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Norwegian No. 5,000,000 Born—and Other Norwegian Child-Related Issues

Submitted by on March 20, 2012 – 1:39 am 2 Comments |  
According to a report in, Norway has officially crossed the 5 million mark on Monday March 19, 2012. The birth of Norwegian No. 5 million highlights the fact that Norway has one of the highest fertility rates in Europe: 1.88 in 2011. The explosion of Norwegian population is best illustrated by the times it takes to add another million: the four million mark was crossed 37 years ago, but the 6th million will be added in only 16 years, if the current rate of growth continues. But today’s 5-millionth Norwegian will probably see several more millions added to the population count, as a baby boy born in Norway today has a life expectancy of 79 years, while a girl can expect to be 83.45 years old.

But the population growth in Norway is due not only to high fertility rate, but also because of immigration. According to the overview from Statistics Norway, immigration surplus accounted for 71 percent of the 2011 growth. Approximately three out of four immigrants come to Norway from other European countries, including Russia. There is also a sizeable Indian community in Norway.

It is Russian and Indian immigrant parents that have stirred some trouble in recent months. In both cases, parents have followed child-rearing practices traditional to their cultures, such as hand-feeding a child, breast-feeding a toddler, or sleeping with a small child in the same bed. As a result, Norwegian Child Welfare Service, Barnevernet, were called in and took children away from their parents, placing them in foster care. In some instances, the parents were later deported, while the children stayed in Norway. The incident involving an Indian couple whose two children were taken into “protective custody” last spring, still debated in Norwegian court, caused diplomatic tensions between Oslo and New Delhi, with the latter accusing the former of unwillingness to appreciate cultural differences.

Russian immigrant parents too have suffered from similar interferences on the part of Barnevernet in what they consider to be purely familial matters. A series of protests against Norwegian Barnevernet have been staged today outside Norway’s embassies in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Murmansk, and Arkhangelsk, with an active participation by the youth organization of the ruling United Russia party “Nashi” and the movement “Russian mothers”. Among the strong slogans in those demonstrations is “The Norwegian child welfare service is Breivik”.




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  • Peter Rosa

    Of course in certain corners of the blogosphere you’ll see claims that Norway has been overrun by mostly fundamentalist Islamic immigrants.  See, for a homegrown example, Fjordman.

    • Asya Pereltsvaig

      Well, one finds all sorts of things in the blogosphere, no? Whether those claims have any base in reality and if so, whether they are greatly exaggerated, neither the Indian couple I mention in the post nor your typical Russian immigrant family are Muslims (though some of the so-called “Russians” in Norway are in fact from the North Caucasus, and some of them are indeed Muslims).

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