Estimated numbers for the weeks and months ahead are as yet unknown.In total, more than half of the asylum seekers to Norway in 2015 were from Syria, but the breakdown has changed considerably during the year.Neither of these approaches are inherently wrong, but when empirical data is selected based on such different perspectives, it is easy to see how disagreements can arise on which knowledge base should be used to throw light on the situation.

Such terms include: resettlement refugees, refugees, migrants, immigrants, asylum seekers and asylum seekers who are granted residence.

Over the autumn, it has become increasingly common to refer to those crossing the Mediterranean as ‘refugees and migrants’, thereby perhaps implying a distinction between the ‘worthy needy’ and ‘fortune seekers’.

The number of Syrians seeking asylum in Norway was relatively high in the autumn of 2015, but their share of the overall influx has fallen (UDI 2015).

If we assume that the UDI’s current practice will continue (UDI 2015), the majority will probably be granted permission to stay, perhaps with the exception of those coming via counties where they have stayed legally for shorter or longer periods.

Furthermore, fewer are tempted to cross the Mediterranean on their way to Europe in the autumn and winter due to poorer weather, and this will also have played a role.

All of these factors have no doubt contributed to the sharp decline in the number of asylum seekers from the second half of November to the start of December.The Syrians, however, do not make up the majority of the influx to Europe.OECD (2015) shows that only 14 per cent of asylum seekers who arrived in the EU in the first quarter of 20 were from Syria.It is nevertheless evident that Norway is experiencing record numbers of asylum seekers and refugees.In recent months, the record influx of refugees into Europe has been a top news story across Europe.The situation has also been followed with great interest in Norway.