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Home* News and Stories → Longyearbyen’s popu­la­ti­on is gro­wing and beco­ming more Nor­we­gi­an

Longyearbyen’s popu­la­ti­on is gro­wing and beco­ming more Nor­we­gi­an

Sta­tis­tics Nor­way (sta­tis­tisk sen­tral­by­rå, SSB) have published new data describ­ing Svalbard’s popu­la­ti­on. As of Janu­ary 01, 2023, a total resi­dent popu­la­ti­on of 2,897 peo­p­le was regis­tered in Spitsbergen’s five sett­le­ment, start­ing with 10 folks in the Polish rese­arch sta­ti­on in Horn­sund.

Most peo­p­le live in Lon­gye­ar­by­en and Ny-Åle­sund, which are coun­ted tog­e­ther in the offi­ci­al sta­tis­tics. The­se sett­le­ments had a total popu­la­ti­on of 2,530 as of the begin­ning of 2023. During the fall of 2022, this num­ber had increased: 234 peo­p­le who had moved away were move than com­pen­sa­ted by 352 who moved to Lon­gye­ar­by­en (and Ny-Åle­sund, but most of them will defi­ni­te­ly have moved to Lon­gye­ar­by­en).

The­se figu­res indi­ca­te high fluc­tua­ti­on: near­ly 10 per cent of the total popu­la­ti­on have moved in and out in just half a year. High fluc­tua­ti­on has always been a cha­rac­te­ristic of Longyearbyen’s popu­la­ti­on. Many come on con­tract and lea­ve again as soon as the work is done, for exam­p­le when a buil­ding pro­ject is finis­hed or when the sea­son is over.

Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen: population

Longyearbyen’s popu­la­ti­on in ear­ly 2023:
some went away, more moved in.

The sta­tis­tics give away some more inte­res­t­ing details: the per­cen­ta­ge of women has increased slight­ly up to 47.1 %. Also the per­cen­ta­ge of Nor­we­gi­an citi­zens has increased a litt­le bit, but over the years it has been sta­ble and clo­se to 65 %. Among­st the non-Nor­we­gi­an citi­zens, the pro­por­ti­on of peo­p­le from EU-count­ries out­side Scan­di­na­via has grown a litt­le bit.

At the same time, the per­cen­ta­ge of child­ren and young peo­p­le has decreased. Espe­ci­al­ly when con­side­ring young child­ren (youn­ger than school age), the decrease is quite pro­no­un­ced, from 170 in 2013 to only 109 in 2023. During the same peri­od, the age group 20-44 has seen the stron­gest increase, from 49 % to 54 %.

Barents­burg and Pyra­mi­den

Also the Rus­si­an sett­le­ments of Barents­burg and Pyra­mi­den are cover­ed by the Nor­we­gi­an sta­tis­tics. Also here, both are coun­ted tog­e­ther, but the­re is not real­ly a per­ma­nent popu­la­ti­on in Pyra­mi­den, whe­re only a small group of a few dozen peo­p­le are pre­sent for peri­ods of usual­ly a cou­ple of months or so to keep the place run­ning.

Sta­tis­tics show a record popu­la­ti­on also in Barents­burg and Pyra­mi­den, but with 357 peo­p­le in Janu­ary 2023, it is a nega­ti­ve one – never have fewer peo­p­le been regis­tered in Spitsbergen’s Rus­si­an sett­le­ments. Accor­ding to for­mer head of Trust Arktikugol’s tou­rism sec­tion in Barents­burg Timo­fey Rogoz­hin as quo­ted by The Barents Obser­ver, most Ukrai­ni­ans have left sin­ce the begin­ning of the Rus­si­an war. Until ear­ly 2022, a high per­cen­ta­ge of coal miners and others in Barents­burg were from the Ukrai­ne.



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last modification: 2023-05-16 · copyright: Rolf Stange