Oslo Central Station
Photo: Petter Foss /MFA NorwayPhoto: Petter Foss /MFA Norway


Norway’s population exceeded 4.8 million in 2008. This is an increase of over 1.5 million since 1950. Today net immigration contributes more to population growth than the net natural increase in the total population.

  • In 1665 Norway had a population of 440,000. It had grown to one million by 1822, two million by 1890, three million by 1942 and four million by 1975.

  • A total of 60,500  children were born in 2008. Since 1973, the number of children born in a single year has only been higher in 1990, 1991 and 1996. Norwegian women give birth to 1.96 children on average. Norway tops fertility rate statistics in Europe; only Icelandic, French and Irish women give birth to more children than Norwegian women.

  • Life expectancy has changed over time, and today Norwegians are living longer than ever before. A girl born in 2008 can expect to live to almost 83 years of age, while a boy can expect to reach just over 78 years of age. Twenty years ago the corresponding figures were 79 and 73 years.

  • The average age of the population is 39 years, but this figure varies greatly in different parts of the country. Twenty-six per cent of Norway’s population is under 20 years of age, 61 per cent is between 20-66 years of age and 13 per cent is over 66 years of age.

  • Immigrants and Norwegian-born to immigrant parents accounted for 9.7 per cent of Norway’s population in 2008, and totalled 460,000 persons from more than 200 countries. All Norwegian municipalities are home to immigrants, but Oslo has the largest proportion of immigrants and Norwegian-born to immigrant parents at 25 per cent of the population. 

Source: Statistics Norway   |   Share on your network   |   print