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Norway ranked as one of the worst countries for foreigners to live in 

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Norway ranked as one of the worst countries for foreigners to live in 
Norway has been ranked as one of the worst countries for foreign residents to live in. Pictured is Aker Brygge in Oslo. Photo by Kamil Klyta on Unsplash

Norway has been rated the worst Nordic country for international residents and the second worst overall due to it being expensive, hard to settle, and lacking in cultural, dining and nightlife options, according to a survey of foreign nationals. 


Norway has ranked 52nd out of 53 nations in the Expat Insider 2023 survey by InterNations. Compared to the other Nordic countries, it also lagged behind considerably, with foreign residents in Finland (16th), Sweden (24th) and Denmark (41st) all being happier. 

Overall, 61 percent of international residents in Norway were happy with their life there, compared to the global average of 72 percent. 

The country ranked 48th when it came to the ease of settling in. Just under a third (32 percent) of foreigners described the locals as unfriendly to foreigners. Just over half also said they found it hard to make local friends, and more than a third were unhappy with their social lives. 

The Local has previously asked readers whether or not it was hard to settle in Norway. Some 80 percent told The Local it was difficult to settle in the Nordic country.

READ MORE: The best tips to help you settle in Norway

Furthermore, Norway was the second worst-ranked country globally when it came to personal finances. Only New Zealand received a worse ranking. More than 60 percent said that their cost of living was a negative of the country, while close to 40 percent said their disposable income was not enough to lead a comfortable life. 

Career opportunities were a mixed bag for those living in Norway. The country was considered the best in the world for job security, and the state of the economy ranked in the top 10. However, many were unhappy with their personal career opportunities. In this regard, Norway was in the bottom five. 

Some 34 percent said that the move to Norway had not improved their career opportunities compared to 18 percent globally. 

Downtime outside of work was also an area where Norway is lacking compared to other countries. It ranked last (53rd) for culinary variety and dining options and 51st for culture and nightlife. 


A previous ranking from Tasteatlas named Norwegian food the worst in the world. When surveyed by The Local, 39 percent of readers said that this ranking was fair, while 33 percent thought it wasn’t the worst cuisine in the world, even if it isn’t great by any means. 

Although in a more positive light, 95 percent said they were happy with the natural environment compared to 84 percent worldwide. The country also performed well in safety and security (6th). However, other quality of life indicators such as availability of healthcare (45th), travel opportunities (49th) and cost of public transport (50th) were ranked considerably lower than the year before. 

Despite the lowly ranking from the InerNations report, a survey of The Local’s readers show that many in Norway see their long-term futures in Norway. When asked whether they saw themselves living in Norway for the next five years and beyond, 84 percent of those who responded to the survey said they did. 

Is life in Norway really that bad? Take part in our short survey and let us know. We will try and use your answers in a future article. 




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