How happy are foreign residents with their quality of life in Norway? 

A survey from Statistics Norway has revealed how happy people are with their quality of life in Norway. Pictured is a group of people hiking Ulriken in Bergen.
A survey from Statistics Norway has revealed how happy people are with their quality of life in Norway. Pictured is a group of people hiking Ulriken in Bergen. Photo by Francois Olwage on Unsplash
Immigrants in Norway have higher average satisfaction with mental health but have lower satisfaction with their place of residence, leisure and financial situation, according to Statistics Norway's Quality of Life Report 2021.

More than a quarter of people in Norway, 28 percent, have a low level of satisfaction with life in the country in 2021, a new survey on the quality of life conducted by Statistics Norway found. 

This is a rise of 6 percent compared to 2020, while just over a fifth said they are highly satisfied with life in the country. Compared to 2020, there was a decline in ten of the 12 metrics people were surveyed on regarding their happiness. 

There was also an increase in symptoms of anxiety, depression, sleeping problems and feeling lonely and isolated amongst respondents to the survey. 

Respondents were asked to grade their happiness between one and ten. A score of zero to five meant low levels of happiness, six to eight meant fairly satisfied and nine to ten meant highly satisfied.

Foreign residents were marginally less dissatisfied with their quality of life and slightly more happy with their standard of living than the rest of the population, however.

27 percent of foreign residents said they had a low level of satisfaction with their life and 22 percent responded that they were highly pleased with it their quality of life. 

But like the rest of the population, immigrants are also less satisfied with their lives than in 2020. 

While overall, foreigners and the rest of the population may appear pretty similar when it came to their satisfaction with the quality of life in Norway, there were actually big differences between the two groups, with immigrants being less satisfied with their free-time, living conditions and financial situation. 

“Immigrants differ significantly from the population for all areas of life except when it comes to satisfaction with mental health. They have higher average satisfaction with physical health than the rest of the population, but have lower satisfaction with the place of residence, leisure and financial situation,” the findings of the survey outlined. 

READ ALSO: Five signs you’ve settled into life in Norway

The proportion of immigrants unhappy with their financial situation was 39 percent, 9 percent higher than the general population, with less than 20 percent of foreigners being highly satisfied with their finances. 

Among the other metrics where immigrants were less happy with when it came to life in Norway were leisure, rewarding social relationships, and predominance of positive emotions. 

However, there were a couple of areas where foreigners were much happier than their native counterparts. 

“Immigrants score significantly better than the general population on satisfaction with their physical health and optimism,” the report noted. 

The report also found differences between those from different immigrant backgrounds. 

“If we look at the country background of immigrants, we see that immigrants who come from (Europe) have fewer indicators on which they score worse than the population than immigrants from Asia, Africa etc.,” the report outlined. 

The report’s findings also noted that foreign residents from Asia, Africa and Latin America were less likely to be optimistic for the future than their counterparts from other parts of the world. 


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