Principles of communication and dissemination

The main principles of Statistics Norway’s communication and dissemination are transparency, accessibility, comprehensibility, independence and confidentiality.

ssb.no, including StatBank, is the main channel for the dissemination of statistics and analyses based on Statistics Norway’s statistical production and own research. The dissemination principles apply to statistics and analyses regardless of funding source.

The principles of quality in the statistics and analyses are also central to the dissemination. These principles are based on the Statistics Act and international guidelines for official statistics. The dissemination principles are also stipulated in, and central to, Statistics Norway’s communication strategy.


Statistics Norway aims to be open about all aspects of statistics and analyses. Any errors in published material must be rectified as soon as possible, with clearly marked corrections. Planned revisions of the statistics must be accounted for, and users must be alerted in advance of any major changes. Information on the quality of statistics and analyses is openly available in documentation (metadata).


Statistics and analyses are public goods, and are free and accessible to everyone on ssb.no, where universal design requirements are complied with. It must be easy to find and use Statistics Norway’s figures, and communication must be adapted to different channels and formats. Statistics releases must be in both Norwegian and English, and the legislation on the use of bokmål and nynorsk must be complied with.

Users must be able to easily find information on how to get help in answering their questions. Answers to questions about content on ssb.no are in accordance with the service declaration and are given in line with the “help to self-help” principle. Statistics Norway will help users with complex enquiries that they cannot find answers to on ssb.no.

Statistics Norway must be available and open to feedback from users of statistics, analyses and research, as well as those who supply data to Statistics Norway or participate in surveys.

All figures that are natural to publish in connection with statistics must be available in StatBank in order to enable processing and distribution. All tables are available as open data (machine-to-machine communication), which can also freely be used by other establishments or private individuals.

Users can also order tables that have not been published, but which entail special adaptation. The cost of such assignments is covered by the users. Researchers at approved research institutions can order raw data on persons, establishments and enterprises (microdata).

The material from ssb.no can freely be stored electronically, printed, reproduced and distributed assignments is covered by the users.


Statistics Norway’s communication must be clear and unambiguous, and the message should be understandable. Statistics Norway must use plain language, and the main results of statistics and analyses that are of interest to the public must be understandable without the need for expert knowledge. Statistics Norway must have good-quality metadata, which should be available in “About the statistics” on the statistics’ home pages and in the relevant database for standard classifications and definitions of variables. Research and other analyses of statistics should provide new knowledge and a better understanding of statistics in society.


Statistics Norway decides independently what type of statistics are to be produced, as well as when and how statistics and analyses will be published.

Dissemination must be impartial and objective, as well as balanced, comprehensive and accurate, regardless of funding source, authorities, interest groups and political objectives. Statistics Norway must not withhold findings that are controversial.

No external users have access to the statistics and analyses before they are published and accessible simultaneously for everyone on ssb.no. However, there are a few exceptions to this principle of equal treatment of users. The scope of exceptions should be limited and illuminated through documentation in About the statistics. Clients can access publications and other analyses before publication where this is part of a professional cooperation/quality assurance, but only for internal use. The media never have access to content prior to release, nor are given a press embargo. Statistics and analyses must be notified well in advance in the Statistics release calendar , and made available for everyone simultaneously, i.e. 8 o'clock on weekdays. Possible deviations from the notification date are marked in the calendar and the statistics’ home page.


Official statistics must be published in such a way that the data cannot be traced back to the supplier of any data or to any other identifiable individual. Exceptions may be made where this is not to the detriment of persons or to the unreasonable detriment of an establishment (ref. Statistics Act Section 2-6). Data on individuals and establishments (where the identity is concealed) may be loaned for research purposes, but only under strict conditions, where privacy is protected.