Ethnic Norwegians to become minority in their own country this century: report

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A report from the Norway’s official statistics bureau that shows immigrants now account for nearly half of Norway’s population grow, a trend that follows the agency’s report that ethnic Norwegians will be a minority in the country by the end of the century.

Last year, 52,000 people immigrated to Norway, which nearly equals the amount of 54,500 children born in the country in 2019, according to Statistics Norway.

The Norwegian statistics bureau identified stable migration as one of the main trends in population growth in Norway, while on the other hand,  the declining births and an aging of the population are negative trends for Norway.

Statistics Norway also points to certain municipalities with rapidly falling populations, which serves as a major economic and population drag on those regions. Many young people leave for cities and other economically strong areas, leading to fewer children born and a sense of decline for those regions most affected.

Last year, net migration to Norway amounted to 25,300 people, but the country of 5.3 million has consistently seen its share of newborns decreasing each year, with native born reaching a peak in 2009 with 61,800 births.

Due to these trends, the average age of Norwegians jumped by 0.23 percent to 40.5 years.

Given the increasing number of migrants in the country, there are worries about the decline in the ethnic Norwegians population. According to journalist Helge Lurås of the news outlet Resett, ethnic Norwegians are on their way to “become a minority in their own country”.

Resett analyzed the data on newborn children with an immigrant background and compared them with the net migration data. There were 42,300 people with an immigrant background and 37,000 newborns with an ethnic Norwegian background. In conclusion, Resett found out that in 2019, at least 53 percent of children born in Norway had a foreign background.

The fertility rate of ethnic Norwegian women (1.50) compared to women with an immigrant background (1.87) is another unfavorable factor. Women with an African background have an even higher fertility rate, which stands at 2.6 children per mother.

The 2017 report of Statistics Norway, predicting that 52 percent of the population will have an immigrant background by 2100, seems increasingly likely.

This watershed moment could even occur before then.

Currently, about 18 percent of the population in Norway has an immigrant background. In the younger age group, the percentage is even higher, exceeding 30 percent.

In the past, the Norwegian population was highly homogenous. In the late 1970s, ethnic Norwegians made up 98 percent of the population. Nowadays, except for Norwegians, the most numerous foreign groups are Poles, Swedes, Somalis, Lithuanians, Pakistanis, and Iraqis.

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