Intercultural city: Oslo, Norway
Most people do not think of Oslo as a place of great cultural diversity. Norway was isolated from the main flows of internal European migration for many centuries and was not a colonial power. It is still a relatively new nation only recently celebrating its centenary of independence. For many years it was primarily a country of emigration as people left behind poverty for a new life in the US and Canada. Only in the 1970s, with the revival of the economy led by offshore oil production, did the tide turn and Norway became a place of attraction for immigrants and the majority of them have settled in the capital, Oslo, adding a cosmopolitan touch to this quiet capital of the North.
The total population in Oslo is 529,846 (2005) and it is growing rapidly. About 22% of these, 118,337, are immigrants, with the majority of these (81%) of non-western origin. About 40% of school children are of migrant background. Unlike most other cities in Norway, Oslo is a culturally diverse city in the sense that people from many different countries and with different ethnic backgrounds live there, often in long-standing communities.
However, Oslo presents a stark picture in terms of the spatial distribution of migrant communities as the map below demonstrates.
Profile and activities
Activities and projects
OXLO – Oslo Extra Large
Oslo Intercultural strategy
Intercultural Cities Index
What is the ICC Index?
Intercultural organisations in Oslo
Web site for newcomers in Oslo
Web site dedicated to ICC