Poverty Rate in Norway
Norway, officially known as the Kingdom of Norway, is located between Finland, Russia, Skagerrak and Denmark. With a population of over 5.2 million people, Norway is a member of the European Economic Area. Norway is the world’s fifth-largest oil exporter and is considered to be one of the richest countries in Europe. Below are eight facts about the poverty rate in Norway.

8 Facts About the Poverty Rate in Norway

  1. Norway had an unemployment rate of 4.4 percent in 2016 and was ranked 48th on a list of worldwide unemployment rates. The rate dropped 0.2 percent from 2015 to 2016.
  2. Although Norway is considered to be a wealthy country, 7.5 percent of the population still lives below the poverty line.
  3. The richest 10 percent of the population in Norway controls 21.2 percent of the entire nation’s wealth. The poorest 10 percent of the population controls only 3.8 percent of the whole country’s wealth.
  4. Norway lowered its oil prices in 2015, which caused an increase in the country’s unemployment rate and slowed down the growth of its GDP in 2016.
  5. Many immigrants in Norway live in poverty. According to recent research, 36 percent of immigrant children live in poverty in Norway, while only five percent of children with Norwegian parents do.
  6. The main cause of poverty among immigrants is that many immigrants are unable to apply their education and work experience they gain from their home country to their new careers in Norway.
  7. The poverty among children is a direct cause of lower education rates. Most immigrant children end up failing at the workplace and struggling with the same poverty problem.
  8. Norway’s government has expressed a willingness to increase public spending from the sovereign wealth fund to help prevent a recession.

Although Norway is considered to be one of the wealthiest countries in Europe, poverty is still a problem in the country, especially among immigrants. The Norwegian government will need to pay more attention to immigrants’ living conditions in the future in order to make changes and reduce the poverty rate in Norway.

Mike Liu

Common Diseases in Norway

Norway, a country in northern Europe, is known for its beautiful landscapes and happy population. While the country is commonly mentioned as one of the happiest countries in the world, it too faces the plight of disease just like the rest of the world. Here are some of the most common diseases in Norway.

1. Ischemic Heart Disease
Known as the most common cause of death in the Western world, ischemic heart disease is a shortage of blood supply. In its less severe form it is felt as angina, but as the disease gets worse, plaque begins to cover the wall of the artery, leading to a heart attack.

2. Alzheimer’s Disease
A type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior, Alzheimer’s disease is the second most common cause of death in Norway. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia and begins to affect adults around the age of 65. In the early stages of the disease, those inflicted experience memory loss, but as it continues on it becomes difficult for them to keep up with a conversation or respond to the environment around them.

3. Cerebrovascular Disease
Encompassing different types of afflictions, cerebrovascular disease refers to any disorder in which the brain is affected by bleeding. The various conditions include stroke, carotid stenosis, vertebral stenosis and other diseases.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a disease that affects millions of people all around the world. This term is one that describes several conditions including emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma and forms of bronchiectasis. While many people have subtle symptoms such as breathlessness and coughing that are a normal part of aging, these can be the first signs of more serious pulmonary issues.

5. Lung Cancer
One of the most common cancers in the world, lung cancer is a leading cause of death in Norway. Most of the time, lung cancer is caused by behavior choices, such as smoking. Other risk factors include high levels of pollution, radiation and asbestos exposure.

While many of the most common diseases in Norway are ones that come naturally as we get older, some of them, such as lung cancer, are ones most commonly brought about by behavioral and environmental choices.

Olivia Hayes

Photo: Flickr

Why Is the Cost of Living in Norway So High?
With its capital, Oslo, ranked as the 59th most expensive city in the world, Norway is anything but cheap. The high cost of living in Norway is a result of its egalitarian social system, which relies on a value-added tax system and minimal variations between incomes among its citizens to sustain its unique economy and socioeconomic structure. However, the social welfare system provided by the Norwegian government as well as the low unemployment rate in Norway are the positive results of the pricey standard of living.

A key feature that defines the high cost of living in Norway is the increased tax rate. From income tax (starting at 28 percent) to value-added tax, Norway’s tax structure strengthens its egalitarian social system. One of the benefits of using this type of social system is that there is a very minimal differentiation between incomes in Norway. This prevents wage-gaps and renders social classes in Norway to practically nonexistent.

While inadequate pay for minimum wage is a problem among many developed countries, Norway has abandoned this concept all together. Most citizens in different employments sectors, from education to food service, earn a living wage. Although this boosts the price of common goods significantly, it also ensures that Norway’s working class does not become impoverished. This socioeconomic ideology is responsible for reducing Norway’s unemployment rate to a minuscule 3.4 percent.

Education, health care and transportation in Norway are all subsidized by the government. High taxes provide for quality public services. This is especially evident in health care for Norwegian families; cash-for-care benefits, as well as free prenatal visits, including maternal and paternal leave, are all covered by the Norwegian government.

Mutual functionalism between Norway’s citizens and government not only allows its economy to thrive but its democratic process too as well. By rewarding workforce participation with quality social welfare, the Nordic model is an economic solution to ensure societal development. Although the cost of living in Norway may seem inopportune at first glance, there is no doubt that the Norwegian social system provides exceptional benefits for its citizens.

Kaitlin Hocker
Photo: Flickr

Norway RefugeesNorway is a country in Northern Europe that is home to about 5,196,000 people. It is not part of the European Union because of its strong economy. With the recent influx of refugees to Europe, Norway had to determine how to manage those coming into the country.

10 Facts About Refugees in Norway

  1. Out of all the countries that make up Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland), Norway has a stricter approach when it comes to accepting refugees. Norway attempted to pose limitations in several ways to thin the flow of refugees to the country.
  2. Some measures the government took to decrease the amount of refugees include deporting those who are deemed a threat to security, and building a steel fence to stop refugees from crossing the border.
  3. In 2015, Norway experienced a large increase in asylum-seekers. More than 30,000 refugees came to Norway, and more than half of them were Syrian. Norway refugees also consist of Iraqis, Afghans, Sudanese, Somalis and Eritreans. Currently, refugees represent 3.6 percent of the Norwegian population.
  4. Since 2016, Norway is building a steel fence at the Arctic border with Russia to keep out refugees. In 2015, 5,500 refugees used this border in order to cross over into Norway. The border fence will be 660 feet long and 11 feet high. The border fence was met with criticism from refugees’ rights groups, and it reflects the tension that exists between asylum-seekers and members of the Norwegian population.
  5. To get to Norway through the Arctic border, people seeking refuge used a legal loophole. Russian border police do not permit people to cross the border while walking, and Norwegian border police do not allow cars to come through unless the driver has proper paper identification. Therefore, refugees made the crossing by riding bicycles. Refugees who used this loophole are under threat of deportation.
  6. Norway refugees typically arrive through two methods: crossing the Mediterranean by boat or going through Russia.
  7. After the shocking amount of refugees that Norway received in 2015, it developed more stringent controls on their borders and ID checks. Norway also offered $2,300 to refugees who choose to return to their own countries. This made the number of asylum seekers in Norway drop by 95 percent.
  8. Refugees entering the country are required to take “culture coding classes.” If they do not attend these classes, their benefits are cut. These classes were set up after there were a number of rapes committed by refugees. The classes focus on topics like gender, consent, communicating with the opposite sex, boundaries, domestic violence and what to do if you witness a sexual assault. Although these classes were criticized for stigmatizing refugees, many refugees appear to react positively to the classes, seeing them as a way to ease their integration into Norwegian society and better understand the different cultural norms.
  9. Despite Norway’s restrictions on asylum seekers, the country is very generous with the aid it provides to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). In fact, in 2016, it became the UNHCR’s largest donor per capita and the seventh largest donor among all countries. Norway also is the fourth largest donor of non-earmarked support.
  10. Norway strongly invests in UNHCR’s education programs for refugee children and in resettlement programs.

Anna Gargiulo

Photo: Flickr

Due to the increasing urgency of the refugee crisis, many countries are adjusting their immigration policies. Norway has long been hailed as one of the most open countries in terms of accepting refugees and providing aid for war-torn countries such as Syria. However, after a huge influx of immigrants in 2015, Norway has begun tightening its borders. In order better to understand the changes in the country’s policies, here are 10 facts about refugees in Norway:

  1. After World War II, an independent Norwegian organization called the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) became one of the greatest advocates for displaced people and working with national governments. In 2015 alone, the NRC assisted more than 5.4 million displaced people.
  2. In 2016, Norway contributed one of the largest pledges of humanitarian aid aimed at helping Syrian refugees. The small country pledged $1.2 billion dollars ($240 per person) toward four years of funding.
  3. Norway has a history of emphasizing humanitarian efforts regarding both donations and admitting refugees from foreign countries. Since 2013, Norway has granted citizenship to over 260 percent of its “fair share” of Syrian refugees based on an estimation by Red Cross and Red Crescent groups.
  4. Norway has been increasing its focus on ensuring that refugees integrate into society smoothly by assessing their access to education and the workforce. A large component of this assessment includes observing and treating the mental health of immigrants, many of whom suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, major depressive disorder and other mental illnesses.
  5. Norway has recently tightened restrictions on refugee immigration. In 2015, these restrictions resulted in a sharp decline in the number of refugees entering the country.
  6. Recently, asylum centers have been facing closures since the number of immigrants has dropped steadily since its peak in 2015.
  7. In 2017 thus far, Norway has experienced the lowest number of refugees seeking asylum since 1997. Many Norwegians believe this can be attributed to the recent increase in immigration restrictions.
  8. As of 2015, 3.6 percent of Norway’s population was comprised of refugees living legally. These refugees come from over 169 countries. A large majority of these refugees are from Bosnia and Herzegovina and were granted protection in the early 1990s.
  9. The Norwegian government has made headlines for its criticism of U.S. President Trump’s policies on the refugee crisis. Foreign Minister Brende tweeted: “Norway strongly believes that refugees should receive equal treatment regardless of religion, nationality or race. Hence, concerned [about] U.S. policy.”
  10. Like an increasing number of U.S. colleges and universities, the University of Oslo (UIO) has made its stance on the refugee crisis clear. The UIO website states its academic policies as well as their newly implemented efforts to welcome student refugees and asylum seekers.

Essentially, these 10 facts about refugees in Norway highlight that, despite the country’s massive funding of foreign aid, there are currently 65 million displaced refugees with nowhere to go. Additionally, many refugees in Norway are not yet capable of entering the workforce or educational system. This means that Norway faces the challenge of finding a solution for integrating refugees into its society while maintaining its reputation as an asylum.

Julia Morrison

Photo: Flickr

 Poverty in Norway

The European Union (EU) definition of the poverty line are those individuals making 60 percent of the national median earnings — for Norway, that would be about $17,000 a year. Using the EU definition, about 10 percent of Norwegians were considered below the relative poverty line in 2006, two years before the 2008 recession hit. Here are seven facts about poverty in Norway.

7 Facts About Poverty in Norway

  1. The Borgen Project had the opportunity to speak with Researcher Sindre Bangstad of the Frisch Institute in Oslo. He states: “A number of recent studies have shown that socio-economic inequalities continue to rise in Norway. Inequality is due to extensive tax cuts for the wealthiest five percent under the present right-wing government.”
  2. Aside from tax cuts, Norway provides a massive amount of social welfare programs and many regular citizens are able to find help. According to the “Inequality of Opportunity Index,” first put forth by Fransisco Ferreira of the World Bank, only two percent of Norwegians can attribute the lack of social mobility to a factor such as race, gender, birthplace, or disability.
  3. The young and old are both at risk. While inequality hurts youth, especially immigrant youth, the elderly are also facing economic hardships. Norway still needs to pay out the services promised to the older population. The elderly receive a good amount of benefits and make up a smaller percentage of the population in poverty. Contraceptive use is high and keeps birth rates low, so new generations are not as large as their predecessors. Only one in 200 children of Norwegian parents live under the poverty line.
  4.  At the same time, four in 10 immigrant children live in poverty in Norway. According to the CIA World Factbook, more than 27,000 refugees reside in Norway, who arrived from Eritrea, Somalia and Afghanistan. “Poverty is increasingly racialized in that children of immigrants are much more likely to grow up in poverty than children of white Norwegians born here,” Bangstad said.
  5. Many people facing economic trouble are centered in urban areas. Homelessness is a growing concern as housing prices remain high. With the wind, the temperature can be negative 15 degrees Celsius at night. People use shrubbery, churchyards, or sheds as toilets. Norway recently passed a law banning street beggars along with giving municipalities the power to begin making other regulations.
  6. The country’s welfare model makes social programs reliant on oil tax revenue. The decline of oil is a pressing concern for policymakers. According to the CIA World Factbook, this sector comprises nine percent of Norwegian jobs, 15 percent of its GDP and 39 percent of its exports.
  7. Norway has built up the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, stockpiling more than $800 billion. The budget each year is projected to use only four percent of those funds. The Norwegian government said it is willing to increase public spending to avoid a recession but provides many amenities to its citizens already. Perhaps something as simple as offering increased access or outreach to those who need such amenities could boost productivity and halt progress towards an economic recession.

Poverty looks similar and different across the globe. Norway still has challenges to overcome but has a government that continually works for its people. The current problem for social welfare programs fighting poverty in Norway may be hard to solve, but luckily the stockpile the country has accumulated can buy time for all its citizens to continue working towards a more sustainable future.


Michael Rose

Photo: Flickr

Norway is a highly developed country with flourishing technological advancements and a robust economy. According to current statistics, Norway is ranked number one in the top fifteen most developed countries in the world.

Norway has a human development index of 0.944 and the country’s economy is very diverse with a mix of natural resources and exports. The country has a strongly integrated welfare system that places it at the top of all other countries in the world.

Hunger in Norway is virtually nonexistent, and the country generally lends support and aid to other countries that experience hunger. Norway has recently doubled its allocations to hunger disasters in countries like Sudan, Yemen, Somalia and northeastern Nigeria.

Norway encourages humanitarian efforts for countries experiencing hunger, and due to the country’s position and lack of poverty, Norway closely monitors funds so that they can offer further support.

The Norwegian government, as well as non-government organizations and stakeholders, actively seek to assist countries by measuring levels of hunger and giving support to countries that need relief.

There is very little hunger in Norway due to the country having a strong welfare state, acting as a stabilizer to its economy by allowing individual autonomy.

This has made Norway a shining star that continues to offer hunger relief to the U.N., Red Cross and World Food Programme in the reduction of hunger and the eradication of poverty. These organizations have relied heavily on Norway to respond quickly to the needs of millions of people in need during times of conflict and natural disaster.

Since there is not hunger in Norway, the country is able to enjoy happiness while offering opportunities to partner with many organizations to follow their model of success. Norway is an example of a country without hunger that continues to guide other poor and developing countries.

Rochelle R. Dean

Photo: Flickr

Water Quality
Norway is generally a very healthy place, making it one of the top countries to live in. Water quality in Norway is exceptional, as tap water is always safe to drink.

Water quality in Norway ranks second in having the best tap water in the world. The country has special programs that protect its groundwater and other water systems that safeguard the quality of water for its citizens.

Norway’s tap water is exceptional and can be consumed from anywhere, however, this does not guarantee complete safety. More than 1.3 million Norwegians live in regions where their drinking water is not treated against parasites. Experts advise those living in the untreated areas to pay special attention to the water’s tint. The color of the water is an indication of overall quality, and if water quality is poor, it is colored or foul-smelling or recently changed, and should not be used without taking precautions.

The current water quality in Norway can be attributed to its strong hydropower expertise. The country’s main sources of water contamination are agriculture, municipal sewage and fish farming, which are integrated with water in terms of irrigation, drinking water supply and livestock.

More than 80 percent of the population in Norway is connected to the drinking water systems, which serve more than five thousand persons each. Ninety percent of the Norwegian populous drinks surface water while ten percent drink groundwater.

The water quality in Norway is exceptional and the Norwegian government continues to actively work to maintain the standard of drinking water.

Norway provides one of the best water supply systems in the world. While the challenges for Norway in maintaining its water supply include increased overflow discharges, leakage from sewers, reduced treatment capacity and minor outbreaks that could be linked to the country’s water supply, the water quality in Norway remains far superior compared to many countries in the world.

Rochelle R. Dean

Photo: Flickr

Antibiotic Resistance in Bacteria
A few of the major issues in attempting to combat bacteria is how quickly they adapt, evolve relative to large organisms, and develop antibiotic resistance.

Bacteria are able to replicate on a much greater magnitude than macro-organisms — E. Coli only takes 23 minutes to replicate — and they can adapt functional changes in a very short period of time.

For example, scientists at Harvard Medical School conducted an experiment where they grew E. Coli bacteria in a petri dish that consisted of increasingly strong concentrations of antibiotics. After eleven days, E. Coli strains emerged that could resist antibiotic concentrations that were a thousand times greater than the amount necessary to initially kill them.

As antibiotics have become more prevalent over the past century, bacteria have been evolving at a rate faster than we can keep up with. About 700,000 people are estimated to have died of infections from antibiotic-resistant bacteria last year.

If people do not take action against this problem, by the year 2050 we could have 10 million deaths a year due to resistant strains, meaning that resistant bacteria would be taking more lives than cancer.

A U.N. meeting was called on September 14 to discuss this issue. One factor contributing to the rise of resistant strains is the overuse of antibiotics in humans. Antibiotics tend to be overprescribed or simply used when they are not needed.

It is estimated that less than half the antibiotics people take are actually necessary. Unnecessarily using antibiotics contributes to the rise of resistant bacteria without achieving anything beneficial.

The overuse of antibiotics is seen even more often in the treatment of animals. According to the Huffington Post, over two-thirds of antibiotics used in the U.S. is used to treat livestock. Unnecessary antibiotic use in agriculture leads to resistant bacteria strains in humans as well.

Fortunately, action has been and will continue to be taken to reduce the rise of strains of bacteria that show antibiotic resistance. For example, the development of fish vaccines meant that antibiotics no longer had to be used in Norwegian salmon farming. Over the past six years, the Netherlands has reduced their animal antibiotic use by 56 percent.

Additionally, avoiding infection initially will reduce the need for antibiotics. Hospitals could make it a policy to discharge babies sooner before they have time to be exposed to potentially infectious diseases.

Educating mothers on the important role of breastfeeding in building up babies’ immune systems could also contribute to preventing the onset of infection.

According to the World Health Organization, even those of us living among the general populace can take action on this issue. We can practice better hygiene to prevent infections.

We should also be careful not to use antibiotics unless specifically prescribed by health professionals and make sure that we take the full course of antibiotics once they are prescribed to us.

Edmond Kim

Photo: Flickr

Today, 62 million girls around the world are not receiving a secondary education, for reasons such as gender inequality, lack of money, child marriage or commitment to family work.

If countries fund continued education, however, extreme poverty can be alleviated. Girls that go to school suspend unwanted marriages and pregnancies, are less susceptible to HIV and AIDS, have greater access to healthcare and gain knowledge and skills that lead to a sustainable life and increased earning.

As a host of the 2015 Global Citizen Festival, Stephen Colbert believes that supporting female education is the right thing to do and crucial to breaking the cycle of poverty. Colbert supports the Global Partnership for Education, a movement that ensures quality education for children in 60 developing countries. In order to continue funding education, however, the organization needs to disperse at least $15 billion a year and would like to do so by 2020.

Because Norway is an international leader in funding education, Colbert decided to lead an invasion into the country via Twitter. He and many other supporters tweeted at Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, encouraging her to further support education by giving the Global Partnership for Education $100 million each year for five years. Colbert explained that if Norway agreed to increase their support, the rest of the world would follow.

Fortunately, Solberg heard Colbert loud and clear. She responded shortly after his invasion, expressing her support for girls education and explaining that equal and accessible education builds secure futures. Norway is financially increasing their support for universal education and encouraging other countries to do the same.

Solberg also confirmed that she will attend the Global Citizen Festival in September in support of girls education.

The power of people coming together is truly inspiring and clearly successful. Social media has the power to unite citizens to establish good in the world, and Colbert successfully took to Twitter to increase funds for girls’ education and ensure that education is universally accessible for all children.

Sarah Sheppard

Sources: Global Citizen 1, UNICEF, Global Partnership, Global Citizen 2
Photo: Android Headlines