Norwegian version

Emigration from today’s Norway: Who, why, and how does it shape Norwegian society? (EXITNORWAY)

Little is known about those who emigrate from Norway today, why they leave, and how their emigration affects Norwegian society.

About the project

Annually, around 30,000 persons emigrate from Norway. This is nearly as much as the annual number of deaths (ca 40,000). However, little is known about those who emigrate from Norway today, why they leave, and how their emigration affects Norwegian society.

This lack of knowledge is surprising, not only because of the size of the phenomenon and its potential impact on Norwegian society, but also because Norway has unique register data that can contribute to both empirical and theoretical advances in the field of migration studies.

Using these register data as well as qualitative analyses, EXITNORWAY will provide insights into a phenomenon which annually removes thousands of relatively young residents from the Norwegian society, which in turn may affect skill shortages, population ageing as well as economic and regional inequalities.

EXITNORWAY revolves around three interrelated questions:

  1. What are the characteristics of those who emigrate from Norway?
  2. Why do they leave Norway?
  3. How does emigration affect Norwegian society?

The results will shed light on who the emigrants are, what skills they have, their income and employment history, their internal migration before departure, and how all this compares to those who do not emigrate.

This information is, in turn, necessary in order to estimate how emigration affects aspects of Norwegian society such as population ageing, skill shortages and regional and economic inequalities, as well as to uncover the determinants of emigration from a prosperous country like Norway.

The project will explore heterogeneity among different emigrant groups, and thus provide insights about the determinants of different types of emigration, as well as how different types of emigration have different consequences for Norwegian society.

Tønnessen, M & Syse, A (2021): Growing number of older immigrants in Norway’s future labour force.
EXITNORWAY Policy Brief 1. NIBR-kortnotat 2021:1, Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research, Oslo Metropolitan University.

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