Although that number set an all-time record, it was lower than the goal the government had set at the outset of the year.
According to a report from broadcaster NRK in the waning days of 2016, police nationwide were planning to make an extra effort in the final days of December to hit the government’s goal of 9,000 deportations.
While the target wasn’t met, Immigration Minister Sylvi Listhaug said she was still satisfied with the record number of deportations.
“It’s about fighting crime and securing the population. We will find those who are staying illegally in Norway and we will send them back to the country they belong to,” she told NRK.
The 8,078 people who were deported last year represented a roughly two percent increase over 2015 figures.
PU head Morten Hojem Ervik said that part of the reason the agency didn’t hit its target is that the significantly lower number of asylum seekers mean that there were simply fewer people to deport.
Through a number of restrictions, Norway’s 2016 asylum numbers were the country’s lowest in 19 years.
Roughly 28 percent of those who were deported in 2016 had criminal records, a slight decrease from the percentage in the previous year.