Statistics Norway: Immigrants Are Poorer But Equally Satisfied

Immigrants in Norway have poorer living conditions than rest of the population, but are still as satisfied as the rest of the population.

Statistics Norway has published a report revealing the living conditions among the immigrants in Norway.

The report shows that people with immigrant background have poorer living conditions than the average in the population in areas such as employment, working conditions, housing standards, health and social contact.

At the same time, the survey shows that they seem to be equally satisfied with living in Norway. People with immigrant background also have higher confidence in institutions and strong affiliation to Norway.

In 2017, Statistics Norway published the first report with results from the Living Conditions Survey among immigrant backgrounds (LKI 2016). The report provides a broad and comprehensive description of how immigrants in Norway are doing today.

Statistics Norway’s income statistics show that immigrants in Norway generally have a lower income level than the rest of the population as a whole. In 2015, immigrants’ income accounted for 77 per cent of the average income.

There is more mental problems and loneliness

To map out mental disorders in the research, five questions were collected from Hopkins Symptoms Checklist – a tool for mapping the prevalence and extent of mental disorders. An average score of 2 is considered an indication of mental problems.

The data are summarized by processing the answers to five of the symptom descriptions- nervousness and internal unrest, anxiety, feeling hopeless for the future, depressed and uneasiness.

The proportion of mental health problems according to this definition turns out to be 6 per cent in the whole population and twice as high (12 per cent) among immigrants. The highest rates are found for immigrants from Iraq, Iran and Turkey, all around 20 percent. The lowest rate – around 6 per cent, is among the immigrants from Somalia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Eritrea.

Immigrants are also consistently more lonely. Twice as many immigrants state to be quite or very much bothered by loneliness over the past 14 days compared to the entire population. In particular, immigrants from Iraq and Iran are experiencing loneliness. The lowest proportion is found among immigrants from Vietnam.

High trust in the political system, judiciary and police

The research also shows that the Nordic countries stand out among other European countries with a high level of trust, both in terms of trust in other people and trust in institutions.

While the trust in other people is lower among immigrants than the rest of the population, trust in the political system, the judiciary and the police is higher among immigrants than the rest of the population.

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