Population approaches 5 million

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Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg mentioned it in his New Year’s speech over the weekend, and state statistics bureau SSB has the numbers to confirm it: Norway’s population will surpass the 5 million-mark some time this year.

The country’s population stood at 4,985,000 on New Year’s Day. That’s up from 4,479,000 in 2000, and more than double Norway’s population of 2,240,000 in 1900.

Stoltenberg said Sunday night that a child born later this year will bring the official population to 5,000,000. SSB reported that only around 30 percent of the population growth this year is expected to derive from births in the country, though, while 70 percent is tied to immigration.

That’s exactly opposite the situation just over 30 years ago, when net births accounted for 70 percent of population growth. SSB reported that population growth in 2011 was the highest ever registered in Norway.

Oslo officials were reporting on Monday that the population growth in the Norwegian capital would require as many as 100,000 new homes to meet housing demand in the coming years.

Views and News staff