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Moholt kirke. Trondheim

Top: Regional: Demographics  (4)

How many Russians are living in Norway? How many of them are in Trondheim, Oslo, Troms°? Let's look at selected topics on Statistics Norway site:

Note that citizen of Russian Federation and Russian is not the same. Notably, the statistics on foreign citizens doesn't cover Russians with Norwegian citizenship, and with citizenship of former Soviet republics (though there is separate data on some of the ex-USSR states). You can look at statistics of immigrant population by country background, but the figures we are looking for will be never exact.

According to the statistics for January 1, 2004, there are about 670 Russian and Ukrainian citizens in Oslo, 255 in Trondheim, 300 in Bergen, 180 in Stavanger (the numbers however do not include those living in the nearby areas of these cities). The number of Russian+Ukrainian citizens for the whole country is almost 7000. These figures are somewhat lower than the true Russian population of Norway, as explained above, and because we tend to call a person from any ex-Soviet Union state Russian, for clarity. Most of them speak Russian very well and have similar cultural background, anyway.

I would estimate there are some 9000 Russians in Norway right now. This amounts to one Russian per 500 Norwegians (much more in Northern Norway, less in rural areas of the rest of the country).

Russian population in Norway 1975-2004
This plot was obtained by adding together the number of citizens of USSR, Russia (after 1991) and Ukraine who lived in Norway according to the statistics (numbers for January 1st of each year). Svalbard@ was not included.

If the curve above looks alarming to you, fear not. I think, what we see so far can be interpreted as restoring the normal equilibrium after cold war's iron curtain lifted. Other neighboring countries are represented in Norway more than Russia. There are no signs of saturation on the graph, though.

The growth of Russian population has been exponential since 1990. These days, every exponential law is obliged to bear somebody's name (the best known example of which is Moore's law). After digging all this data, I think I am in position to put my name on this exponential curve.

         Makarov's Law.
Russian-speaking population of Norway doubles every four years.

Notes: a) I would use statistics of immigrant population instead of foreign citizens statistics to derive the law, but there aren't easily available retrospective figures for the former. For Russians, however, immigrant population should experience the same growth, exceeding the foreign citizens numbers by about 15%. b) The Makarov's Law was formulated in early 2003.

Currently, Russian women outnumber Russian men in Norway 2.5 to 1, not lastly thanks to the activity of numerous marriage agencies@.
Some part of the total growth can be also attributed to the influx of asylum seekers@.

Only the last, post-Soviet wave of Russian emigration has affected Norway substantially. Before 1990, few of Russian emigrants have settled in Norway. Alexander Solzhenitsyn initially wished to settle in Norway, but quickly changed his mind, fearing in particular occupation of Norway by Soviet Union in case of a world war, and also preferring to raise his children in some other country with a language more commonly spoken in the world than Norwegian. Alexander Galich teached at the University of Oslo for a year.

Some info about the previous waves of Russian emigration can be found in this article:

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