Norway: 4-11% Muslims in 50 years

Norway: 4-11% Muslims in 50 years

Norway Statistics (SSB) does not prepare projections by religion, nor of Muslims, says Helge Brunborg, who also researcher demography for the SSB.  But he says it is still possible to reason out on the question of how many Muslims there are in the population.

He says that in 2008 there were 84,000 registered members of Muslim faith societies in the company registery.

"This can be interpreted as a lower limit for the number of Muslims in Norway.  At the same time there were 163,000 registered immigrants and Norwegian-born with immigrant parents with a background from Muslim countries."

These numbers constitute 18% and 36% respectively of the number of immigrants and their children born in Norway.

Burnborg says that if this proportions continue, in 2060 Muslims will make up between 4% and 11% of the population, which is far from 50%.

The SSB has been criticized for not taking 3rd and 4th generation immigrants into account in their population projects.

"Some think we should take more than the 1st and 2nd generation.  If we did that, and the grandchildren and grand-grandchildren have the same religion as their parents, the total number of Muslims in 2060 will be somewhat higher, but still far from half of the population."

Brunborg thinks there's not much possibility that a majority of Oslo's population will be Muslim.

"In 2008 there were 40,000 members registered in Muslim faith-societies in Oslo, which make up 7% of the population. Those whose background is from Muslim countries made up 11% of the city's population."  He says Oslo is far from having a Muslim majority.

SSB does not currently prepare projections of the number of immigrants in Oslo, but these will come.

The research thinks that in such debates such as the one Lem started, it is important to remember that Muslims are mixed.

"The Muslims are not a homogeneous people.  We have everything from secularized Muslims from Bosnia, to different groups of Muslims for which religion means a lot, and both Sunni, Shia and Ahmadiya Muslims.  And they come from many and widely different countries," stressed Brundborg.

He adds that the sharpest increase in the immigrant population in Norway in recent years comes from Catholics from Poland.

Source: Dagbladet (Norwegian)

See also: Norway: "Norwegian culture threatened by Muslims"

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