A primary reason for the large decrease is the drop in arrivals from Syria, news agency NTB reports.
Norway's net immigration in 2017 was 21,300 – a decrease of 4,700 from the preceding year. The net change was the result of 8,600 fewer immigrations and 3,900 fewer emigrations, according to figures from official agency Statistics Norway (SSB).
“After the atypical 2016, immigration from Asia and particularly Syria is again lower, which explains much of the decline in the overall immigration. Meanwhile, fewer people left Norway, even though the total is the third largest ever recorded,” SSB consultant Adrian Haugen Ordemann told NRTB.
Many people are still leaving Norway, evening though the total number is lower than it was in 2016, the year with the record number.
In particular, fewer people from Asian and Nordic countries are leaving, SSB found.
Of the 58,200 people who moved to Norway last year, 8,400 were Norwegian citizens while 49,800 were foreign nationals.
“The year-on-year decline has never been greater since records began in 1958. The number of Asians in particular has decreased, with Syrians making up a large proportion.
“Much of the explanation for that is connected to the implementation of border controls in Schengen countries and the EU-Turkey agreement that was implemented in spring 2016 to limit the flow of asylum seekers to Europe, in the wake of the refugee crisis that took place in 2015,” Ordemann told NTB.
The three years in which the highest levels of emigration from Norway were recorded are 2015, 2016 and 2017. After the peak in 2016, a decline of 3,900 emigrations was recorded last year, with a total of 36,800 people.
Of those, 10,200 were Norwegian and the remainder foreign nationals.