By Frazer Norwell
Friday March 19, 2021
A statistical analysis has found that immigrants in Norway experience greater loneliness and exclusion from society than the rest of the population.
A report from Statistics Norway analyses data from several different studies.
Just under one in five immigrants are a little bothered by loneliness and nearly one in ten are very bothered by loneliness, whereas only five percent of the rest of the population are very bothered by loneliness.“It has to do with the fact that immigrants are more often than others exposed to living conditions challenges such as low income and reduced health,” the report found.
There are over 700,000 immigrants in Norway, and they make up around 14 percent of the total population according to Statistics Norway.
People with health and financial problems are among those most likely to be affected by loneliness. 25 percent of those with health and financial problems are severely affected by loneliness.
Poor Norwegian language skills, limited contact with family, as well as facing discrimination and abuse are all cited as important factors in loneliness amongst immigrants.
“Loneliness among immigrants is also related to poor Norwegian skills, and that they face discrimination and problems with family contact,” the report states.
On the other hand, those with less to worry about financially, good Norwegian skills and frequent contact with family are less vulnerable to feeling the effects of loneliness.
Homeowners are also less likely to feel lonely than those that rent.
“The fact that renting a home is associated with the risk of loneliness may be due to the fact that renting is often shorter term than home ownership and that it takes time establish roots in one place and establish relationships with neighbours and friends,” the report states.
Those whose partners aren’t in Norway are also more vulnerable to loneliness. The report found that having a spouse or partner that isn’t in Norway was a large risk factor.
Furthermore, being single, missing friends, and not trusting others are associated with significantly greater loneliness.
There were few differences in gender when it came to loneliness. However Polish women are rarely bothered by loneliness, the analysis found. On the other hand, women from Sri Lanka, Turkey and Somalia are more likely to feel lonely than the men.
Categorised by global region, those from Africa and Asia are the most likely to feel lonely and excluded from society and are two-and-a-half times more likely to feel lonely than the rest of the population.
The report concludes that the Norwegian government should look at more general measures to improve living conditions and reduce inequality to reduce and prevent loneliness and social exclusion.