Safe but pricey: What international residents think of life in Norway

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Safe but pricey: What international residents think of life in Norway
Bergen after dark. Photo by Fredrik Bedsvaag on Unsplash

With the challenges of settling in, finding work, making friends and earning a living, life in a new country can be equally daunting and rewarding. But what do foreign residents think about life in Norway?


Norway is far too expensive, and it’s hard for its foreign residents to settle into life in the Nordic country, according to the InterNations Expat Insider survey

Overall, Norway ranks 38th out of 59 countries in the survey which ranks international residents happiness in various aspects of life. 

Work was the most common reason for people relocating to Norway, the survey found, with around a third of those who uprooted to Norway doing so because of work.

Norway may be about to edge out Paris as the new capital of love, however. More than a quarter of those who moved to the Scandinavian country did so because of love.  

If you disagree with these findings please take a moment to tell us what you think of life in Norway in our own survey below.

Safe and serene- but a little bit dull

Despite its below-average ranking overall, Norway ranked high for quality of life. 


The country sits just outside the top ten for working abroad and quality of life, coming in at 11th and 12th respectively.

Furthermore, 84 percent of respondents to the survey said they are happy with their workload and hours. This puts Norway second overall, behind neighbouring Denmark. 

Respondents to the survey are also satisfied with the economy in Norway, with 82 percent of those surveyed responding positively.

Norway's performance in the Expat Insider survey. Source: InterNation

In addition to this, those who moved to Norway are delighted with their surroundings, with 99 percent of people responding positively to the natural environment. 

Safety is another perk of life in Norway, with the country ranking 7th for safety and security. 

The country ranks in the bottom five for leisure activities and one in four-judge the available leisure activities unfavourably. 


Hard to settle and high cost of living

Norway is 51st out of 58 in terms of settling in, and 59 percent of foreign residents who responded found it hard to make friends with Norwegians. A further 27 percent think the local population is generally unfriendly. 

READ MORE: Immigrants in Norway more likely to be affected by loneliness

In addition to this, the country is in the bottom ten when it comes to personal finance and second to last when ranked on the cost of living. 

The majority who made the switch to Norway also felt the cost of living was far too high. 

The impact of Covid-19 on life in Norway 

More than ten percent of those who upped sticks to Norway said that the most significant impact of the coronavirus pandemic was on their finances.

 The pandemic has also affected foreign residents’ lives on an individual level as well as an economic one. 

Over one third said that their travel was severely limited by coronavirus restrictions. Another 30 percent said that their social life had suffered due to the pandemic; both figures are higher than the worldwide average.

InterNations is a networking group comprising of four million members in 420 cities around the world.

For its annual Expat Insider survey, InterNation asked 12,400 foreign residents in 59 countries to provide information on various aspects of life and asked them to rate 37 different aspects of life in these countries. 

These were put into five categories, quality of life, ease of settling, working abroad, personal finance and cost of living.  

How are you finding life in Norway? We'd love to hear from you: please take a minute to fill out our questionnaire. 


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
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