Norway population

The population of Norway currently stands at approximately 4.6 million (2005), with some 75% of the population residing in urban areas and 25% in rural areas.

Major centres of population include the capital Oslo (510,000), Bergen (230,000), Trondheim (151,000), Stavanger (109,000), Kristiansand (74,000), Fredrikstad (69,000), Tromsø (60,000) and Drammen (56,000).
Over the past decade, counties in northern Norway have experienced a zero to negative growth rate, while the southern counties and areas surrounding Oslo have had up to 13 per cent population growth.
Norwegians are predominantly of Germanic origin. There are groups of people considered to be national minorities in Norway, including the Jews, Kven (people of Finnish descent living in Northern Norway), Roma, the Romany people and Skogfinn (people of Finnish descent living in Southern Norway). In the far north are Sámi communities of indigenous people.
Since the 1980s an important demographic change has taken place in Norway. The country, and in particular the larger metropolitan centres, is increasingly multicultural. Statistics Norway ( monitors these changes and divides the Norwegian population into Non-Immigrant, Immigrant Western (the Nordic countries, Western Europe, North America and Oceania) and Immigrant Non-Western (Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, South and Central American and Turkey). Under these terms 7.6 percent of the population in 2004 is defined as Immigrant.
At that time people with a non-western background made up only 31 per cent of the immigrant population. In 2004 the non-western population made up 72 per cent of immigrants. Approximately 40 per cent of the immigrant population are from Asia, primarily from Pakistan, whilst people from Eastern Europe make up 16 per cent of the immigrant population. These groups are followed by populations from the Nordic countries (15 per cent), Africa (12 per cent) and Western Europe (10 percent). Approximately 46 per cent of the immigrant population have Norwegian citizenship, but this varies between groups. In Oslo, one in five people belong to the immigrant population and are mainly from Pakistani, Somali, Swedish and Sir Lankan origin. The impact on traditional Norwegian society of this change in cultural demographic is unquestionable.