High level of social participation among the employed
Culture and recreation;Culture and recreation;Social conditions, welfare and crime
orgakt, Activity in organisations, political participation and social networks, survey on living conditions, members, activity in organisations (for example political organisations, religious organisations, environmental protection organisations), social networks, political participation, religious participation, interhuman trust, voluntarily work, volunteerism, social capitalOrganisations and memberships, Religion and life stance , Living conditions , Culture and recreation, Social conditions, welfare and crime
Results from the Survey of Living Conditions EU- SILC 2014 indicate high organisational activity, strong social ties and great trust in each other.

Activity in organisations, political participation and social networks, survey on living conditions


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Key figures

38 %

have done volunteer work for organisations in the past 12 months

Participation and social network among people aged 16 years and older (per cent)
1As of 2014 it is specified that messages on social media (eg. Facebook and Twitter) shall not be included in the question ' Have written internet article to influence an issue in the last 12 months.'
Are active in two or more organisations or committees1616
Proportion of members doing unpaid work in the last 12 months3938
Have written internet article to influence an issue in the last 12 months1118
Have someone to ask for advice for how to find one's way in public bureaucracy7679
Have someone to ask for health and illness advice8384

About the statistics

Statistics on civic engagement in the Norwegian population, covering topics such as organisational activity and membership, political and religious participation, social networks and interpersonal trust. The data is based on the survey on living conditions EU-SILC.


Definitions of the main concepts and variables

Economic status : This variable covers the person's own perception of the main activity on the date of interview. This differs from the ILO definition which has a predefined classification of economic status.

Working full-time: Consists of both employees and self employed

Working part-time: Consists of both employees and self employed


Student, pupil, further training, unpaid work experience: includes persons in vocational training and military service

In retirement

Permanently disabled or/and unfit to work

Fulfilling domestic tasks and care responsibilities

Religious belonging and participation : Here we look at whether people define themselves as religious, and how often they attend service and religious meetings, except for special occasions such as weddings, funerals and baptisms.

Organisation Membership : Organisation membership includes, for example, trade unions, political parties, bands and choirs, sports teams - a total of 11 different types of organisations.

Organisational activity and volunteer work : We ask those who are members of an organisation about how active they are in the organisation, and count the number of organisations the individual is active in. In addition, volunteer work for organisations and political parties are mapped, as well as how many hours the volunteers work for free per year.

Political Participation : Political participation includes self-reported voting at the last primary election and to what extent people participate politically through writing newspaper articles, participate in demonstrations, etc.

Social network : This theme is covers social network in terms of whether people have someone to ask for advice and practical help.

Inter-human trust : Here the inter-human trust among people is mapped and published as a mean score. The score is based on questions about to which extent people can be trusted and to what extent people will exploit you if given the chance. The respondents answer on a scale from 0 to 10, where 0 indicates low confidence, while 10 indicates high confidence.

Overall speaking, the themes political participation, social networks and inter-human trust is placed under the collective term social capital .

Standard classifications


Persons are grouped by age at year-end for the completion of the main part of the interview.

Area of residence

Persons are grouped according to sparsely populated areas or densely populated areas of different size. Sparsely populated areas include clusters of houses with less than 200 inhabitants. Densely populated areas include areas with 200 inhabitants or more, and a distance between houses - as a main rule - not more than 50 meters.


The regions include the following counties:

Oslo and Akershus

Eastern Norway excluding Oslo and Akershus: Østfold, Vestfold, Hedmark, Oppland, Buskerud and Telemark

Agder and Rogaland: Aust-Agder, Vest-Agder and Rogaland

Western Norway: Hordaland, Sogn og Fjordane, Møre and Romsdal

Trøndelag: Sør-Trøndelag and Nord-Trøndelag

Northern Norway: Nordland, Troms and Finnmark.

Family cycle phase

Persons are grouped mainly by age, marital status and whether the person has children. There is a distinction between singles and couples, where couples include both married and cohabitants. The concept single persons do not necessarily refer to persons living alone in the household.

The groups with children consist of persons living with their own child(ren) (including stepchildren and adopted children) aged 0-19 years in the household.


Below upper secondary level

Upper secondary level

Tertiary education, short

Tertiary education, long

Administrative information

Name and topic

Name: Activity in organisations, political participation and social networks, survey on living conditions
Topic: Culture and recreation

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Responsible division

Division for Social Welfare Statistics

Regional level

National, regional and residential area.

Frequency and timeliness

The Survey of Living Conditions EU-SILC, is carried out annually. From 2011 onwards the survey consists of a set of core questions and a theme sections with rotating topics. The topics are repeated in a cycle of three years. Topics:  outdoor activities, organisational activity, political participation and social networks (first time in 2011). Housing conditions and offences and fear of crime (first time in 2012). The use of cultural actvities, sport and physical activity (first time in 2013). Every three years there is conducted separate surveys of health care and social relations (last in 2008) and work and working conditions (last in 2009).

International reporting

As from 2011 the data collection of the national topics in the living survey is coordinated with the Survey on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC). EU-SILC is a European sample survey of income, social exclusion and living conditions that are coordinated through the EU's statistics agency Eurostat, and anchored in the European Statistical System (ESS). Data from the EU-SILC is sent to Eurostat annually. The annual cross-sectional files covers the years t-1. The annual panel files covers t-2 to t-5.


Data files with results from the interviews and statistical files with coded variables, linked information and weights are stored. Anonymised files are also available for researchers through the NSD - Norwegian Centre for Research Data .


Background and purpose

There are two main purposes of living surveys aim to satisfy. They will firstly make it possible to shed light on the main aspects of living conditions and inequalities in living conditions. Secondly, the study of living conditions make it possible to follow the living conditions development, both the level of living conditions and inequalities.

The Survey of Living Conditions EU-SILC will, together with the surveys of working conditions and health care and social contact, over a 3-year period cover the major areas of living conditions.

From 1973 to 1995 there was carried out six general surveys. The studies shed light on economics, housing condition, leisure, social networks, health, education, employment and working conditions.

In 1996 a coordinated system of surveys was introduced. The system consisted of annual surveys with a set of rotating topics and an annual panel survey. Work environment was the theme in 1996, 2000, 2003, 2006 and 2009. Housing, leisure activities and victims of crime was the theme in 1997, 2001, 2004 and 2007. Health care and social relations was the theme in 1998, 2002, 2005 and 2008. The annual panel survey covered some important main topic.

In 2011 a new system of survey of living conditions was introduced. A key objective of the new system was better coordination with international requirements connected to EU-SILC. The new system in high degree covers earlier topics, in addition to new themes to illuminate political participation, social networks and economic and social problems.

The regular living conditions survey by Statistics Norway consists, from 2011, of the annual Survey of Living Conditions EU-SILC, a survey of working environment that is carried out every three years (last in 2009), and a survey of health, care and social relations, that is also carried out approximately every three years (last in 2008). The Survey of Living Conditions EU-SILC has a fixed core of questions which mainly covers household, housing, finances, health and work. Each year a topic section with varying themes are asked as well, and these are to be repeated every three years. The topics are: Leisure and outdoor activities, organisation activity, political participation and social network (the first time in 2011). Exploration of housing conditions as well as offences and fear of crime (the first time in 2012). Sports activities and cultural activities (the first time in 2013).

In addition to the regular surveys of living conditions Statistics Norway, commissioned from outside, conduct individual surveys among selected groups.

Users and applications

The main users are government ministries, directorates, and research communities in the areas of working environment, health care, housing, leisure and local environment and living conditions in general.

Apart from this the statistics serve as a basis for information to the media and others interested in the condition and development in the living conditions.

Equal treatment of users

No external users have access to the statistics and analyses before they are published and accessible simultaneously for all users on ssb.no at 08:00 am. Prior to this, a minimum of three months' advance notice is given in the Statistics Release Calendar. This is one of Statistics Norway’s key principles for ensuring that all users are treated equally.

Coherence with other statistics

The concept of living conditions covers a very wide range of topics and statistics on living conditions is therefore associated with many other statistics.

Information on housing is also available in the Population and Housing Censuses. These allow for a significantly more detailed geographical breakdown. The survey of housing conditions in 2001 also obtained some information from the Population and Housing Census in 2001. The Survey of Consumer Expenditures also collects information on housing. It provides, among other things, a more complete overview of most kinds of housing expenditures.

Information on employment is collected from several sources. The Labour Force Survey is an important source and provide some information that supplements the information in the study of living conditions, eg. training in the workplace, weekend work, working arrangements and disability relation to the labor market. Some records like the employee/employer registry, sick leave registry etc. are also relevant. The information in these registers can also be utilized in the survey of living conditions.

The topic leisure activities does not contain information about cultural activities. These can be obtained from the Cultural and Media Use Surveys Statistics Norway conducts and from different cultural statistics.

To some degree the SLC gives input to the Statistics on Natural Resources and the Environment.

Legal authority

Voluntary survey

EEA reference




The population is residents aged 16 years and over not living in institutions.

Data sources and sampling

Data sources are interview data from the annual representative sample surveys and various attached registry information.

The net sample in the Survey of Living Conditions EU-SILC is made up of about 9,200 people.

The sample is drawn according to the procedures for random selection.

Collection of data, editing and estimations

Data collection is mainly done by telephone (Computer Assisted Telephone Interview CATI) and in some cases the interviewer visits the interviewee (Computer Assisted Personal Interview CAPI). Data collection for the Survey of Living Conditions EU-SILC occurs mainly from January to May in the year of interview.

The interview takes place using a computer-based questionnaire. The questionnaire includes various controls to prevent incorrect answers or registration errors during the interview. In some cases, the interviewer receives warnings for the registered response. In other cases, there is a limit on values that can not be exceeded. Moreover, it verifies that only valid codes are recorded.

In surveys where industry and occupation are collected, these are encoded by Statistics Norway.

The sample consists of people. Analysis unit is primarily person, but in some cases household. Using the household as the unit of analysis requires the use of weights.

Seasonal adjustment

Not relevant


Not relevant

Comparability over time and space

The SLC on outdoor activities, organisation activity, political participation and social network is partly based on earlier surveys. Outdoors and organisational activity was the subject of investigations in 1997, 2001, 2004 and 2007, while the themes political participation and social network where firstly included in 2011. Some time series of organisational activity and outdoor recreation can be traced back to the general living conditions surveys in 1980-1995.

The SLC on housing conditions is partly based on earlier surveys on housing conditions. The first was conducted in 1967, followed by similar surveys in 1973, 1981, 1988 and 1995. Some time series can also be traced back to the general living conditions surveys in 1980-1995.

The SLC on victimization are based on the general living conditions surveys. The first time this included questions about victimization was in 1983.

The SLC on work environment is based partly on the earlier surveys on working environment in 1989 and 1993. Some time series can thus be traced back to 1989. In recent years, major revisions were made in 2006 and 2009. In some areas time series are therefore short.

The SLC on health is partly based on health surveys. The first was conducted in 1968, followed by surveys in 1975, 1985 and 1995. Some time series can also be traced back to the general surveys on living conditions in 1980-1995.

The SLC on care and social contacts are based primarily on the general living conditions surveys and multiple time series can be traced back to 1980.

Accuracy and reliability

Sources of error and uncertainty

The gross sample is drawn in order to reflect the whole population, however, because non-response differs unequally in the different categories used, the net sample will not be fully representative. This bias will vary for different groups and variables in question. In order to adjust for some of the biases that the net sample in relation to the gross sample, figures in the tables are weighted. The following variables are included in the weighting for non-response: Gender, age, education and family size.

The uncertainty of the findings based only a part of the population is often called sampling variance. Standard deviation is a measure of this uncertainty. The size of standard deviation depends, among other factors, on the number of observation in the sample, and on the distribution of the current variable in the whole population.

Statistic Norway has not made exact calculations to compute standard deviation for the findings. However, in table 1, the approximate size of standard deviation is given for observed percentages.

To illustrate the uncertainty associated with a percentage, we can use an interval to give the level of the true value of an estimated quantity (the value obtained if making observation on the whole population instead of observation based on a part of the population). Such intervals are called confidence intervals if constructed in a special way. In this connection one can use the following method: let M be the estimated quantity, and S the estimate of standard deviation of M. The confidence interval will be an interval with limits (M - 2*S) and (M + 2*S).

This method will give, with approximately 95 per cent probability, an interval containing the true value.

The following example illustrates the use of table 1 for finding confidence intervals: The estimate of standard deviation of 70 percent is 3.2 when the estimate is based on 300 observations. The confidence interval for the true value has limits 70 ± 2*3.2, which means the interval, is from 63.6 to 76.4 per cent.

Table 1. Standard deviation in per cent


Not relevant