Statistics Division Home
Fundamental Principles
Country Practices
Reference Materials and Links
Sign in

Country Profile of Norway

Main statistical agency
Main statistical agency name
Statistics Norway
Web address (english)
Position in the government
Statistics Norway reports to the Ministry of Finance, highest administrative level.
The Statistics Act stipulates that Statistics Norway is an independent institution in its field which includes a comprehensive research activity.
Organizational structure and finance
Director General
Department of Planning and Finance
Department of Human Resources and Communication
Department of IT and Statistical Methods
Department of Data Collection
Department of Economics, Energy and the Environment
Department of Social Statistics
Department of Industry Statistics
Research Department
Department of National Accounts and Financial Statistics
Multi-annual or annual work program
Statistics Norway has a strategy giving main objectives and directions for the work for a period of about 5 years, see Some larger projects follow multi-annual plans. However, more detailed work plans are normally annual, and included in the annual work programme, more information, see
Main duties
Statistics Norway:

is responsible for the total statistical product within the guidelines and budgets set by superior bodies
determines the statistical methods which are to form the basis for preparation of given statistics
is responsible for how and when statistics are published. More information, see

This is Statistics Norway - an institution that counts Statistics shall provide the general public, businesses and the authorities with information about the structure and development of society. Such information strengthens democracy and forms the basis for a sustainable economic, social and environmental development. Through collection, processing and dissemination of statistics and analysis, Statistics Norway contributes to a more informed public debate, to ensure that economic and social policy management are based on the best possible factual basis and to improve the functioning of the market system.

Brief history and other relevant background information
Brief history and other relevant background information
Statistics Norway was established in 1876 with 15 employees. The number of employees an level of activity increased significantly from the 1950s onwards. Milestones are available in

Legal basis
Legal basis
The Statistics Act of 1989 stipulates that the institution is the central body for preparation and dissemination of official statistics. For details, see

Other producers of official statistics
Other producers of official statistics
Statistics Norway is responsible for coordinating statistics that are produced by governmental agencies according to the Statistics Act, more information, see Statistics Norway produces 85-90 per cent of official statistics in Norway. In 2009 there were 25 other producers who were members of the Statistics Council.

Statistical advisory bodies
Statistical advisory bodies
The Statistics Council shall strengthen the coordination of official statistics in Norway. It consists of 25 producers of statistics (2009).

The mandate of the Statistics Council
1. The Statistics Council is a consultative body for Statistics Norway and other producers of official statistics in Norway.

2. The Statistics Council shall:

a.Contribute to the coordination of production and dissemination of official statistics.

b. Contribute to establish standards for official statistics with regard to professional independence, quality (relevance and coverage, accuracy, timeliness and punctuality, comparability and coherence, availability and documentation), confidentiality and (the lowest possible) response burden.

c. Promote forms of cooperation that contribute to meet these standards and lead to an efficient production of statistics.

d. Be a forum for competence development, sharing of best practices and good solutions for data collection, production and dissemination of statistics, and data distribution to researchers. This could be done by arranging courses and seminars among other things.

e. Contribute to the coordination of international statistics cooperation as necessary.

3. The Statistics Council shall provide input to an annual report on official statistics in Norway.

4. The Council is headed by the Director General of Statistics Norway and the Council meets at least once a year.

The Statistics Council does not replace other forms or forums for cooperation between the institutions.

Data collection
Most recent population census
3 November 2001
Access to administrative data
Access to administrative data is granted by the Statistics Act. Statistics Norway has agreements about this with most public institutions responsible for administrative registers.
Data confidentiality
Table cells with less than 3 units are often suppressed. A method of changing 1 and 2 to 0 or 3 until marginals are 'correct enough' has been developed and used in the Population and housing census 2001. However, some (non sensitive) figures such as figures on population by sex and age are released in databases and tables for small geographical areas. Some data on legal entities can also be disclosed. A committee has been set up to consider cases of doubt.

Data dissemination
Release calendar (existence, when and how published)
Statistics Norway's independent role implies that it decides what, when and how to publish statistics and analysis. The Internet is the main channel for dissemination and ensures that all users get access to the statistical releases simultaneously. This implies a strict policy of non-differential treatment; ministries, the media and the public are all treated equally. To ensure that all users have equal access, all statistics made available on the web site may be used (read, copied, downloaded) free of charge. Statistics are released according to a release calendar that covers the next four months and is updated every week.

In spite of the almost explosive increase in the Internet publishing, the number of printed publications is on a relataively stable level with a slight downward decrease.

After release, the statistics are published in reference publications (mainly tables and meta data) and through more analytical periodicals and research reports. Almost all printed publications are also available, free of charge, on our web site.
Main publications
Main publications

• Statistical yearbook of Norway,

• Statistical analyses, in-depth statistical information to the public within various areas, such as natural resources and the environment, information society, crime etc. Mostly in Norwegian, but also some in English, and some in both languages.

• Reports, analyses and results of research activities, with an emphasis on methodological issues and descriptions of the statistical and economical models used. Publications are intended for researchers or specialist users. Most issues are written in Norwegian, but some are in English.

• Discussion papers, preliminary research reports intended for later external publication, circulated for comments and suggestions. English only.

• Social and economic studies, scientific monographs based on research in Statistics Norway. Most issues are written in Norwegian, but some are in English.

• Booklets, popular, easy-to-read and understand, mostly aimed at the general public. The most important: This is Norway, Women and men in Norway, with parallell editions in Norwegian and English.

• Documents, metadata about surveys and other issues concerning statistical production etc.

• Periodicals

o Økonomiske analyser (ØA) is published six times a year in Norwegian, with articles on socioeconomic conditions, overviews of economic trends in Norway and internationally, national accounts figures and other economic indicators.

o Economic Survey; English web-only analysis of recent trends in the Norwegian economy and a two-three year forecast. English translation of parts of ØA, published quarterly.

o Samfunnsspeilet is published five times a year. Norwegian only. Analysing social conditions, e.g. in the area of population, living conditions and lifestyles.

o SSB-magasinet; web articles in Norwegian, at irregular intervals. Mainly various statistical themes, e.g. living conditions and the environment in Norway, international statistics, statistical analyses and results from research activities.

o Statistical magazine; selected articles from the Norwegian SSB-magasinet translated into English.

Further reading:

Languages of main publications
Norwegian, English.
How are data disseminated (Paper, CD Rom, Website, online databases, databanks)?, including the online database StatBank. All paper publicatons are available on in PDF format, some also in HTML.
Availability of microdata for research purposes
Researchers and planners with license from the Data Inspectorate can receive microdata, and procedures for this have been developed. The principle is reflected in the Statistics Act. A Personal Data Act and the Data Inspectorate give rules and procedures for the protection of information on individuals in Norway.

Back to top | Statistics Division Home | Contact Us | Search | Site Map
Copyright © United Nations, 2014