More than 800,000 Norwegians crossed the Atlantic between 1825 and 1939 to begin a new life in America. Quite a few went back again, but with so many leaving, the effect was felt strongly in Norway as well. Often, we say that Norway during those years was gripped by something called “America fever”: A contagious condition that spread quickly through the country.

There were cases where a whole village left, and entire families – so that none at all were left in Norway.

Norwegians have also left a lasting impression on American society. There are more people of Norwegian descent in the USA today than there are people in Norway!

The table shows the number of people who emigrated from Norway to America between 1815 and 1930 by year
(Source: Norway’s Digital Archives).


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Western Telemark in pictures and on film
See what Western Telemark looks like from a helicopter, or take a virtual trip along the Telemark Canal with the canal boat MS Henrik Ibsen.
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