Norway has witnessed a significant population growth, marking its largest increase in more than ten years during the first quarter of this year. According to the state

statistics bureau SSB (Statistics Norway), the country's population now exceeds 5.5 million, specifically reaching 5,504,284.

The surge of 15,300 individuals in the first quarter, compared to the same period last year, can be primarily attributed to the ongoing influx of Ukrainian refugees. Out of the 20,900 people who migrated to Norway in the first three months of 2023, a substantial number of 7,700 were Ukrainian citizens seeking refuge from Russia's conflict in their homeland.

Net immigration, which accounts for immigration minus emigration, recorded the highest figures for a first quarter since SSB began publishing such data in 1997. The net immigration stood at 14,600, considering that 6,300 individuals left the country between January 1 and March 31.

During the same period, Norway saw the birth of 12,300 babies, slightly lower than the 12,900 births in the previous year's first quarter. After factoring in deaths, the net population growth amounted to a mere 760 individuals, marking the lowest "birth surplus" ever recorded during a first quarter. SSB highlighted the steady decline in Norway's fertility rate since 2009, with the exception of 2021 when a baby boom occurred following the COVID-19 pandemic-induced lockdowns in 2020.

The recent population surge reflects Norway's openness to accepting refugees and its changing demographic landscape. As the country continues to welcome immigrants, it may experience further shifts in its population dynamics in the coming years. Photo by Voiceboks, Wikimedia commons.