Tag Archives: Statistics Norway

SVALBARD HOTEL STAYS DROP 98 PERCENT IN APRIL: Decline is Norway’s largest – and Longyearbyen fared even worse


Photo of Pyramiden Hotell by Visit Svalbard.

Hotel stays in Svalbard dropped 98 percent in April compared to a year ago, the sharpest drop in Norway as the archipelago was under the strictest coronavirus restrictions including a total ban on non-urgent entry by non-residents, according to Statistics Norway.

‘LARGEST POPULATION GROWTH IN THE PAST 10 YEARS’: 2,428 residents in Longyearbyen and Ny-Ålesund at end of 2019, 170 more than a year ago – but coronavirus may cause huge drop


Several years ago credible claims were made Longyearbyen’s population might decline 25 percent or more due to the shutdown of most coal mining, but instead a surging tourism industry has resulted in an upward trend culminating in an increase in 2019 that is the biggest in ten years, Statistics Norway reported Tuesday. But the report’s release coincides with the decimation local tourism due to the coronavirus pandemic, meaning next years numbers are highly likely to reflect massive layoffs that are forcing many Norwegians and foreigners alike to depart Svalbard

Longyearbyen and Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard’s two Norwegian settlements, had a total of 2,428 residents at the end of 2019, 170 more than the previous year, the agency reported. The increase includes an additional 97 percent from southern Norway, 54 from aboard and only four from northern Norway, which years ago accounted for a high percentage of the population in those two settlements.

‘STRONGEST GROWTH RECORDED SINCE 2009’: Longyearbyen and Ny-Ålesund population hits 2,379, up 121 during first half of 2019


Population totals continue to be promising for those hoping Svalbard’s Norwegian settlements can thrive in a post-coal era, with the 121 new residents in Longyearbyen and Ny-Ålesund during the first half of 2019 representing the largest half-year increase since 2009, according to Statistics Norway.

The figures are less encouraging for the government’s stated goal of making Longyearbyen more of a “normal” Norwegian family community, as the latest figures show 36 percent of the 2,379 residents in the two settlements are foreigners – continuing a steady growth from the 14 percent in 2009 – and the ratio of single-person households remains far above the mainland’s. But Statistics Norway notes the influx of foreigners is slower so far this year compared to Norwegians.

BUILDING THE ECONOMY UP: Economic activity in Svalbard increases 11.4 percent in 2018, due largely to construction


The past few years of economic and literal destruction in Longyearbyen due to the near elimination of mining as a cornerstone industry and existing homes due to risks caused by climate change has paved the way for a strong rebound in economic activity, as total gross income for Svalbard increased 11.4 percent in 2018 compared to 2017, Statistics Norway reported Thursday.

Random weirdness for the week of April 9, 2019


Tip for the many North Pole hopefuls stuck in Longyearbyen: Don’t try to reach the Barneo ice camp like the guy above. Still, since the madness of our stranded caravan community of Pole pursers reportedly involves everything from a marathon bar brawl to blaming Wiggy Trump for the trouble (because of course he always is), it’s probably not the worst sock to the balls suffered this week.

Drastic diversity: Population of Longyearbyen and Ny-Ålesund hits record high of 2,310; most of the newcomers are foreigners


A record 2,310 residents were living in Longyearbyen and Ny-Ålesund as of July 1, an increase of 96 since the beginning of the year, according to Statistics Norway. Foreigners accounted for 70 percent of the increase and now represent 32 percent of the population – and in some age groups they now outnumber Norwegians.

Increasingly international: Percentage of foreigners in Longyearbyen, Ny-Ålesund doubles in less than a decade


A total of 29.7 percent of residents in Longyearbyen and Ny-Ålesund are foreigners, a total that has more than doubled in less than a decade in a steady increase that appears likely to continue, according to a report released last week by Statistics Norway.

Dire dozen: Number of people employed in Longyearbyen drops 12 percent due largely to mining, construction losses


The number of people employed in Longyearbyen dropped 12 percent between 2015 and 2016, due primarily to Store Norske completing its large-scale layoffs and suspending most of its mining operations, according to Statistics Norway.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Sept. 27, 2016


Number of kids under six down nearly 40 percent since 2013
The number of children five years of age and under has dropped nearly 40 percent during the past three years, according to Statistics Norway, although there is disagreement among officials about the cause.

It’s official – we’re in a depression: 16 percent drop of Svalbard’s economic activity in 2015 fueled by 40 percent drop in mining and transport


A depression is defined as a 10 percent drop in economic activity or a downturn lasting more than two years. Svalbard has already blown through the first qualification with a 15.8 percent drop in activity in 2015 and stands a good chance of meeting the second this year.

The downturn was caused by a 39 percent drop in mining-related activity, which in turn fueled a 43.1 percent drop in transportation and storage, activity, according to Statistics Norway.

But despite the sharp downturn, employment in the archipelago actually rose one percent compared to 2014 due largely to increased activity in tourism and recreation, with tourism surpassing mining as the biggest employer. That may be a sign of Longyearbyen making a quick and drastic change from its century-long history as a coal mining one due to what the agency described as a “rapid growth in part-time jobs.”