Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Immigrant density in Bergen

Statistics from Bergen immigrant population (article in BT March 19th 2007). The statistic show that the highest density, at the time of this publication, was at Årstad (8-11% of population), followed by Bergenhus and Laksevåg, then Fyllingsdalen and Åsane. Less immigrants are found in Fana, Ytrebygda and Arna. This confirms global investigation that immigrants are more likely to move to more urban areas and more likely to move to areas where there is already a larger density of immigrants.

Today 10,5% of Bergens population has immigrant background (1st or 2nd generation). Bergen has a total population of 256,580 as of 1 January 2010. In relation the percentage is 10,6 on country basis, with Oslo, Drammen and Stavanger really pulling that statistic up.

Diagram of Bergens immigrant population, 20 largest groups, 1st of January 2009.

Country Population[50]
Total 26,489
Poland 2,741
Iraq 1,589
Vietnam 1,247
Chile 1,218
Sri Lanka 1,114
Germany 1,049
Sweden 898
Somalia 893
United Kingdom 877
Bosnia and Herzegovina 799
Denmark 675
Iran 659
Thailand 630
India 575
Turkey 569
Russia 527
United States 524
Philippines 520
Pakistan 417
People's Republic of China 416

Whereas higher diversity in population can bring about fruitful qualities, studies have also shown that the more culturally or ethnically diverse an area is the less is the degree of trust amongst the inhabitants, and not just towards members of other cultures, also within ones own. This makes sense in a psychological perspective - trust, discrimination... it cannot be isolated towards just one object in a persons life, it will be a general issue affecting all relations of that person.

Some of the problems many nations and communities are facing now, and that they realize that they have not solved, is the patchwork of cultures their whole consists of, and people are people, which is to say - unpredictable, agents of constant change - and therefore have not reacted to integration politics they was governments in different countries have expected them to.

What can be the architectural response to bring about more trust in a situation where cultural diversity is present? I have performed an interview of the cultural coordinator at Bergen International Culture Centre, and I will post my impressions shortly.


Birgitte J.H. said...

Ethologist Frank Salter writes:
Relatively homogeneous societies invest more in public goods, indicating a higher level of public altruism. For example, the degree of ethnic homogeneity correlates with the government's share of gross domestic product as well as the average wealth of citizens. Case studies of the United States, Africa and South-East Asia find that multi-ethnic societies are less charitable and less able to cooperate to develop public infrastructure. Moscow beggars receive more gifts from fellow ethnics than from other ethnies. A recent multi-city study of municipal spending on public goods in the United States found that ethnically or racially diverse cities spend a smaller portion of their budgets and less per capita on public services than do the more homogenous cities.[9]


vibeke jensen said...

well yes, the ideas of solidarity with 'your own', patriotism, ethnocentrism are more ingrained values than the understanding of one human race, universal human rights and respect and care for each other and the planet we share. but there is hope and change is inevitable, we can all make a difference and it is up to you to mirror your stand in your project. living in new york for 17 years shows me that people thrive from living together. there is certainly more tolerance and melting pot here than most places. 'public' services are also much better than most places in the US, even though they are mostly paid for by private money (who receives tax breaks)- another kind of indirect public funding...
statistics can be useful, but the world is complex

vibeke jensen said...

oh, and - very interesting to see where the bergen immigrants come from - now you know who your clients are - act on it :)

Birgitte J.H. said...

Thank you for comments Vibeke

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