38 % of Russian immigrants in Norway live in the North

Viktoria Tevlina from Arkhangelsk is one of many Russians living in northern Norway.

Nearly 15,000 Russians had immigrated to Norway by 2012. New research shows that a third of them choose to live in the northern part of the country.


Figures from Patchwork Barents show that Finnmark county has by far the highest rate of foreign immigrants in Barents Norway. In 2014, the rate was 111.77 immigrants per 1,000 inhabitants. In comparison, Finnish Lapland registered only 4.41 foreign immigrants per 1,000 inhabitants the same year.

A publication by Statistics Norway shows that, by 2012, 14,892 Russians had immigrated to Norway. According to the publication, Russians made the fifth largest immigrant group in the country (the four largest being from Poland, Germany, Lithuania and Denmark).

New research from associate professor at the Barents Institute, and professor at the Northern Federal University, Victoria V. Tevlina, shows that a third of the Russian immigrants in Norway preferred to relocate to the North.

Professor Tevlina recently lauched her book «From Russia to Norway and to its North - Real and Potential migration: Children, adults, families».

Her work shows that the largest influx of Russian migrants came to Finnmark during the period of 1997-2003, an average of 149 people per year. In the next few years, from 2004 to 2010, immigration from Russia to Finnmark was on average 92 persons per year.  

«The influx from Russia to Finnmark, especially to the border municipality of Sør-Varanger, was the largest in Northern Norway. 2,161 people migrated there between 1991 and 2010». 

From 1991-2012, about 5,624 immigrants came from Russia to Northern Norway, which makes up nearly 38 percent of all the Russians who migrated to Norway througout the enitire post-Soviet period.

«Among all the Russian immigrants in Northern Norway, over 70 percent are Russian women, most of whom have moved from Russia because of marriage with Norwegian men. The remaining 30 percent of all Russian immigrants in Northern Norway, both women and men, include experts in different specialties and students who moved to study in schools, colleges and universities in this part of the country».

The visualizations below show the number of foreign immigrants in the Barents Region over the period 1990-2014.

This story is published in cooperation with Patchwork Barents.