The Norwegian Presence in Spain: A Flourishing Community


Sun, Sea, and Smiles: How Norwegians Thrive in the Spanish Sunshine Image: Shutterstock/ DisobeyArt

SPAIN is made up of diverse communities from around the world among these international residents, Norwegians have found a second home in Spain’s sunny embrace. Approximately 50,000 Norwegians have chosen Spain as their destination for a fresh start or a tranquil retreat.

Beyond these permanent residents, Spain attracts an additional 30 per cent of Norwegians, around 1.3 million people, who annually holiday in the country. The draw of Spain’s warm climate, captivating landscapes, and vibrant culture is undeniable, and these numbers reflect the pull that the Iberian Peninsula holds for Norwegians.

Facilities Catering to Norwegians

Integration is not just about adapting to a new environment; it’s also about creating a sense of community and belonging. Spain has made significant strides in accommodating Norwegians’ needs, and the facilities available to them are a testament to this commitment.

The Norwegian Rheumatism Association’s centre, Reuma-Sol, situated on the Costa Blanca, stands as a symbol of care and support for Norwegian expatriates seeking treatment and training. Additionally, the presence of Norwegian restaurants, health services, a dedicated Norwegian Club, and branches of Sjømannskirken, the Norwegian Church Abroad, further reinforces the notion that Norwegians can find their cultural and social needs met in Spain.

Educational Opportunities and Lifestyle Factors

The Norwegian community’s influence extends to education, with Den Norske Skole Costa Blanca providing an environment where Norwegian children can maintain a connection to their language and culture while receiving a quality education. This institution bridges the gap between cultural preservation and global education, nurturing well-rounded individuals.

However, the reasons behind the Norwegian migration to Spain extend beyond just facilities and education. The Mediterranean climate, characterised by year-round sunshine and moderate temperatures, serves as a stark contrast to Norway‘s limited days above 20 degrees Celsius. This climate shift is not just a preference but a lifestyle choice, inviting Norwegians to enjoy more outdoor activities and fostering a healthier and happier way of life.

Lower Tax and Lifestyle Shifts

The financial aspects of life in Spain also play a significant role in attracting Norwegians. The appeal of a reduced tax burden is evident. In Norway, they pay around 34 to 40 per cent tax on their earnings while in Spain they pay around 20 per cent because of this and of course, the lower cost of living, along with the climate attracts many Norwegians to Spain.

Moreover, the differences in materialism and quality of life between the two nations also weigh heavily on the decision to relocate. Norway’s colder climate naturally fosters a culture of accumulating possessions to create comfort indoors. Spain’s warmer climate encourages outdoor activities and social engagement, which translates into a simpler life.

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Written by

Catherine McGeer

I am an Irish writer who has been living in Spain for the past twenty years. My writing centers around the Costa Cálida. As a mother I also write about family life on the coast of Spain and every now and then I try to break down the world of Spanish politics!