagen, called “Farewell, Norway Amerika 1825–1975”, claims that the actual number of emigrants leaving Norway for America was much higher than the estimated 800,000.

On Tuesday Oct. 13, “Farvel Norge,” the first of two books, was launched at the National Library in Oslo. On this special occasion the library also opened a small exhibition telling the Norwegian emigration to America over a period of 150 year. It will be on display until Nov. 5.

Mørkhagen believes that as many as one million Norwegians left their homeland between 1825 and 1975. His book is the first major new study of emigration in 60 years.

Most of us have heard the “story” before, but very few of us can comprehend the magnitude of this movement. Compared with the population size Norway comes second to Ireland in sending emigrants to America. During 35 years as many as half a million Norwegians left their homeland in search for a better life. This equals 20 percent of the population.

In the United States 3.9 million people indicated on the 1990 census that they had ethnic roots in Norway, writes the Norwegian Emigrant Museum on its website.

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To watch Sverre Mørkhagen talk about his new book, click here (in Norwegian only)

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