Norway ranked as one of the hardest countries for foreigners to settle in

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Norway ranked as one of the hardest countries for foreigners to settle in
Foreigners in Norway were full of praise for the work life balance, but said that it was hard to settle. Pictured is Karl Johan Gate Street. Photo by Gunnar Ridderström on Unsplash

Norway has a great work-life balance but it can be very difficult for international residents to settle in, a survey of foreign nationals in the country has found.


Norway has ranked 34th out of 52 destinations in the Expat Insider 2022 survey published by InterNations

The country performed best in the areas where foreign residents were asked about their work-life and quality of life but scored below average for personal finance and in the bottom three for how easy it is to settle in. 

Overall, 68 percent of international residents in Norway were happy with their life in the country, compared to 71 percent globally. 

When it came to work-life balance, Norway was one of the best performing countries and ranked second, sandwiched by neighbours Denmark (1st) and Sweden (3rd). More than three-quarters of those surveyed said they were happy with their work-life balance, compared to 62 percent globally. 


“I love the work-life balance! It has a great impact on me having enough time for my family, social life, or any other type of activity,” one respondent said. 

Residents were also impressed with the local economy, job security, and business culture. Easy access to high-speed internet, cashless payment options and availability of government services online gave Norway an above-average score of 15th on the Expat Essentials index part of the survey. 

Housing was an area where the country ranked low, though, with 48 percent saying housing was hard to afford. The high cost of living was another issue for those who took part in the survey, with 55 percent of respondents giving this aspect of Norway a negative rating. 

A lack of nightlife and culinary variety meant that those in Norway were twice as unhappy with their options for bars and nearly three times as dissatisfied with the food. 

However, the biggest issue for those who took part was how difficult it was to settle in. Norway was among the three worst countries for settling in, with only Sweden and Kuwait performing worse. Foreign residents said it was hard adapting to the culture, they struggled to make friends and over a third described the locals as generally unfriendly. 

“I dislike the difficulty of building a personal network with the locals. It is hard to overcome feeling like a stranger,” one respondent said. 

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