Norway - People
In 2012 it was a pretty big deal, at least in the country, when Norway broke the 5 million mark on inhabitants. The numbers have continued to grow and in the 2016 census the population was counted at about 5.25 million. Recent years have seen the population rising steadily, with a very consistent upward trend starting back in the 1960’s. Right around the time that oil started being discovered in the Norwegian Sea.
Norway have more English speakers than Canada, Around 78 percent of Canadians speak English. The number for Norway is 86 percent. Ethnically, Norwegians are predominantly Germanic, although in the far north there are communities of Sami who came to the area more than 10,000 years ago, probably from central Asia. In recent years, Norway has become home to increasing numbers of immigrants, foreign workers, and asylum-seekers from various parts of the world. There are 423,000 immigrants and 86,000 Norwegian-born persons with immigrant parents living in Norway. The majority of immigrants are from Poland, Sweden, Germany, and Iraq. Thirty-six percent of immigrants have Norwegian citizenship.
Although the Evangelical Lutheran Church is the state church, Norway has complete religious freedom. Education is free through the university level and is compulsory from ages 6 to 16. At least 12 months of military service and training are required of every eligible male. Norway's health system includes free hospital care, physicians' compensation, cash benefits during illness and pregnancy, and other medical and dental plans. There is a public pension system.
Norway is in the top rank of nations in the number of books printed per capita, even though Norwegian is one of the world's smallest language groups. Norway's most famous writer is the dramatist Henrik Ibsen. Artists Edvard Munch and Christian Krogh were Ibsen's contemporaries. Munch drew part of his inspiration from Europe and in turn exercised a strong influence on later European expressionists. Sculptor Gustav Vigeland has a permanent exhibition in the Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo. Musical development in Norway since Edvard Grieg has followed either native folk themes or, more recently, international trends.
There are around 5 million norskamerikanere (Norwegian-Americans) in the USA. About the same number as Norwegians living in Norway. Though Norwegians were counted as some of the earliest settlers crossing the Atlantic, the organised exodus began en masse around the middle of the 19th century. The reasons for Norwegians to leave their home vary as much as the people did. Some left for religious freedom, other for the promise of the New World, and even more because of the economic pressures, famines, and crop failures that were occurring throughout Scandinavia at the time. By the 1900’s the number of immigrants from Norway began to decline: particularly after The Immigration Act of 1924 that restricted the number of immigrants from any given country. Some estimates suggest that during the great immigrations of the 19th century Norway lost a higher proportion of its people to the U.S. than any country other than Ireland.
Immigrants made up just under 17% of the population in Norway during the 2017 census. This census also included children who were born in Norway to two immigrant parents. The countries that had the most people moving to Norway were Poland, Lithuania, Sweden, Somalia, and Pakistan.
A total of 3,560 persons applied for asylum in Norway in 2017. Refugees who need settlement assistance are to be offered housing in a municipality. The Directorate of Integration and Diversity (IMDi) cooperates with the municipalities regarding settlement. Those who are settled are former asylum seekers who have been granted a residence permit or resettlement refugees who have been granted a residence permit in Norway pursuant to an agreement with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Resettlement refugees are settled directly in the municipality when they arrive in Norway.
Groups with a long-standing attachment to the country are defined as national minorities. In Norway these minorities are: Kvens/Norwegian Finns (people of Finnish descent in Northern Norway), Jews, Forest Finns, Roma and Romani people/Tater. As an indigenous people, the Sami are entitled to be consulted on matters that affect them, this right is enshrined in ILO Convention no. 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries, Article 6. The Agreement on procedures for consultations between the Central Government authorities and Sámediggi sets out detailed procedures for how consultations with Sámediggi shall take place.
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