Oslo is the largest city and is the capital of Norway. Additionally, it is both a municipality and a county. Oslo is the governmental and economic center of the country and a center for trade, industry, shipping, and finance. Oslo is a global city that has been ranked first in terms of quality of life among European cities but also the second-most expensive city in the world following Tokyo. In 2015, Oslo had a population of 648,000. The population in 2018 is up to 673,469.
Oslo Population Density and City Size
The city proper has a population density of 1,400 people per square kilometer (3,700/square mile). The urban are has a population of 952,000 with an even higher density of 3,300 people per square kilometer (8,500/square mile). The Oslo metropolitan area has a population of 1.5 million. The total surface area that Oslo occupies comes to a total of 480.76 kilometers squared (185.62 square miles)
Name Changes of Oslo
Oslo has been known by many names over its long history, which dates back to about 1000 AD. In 1624, the city was destroyed by a fire and moved closer to Akershus Castle and renamed Christiania for King Christian IV. It was later called Kristiania due to a spelling reform before its original Norwegian name was returned in 1925.
Oslo Population Demographics
70% of Oslo's population are ethnically Norwegian according to the census. Still, the city has a large immigrant population with many Norwegians born to immigrant parents. Of the 648,000 people in Oslo, 190,000 were born to immigrants or immigrants themselves, or nearly 30% of the population.
Norway's national average immigrant population is 14%, a proportion exceeded in all Oslo suburbs. The suburbs of Sondre Nordstrand and Stovner og Alna have the highest immigrant population in Oslo at 50%.
The largest ethnic minority in Oslo is Pakistanis, followed by immigrants from Sweden, Somalia, and Poland. There are also sizable communities of people from Iraq, Iran, Vietnam, Turkey, Morocco, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka. The western part of Oslo is mostly ethnic Norwegian with fewer than 5% immigrants while in the eastern part, up to 97% of children in school are immigrants. 40% of children in primary school in the city speak a first language that is not Norwegian or Sami.
About 63% of people in Oslo belong to the Church of Norway, far lower than the national average membership of 82%. Muslims account for about 8% of the population followed by Roman Catholics.
Oslo Population Growth
Oslo is growing at a record rate and it's now the fastest-growing major city in all of Europe. Oslo's growth is attributed to high birth rates, intra-national migration, and international migration. The immigrant population is growing faster than the native Norwegian population and it now accounts for more than 25% of Oslo's population.