During the late 1800s and early 1900s there was widespread emigration from Norway, particularly to the USA. This emigration reached its peak from the mid-1860s, when over two-thirds of the natural population growth, or some 10-15% of the population, left the country. Emigration remained high until WWI, and did not come to a halt until the economic crisis of the 1930s.
Since the close of the 1960s, Norway has experienced substantial net immigration, representing some 1% of the population in the 1970s and the early 1980s. Since the birth rate among ethnic Norwegians has declined, the overall percentage of population growth caused by immigration has risen significantly, reaching 35-40%.
In the 1960s, immigrants arrived in ever-increasing numbers from Southern Europe, Asia, Africa and South America, with most settling in and around Oslo. In 1975, Norway implemented an official ban on immigration that remains in effect today. The ban does not apply to specified refugee groups and asylum seekers. There are annual entry quotas for these groups, which primarily come from the former Yugoslavia, Pakistan, Vietnam, Iran and Turkey. A certain amount of leeway is also granted for family reunification purposes.