Immigrants leaving Norway in droves

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Norway's population growth failed to rise as high as expected this year, and census figures show immigrants are fleeing the country in droves.


National statistics keepers say recent years of exponential economic growth fed by state spending of oil revenues created the highest rate of growth in the country’s modern history. Many from those “waves” of newcomers are said to be have returned home to Eastern Europe or to the UK, Africa or western countries where they feel more comfortable, according to researcher Helge Brunborg.

Some politicians had insisted ahead of local elections that immigrants are voluntarily going home after stints as asylum-seekers, but Brunborg’s research points to an exodus to North America and other long-established multicultural societies.

“Immigrants are mobile,” he said at a public release of the figures in Oslo. “They’re people who have moved from one country to another and are not uninterested in moving again.”

Norway has for three decades enjoyed a surging birth rate and a healthy influx of foreign talent and capital. But some immigrants feel unease.

“When you talk to a Norwegian you get the feeling they don’t like you,” NRK reporter Tom Ingebrigsten quoted a Pakistani immigrant as saying. At least a third of all Pakistanis — Norway’s best-adjusted and only “complete” immigrant community — Somalis and Iraqis leave the country behind after a few years, suggest numbers from Statistics Norway.


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