Why would not Norwegians move to the USA despite Trump’s call?

Photo : Wikimedia Commons | Norwegian people celebrating the Norway's national day, 17 May

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Trump wants immigrants from countries like Norway but they were not very welcomed in the USA before and they are not interested to emigrate there now.

Donald Trump said he wants immigrants from countries such as Norway instead of what he called “shithole countries,”. This statement reminded the Norwegian immigration to the USA primarily in the later half of the 19th century and the first few decades of the 20th century. There are more than 4.5 million Norwegian Americans according to the most recent U.S. census. Yet when they immigrated to the USA, they were neither the most welcomed people nor had a glory story, according to the statistics.

During that time of intense immigration, researcher have found, Norwegians were far from the model they might appear to be today. For decades after their arrival, they lagged behind other groups, according to Washington Post.

Cato Institute analyst Alex Nowrasteh, Boustan and her colleagues, economists Ran Abramitzky of Stanford University and Katherine Eriksson used recently available data to combine census data and genealogical records for immigrants from 16 European countries and regions from 1900 to 1920.

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“In this way, they were able to correct for the “data illusions” that had distorted previous research. A single census could show that immigrants who had been in the USA 30 years earn as much as natives, while those here fewer than five earn only half as much. This might lead an economist to think that it takes 30 years for an immigrant to assimilate. In fact, it’s much more likely that the immigrants of 30 years prior tended to be from higher-earning professions and the recent immigrants were from lower-earning ones, which would distort the sample”.

They found that Norwegians, based on their mostly rural, low-income occupations such as farming, fishing and logging, arrived in the United States with the lowest earning potential of any national group. Even after 30 years, Norwegians had failed to find higher-paying work and close the gap with either native earners or most other European immigrants.

At that time, Norwegians in Norway had not a very high standard life either.

But thanks to its well established welfare system, relative equality standards, and high income level, Norway now enjoys being a model and idealized country for many including Norwegian Americans even hundred years later.

Trump’s call for citizens of Norway is not appealing for people here in Norway considering the standards in the USA.

Norwegians have it so well today that, they don’t even bother coming to the USA any more.

The most recent numbers from the Census Bureau also supports this argument. Norwegian-born people living in the U.S. are the third smallest group among the nationalities of more than 100 countries.

Also Statistics Norway reveals that only 502 Norwegians moved to the United States last year, down 59 from the year before.

So the current numbers and historical data tell us a lot how it is not an ideal option for Norwegians to immigrate to the USA.

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