Norway Population and Language

Norway is one of Western Europe’s most sparsely populated countries. Half of the residents live in the area around the Oslo Fjord in the southeast. The coasts of southern and western Norway are also relatively densely populated.

Norway Population Forecast

The population has traditionally been uniform with small minorities of Sami and Finns. Until the 1970s, immigration was greater than immigration. Then came mainly Swedes, Danes, British and Americans. In the 1990s, immigration from a number of other areas, such as Pakistan, Vietnam and the Balkans, increased. In 2016, 13.4 percent of the population was defined as immigrants. The largest groups then were Poles, Lithuanians, Swedes, Somalis and Germans.

  • COUNTRYAAH.COM: Key populations estimated size and data of Norway, including population density of how many people per square mile. Also included are facts for population and language.

In 2015, the number of asylum seekers nearly tripled, from 11,500 people in 2014 to 31,100. The two largest groups were Syrians and Afghans who fled from unrest in their home countries. A peak occurred between September and November; during a week in mid-November, 2,500 asylum seekers arrived. As a result, the government introduced a tougher immigration policy and tightened border controls in the north (see Calendar). The refugee stream to Norway then slowed down. At the beginning of 2016, 3.6 percent of the Norwegian population was defined as refugees.

There is a Sami Parliament with elected members since 1989. It has an advisory function, mainly in terms of culture, business and language. The Sami are entitled to receive answers in their language from public bodies in five municipalities in Northern Norway. In the northern part of Norway there is also a small population group called kven.

Norway Population and Language

Together with Swedish, Danish, Icelandic and Faroese, Norwegian forms the Nordic branch of the Germanic language group. Norwegian appeared as a special language during the Viking Age. Towards the end of the Middle Ages, Danish became the official language in Norway. Its influence was greatest in the cities, where even the spoken language was mixed up with Danish words and forms. In the 19th century, a “research” was conducted of the Danish written language.

In the middle of the 19th century, Ivar Aasen created the national target, based on age-old rural areas that had not been influenced by the Danish. Nationalists demanded that this “genuine” Norwegian language should replace the Danish-Norwegian national target. At the end of the 19th century, the national language, now called Nynorsk, became the official writing language alongside the national language, commonly called bookmark. Norway therefore has two official languages ​​(Norway is written in Norwegian Nynorsk). Spelling reforms have brought the two “goals” closer together. Around a tenth of Norwegians use New Norwegian.



Norwegians 96.3%, Danes 0.4%, Swedes 0.3%, other 3%

Number of residents

5 282 223 (2017)

Number of residents per square kilometer

14 (2017)

Percentage of residents in the cities

81.9 percent (2017)

Nativity / birth

11.2 per 1000 residents (2016)

Mortality / mortality

7.8 per 1000 residents (2016)


0.9 percent (2017)

fertility rate

1.7 number of births per woman (2016)

Percentage of women

49.5 percent (2017)

Life expectancy

83 years (2016)

Life expectancy for women

84 years (2016)

Life expectancy for men

81 years (2016)


Norwegian (in the form of Bokmål or New Norwegian)



Schools and universities are closed because of the corona virus

the 13th of March

The government is taking drastic measures to combat the spread of the corona virus. All the country’s schools at all levels as well as the universities will be closed. Larger sports and cultural events are also canceled and residents are encouraged to take several precautions and preferably stay home. Travelers who come back from trips outside the Nordic countries need to stay in quarantine for two weeks. More than 600 residents have contracted covid-19 (the disease caused by the coronavirus) and one person has died.


The Progress Party leaves the government

January 20th

Progress Party leader Siv Jensen announces that the party is jumping off government cooperation. One triggering factor for the Progress Party’s decision is stated to be that last autumn, despite strong opposition from the Progress Party, the government chose to bring home a Norwegian-Palestinian IS woman and her severely ill child from Syria. Jensen promises that the party will continue to support Solberg’s government in the parliament.