Annually, around 30,000 persons emigrate from Norway. This is nearly as much as the annual number of deaths (ca 40,000). However, little is known about those who emigrate from Norway today, why they leave, and how their emigration affects Norwegian society. This is surprising, not only because of the size of the phenomenon and its potential impact on Norwegian society, but also because Norway has unique register data that can contribute to both empirical and theoretical advances in the field of migration studies.

Using these register data as well as qualitative analyses, EXITNORWAY will provide insights into a phenomenon which annually removes thousands of relatively young residents from the Norwegian society, which in turn may affect skill shortages, population ageing as well as economic and regional inequalities.

EXITNORWAY revolves around four interrelated questions, with several sub questions:

  1. What are the characteristics of those who emigrate from Norway?
    • What characterizes emigrants from Norway, and how has this changed over time?
    • Which skills do emigrants have when they leave Norway?
    • What are their migration chains within and out of Norway?
  2. Why do they leave Norway?
    • What are the determinants of emigration from Norway?
    • Which emigrants are ‘target earners’ vs. ‘income maximisers’?
    • How do the determinants of emigration differ from those of internal migration?
    • How do legal regulations shape emigration?
  3. How does emigration affect Norwegian society?
    • How does emigration affect population ageing in Norway?
    • How does emigration shape income inequalities?
    • How are different regional labour markets affected by emigration?
  4. What are the emigrants’ stories?
    • Why did they emigrate from Norway?
    • How do they perceive their time in Norway?
    • How has their stay in Norway affected life after emigration?

The results will shed light on who the emigrants are, what skills they have, their income and employment history, their internal migration before departure, and how all this compares to those who do not emigrate. This information is, in turn, necessary in order to estimate how emigration affects aspects of Norwegian society such as population ageing, skill shortages and economic inequalities, as well as to uncover the determinants of emigration from a prosperous country like Norway.

The project will explore heterogeneity among different emigrant groups, and thus provide insights about the determinants of different types of emigration, as well as how different types of emigration have different consequences for Norwegian society.

EXITNORWAY is financed by Research Council of Norway (project number 313823). It is coordinated by Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research (NIBR) at Oslo Met, and the project period is from 2021 to 2025. The project is headed by Marianne Tønnessen at NIBR.

Reference group

EXITNORWAY’s reference group consists of representatives of key stakeholders in Norway:

  • Cathrine Bergjordet, Viken county
  • Hans Henrik Bull, Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation
  • Magne Sortland, Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration
  • Olena Tkachenko, Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills
  • Ragnhild Nersten, Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs
  • Silje Vatne Pettersen, Ministry of Education and Research

Rights for those involved

EXITNORWAY gets information about those who emigrate (and those who do not) in two ways: Through register data from Statistics Norway, and through interviews.

All this information is safely stored at University of Oslo’s Services for sensitive data (TSD), where they will be stored until the end of 2027. The data will only be used to shed light on emigration from Norway and for the purpose of this project.

Everybody in the register data has rights as stated in the GDPR Article 14. For persons interviewed, we collect their consent. After transcript of the interviews, all interview data are anonymized.

Contact details:
If you have questions about your rights or about the project, you may contact the project researcher who asks for an interview (Aadne Aasland, Inese Šūpule, Anne B. Staver or Tone Liodden), or EXITNORWAY’s project leader Marianne Tønnessen, mariton@oslomet.no, tel. +47 67 23 60 13.

You can also contact:
• Our Data Protection Officer: Ingrid Jacobsen, OsloMet, ingrid.jacobsen@oslomet.no
• NSD – The Norwegian Centre for Research Data, personverntjenester@nsd.no

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