Oslo For Members

How Oslo's immigrant population has changed over time 

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
How Oslo's immigrant population has changed over time 
Here's how much Oslo's immigration population has changed over the years. Pictured is Karl Johan Street.

Oslo is the area of the country with the highest number of foreign residents, and recently reported figures have revealed how immigration has changed the city's population over time and how migration trends have changed. 


Since the turn of the millennium, the number of immigrants in Oslo has increased from 94,7040 people to 236,682 last year, according to figures reported by the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten

Meanwhile, in the year 2000, the population of Norway's largest city was 507,000 compared to 699,000 at the beginning of last year. In that time, foreign nationals have gone from making up 18 percent of the city's population to one-third. 

Norway's immigration statistics include both foreign nationals who have moved to the country and children born to two foreign parents in the immigration statistics. This is because not all children in Norway are automatically granted citizenship, meaning they will be classed as foreign residents and immigrants unless they obtain a Norwegian passport later in life. 


Alna, Stovner, Grünerløkka and Søndre Nordstrand are the districts in Norway which have gained the most foreign residents over the past 22 years. These areas have gained 16,000, 13,000 and 12,000 more inhabitants from another country or immigrant background since 2000. 

Immigration has done little to change the population of Ullern, Vestre Aker and Nordstrand, which have seen some of the lowest numbers of Immigrants move there. Overall, foreign residents have mainly chosen to live in the eastern parts of the city, with the exception of Frogner. 

In Oslo, citizens from Asia, including Turkey, made up the largest immigrant group, with over 62,985 of these nationals living in the city, according to figures from the national data agency Statistics Norway (SSB). 

Oslo's largest immigrant group is Pakistanis, followed by those from Somalia. And while Pakistanis have remained the largest group of foreign nationals in Oslo, other immigrant populations have been growing faster in recent years. 

The number of Pakistanis has remained relatively stable. In 2010, there were 21,195 Pakistani citizens in Oslo. By 2022 this number had only grown by over 1,000 to 22,379. Similarly, the number of Swedes in Oslo has grown relatively slowly. In 2010 there were 10,327 Swedish nationals in Norway, compared to 11,430 in 2022. 

In both cases, the population of these nationals in Oslo peaked before later decreasing while still remaining above levels seen in 2010. 

Overall, the number of Nordic non-Norwegian citizens in Oslo has fallen by some 3,000 since 2015. 

Aftenposten writes that one likely explanation for the flat growth of Pakistanis in Oslo was a mix of reduced immigration and more nationals and their descendants becoming Norwegian citizens. 


Oslo's fastest-growing immigrant group over the past 12 years has been nationals from Poland. Sine 2010, the number of Poles has grown by just under 7,000 to 16,207. This growth has seen them become Oslo's third biggest group of foreign nationals. 

Somalians and Indians were the second and third fastest-growing immigrant populations in the capital. The number of Somalians grew by over 5,500 to 17,110 thousand, while Oslo's Indian community nearly doubled from 3,683 to 7,143. Despite the population drop, Sri Lankans remain one of the ten largest immigrant groups in Oslo. 

Syrians, Eritreans, Romanians, Russians, Filipinos, Lithuanians and Spaniards were the other fastest-growing groups. Several of these groups have doubled and even tripled in population since 2010. 

Relatively few groups have seen their populations shrink over the past 12 years, with the exception of Sri Lankans, with the number of Sri-Lankan nationals in Oslo decreasing by almost ten percent. The number of Grenadians fell by 40 percent from ten to six. 



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].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also