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How much money do Norway’s different foreigners make?

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
How much money do Norway’s different foreigners make?
Foreigners in Norway earn less than Norwegians and big differences exist between the different immigrant groups. Pictured is the Oslo opera house. Photo by Gunnar Ridderström on Unsplash

Foreigners in Norway typically get paid less than their Norwegian counterparts. However, large differences in earnings also exist among the different immigrant groups.

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Immigrants in Norway typically make just over ten percent less than the national average. 

The average monthly wage in Norway was 56,360 kroner (4,914 euros, 4,205 pounds and 5,329 dollars) in 2023. The wage figures from Statistics Norway are pre-tax. 

Immigrants, on the other hand, took home 50,270 kroner per month, according to figures from the national data agency Statistics Norway

The gap between foreigners and Norwegians becomes even wider when you compare the wages of immigrants and “other residents” (i.e. non-immigrants). The average salary of other residents is much higher at 58,190 kroner rather than 56,360 per month. 

READ MORE: Do foreigners get paid less than Norwegians?

The highest earners among immigrants were those from North America and Oceania. On average, they took home 61,810 kroner each month—considerably more than the national average.

Two other immigrant groups made more than the national average, when measured across all occupations. 

Those from non-Nordic countries that were part of the EU/EFTA before it expanded in 2004 took home 59,930 kroner per month last year, according to the figures. 

Meanwhile, those from the Nordics earned around 58,650 kroner every month. Due to similarities between the languages, it is perhaps easier for them to find work in Norway than for other foreigners. 

These immigrant groups likely pulled the average wage for immigrants up overall, as the average dropped significantly after these groups. 

Those from Latin America and the Caribbean had an average monthly salary of 50,950 kroner. This was marginally above the average for foreigners. 

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Foreigners from European countries outside the EU/EFTA, including the UK, took home less than the average at 49,930 kroner. 

Foreign residents hailing from Asia could expect to make a comparable amount of money, around 48,750 kroner, every month. 

Average wages dropped considerably for the last two immigrant groups. Africans living in Norway had typical monthly earnings of 46,280. Meanwhile, those hailing from countries which joined the EU after 2004 had the lowest earnings among all immigrant groups in Norway at 44,960. 

When using the median salary rather than average, those from the Nordics leapfrogged those from non-Nordic countries that were EU countries prior to 2004 to be the second-highest earning immigrant group

What’s behind the differences? 

Using slightly different figures from Statistics Norway, the study shows that the lowest-earning immigration groups had a higher proportion of workers in the lowest-paying occupations

For example, just 1,759 foreigners hailing from Africa worked in management, compared to 12,091 in cleaning and helping occupations. 

The average wage for somebody in a leadership occupation (across all nationalities) was 82,300 kroner compared to 39,880 kroner per month for a cleaner

Those from the Nordics, by contrast, were among the highest-paid workers when measured by the average and median. They also had the highest number of workers in managerial and leadership positions. 

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There were 212,060 workers in such jobs compared to 74,780 in the lowest wage-earning occupations. 

However, this doesn’t fully explain the wage gap. A gap still in earnings exists within the same professions. 

 When using leadership and managerial roles as an example, those from North America had a monthly paycheck of 89,700 kroner compared to those from countries who only joined the EU after 2004 , commanding an average salary of 62,930 kroner. 

This lack of parity between different groups was also observed among the lowest wage earners. Foreigners hailing from the Nordics or North America made more money than other foreigners when working in cleaning and help professions. 

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