Population;Labour market and earnings
fobpend, Population and housing census. Commuting, commuter flows, commuting to, commuting from, place of work, place of residence, commuting by industryEmployment , Population and housing censuses , Population, Labour market and earnings



Population and housing census. Commuting2001


1 out of 3 persons in employment are commuters

About 1 out of 3 persons employed are commuters. Oslo and the other large cities have most in-commuters. The majority of these commuters are from neighbouring municipalities. There is little commuting in the rural municipalities.

Figure 1

This is illustrated by figures on commuting during census week (29 October - 4 November 2001) from the Population and housing census 2001. This publication marks the beginning of new, annual, register-based statistics on commuters, from Statistics Norway. Commuters here are defined as persons with their work place in a municipality other than their municipality of residency.

Greatest commuting to large cities

Without comparison, Oslo was the municipality with the greatest proportion of in-commuting. During census week, almost 175 000 persons worked in Oslo but lived in another municipality. All the larger cities had a great deal of in-commuting. This is also true for some municipalities in close proximity to large cities, such as Bærum, Asker and Skedsmo. If we look at in-commuters in per centage of number of employed persons working in the municipalities, Sola and Ullensaker have the highest per centages. In altogether 17 municipalities, more than half of the total number of persons in employment was in-commuters. 15 of these are municipalities neighbouring larger cities and one of them is an urban municipality (Tønsberg). The only municipality not located close to a larger city, is Leikanger.

Greatest out-commuting from municipalities surrounding the big cities

The majority of municipalities with out-commuting are municipalities neighbouring larger cities, particularly Oslo. Of altogether 21 municipalities more than 2/3 of their employed inhabitants worked in another municipality. 10 of these municipalities are located in Akershus. Rælingen, with 84 per cent, had the highest proportion o out-commuting.. For municipalities with low proportions of ou-commuting, the situation was more complex. Here, we find the largest urban municipalities, typical manufacturing municipalities such as Årdal and Sunndal and coastal municipalities such as Båtsfjord, Værøy and Røst.

Figure 2

Several larger cities had net in-commuting - though not all

Net in-commuting means a municipality has greater in-commuting than out-commuting. There were no more than 58 municipalities with net in-commuting. Oslo clearly had the greatest number. If we take a look at net in-commuting in per centage of persons employed residing in the municipality, Ullensaker tops the list. Most of the larger cities had net in-commuting, but not all. commuting. In Vestfold for example, only Tønsberg had net in-commuting, while the other urban municipalities had net -commuting. Most municipalities neighbouring larger cities had both high out-commuting and in-commuting, however out-commuting was greatest. We therefore find this type of municipality essentially among municipalities with greatest net out-commuting.

Most people commute short distances - but some also commute long distances

39 per cent of all commuters had their workplace located in a municipality within the same economic region as that of their municipality of residence. With the exclusion of commuting between Oslo and Akershus, 31 per cent of commuters worked outside their county of residence. Several of the municipalities with high proportions commuting outside the county, such as Hobøl, Røyken and Lunner, are located relatively near Oslo or other larger cities.

Mostly men commuting

36 per cent of employed men were commuters, while the corresponding figure for women was 27 per cent. There were however great regional discrepancies. In some municipalities, the gender differences were much greater. For employed persons residing in Samnanger, 73 per cent of men were out-commuters versus only 42 per cent of women. In 20 municipalities, the proportion of out-commuters was greater for women than for men. These were mainly municipalities with low proportions of out-commuters, with the exception of Hobøl and Gjerdrum.

Figure 3

More younger than older commuters

The proportion commuting declines with age. This proportion was 36 per cent in the age group 16 - 24 years and 26 per cent in the age group 55 - 74 years. Among municipalities with a greater than average proportion of young out-commuters, we mainly find small rural municipalities. In municipalities neighbouring the larger cities, the proportion of young out-commuters was generally lower than the municipality average. In interpreting these figures, it is important to bear in mind that students are considered resident at their Central Population Register address, which is often the residential address of their parents. Students living away from home and working at their place of study are therefore considered as commuters. As a result, the proportion commuting is slightly exaggerated, particularly for the youngest age group.

Commuters, by industry

The proportion of commuters in the group Public administration and defence , health care and social services , education , etc . was 27 per cent, while the corresponding proportion for all persons in employment was 36 per cent. In all other industry groups, commuters were over-represented, mostly in Oil production , manufacturing , mining and quarrying and Financial intermediation , business activities and real estate . The distribution by industry of in-commuters into a municipality mainly reflects the industrial structure of that municipality. Among in-commuters to larger cities or their neighbouring municipalities, there were relatively many employed in Domestic trade , hotels and restaurants and Financial intermediation , business activities and real estate . The two municipalities with the highest proportion of in-commuting distinguished themselves from this trend. In Sola, about half of the in-commuters were employed in Oil production , Manufacturing , mining and quarrying . In Ullensaker, there was an equivalent proportion in Transport , storage and communication .

About interpretation of the statistics on commuting

The location of the work place is the address of the establishment, which is not always the same as the individual persons actual place of work. Employed persons without a permanent work place are registered at the work place municipality to which they belong for administrative purposes. This particularly applies to persons employed in the Construction and Transportation industry. Moreover, due to weaknesses in the basis of data, certain employed persons are only connected to the head office address. In summary, these factors consequently lead to a slight over-estimation in the statistics, of in-commuting to larger cities and regional centres.

For persons for whom information on work place is missing, municipality of residence is entered for work place municipality. This mainly applies to persons employed in Defence, conscripts and some self-employed as well as to maritime personnel. This might cause some under-estimation of commuting for these groups.

Commuting is not necessarily the same as daily journeys to work. Some people are weekly commuters, others are part-time employees, yet others work wholly or partly at home.

Commuters: Persons working in a municipality other than their municipality of residence.

Out-commuters from a municipality: Persons living in one municipality and working in another municipality.

In-commuters to a municipality: Persons working in the municipality and living in another municipality.

Net in-commuting in a municipality: There are more in-commuters than out- commuters in the municipality.

Net out-commuting in a municipality: There are more out-commuters than in-commuters in the municipality.