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How many international residents live in Bergen, and where do they come from?

Robin-Ivan Capar
Robin-Ivan Capar - [email protected]
How many international residents live in Bergen, and where do they come from?
As of January 1st, 2022, there were 43,731 registered immigrants in Bergen. Photo by Jannik on Unsplash

Bergen, Norway's second-largest city, has a vibrant international community. But which foreign nationals make up the largest immigrant groups in Bergen?


Bergen has a long tradition of being a melting pot. Between the 17th and 19th centuries, immigrants actually made up the majority of the population of the city.

However, over time, a more significant proportion of Norwegians from other parts of western Norway – especially from Nordhordland, Midhordland, and Sunnfjord – moved to the city and changed the composition of the population.

By most standards, modern-day Bergen, with a population of 286,930, still has a thriving international community

After all, it is one of Norway's most prominent student cities.


Immigrants make up 15 percent of Bergen's population

According to the latest figures published on the Bergen Municipality's website, as of January 1st, 2022, there were 43,731 registered immigrants in Bergen.

That amounts to 15.24 percent of the population and is an increase of 233 people compared to 2021.

The data shows that nationals from Europe, excluding Turkey and including both foreign citizens and those born in Norway to two immigrant parents, made up the largest group of immigrants, with a total of 22,274 individuals. The second largest group came from Asia, including Turkey. There were 12,339 individuals from Asia or two foreign born parents in 2022. 

The third largest group came from Africa, with a total of 5,846 Africans living in Bergen. Those from South and Central America (2,216 individuals) were the next largest group. Meanwhile, 881 people from North America called Bergen home. Those from Oceania (175 foreign nationals) made up the smallest group of immigrants.

The total number of people in the immigrant population of Bergen amounts to 43,731.

Top ten largest groups of nationals

Bergen Municipality's website also has a breakdown of the largest immigrant groups in Bergen, by country of origin, in 2022.

Note that the data includes both immigrants and individuals born in Norway to immigrant parents as not all children born in Norway are automatically eligible for citizenship.

READ MORE: Do children born in Norway automatically get citizenship?

Poles made up the largest group of foreign-born nationals and the children of two foreign parents (6,883), followed by Lithuanians (2,340), Somalians (2,340), Iraqis (1,924) and Syrians (1,688).

The rest of the top ten was made up of nationals from Germany (1,587), Eritrea (1,557), Vietnam (1,358), Romania (1,346) and the Philippines (1,289).  

A city with a vibrant international student community

As the University in Bergen (UiB) points out, during the academic year, Bergen is home to around 25,000 students or about 10 percent of the city's population.

Around 14,500 of them are students at the UiB, which is – as they put it themselves – "one of Norway's most international institutions." Furthermore, the city's tourism, accommodation, restaurant, bar, and nightlife sectors, to mention just a few, continuously attract a steady inflow of qualified international workers.

However, the number of foreign students at UiB can fluctuate year on year, and may decrease in the coming years due to the introduction of tuition fees for non-EEA nationals. 


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