Svalbard still a male dominated community

Mining is the main employment on Svalbard. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

The population on Svalbard still differs from that on the Norwegian mainland. Being a community traditionally based on mining, the male surplus is still stable and small households are more common.


As many as 53 per cent of the households in the Norwegian settlements on Svalbard are one person households, and 27 per cent of the population lives alone. On the mainland, the figures are 40 per cent and 18 per cent respectively, Statistics Norway’s web site reads. 

The differences between men and women on Svalbard are considerable, with 33 per cent of the men living alone, but only 17 per cent of the women. There are no such differences on the mainland, where 18 per cent of both men and women live alone.

On 1 January 2012, a total of 2 504 people were registered as living on Svalbard; 2 115 in the Norwegian settlements, 380 in the Russian Barentsburg and nine at the Polish research station at Hornsund.

Svalbard still has a stable male surplus. In the Norwegian settlements there are more men than women in all ages, except for those under 20, where the balance between the sexes varies from year to year. Per January 1 2012 there were 1231 males and 884 females living in the Norwegian settlements.