The population changes due to births, deaths, immigration and emigration. Meeting the needs of a population that is changing in its structure and form involves adjusting policies, for example in the area of pensions, social welfare and health care. These policy adjustments have to take into consideration their impact on the gender equality situation in society.
Norway's population is 4.8 million. In 2009, every woman gave birth to 1.98 children on average, compared with 1.98 in 1975. Norway has one of the highest fertility rates in Europe. Only Icelandic and Irish women give birth to more children than Norwegian women. Today Norwegians can expect to live longer than ever before. In 2009, a newborn girl could expect to live to 83 years of age, whereas a boy could expect to live to 78,5 years of age.
The immigrant population accounts for 11,4 per cent of Norway's population and come from more than 200 different countries. The flow of immigration into Norway is gendered. There are gender differences in the reasons for migration, types of migration, as well as conditions in which female and male migrants live. Men primarily have migrated as refugees and to work, and women for re-uniting with partners, husbands or family. This again is often due to gendered norms and structures both in the countries that the men and women migrate from as well as in Norway.
The Sami are an indigenous people who live in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. There is no documentation showing exactly how many Sami there are today, but the estimate is 40.000 Sami in Norway. Norway also has five minority groups - Jews, Rom, Romani (travelers), Kvens and Skogfinns – that are granted protection according to the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.
Intersecting concerns around gender, minority, and indigenous rights complicate policy development and implementation. Age, class and sexuality add to this complexity. There is increased awareness in Norway that women who are also members of minority or indigenous communities are vulnerable to marginalization - as minorities. As with male members of minority and indigenous communities, they lack access to political power and have poorer access to services and rights. And in addition to these problems, women face further barriers due to the fact that they are women.
Last updated: June 18 2010