Norway Travel Guide
Demography of Norway
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As of 2009, Norway's population numbered 4.8 million. Most Norwegians are ethnic Norwegians, a North Germanic people. The Sami people traditionally inhabit central and northern parts of Norway and Sweden, as well as in northern Finland and in Russia on the Kola Peninsula. Another national minority are the Kven people who are the descendants of Finnish speaking people that moved to northern Norway in the 18th up to the 20th century. Both the Sami and the Kven were subjected to a strong assimilation policy by the Norwegian government from the 19th century up to the 1970s. Because of this "Norwegianisation process", many families of Sami or Kven ancestry now self-identify as ethnic Norwegian. This, combined with a long history of co-habitation of the Sami and North Germanic peoples on the Scandinavian peninsula, makes claims about ethnic population statistics less straightforward than is often suggested— particularly in central and northern Norway. Other groups recognized as national minorities of Norway are Jews, Forest Finns, Roma/Gypsies and Romani people/Travellers.
In recent years, immigration has accounted for more than half of Norway's population growth. According to Statistics Norway (SSB), a record 61,200 immigrants arrived in the country in 2007 — 35% higher than 2006. At the beginning of 2008, there were 459,600 persons in Norway with an immigrant background, comprising 9.7% of the total population. 350,000 of these were from a non-Western background, which includes the formerly Communist countries according to the definition used by Statistics Norway. The largest immigrant groups by country of origin, in order of size, are Poles, Pakistanis, Swedes, Iraqis, Somalis, Vietnamese, Danes, and Germans. Norwegians of Pakistani descent are the largest visible minority group in Norway, with most of its 59,000 members living around Oslo. The Iraqi immigrant population has shown a large increase in recent years. After the enlargement of the EU in 2004, there has also been an influx of immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe, particularly Poland. The largest increase in 2007 was of immigrants from Poland, Germany, Sweden, Lithuania and Russia.
Source: Wikipedia Encyclopedia
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