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Norwegians in New York
    by Knight Hoover (Volume 24: Page 221)

The arrival of the ship "Restoration" in 1825 is considered the beginning of Norwegian group migration to America. Of the fifty-two persons aboard, however, only the skipper is reported to have remained in New York City. This trend continued for more than a half century, during which the largest percentage of Norwegians who immigrated to New York continued on — via the Erie Canal and the Great Lakes — to the midwestern section of the United States. {1}

Immigration after 1825, however, was for a time a mere trickle. It was not until 1836 that Norwegians came to this country in substantial numbers. The fjord-to-prairie migration continued. Generally, the Norwegians who remained in New York City did not as a rule do so of their own volition. Some of them found themselves cheated of funds that were intended for the trek westward, and the metropolis soon earned the reputation of being "a genuine home for all arch pickpockets and swindlers." {2}

Events in Norway had an enormous impact on emigration. In 1880, a depression ravaged the country, but of greater significance for Norwegian settlement in New York was the [222] transition from sail to steam that spiraled Norway into a maritime crisis. Many sailors deserted their ships and remained in the great eastern American port. They were later followed by men in the building trades and ship workers from the coastal towns of Norway. Since their youth, these people had also been trained to make a living in a sea environment. Therefore, as the agricultural crisis in the old country resulted in the settlement of the American West, the maritime crisis in Norway was perhaps the greatest single factor leading to the settlement of Norwegians in New York and later in Brooklyn. It was during the period from about 1850 to 1890 that the first "colony" grew up in Manhattan, in the section now bounded by Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, and the East River. It was in this area that Norwegian immigrants lived, worked, and built their churches. {3}

During this same span of years, another change in the New York environment was occurring. Manhattan’s waterfront, lined with shipping and dry docks since the beginning of the century, provided plenty of work for Norwegian carpenters, shipbuilders, sailmakers, and dock and harbor workers. As the population of New York increased and technology advanced, the East River was spanned by bridge and ferry. Industries seeking more space began to move. Thus Brooklyn gradually replaced Manhattan as the shipbuilding, ship-repairing, and docking center. This increasing waterfront business provided even more work for the Norwegians. {4}

In the 1870’s, the Norwegian population in New York [223] began to migrate across the East River and to purchase houses in the relatively sparsely settled areas of Old South Brooklyn and Greenpoint. {5} The former was located near the shipping activity in Red Hook, and the latter, farther north, was also the base of some maritime occupations. Together these areas provided sites for beautiful dwellings on tree-shaded streets. The men could either walk to work or commute to Manhattan, both sections being connected with Manhattan by ferry. The Hamilton ferry docked at the foot of Brooklyn’s Hamilton Avenue, the Norwegian thoroughfare between 1870 and 1910. {6} It was at this time — with Norway in the throes of economic change and New York offering jobs paying good wages to men skilled in the building, repairing, and handling of ships — that the Norwegian-born population more than doubled. At the turn of the century, there were only 11,387 persons classified as Norwegians in New York. But by 1910 this figure had increased to 25,013 born in the old country, and another 12,392 born in America of Norwegian parents. The total thus had reached 87,405, and the number was on the increase. {7}

By 1900 the churches had followed the people, creating another trend that was to continue through the years of settlement in Brooklyn. More churches were soon built, and social, benevolent, and charitable institutions were founded. These agencies aided the Norwegian immigrants in adapting themselves to life in America and provided them with many benefits. With the integration of the socio-economic and physiographic aspects of everyday living, the Norwegians formed a community within rapidly expanding Brooklyn.

The Norwegian group was not the only one, however, which was increasing in population. After 1865 many south [224] Europeans, particularly Italians from Sicily, moved into the areas inhabited by Norwegians, Germans, and Irish. Just as these latter groups had replaced the New Englanders before them, the Sicilians were now invading their area of residence. The increase in population made necessary the razing of one-and two-family houses, and soon tenements were being built in their place. The green areas rapidly disappeared. {8} The south Italians, whose tradition it was to entertain only family and close friends in their homes, often met and conversed in the streets or on the stoops. {9} This openness of life resulted in a culture clash with more reserved Norwegian patterns. Once again the Norwegians shifted their base. Christen T. Jonassen attributes the movements of the Norwegian population to a combination of factors resulting from features of their cultural heritage. Their traditional love of the sea and of nature, coupled with their desire to have plenty of space around them, compelled them to migrate when conditions they deemed desirable no longer existed in the city. {10}

By 1890, the Norwegian population was again on the move. The residents of the Greenpoint section had scattered in all directions. The inhabitants of Old South Brooklyn, however, continued to shift to the southeast, toward the fashionable area around Prospect Park in the Park Slope section. This area at the time was sparsely settled, with large, open sections of grass located here and there. This choice of a site again reflects a preference on the part of the people to seek a less crowded environment and the proximity of the sea. It established the third center of Norwegian settlement in Greater New York. {11} [225]

But the growth of the city was not to be stopped. New docks and warehouses, extending out to 59th Street, had just been constructed. The Fourth Avenue subway, completed in 1915, and motor transportation were contributing factors. {12} These means of transportation, together with the economic success of the Norwegians, provided the opportunity for leaving crowded areas. And the immigrant could still remain within commuting distance of the shipping center in Red Hook. When the city once again encroached upon their residential area, they continued the trend and shifted to new locations. This time the movement was to be toward the southwest, along the sea, into the Sunset Park section of Brooklyn. {13} The patterns of change are revealed in the histories of the various cultural and religious organizations which, for the most part, followed the people. One church history adequately mirrors the leapfrog-like progress of the Norwegian population centers: "While for many years the church on 4th Ave. and 32nd St. was practically the center of the Norwegian population of Brooklyn, by 1928 this was no longer true. Other nationalities and creeds had moved in while the Norwegian population in Brooklyn . . . centered at the intersection of 7th Ave. and 57th St." {14}

In the years following World War II, the center of Norwegian population was situated south of Sunset Park and in the northern part of Bay Ridge, the fourth area of Norwegian settlement. In 1940, there were in Brooklyn 30,750 Norwegian-born, a figure which combined with American-born of Norwegian parents made a total of 54,530. {15} By this time, of course, some of the third-and fourth-generation children were living in the community. There was no way of ascertaining exactly how many people of Norwegian ancestry there were in the colony, because the census information does [226] not include generations later than the second. With the educational advances that were made, however, the sea industries no longer continued to be the economic base of the largest segment of the Norwegian group. As occupations became varied, the well-being of the immigrants increased; with the speed of modern transportation, they were no longer tied to the sea. {16} At this time, therefore, Norwegians began moving in large numbers out of the city to the suburbs of Long Island, New Jersey, and Westchester. Nevertheless, they also continued farther south into the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, the fifth major area of Norwegian settlement in New York City. {17}

The center of the Norwegian population in 1960 remained in approximately the same section as in 1940; it was mainly south of Sunset Park and north of 65th Street. However, the density of the Norwegian stock had lessened by approximately one third in 20 years. In 1960 it was 23,080, representing a decrease of 11,894 in two decades. This comparison indicates a stable situation as regards movement, and, simultaneously, a decrease in the total population. This condition can be accounted for by the fact that the young people had left their parents’ homes. But the parents themselves remained where they had always lived, a factor which kept a sizable part of the area in Norwegian ownership and the population center relatively unchanged.

Jonassen has revealed that the Norwegian people in New [227] York had always lived in the better residential sections. {18} He notes that, in 1940, 10 per cent of the population lived in areas termed "poor," 54 per cent in areas labeled "medium," and 36 per cent in the "best" areas. The best locations were in the Bay Ridge and Fort Hamilton sections of Brooklyn and the poor ones in the northwestern sector of the Sunset Park region. {19} Recently, the latter district has been designated as a "poverty area" by New York City. If the past pattern continues, the 1970 census will reveal a considerable decrease in Brooklyn’s Norwegian population, as compared to the 1960 figure.

Factors causing the Norwegian population to remain together in New York and Brooklyn are matters of considerable interest for students of the social sciences. As indicated above, there was no single reason for their choice of place of settlement, nor for their subsequent moves. A combination of causes may be cited: the economic base, the general condition of the area, the means of transportation, together with the inherent attitudes and values of the people growing out of their heritage. There are, however, additional factors that have forced the cohesion of the group. One asks, for example, why have the Norwegians remained together when their Scandinavian counterparts, the Swedes and Danes, have not? {20} Surely Norwegian immigrants did not isolate themselves because they were confronted with more prejudice in America than other Scandinavians faced. Assuredly their keeping together was voluntary; thus there must be other relevant factors accounting for this phenomenon. [228]

The conditions under which the Norwegians emigrated may help to explain their apparent clannishness. A brief survey of the circumstances in Norway before and during the emigrations reveals that the country had been the subordinate partner in Danish and Swedish unions for over six centuries. Just prior to the first emigration, the Norwegian people, freed from the Dano-Norwegian union after the Napoleonic wars, drafted and adopted a constitution, a document which whetted their appetite for freedom. Conditions, however, continued to keep the Norwegians from realizing the freedoms set forth in their constitution. {21} Their departure from the homeland occurred during a period of rising nationalism and romanticism. Authors and artists such as Wergeland, Ibsen, Bjørnson, Grieg, and others aroused a passionate feeling of love for Norway and a strong desire for total freedom. The eventual peaceful separation from Sweden in 1905 was the culminating point of this national resurgence, and countrymen the world over rejoiced for the fatherland. {22}

Thus, once in America, they did not allow events in "Old Norway" to be forgotten. Their "Norwegianness" was at the spiritual base of their community. Unlike the Norwegians in the midwestern settlements, however, the New York immigrants maintained strong ties with the homeland throughout the first half of the twentieth century. Aided by its geographic location, the eastern settlement was in a position to retain its close relation with Europe. In addition to the social and religious organizations that sought to broaden and solidify the cultural bonds between the two nations, the sea continued to unite the Norwegians. {23} This was true despite [229] the fact that the sea was no longer the fjord waters, but the Atlantic Ocean. The Norwegian merchant marine, recovering from the early maritime crisis, developed into one of the largest in the world. {24} It carried on an especially lively trade with America. People often remarked that there were more ships from Norway in the New York harbor than from any other foreign nation. Sailors kept the ties strong with news from the "other side." {25}

It is impossible to pinpoint any one reason for this binding Brooklyn-Norway tie, which strengthened the identity of the New York Norwegian community. The West had long since been settled and no longer provided a frontier with cheap land; more important than that, however, was the fact that conditions had continued to change in Norway. The newer type of immigrant preferred urban areas to farm lands. He was largely a person seeking to improve his economic position. Construction was flourishing, and the Norwegian with skills in the building trades found plenty of work. The 1920 Quota Act reduced the number of Norwegians permitted to enter the United States, but they continued to average over a thousand per year, most of whom settled in the East. {26} Usually they came to the Brooklyn community and remained, if only long enough to accumulate some wealth before continuing on to the suburbs. Nevertheless, the New York Norwegian settlement was continually being revitalized by new immigration.

World War II proved another extremely important factor uniting the Norwegians, both in spirit with Norway and within the colony. After having enjoyed freedom from [230] foreign rule for 35 years, Norway was again under the heel of an invader. During the five-year occupation by the Nazis, Norwegians in the New York community, many of whom had relatives in the homeland, joined together to raise thousands of dollars for the relief of their kinsmen. {27} Norwegian sailors, with no home to return to, sought out friends and relatives in Brooklyn, and made the colony their base for the duration of the war. Carl Søyland, former editor of Nordisk Tidende, estimates that the war prolonged the life of the Brooklyn Norwegian community by ten years, as long-forgotten professional men returned from other areas of the city to assume leadership in the drive to assist Norway. {28}

Norwegians in the East remain conscious of their old-world heritage. It is not uncommon to hear Norway spoken of as "home." There is even one section in the southern part of that country which is referred to as the "fifty-first state," because almost everyone has been to America at some time. The constant interchange is evidenced by the return of some Norwegian Americans and also by increased vacation travel. Both activities have served to keep the ties with Norway strong. "Norwegianness" has persisted to the present and is a striking characteristic of the Brooklyn settlement, which is referred to as the "colony" by Nordisk Tidende and by its inhabitants. Although literally the term is a misnomer, it does reveal how the people feel in relation to Norway. {29} In this respect, the Brooklyn Norwegian community has remained more Norwegian than the numerically larger settlements in the Midwest. {30}

Within the Brooklyn Norwegian community, there is a [231] network of relationships which often focuses on a particular church or organization. {31} Often the internal segments of the population are at odds with one another; thus, as in any human society, there are inevitable disputes arising over group values. {32} Despite these tensions, identity with the Norwegian heritage — a common language, a common faith, a common culture — keeps the community united. Regardless of their differences, they are more homogeneous than other ethnic groups surrounding them. {33} Their unity is displayed at Seventeenth of May festivities, a celebration which is the culminating event of the year. The Norwegian Americans, exhibiting their "Norwegianness," congregate in Brooklyn from everywhere in the New York metropolitan area in a show of strength. {34}

In 1949, Christen T. Jonassen summarized: "It would seem that the Norwegian community in Brooklyn is making its last stand in Bay Ridge with its back to the sea. Its final dissolution is a matter of years and will be brought about because the balance of variables that determined its development cannot be maintained much longer. As long as the values of their heritage could be integrated and harmonized with conditions of the developing city, the community grew and flourished; when this integration is no longer possible it will disintegrate and its members disperse!" {35} [232]

It is certain that the Brooklyn Norwegian community is "assimilating," that is, it is becoming invisible to the average person. In fact, few New York residents are aware that there is a Norwegian community in their midst. It can be said to be migrating. As Carl Søyland visualizes it, the colony is like a circle from which the Norwegian people disperse in all directions. {36} It is not yet established, however, that its dissolution will come about in just "a matter of years."

For the present, the population movement to the suburbs — a characteristic of all white groups in New York City immediately following World War II — has abated in the Norwegian community. {37} Despite some reverse migration, movement from the suburbs back to the city, there is no immediate prospect of any significant influx of new blood. Many who remain in Brooklyn are elderly persons; the young married couples often wish to raise their children away from the influence of the city. {38} But a most important factor is that the immigration of Norwegians, the lifeblood of the New York Norwegian settlement, has virtually reached a standstill. {39}

The Norwegian population remains south of Sunset Park and in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn. This neighborhood remains among the best residential areas of New York City. It continues to be a community of largely one- and two-family houses, although modern high-rise apartments are in evidence. Generally it is still desirable to many Norwegians.

While the physical environment of the Brooklyn colony continues to be acceptable, there are noticeable changes in its environment that are of considerable concern to the [233] Norwegian people. Crime rates are undoubtedly on the rise. People, especially the elderly, are often afraid to be out at night. For this reason, some of the churches no longer hold evening services. Another source of anxiety is the increase of the Puerto Rican population in the Sunset Park section. Like all newcomers, these people are younger, have more children, and are poorly educated. Therefore, they have lower incomes than other ethnic groups in the area. As a result, crowding and a subsequent deterioration of the neighborhood is occurring.

If the Norwegians continue in their past pattern, the area will soon become unacceptable to them and they will leave. The shift is already occurring; the 1970 census will reveal its extent. Some sell their homes in the area, but remain in Brooklyn by moving farther out in Bay Ridge. Contrary to what some Norwegian historians have indicated, parents whose children have left home are often content to move into small apartments. It is certain that many like Brooklyn and prefer for many reasons to remain there. Apparently, their choice no longer has much to do with their cultural heritage. {40}

A survey of Norwegian clubs and institutions shows that most of them are financially sound, despite a general decrease in membership. These organizations, however, are not predominantly supported by the under-50 age group. There is little support by those under 25, but this is not to say that the young people are not interested. Generally, the third generation becomes fascinated by what "this Norwegian thing is all about." They want to learn about Norway and its culture. This is less an ethnic concern than an intellectual one. Knowing about their heritage is a means of obtaining some identity in a "sea of Roman Catholics." {41} With [234] increased air travel, why dream about Norway when one can visit it?

What — on the basis of information gathered by a questionnaire survey — is the likely future of the New York Norwegians and their community? As indicated, the Norwegian-born have adapted to an urban way of life. As Herbert Gans has reported: "They [European immigrants] adapt their non-urban institutions and cultures to the urban milieu." {42} In doing this, they are like other immigrant groups. They are proud of Norway and its culture, but they are also intensely American. They raise their children as they think best and according to the way they themselves have been brought up. They will remain in Brooklyn, although in continually decreasing numbers, until in the aggregate they are totally indistinct from the other people of the area. {43} If conditions reach a point that they no longer regard as desirable, they will move. Research indicates that the bulk of the Norwegian-American people will remain in Brooklyn for many years to come, rather than take part in the suburban exodus. {44}

Will the "colony" continue as an identifiable community supporting churches, clubs, and organizations? If one is content to take a lesson from history, it will. It was said to be disappearing in the 1930’s, once more in the 1940’s, and again in the 1950’s. The same view was being expressed in the 1960’s. With conditions as they are — and considering the current reduction in Norwegian immigration to the United States — it seems probable that the colony will hardly be able to survive for much more than one generation.


<1> Theodore C. Blegen, ed., Land of Their Choice, 48 (Minneapolis, 1955); Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, 1825—1860, 361 (Northfield, Minnesota, 1981).

<2> Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, 1825—1860, 205. Blegen indicates that these swindlers were not Americans but Norwegians.

<3> The important role of the sea in the early New York Norwegian settlement is described by other authors. See A. N. Rygg, Norwegians in New York, 1825— 1925, 22 (Brooklyn, 1941); Christen T. Jonassen, "The Norwegians in Bay Ridge: A Sociological Study of an Ethnic Group," 242, 244—245, an unpublished doctoral dissertation submitted at New York University, 1947; Christen T. Jonassen, "Cultural Variables in the Ecology of an Ethnic Group," in American Sociological Review, 14:34 (February, 1949); Blegen, Norwegian Migration to America, 1825—1860, 331; Ralph Foster Weld, Brooklyn Is America, 194 (New York, 1950).

<4> Jonassen, "Cultural Variables in the Ecology of an Ethnic Group," 34. For a discussion of technological and occupational evolvement through the history of New York City, see Raymond Vernon, Metropolis 1985, 37 if. (New York, 1960).

<5> See Jonassen, "Cultural Variables in the Ecology of an Ethnic Group," 87— 38, in which the author says: "[The] process [of movement] is a continuous one, and change from one area to another must be measured in decades rather than in years. It is a seepage-like movement rather than a sudden mass change."

<6> Rygg, Norwegians in New York, 31—32; Jonassen, "Cultural Variables in the Ecology of an Ethnic Group," 34—35.

<7> A. N. Rygg, The Norwegian Children’s Home, 5 (Brooklyn, 1949).

<8> Vernon, Metropolis 1985, 35; Jonassen, "Cultural Variables in the Ecology of an Ethnic Group," 35; Jonassen, "The Norwegians in Bay Ridge," 257.

<9> Herbert Gans has discussed the neighborhood and familial patterns of the south Italians in Boston in his Urban Villagers, 15, 21 (New York, 1962). He says: "Italians like to stay up late, and to socialize at high decibel levels. . . Since they [south Italians] . . . invite only relatives and close friends into the apartment, much of the daily social life took place on the street."

<10> Rygg, Norwegians in New York, 128; Jonassen, "Cultural Values in the Ecology of an Ethnic Group," 36; Weld, Brooklyn Is America, 190.

<11> Jonassen, "Cultural Values in the Ecology of an Ethnic Group," 36.

<12> For a detailed discussion of transportation in and around New York City, see Vernon, Metropolis 1985, 43 if.

<13> Joanssen "Cultural Values in the Ecology of an Ethnic Group," 35.

<14> H. G. Jorgenson, "A History of the First Norwegian Baptist Church," 7 (Brooklyn, 1953).

<15> Jonassen, "The Norwegians in Bay Ridge," 224.

<16> For a comparison of the importance of the sea and its related industries for the earlier and later settlements, see Rygg, Norwegians in New York, 28. See also Weld, Brooklyn Is America, 196; he estimates that in the 1950’s perhaps a third of Brooklyn’s Norwegians continued to contribute their skills and labor to the borough’s maritime business.

<17> At this time Norwegian people were also moving to Staten Island, the most country-like borough of New York City. They were then separated from Brooklyn by a narrow waterway between the Upper and Lower New York bays. Now they are joined by a bridge. It is quite conceivable that this could have been termed the sixth continuous area of Norwegian settlement in New York City. Port Richmond, an earlier colony, has disbanded, although there is still an area of Staten Island which contains a large grouping of Norwegians. But now — except for a few churches and social organizations — these neighborhoods lack the character of Bay Ridge, as do numerous other Norwegian suburban settlements.

<18> Jonassen, in "Cultural Variables in the Ecology of an Ethnic Group," 35, employs the following measures that have proved reliable in characterizing urban neighborhoods: "Indices of economic status, rents, condition of housing, density of population, mobility rates, morbidity and mortality rates, demographic characteristics, standardized rates of crime and juvenile delinquency, dependency, and poverty rates."

<19> Jonassen, "Cultural Variables in the Ecology of an Ethnic Group," 35; Jonassen, "The Norwegians in Bay Ridge," 308, 312.

<20> The Swedish people "tend to blend into the American scene," according to the Swedish-American paper, Nordstjernan, and the Danish people number only about 4,000 in Brooklyn. See Denis McKeown, "A Scandia Tree That Grew Here," in the Brooklyn Sunday News, March 31, 1968. This article does note a cohesiveness among Finnish immigrants.

<21> Wilhelm Keilhau, Norway in World History (London, 1943); John Midgaard, A Brief History of Norway (Oslo, 1963), especially chapters 4, 5, and 6.

<22> Keilhau, Norway in World History, 182.

<23> These facts are revealed in the histories of institutions. See Erik J. Friis, ed., The Norwegian Club, Inc., 1904—1964, 3 (Brooklyn, 1965). See also Leola M. Bergmann, Americans from Norway, 199 (Philadelphia, 1950).

<24> Blegen, Land of Their Choice, 91. The author contends that emigration helped revive the Norwegian merchant marine because the emigrant was the backbone of transatlantic commerce.

<25> This relationship remains and is largely responsible for the lively activity at the Norwegian Seamen’s Church located in Brooklyn. The church is almost entirely supported by inhabitants of the colony.

<26> Bureau of Census, Statistical Abstract of the United States, 87th annual edition, 93, 95. With the changing conditions in Norway, many of the immigrants were now coming from the larger towns of the country. See Rygg, Norwegians in New York, 266; B. J. Hovde, in One America, Francis J. Brown and Joseph S. Roucek, eds., 67—68 (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1952).

<27> This is not to say that other Norwegians outside New York did not contribute to the relief of Norway.

<28> Interview with Carl Søyland, May 11, 1969.

<29> McKeown, "A Scandia Tree That Grew Here," in which the author says that this strong nationalistic feeling permeates "even the second and third generations of Norwegians."

<30> Taken literally, this difference is evidenced by the fact that in 1960 Minnesota had 155,048 persons of Norwegian stock, but only 17,910 Norwegian-born; at the same time, New York State had a total Norwegian stock of 62,118 and 26,046 Norwegian-born.

<31> The community is not totally segregated from other groups. In fact, the Norwegians comprise approximately 10 per cent of the total population. As Jonassen notes, the colony is a "state of mind" rather than an easily identifiable area. However, more than 50 per cent of the entire number of Norwegians in New York City are congregated in the Bay Ridge and Sunset Park sections of Brooklyn.

<32> Group conflict, often over the church, has been a characteristic of Norwegian-American communities throughout the United States.

<33> These differences often find factions of the colony diametrically opposed to one another; but at the same time, they seem to stimulate each other, and as a result the two coexist as complements of the whole.

<34> Vernon, Metropolis 1985, 140—141. The New York metropolitan area refers to a 22-county region in three states and includes: Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Dutchess, and Putnam in New York State; Hudson, Bergen, Passaic, Essex, Union, Morris, Somerset, Middlesex, and Monmouth in New Jersey; and Fairfield in Connecticut.

<35> Jonassen, "Cultural Values in the Ecology of an Ethnic Group," 40.

<36> Interview with Carl Søyland, May 10, 1969.

<37> Interviews with the Reverend George Aus, January 10, 1969, and the Reverend Frederick Ohms, February 9, 1969.

<38> Every Norwegian church in the colony reports a sizable decrease in the proportion of persons in the 25—50 age group. This situation is also characteristic of most of the cultural and social organizations. In the 1945—1960 period, the decrease in the child-rearing group resulted in a loss of membership in religious and nonreligious organizations.

<39> The law actually permits a greater number to enter the country, but in reality occupational preferences limit new immigration by Norwegians.

<40> In a questionnaire survey conducted by the author from October, 1968, to March, 1969, respondents indicated work as the most important reason for staying in New York. This was followed in order by friends, church, relatives, an easier return to the homeland to visit, education, and an easier permanent return to Norway.

<41> According to two Lutheran church studies, approximately 75 per cent of the area in which Norwegian settlements are located is Roman Catholic.

<42> Gans, Urban Villager:, 4.

<43> It is estimated that approximately 50 per cent of Norwegian marriages are with members of other nationality groups. Information obtained from interviews with Carl Søyland and Erling Olsen, January 25, 1968. Questionnaire results corroborate this conclusion. Of 53 respondents with married children, 23 indicated that their children had "married Norwegians or Norwegian Americans," and 29 stated that their children had not.

<44> Questionnaire results reveal that of those now living in New York City 57 stated that they would not move, 21 were undecided, and 16 said they would move.

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