Oslo has been among the fastest-growing capitals in Europe for several years but now that growth rate, and the country’s itself, has slowed considerably. Much of it is a result of emigration and the falloff in refugee arrivals.
State statistics bureau SSB (Statistics Norway) reports that Norway’s population grew by 8,829 people during the first quarter of this year, to a total of 5,267,100. That’s up just 0.17 percent, and marks the lowest growth rate since the European Union expanded its inner market in 2006.
The EU expansion made it possible for many more new residents of the EU, especially from Eastern Europe, to move to Norway to seek work. They were attracted by Norway’s booming economy at the time, and after the finance crisis in 2008-2009, more people laid off in the EU streamed to Norway, not least from hard-hit Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy. There also was strong immigration from the Baltic countries led by Latvia and Lithuania.
The economic boom in Norway ended with the collapse of oil prices in 2014 and SSB reported that fully 8,800 people left Norway during the first quarter of this year, mostly people from Poland and Lithuania. Around 15,200 immigrated to Norway, but that’s down from earlier years.
SSB also reported that 13,700 babies were born in Norway during the first quarter, while 11,300 people died. That resulted in a population surplus of 2,400, which SSB noted was the lowest since 2003.