In 2016 Norway had about 5,2 million inhabitants. Norway was to a very high degree a homogeneous country in 1990. 93 percent of the population were born in Norway with two Norwegian parents and four Norwegian grandmothers and grandfathers. In 2015 this part of the population had decreased to 78 percent.
In this year 13,4 percent of the first generation of immigrants were without Norwegian background. After 2005 684 000 persons have come to Norway as immigrants, which makes 15 percent of the population. In 2015 the immigration decreased a bit, compared to the highest numbers in 2011. The largest group came many years ago from Poland, the current refugee situation has caused that many come also from Syria and Eritrea. In 2015 there were 31 145 asylum seekers in Norway. In 2016 the number of asylum seekers was 3 460.
- Many actors have pointed out that the new arrivals have to spend a too long time in the asylum centres. It makes language learning, integration to the labour market and to the social life more complicated.
- Possibility to work is stressed as an important factor of integration – both from the societal perspective and from the individual perspective. But today many of them are not accepted, independent of having an education or not. There is a need for flexible solutions where one can combine work, training and education.
- One of the problems mentioned in connection to the refugees arriving in Norway concerns their missing documentation on educational background. They are often guided to adult education together with other refugees. This type of education has less resources, as it is noted, and it is of lower quality. There is a risk that this group of refugees might “fall between two chairs”.