People with foreign backgrounds in Norway now number over one million

Latest data from Norway’s official statistics agency shows that the immigrants and the children of immigrants now count for over one million people in the Nordic nation.

People with foreign backgrounds in Norway now number over one million
People born abroad or with foreign parents now number over one million in Norway. Photo by Anastasiya Dalenka on Unsplash

The two groups – immigrants and Norwegian-born people whose parents are both immigrants – numbered a total of 1,025,000 persons at the beginning of 2022. That represents the first time the figure has reached seven digits, according to Statistics Norway (SSB).

The 819,400 immigrants that form part of that total represent 15.1 percent of Norway’s population, SSB writes.

The data also show that 19,300 more immigrants and Norwegian-born people with immigrant parents lived in Norway on January 1st this year compared to the year before.

The increase in 2021 is bigger than the increase in 2020, when Covid-19 restrictions resulted in the lowest increase in immigrants settled in Norway since 2002.

People with Polish nationality formed the largest group when the statistics are broken down by individual country. 105,500 people with immigrant background in Poland lived in Norway at the beginning of this year. The next-largest group, Lithuanians, number 42,000.

Third and fourth-largest groups by nationality were Swedes and Syrians with 35,900 and 34,400 respectively.

In capital city Oslo, the number of residents with immigrant background had increased by 900 over the 12 months leading up to January 1st this year, giving a total of 177,900 foreign or foreign-heritage residents, 25.4 percent of the city’s population.

The Oslo figure generally increases more than this each year, with an increase of between 2,400 and 8,900 each year from 2010 onwards, not including 2020. The number has been trending downwards since 2015.

The Norwegian municipality with largest increase in the number of immigrant residents was Lillestrøm, with 1,500 or a 1.2 percent increase, giving an overall proportion of 22 percent of the municipality’s population.

Norwegian-born people (who may not have Norwegian citizenship) whose parents are immigrants comprised 205,800 or 3.8 percent of the population at the turn of the year. The group increased by 8,000 or 4 percent in number over the preceding twelve months – the smallest increase since 2011.

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Why the Covid-19 pandemic led to record levels of rubbish in Norway

Norwegians threw away more stuff than ever in 2020. Industry representatives say that the Covid-19 pandemic is part of the reason for the uptick in trash.

Why the Covid-19 pandemic led to record levels of rubbish in Norway
Waste has hit record levels in Norway. Photo by Possessed Photography on Unsplash

Norwegians threw out more than half a tonne of rubbish per person last year, according to figures from Waste Norway revealed to broadcaster NRK

The amount of waste that gets thrown away rose from 489 kilos per inhabitant to 531, a record amount, between 2019 and 2020, according to the waste recycling association. 

In total, people in Norway binned 2,418,000 tonnes of waste in 2020, an increase of 6.3 percent from the previous year, according to Statistics Norway

The pandemic was in part responsible for the rise in waste, according to an industry spokesperson.

“People were put into home offices, and their lifestyle changed. Many used their free time to clear their basements and attics. They were many visits to recycling stations,” Lars Pederson, communications manager for Waste South, told NRK.

People working from home and those who had a lockdown clear-out weren’t the only ones responsible for the rise. 

READ ALSO: How has Covid-19 affected birth rates in Norway?

Cabin owners are also said to have contributed to the record levels of waste. 

It is not uncommon for many people to have holiday cottages or cabins in the mountains or by the fjords in Norway

“It’s really quite crazy, and we are seeing the same trend this year,” general manager of Adger Waste Disposal, Anita Aanonsen Jernquist, told NRK. 

Aanonsen added that a lot of the increase in waste from cabins was due to people spending more time at their country retreats during the pandemic.

Vegårshei Municipality, a popular cabin area in the southeast of the country Norway, reported a similar trend.

The majority of waste coming from cabins is from renovations, according to Dag Terje Rundholt from Vegårshei’s refuse service. 

“In the cabin areas, we collect much more rubbish than before. There is furniture, insulation, paint, and everything,” he said. 

Despite the rise in waste, there is some good news. According to Pedersen, while more is being thrown away, people are also getting better at sorting their rubbish. 

“We have managed to increase our recycling percentage to 50 percent,” he said. 

Pedersen also predicted that the amount of waste would go down again after the pandemic. 

He also told NRK that he believes waste would drop more if people opt to buy quality items built to last, rather than cheaper options that break more easily and need replacing more often. 

He also said that a ban on disposable plastics such as cutlery and straws would also have the desired effect of driving down waste.