Education;Public sector;Immigration and immigrants
introinnv, Introduction programme for immigrants, introduction benefitKOSTRA , Education, Adult education, Public sector, Immigration and immigrants, Education

Introduction programme for immigrants

StatBank table 08437 and table 3 was updated with figures for 2019 on June 19 2020.

Figures for 2017-2019 for work beside program participation as well as leave reason will be published later. Updated version of previous StatBank tables 08436 and 08440.



Next update

Key figures

20 918

participants in introduction programme for immigrants in 2019

Participants by age and sex
Total20 91811 0479 87152.847.2
18-25 years5 1793 1152 06460.139.9
26-35 years8 6424 1784 46448.351.7
36-45 years4 9932 5122 48150.349.7
46-55 years1 8951 10479158.341.7
56 years or older2091387166.034.0

See selected tables from this statistics

Table 1 
Participants of introduction programme, by country of birth and sex

Participants of introduction programme, by country of birth and sex
Participants (persons)Participants (per cent)
Both sexesMalesFemalesBoth sexesMalesFemales
Total20 91811 0479 8711005347
Of this:
Syria10 8776 1134 7641005644
Eritrea3 5721 7901 7821005050
Saudi Arabia12462621005050

Table 2 
Participants of introduction programme, sex and selected municipalities

Participants of introduction programme, sex and selected municipalities
Participants (persons)Participants (per cents)
Both sexesMalesFemalesBoth sexesMalesFemales
Total:20 91811 0479 8711005347
Of this:
0101 Halden (-2019)6833351004951
0104 Moss (-2019)9145461004951
0105 Sarpsborg (1992-2019)13064661004951
0106 Fredrikstad (1994-2019)3041591451005248
0213 Ski (-2019)10146551004654
0217 Oppegård (-2019)10774331006931
0219 Bærum (-2019)3611941671005446
0220 Asker (-2019)221140811006337
0228 Rælingen (-2019)7135361004951
0230 Lørenskog (-2019)9054361006040
0231 Skedsmo (-2019)197891081004555
0235 Ullensaker (-2019)11960591005050
0301 Oslo municipality1 6618897721005446
0402 Kongsvinger (-2019)7038321005446
0403 Hamar (1992-2019)11558571005050
0412 Ringsaker (-2019)11050601004555
0417 Stange (-2019)9152391005743
0427 Elverum (-2019)7941381005248
0501 Lillehammer (-2019)7942371005347
0502 Gjøvik (-2019)18595901005149
0533 Lunner (-2019)6838301005644
0534 Gran (-2019)9056341006238
0602 Drammen (-2019)2441221221005050
0604 Kongsberg (-2019)7935441004456
0605 Ringerike (1977-2019)14283591005842
0625 Nedre Eiker (-2019)8548371005644
0626 Lier (-2019)12062581005248
0627 Røyken (-2019)6336271005743
0701 Horten (2002-2019)12265571005347
0704 Tønsberg (1988-2019)203109941005446
0712 Larvik17798791005545
0710 Sandefjord (2017-2019)17993861005248
0729 Færder12673531005842
0805 Porsgrunn (-2019)14585601005941
0806 Skien (-2019)19296961005050
0807 Notodden (-2019)6931381004555
0814 Bamble (-2019)6332311005149
0815 Kragerø (-2019)7745321005842
0904 Grimstad (-2019)15274781004951
0906 Arendal (1992-2019)2401321081005545
1001 Kristiansand (-2019)5092832261005644
1002 Mandal (-2019)12471531005743
1004 Flekkefjord (-2019)6427371004258
1014 Vennesla (-2019)11259531005347
1101 Eigersund5931281005347
1102 Sandnes (-2019)2811591221005743
1103 Stavanger5593202391005743
1106 Haugesund16688781005347
1119 Hå8039411004951
1127 Randaberg8946431005248
1130 Strand8339441004753
1149 Karmøy9746511004753
1201 Bergen (-2019)8624823801005644
1235 Voss (-2019)9545501004753
1246 Fjell (-2019)6127341004456
1401 Flora (-2019)10764431006040
1420 Sogndal (-2019)9043471004852
1502 Molde (-2019)215116991005446
1504 Ålesund (1977-2019)15272801004753
1505 Kristiansund9454401005743
5001 Trondheim6633263371004951
5028 Melhus9056341006238
5004 Steinkjer12865631005149
5005 Namsos7336371004951
5035 Stjørdal9145461004951
5037 Levanger11565501005743
5038 Verdal7936431004654
1804 Bodø228137911006040
1833 Rana9248441005248
1860 Vestvågøy5429251005446
1865 Vågan7637391004951
1902 Tromsø (-2019)3601821781005149
1903 Harstad - Hárstták (2013-2019)13875631005446
1931 Lenvik (-2019)9852461005347
2003 Vadsø (-2019)6029311004852
2004 Hammerfest (1992-2019)5728291004951

Table 3 
Participants of introduction programme by sex an measures

Participants of introduction programme by sex an measures
Participants (persons)Participants (Per cent)
Both sexesMalesFemalesBoth sexesMalesFemales
StatBank tables 08437 was updated with figures for 2019 on June 19. Participants in total are updated from Statbank table 08427
Participants, total20 91811 0479 871100100100
Norwegian language training with social studies16 4558 2308 225797483
Language in practice2 7001 2561 444131115
Approval of education997128010
Work (in public sector, from 2011 also private sector)1 160820340673
Work practice3 8182 1831 635182017
Occupational approval...000
Course organized by municipality/state...000
Primary and lower secondary school5 8113 0472 764282828
Upper secondary education2 5411 69484712159
Labour market courses5453282172.63.02.2
Occupational courses organized by others1 5428616817.47.86.9
Measures that promote health / physical activities2 0139741 0399.68.810.5
Measures that promote social networking3 4271 6481 77916.414.918.0
Messures not registered1 1126504625.33.12.2
Other11 8096 0295 780565559

About the statistics

The statistics include content in the introduction programme and encompass recipients of introductory benefit. From 2017, data is also included on participants’ status immediately upon completion of the programme, including 2016 status in the programme at the end of the year. The figures for previous participants include those who have completed or dropped out of the programme, as well as status in relation to employment and education for a five-year period after the programme.


Definitions of the main concepts and variables


A person who, during the reference year, was registered by a local authority as a participant on the introduction programme.

Former participant

A former participant is someone who completed the programme or for different reasons dropped out of the programme in a given year, and is registered as resident in Norway in November the following year.

Introduction benefit

The introduction benefit is the benefit that introduction programme participants receive from the local authority to cover subsistence expenses during the period of the programme. The benefit on an annual basis is equal to twice the basic amount of National Insurance (2G). Participants under the age of 25 receive two-thirds of the benefit. The benefit is taxable, and if the participant is absent from training and initiatives without a valid reason, their benefit is reduced for each hour they are not in attendance. Everyone receives the same amount of benefit as it is not means tested. This means that it is not reduced due to child allowance, cash support etc. Nor is the benefit reduced due to income from self-employment or other work, or due to the possession of capital. To the extent that paid work is included in the programme, the benefit is reduced correspondingly for the period that the work is carried out. National insurance benefits, such as sickness benefit and unemployment benefit, are nevertheless reduced accordingly.

Initiatives in the introduction programme

The introduction programme is available for persons in need of basic qualification, and as a minimum must include Norwegian language training, knowledge about society and initiatives that prepare participants for further education/training or the labour market.

In addition to traditional Norwegian language training, initiatives are also offered outside the traditional classroom teaching, such as language practice in a workplace. Language practice is part of the Norwegian language training, where participants are placed in a workplace for part of the week in order to practice their Norwegian skills in an authentic setting.

Initiatives that prepare participants for further education/training or the labour market may entail practice work or other initiatives organised by NAV, vocational training, computer training, lower secondary or upper secondary studies etc. Vocational training is a method of real competence assessment that documents both theoretical knowledge and practical skills.

Ending reasons

When a participant finishes the introductory program, detailed reasons for ending the programme are recorded in NIR. The statistics use the following categorization of ending reasons: work, high school and higher education, elementary school, public-sector qualification measures, social assistance, other benefits and relocation.

 Immigrants are persons born abroad to two foreign-born parents and four foreign grandparents. Immigrants have immigrated to Norway at one time or another.

Persons with a refugee background

Persons who have come to Norway seeking refuge, and family members of these groups who came here as part of family reunification. Children born to persons with a refugee background after their parents came to Norway are not included in this category, and neither are asylum seekers.

Country of birth is mainly the mother’s country of residence when a person was born.

Employment/education is made up of persons who are registered as employed or in education, and those who are registered with a combination of employment and education. Employed persons are defined as those who performed paid work for at least one hour during the reference week, and persons who had such work but were on temporary leave during the reference week due to illness, holiday, paid leave etc.

Registered unemployed/on initiative is defined as persons who are registered as unemployed with NAV, and persons on ordinary labour market initiatives.

Other or unknown status are part of a collective term for the weakest degree of labour market attachment. Other status relates to individuals with a reduced ability to work who are on initiatives organised by NAV, those on long-term sick leave and recipients of social assistance. Unknown status means that they are not registered in any of the available data sources we use in the status reporting for labour market attachment. These individuals are therefore not employed, in education, registered unemployed or participating in labour market initiatives.

Standard classifications

Country background is a person or a person’s mother’s or father’s country of birth. Persons without an immigrant background only have Norway as a country background. When both parents are foreign-born, they are normally born in the same country. In cases where the parents were born in different countries, the mother’s country of birth is used.

Municipality in this context is the programme participant’s municipality of residence.

Administrative information

Name and topic

Name: Introduction programme for immigrants
Topic: Education

Next release

Responsible division

Division for Population Statistics

Regional level

National, county, municipal and district in Oslo for previous participants, and breakdown by industry region. 

Frequency and timeliness


International reporting

Not relevant


Files at an individual level with data are processed and stored long term.


Background and purpose

Act no. 80 of 4 July 2003 on an introduction programme and Norwegian language training for newly arrived immigrants (the Introduction Act) made the introduction programme and introduction benefit mandatory for local authorities as of 1 September 2004. Prior to the programme being made mandatory, a growing number of municipalities had various types of trial schemes.

The purpose of the Introduction Act is to strengthen immigrants’ potential to participate in the labour market and society, and facilitate their financial independence. Section 2 of the Act stipulates who has the right and obligation to participate in the introduction programme. These are persons with a refugee background, family members of these groups who came here as part of family reunification, and persons who have been allowed to stay on an independent basis following a relationship breakdown due to abuse. Furthermore, the person must be between 18 and 55 years old and in need of basic qualification. The introduction programme is adapted to the individual’s needs for qualification and can generally last up to two years. In special cases, the programme may be extended to three years. The aim of the programme is to provide newly arrived immigrants with a refugee background with basic skills in Norwegian, a basic insight into Norwegian society, and to prepare them for participation in the labour market and/or education. Programme participants are entitled to introduction benefit, which, on an annual basis, equals twice the basic amount of the National Insurance. Participants under the age of 25 receive two-thirds of the benefit.

Users and applications

Users of the statistics include the Ministry of Justice and Public Security (until 16 December 2015: Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion), Directorate of Integration and Diversity (IMDi), KS (the municipal sector’s association), municipalities, researchers, students and the media. Statistics based on KOSTRA data aim to provide management information on local authorities and county authorities, for use by the population and media, local authorities and central government bodies. 

Equal treatment of users

Not relevant

Coherence with other statistics

KOSTRA - Municipality-State-Reporting – main page: http://www.ssb.no/offentlig-sektor/kostra

Immigrants and Norwegian-born to immigrant parents: http://www.ssb.no/emner/02/01/10/innvbef/

Population statistics. Persons with a refugee background: https://www.ssb.no/befolkning/statistikker/innvgrunn/aar-flyktningbakgrunn

Legal authority

Statistics Norway has retrieved the information about participation in the introduction scheme from the Introduction Act. Pursuant to section 2-2 of the Statistics Act of 16 June 1989, Statistics Norway will compile official statistics from data received.


EEA reference

Not relevant




 The statistics on participation in the introduction programme include information about each participant of the introduction programme in the municipalities. The statistics include all who are registered as participants in the current year, and include information about the participant's gender, age, marital status, start date and end date of participation in the introduction programme, which initiatives they have participated in during the reference year, their ending reasons/status, which months they have received the benefit, and the total benefit amount for the year.


Former participants

Information about former participants on the introduction programme includes those who have completed or for various reasons left the programme in a given year. We follow their status in the labour market and in education over the next five years.

Data sources and sampling


From 2017, statistics on participants in the introduction programme are based on data from the National
Introduction Register (NIR) of the Directorate of Integration and Diversity (IMDi). More information about NIR: https://www.imdi.no/nir-og-bosetting/nir/

In addition, information about the municipalities' reporting of payment of introduction benefit is obtained from A-meldingen (https://www.altinn.no/a-ordningen/).

Until 2016 the statistics are based on local authorities’ annual submissions of electronic forms and file extractions in relation to participants who are registered on KOSTRA form 11B.

The data is then synthesised with the population statistics of 31 December in the reporting year.

Full count, i.e. all local authorities with participants on the programme should report to Statistics Norway.

Former participants

The statistics of former participants are based on KOSTRA information for all years, up to and including those who completed the introductory program in 2016.

For former participants, the data is further synthesised with the System for personal data, where information from a number of registers is collated. Register data has a reference date in November each year and contains information about whether a person is employed, registered unemployed, on an employment initiative, in education, or is in receipt of specific types of state benefits or measures. A person may, on the reference date, have more than one status at the same time, for example where they are both in employment and receiving benefit. One of the aims of these statistics is to examine how many people are active, and we have examined the activities of employment and education in addition to the combination of these. The following prioritisation was made: if a person is registered as unemployed, but is also in education, they are considered to be in education and not unemployed. As regards the other statuses, such as health-related benefits and social assistance, there are many who receive these in combination with, for example, employment, education or registered unemployment. In such cases, work and other activities, as well as registered unemployment, are prioritised.

Collection of data, editing and estimations

Data is collected from the local authorities through the KOSTRA reporting. Most of the local authorities have their own business systems from which data is retrieved, while some report using an electronic form. All participants with a valid personal identification number are linked to population data from 31 December of the reporting year. Only persons who are resident in Norway at the end of the year are included in the statistics. The KOSTRA tables, however, include all participants in the year. 

Checks are performed on personal identification numbers, in addition to logical value verification. In addition to the checks carried out in the National Population Register, Statistics Norway also performs checks for statistical purposes.

Former participants, leaving cohort

In order for former participants to be assigned a leaving cohort, the following processing is done: (a) All participants on the introduction programme whose status in KOSTRA is ‘completed’ or ‘dropped out’ at the end of the year are initially included in the population; (b) Only those who have actually completed the course, i.e. who are not just on temporary leave from the programme, are included in the cohort. The population is therefore checked against those who participated in the programme the following year; and (c) Women who drop out of the programme because they give birth immediately after dropping out of the programme or who for various reasons do not return to the programme once their leave ends, are added to the next cohort. Thus, they are only included in the statistics once they have had a year’s leave for child care.

Seasonal adjustment

Not relevant


Figures are not shown where there are fewer than four units.

Comparability over time and space

The statistics were first published in 2006 for the statistics year 2005.

Accuracy and reliability

Sources of error and uncertainty

Errors in connection with the collection and processing of data can occur. There may be coding errors, revision errors, or errors in the electronic data processing etc. Extensive efforts are made to minimise such errors. Thus, they can normally be disregarded in a statistical context.

There should in principle be no sampling errors as this is a full count.


Not relevant