4.1 General context
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Main challenges to social inclusion
Norway is a wealthy country that scores well on international rankings of income and living conditions. The Norwegian welfare state protects the population in most situations of risk through universal health care and education, as well as other welfare services. Nevertheless, over the last couple of decades there has been a considerable increase in families living with persistent low incomes. Families with an immigrant background and single parents are overrepresented among households with persistent low incomes.
10.7 per cent of young people under the age of 30 were out of work, education, and work-oriented measures in 2019. According to the OECD report Investing in Youth: Norway NEETs in Norway tend to be more disadvantaged than in other OECD countries. More than half have not completed upper-secondary education and young people born abroad are more than twice as likely to be NEETs as their Norwegian-born peers. NEETs are also nine times more likely to be of poor health and six times more likely to feel depressed than other young people.
Statistics show that immigrants and Norwegian-born with immigrant parents experience discrimination in many areas of society in Norway, such as in the labour and housing market. There are only a few studies on discrimination against Sami and national minorities in Norwegian society today. This is partly because there are no statistics for these groups as no information on ethnicity is registered in official statistics in Norway.
In Norway social exclusion [utenforskap] among young people is often defined as lack of participation in education and work, lack of or very limited social network and lack of belonging to a community or to society at large.