Tag Archives: Statistics Norway

LOCAL POPULATION HITS RECORD HIGH, DESPITE COVID-19: Norwegians represent almost all new Longyearbyen and Ny-Ålesund residents; ratio of foreigners drops to 35.3%


Image courtesy of Longyearbyen Lokalstyre

Svalbard’s population hit a record high 2,936 residents as of July 1 despite massive layoffs and the worst economic setbacks in Norway during the COVID-19 pandemic that began in early 2020, according to Statistics Norway.

In addition to that oddity, nearly all new residents were Norwegians while the percentage of foreign residents dropped – both striking contrasts to long-term pre-pandemic trends. The latest numbers reveal both the extra hardship foreigners faced during layoffs and the Norwegian government’s efforts to boost Norwegian presence in the archipelago.

15% LESS REVENUE, 10% FEWER WORK HOURS IN 2020: Economic setbacks of COVID-19 in Svalbard wildly uneven; food/lodging drop 36%, leisure activities 38%


The 15 percent loss of gross income and 10 percent loss of hours worked were bad for what would be a “normal” year, but hardly indicative of the “90 percent layoffs” and “99 percent loss of business” headlines Longyearbyen saw during the worst of the COVID-19 pamdemic in 2020.

But just as those scary headlines didn’t tell the full story, neither do the year-end cumulative figures for Svalbard as the loss of revenue and man hours varied widly by industry and settlement, according to a report released Tuesday by Statistics Norway.according to a report released Tuesday by Statistics Norway.

‘WOMEN OCCUPY SVALBARD’: Longyearbyen/Ny-Ålesund population up slightly from last year to 2,459, continues trend of women representing 75 percent of newcomers since 2009


The population of Longyearbyen and Ny-Ålesund increased by 31 during the past year to 2,459, despite the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic that forced many existing residents to depart, according to new figures released Tuesday by Statistics Norway.

It continues a long-term gradual increase in Svalbard’s Norwegian settlements and near-zero growth in the Russian settlements that features one clearly dominant trend: three-quarters of the growth has come from women in Longyearbyen and Ny-Ålesund since 2009.

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.