Who came throughout the ages, from Irish thralls to Somali refugees? How did the various types of state and resident population at any time react to newcomers? What have immigrants contributed to Norwegian society and culture? How have the long term processes of assimilation developed? Which groups have kept themselves as distinct ethnic minorities? This book offers a short and comprehensive history of immigration into the Norwegian area, from the Middle Ages to the present. It is intended for students, newcomers and those interested in Norwegian past and present-day society. With respect to several dimensions, Norway is treated as a particular "case"; thus the book also addresses scholars concerned with the study of migration in general.