Establishments, enterprises and accounts;Banking and financial markets
aksjer, Shares and dividend payments, limited companies, public limited companies, share capital, share dividends, share premium, shares, shareholders, stockholders, protection allowanceSecurities markets , Ownership and roles , Establishments, enterprises and accounts, Banking and financial markets

Shares and dividend payments


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Key figures


billion NOK in dividend payments

Received dividends, by holding sector
20172016 - 2017
NOK millionSharePer cent
Total413 50610019
Non-financial corporations187 6724531
Financial corporations31 84588
General government39 23396
Non-profit institutions serving households2 176112
Households55 73613-4
Rest of the world96 1072322
Unspecified sector7360116

See selected tables from this statistics

Table 1 
Limited companies, nominal share capital and dividend payments, by main industry

Limited companies, nominal share capital and dividend payments, by main industry
Number of limited companiesNominal share capital. NOK millionDividend payments. NOK millionNumber of limited companiesNominal share capital. NOK millionDividend payments. NOK million
1Preliminary figures.
Total286 505940 128348 768300 432932 632413 506
Agriculture, forestry and fishing4 07011 8495 9114 38012 32810 824
Mining and quarrying1 211124 27348 3581 222109 24374 673
Manufacturing12 460105 59943 71412 603103 44860 778
Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply1 45293 61510 2431 46593 01329 437
Water supply, sewerage, waste7532 8689467782 984629
Construction39 48734 29920 73441 29135 44121 158
Wholesale and retail trade: repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles42 80557 74533 58243 25856 03641 307
Transportation and storage9 49687 21118 4269 67989 72913 120
Accommodation and food service activities9 2138 9891 5739 5289 1561 911
Information and communication13 35338 88527 56514 30737 03432 984
Financial and insurance activities18 635165 82956 13717 987170 46642 813
Real estate activities64 019137 34444 85866 264137 07350 147
Professional, scientific and technical activities33 91041 00522 84135 61841 22617 769
Administrative and support service activities12 16120 7748 90812 67920 7319 283
Education3 5007373273 750750315
Human health and social work activities8 3812 5802 5628 7962 6362 546
Arts, entertainment and recreation4 2632 9555804 5372 998798
Other service activities4 3151 8607854 6141 903963
Missing3 0211 7127167 6766 4362 050

Table 2 
Nominal share capital and received dividends, by owner sector. NOK million

Nominal share capital and received dividends, by owner sector. NOK million
Nominal share capitalReceived dividendsNominal share capitalReceived dividends
Sum all holding sectors940 128348 768932 632413 506
Non-financial corporations508 212143 141493 860187 672
Financial corporations121 41029 521124 56731 845
General government60 16436 95161 08039 233
Non-profit institutions serving households9 8041 94513 8572 176
Households74 16557 88972 74555 736
Rest of the world166 03478 981166 08696 107
Unspecified sector339341437736

Table 3 
Individuals who owned shares, nominal share capital, received dividends and received previously paid-up share capital and share premium, by sex and age

Individuals who owned shares, nominal share capital, received dividends and received previously paid-up share capital and share premium, by sex and age
Number of individuals who owned shares 31 DecemberNominal share capital. NOK millionReceived dividends. NOK millionReceived share capital. NOK million2Received share premium. NOK million2Number of individuals who owned shares 31 DecemberNominal share capital. NOK millionReceived dividends. NOK millionReceived share capital. NOK million2Received share premium. NOK million2
1Preliminary figures.
2Does not include capital paid back in connection with liquidation or partial liquidation of limited companies.
Both sexes
Total653 53373 93257 6991 2617 000663 61972 47155 5231 3583 728
0-19 years9 4706232431158 998569178213
20-29 years43 1292 5501 3213127545 5852 4511 1992457
30-39 years93 6587 7385 17610873997 3717 3744 67992265
40-49 years137 24216 34113 382286785136 61415 16713 192164457
50-59 years141 23820 13017 5743253 186143 71720 03117 432437951
60-69 years122 28916 83114 226314926121 17616 78012 5064711 420
70-79 years75 0317 4704 82917888178 1737 8465 427138428
80 years or older31 4762 2499481919331 9852 25391131138
Total450 01256 57447 1719415 493458 76455 53845 4811 1172 881
0-19 years5 6093071791115 417288116110
20-29 years31 2801 6718302817333 5281 629766519
30-39 years67 1545 2893 9015514070 0575 0943 53567142
40-49 years96 90711 83510 78717358696 85310 95810 62699310
50-59 years98 15816 13914 6312883 00699 68515 89914 584408801
60-69 years84 30514 07312 25023772583 78114 06610 6503851 182
70-79 years49 1705 9913 90015073651 4846 3254 590124331
80 years or older17 4291 2706921011617 9591 2816142887
Total203 52117 35810 5283201 507204 85516 93310 042242847
0-19 years3 86131764043 5812816213
20-29 years11 849879491310212 0578234331938
30-39 years26 5042 4501 2765359827 3142 2801 14525123
40-49 years40 3354 5062 59411220039 7614 2092 56665147
50-59 years43 0803 9912 9433718044 0324 1332 84729150
60-69 years37 9842 7581 9777720137 3952 7141 85686238
70-79 years25 8611 4789292814526 6891 5218361597
80 years or older14 047979255107714 026971297352

Table 4 
Nominal share capital and received dividend payments for foreign shareholders, by selected countries. NOK million

Nominal share capital and received dividend payments for foreign shareholders, by selected countries. NOK million
Nominal share capitalReceived dividendsNominal share capitalReceived dividends
1Preliminary figures.
Total166 03478 981166 08696 107
Sweden28 68910 25224 82219 668
United Kingdom15 16512 96725 7458 971
United States11 2396 05811 4177 784
Denmark6 8407 1176 6354 944
France6 8113 9577 0246 498
Netherlands13 71214 90713 65424 924
Luxembourg12 9745 01613 2957 492
Germany22 3165 65712 8611 681
Cyprus1 9514881 976515
Spain..700..1 641
Switzerland4 2901 2123 3051 423
Belgium2 9731 4403 6931 840

Table 5 
Individuals who owned shares, nominal share capital and received dividends, by county, sex and age

Individuals who owned shares, nominal share capital and received dividends, by county, sex and age
Number of individuals who owned shares 31 DecemberNominal share capital (NOK million)Percentage share of residents who owned shares 31 DecemberNumber of individuals who received dividendsReceived dividends (NOK million )Percentage share of residents who received dividends
Total663 61972 47112.5353 15055 5236.7
Østfold29 9022 44710.116 4312 4135.6
Akershus84 6168 57413.847 0289 1567.7
Oslo95 61814 97014.251 29712 2977.6
Hedmark21 4781 73110.910 5401 1395.4
Oppland22 8302 07212.013 2941 2477.0
Buskerud34 3923 40512.218 7272 9746.6
Vestfold29 1353 14211.715 7822 4156.3
Telemark22 4581 69813.012 6681 0897.3
Aust-Agder12 6651 27810.85 5689974.8
Vest-Agder20 6543 23411.19 2721 6295.0
Rogaland63 6698 11913.437 2634 5857.9
Hordaland68 5286 47113.135 0395 8776.7
Sogn og Fjordane16 6101 48715.18 6778567.9
Møre og Romsdal33 6434 21512.617 3172 1906.5
Sør-Trøndelag (-2017)39 1663 72012.220 2862 8436.3
Nord-Trøndelag (-2017)16 2591 30011.87 7847585.6
Nordland28 1562 08511.615 4591 6826.4
Troms - Romsa16 6421 74510.07 9961 1224.8
Finnmark - Finnmárku7 1987789.52 7222543.6
Total458 76455 53817.2238 79145 4818.9
0-19 years5 4172880.83 2921160.5
20-29 years33 5281 6299.113 3077663.6
30-39 years70 0575 09419.228 4713 5357.8
40-49 years96 85310 95825.744 13210 62611.7
50-59 years99 68515 89928.651 56714 58414.8
60-69 years83 78114 06629.249 77310 65017.4
70-79 years51 4846 32526.835 1514 59018.3
80 years or older17 9591 28121.113 09861415.4
Total204 85516 9337.8114 35910 0424.4
0-19 years3 5812810.62 290620.4
20-29 years12 0578233.55 3914331.6
30-39 years27 3142 2807.911 6031 1453.4
40-49 years39 7614 20911.118 5962 5665.2
50-59 years44 0324 13313.324 4922 8477.4
60-69 years37 3952 71413.123 1301 8568.1
70-79 years26 6891 52112.818 6138368.9
80 years or older14 02697110.210 2442977.4

About the statistics

The statistics give an overview of ownership of Norwegian limited and public limited companies, how much the companies pay in dividends and who receives the dividends.


Definitions of the main concepts and variables

A limited (liability) company is an enterprise where the owners' personal responsibilities for the firm's obligations are limited to the amount the owners have invested. The firm is considered an independent juridical entity. The company must have a deed of incorporation, obtain share capital and the company must be registered with the Brønnøysund Register Centre. A company is a Public limited company if it claims to be so in the ordinance and it is registered as such in the Brønnøysund Register Centre. All or a large part of the shares must be publicly traded and these must be registered with Norwegian Central Securities Depository. More information about the requirements can be found in the Limited Company Act and the Public limited Company Act.

A share is a unit of ownership in a limited company.

A primary capital certificate (PCC) is issued by a savings bank and is very similar to a share. The main differences is that the holders of the PCCs only own a limited part of the bank and has limited influence over the governance of the bank. The dividends are also limited.

Class of shares . The Board of directors can choose to divide the shares into different categories. Each category can have different dividend and voting rights or other characteristics specified at the date of issue.

A shareholder is a natural person or juridical person or other entity that owns shares in a limited company or public limited company.

Share capital . At the formation of a limited company the shareholders must invest a certain amount of capital. The minimum requirement of capital is NOK 100 000 for a limited company and NOK 1 million for a public limited company. The share capital may be increased at a later time by increasing the nominal value, or by issuing new shares. If a shareholder pays more than nominal value, a share premium has been paid. Limited companies can later reduce and repay both share capital and share premium to the shareholders. The share capital statistics include companies that were in existence 31 December in the fiscal year.

Nominal value is the value of the share when issued. The nominal value times the number of shares issued should be equal to the share capital. Nominal value can change due to stock split or a reverse stock split.

Paid dividend is the actual amount of dividend paid out to shareholders during the fiscal year. The paid dividend statistics include all dividends distributed to shareholders by limited companies during the fiscal year whether or not the limited companies were in existence at the year-end or liquidated during the year.

Received dividend is the dividend received by shareholder during the fiscal year.

Received share capital is that part of share capital by which the limited company has reduced its share capital and repayed to its shareholders. It is a non-taxable transfer.

Received share premium is that part of share premium by which the limited company has reduced its share premium and repayed to its shareholders. It is a non-taxable transfer.

Received other paid-in capital is that part of other paid-in capital by which the limited company has reduced its other paid-in capital and repayed to its shareholders. It is a non-taxable transfer.

Capital gains on sale of shares . If a shareholder sells shares and the selling price exceeds the cost price, a capital gain arise.

Risk-free return . With the introduction of the shareholder model as from 1 January 2006, dividends and capital gains on sale of shares for personal shareholders are taxed if they are above the calculated opportunity rate of return, named the risk-free return. As a rule, the risk-free return is computed by multiplying the cost price of the share by an opportunity rate of interest. It is the shareholder who owns the share at the time the risk-free return is calculated (31 December every year) who are entitled to the allowance. The risk-free return can also be used to reduce profit when the share is sold. If the risk-free return or part of it is not used in a given year, it can be carried forward and used later.

Taxable dividend is that part of the received dividend that exceeds the risk-free return.

Taxable capital gains on sale of shares is the part of the capital gains on sale of shares that exceeds the risk-free return.

Listed/non-listed . Listed shares are shares listed and traded at the Oslo Stock Exchange per 31.12 in the fiscal year. Non-listed shares are not listed at the Oslo Stock Exchange per 31.12 in the fiscal year. As of the statistics covering 2007, shares listed on Oslo Axess is also included.

Standard classifications

Classification of industry is in accordance with the revised Norwegian Standard Industrial Classification (SN94), which is based on the EU industrial standard NACE Rev. 1 and the UN industrial standard ISIC Rev. 3. As of 2004, the revised standard SN2002 is used. This standard is based on the EU industrial standard NACE Rev. 1.1. As of 2007, the revised standard SN2007, which is based on the EU industrial standard NACE Rev. 2, is used. For companies that engage in several industries, the entire business will be placed under the business that contributes the most to the overall added value. Further information can be found on the Statistics Norway web page.

Institutional sector is a statistical categorizing of the shareholders based mainly on the economic function, but also organization structure and ownership. Institutional sector categories are based on United Nations standards "System of National Accounts" (SNA) from 1993. As of fiscal year 2012, the statistics use a new institutional sector classification which is based on the UN's "System of National Accounts" (SNA) from 2008 and the EU's "European System of National Accounts' (ESA) from 2010.

The country and region classification is based on ISO standard 3166 and the UNs Standard Country and Area Codes Classifications (M49) . The statistics are classified by the country where the shareholder is registered. If a company, for instance an American company, owns a holding company in the Netherlands, and this holding company owns shares in a Norwegian limited company, the shareholder in the Norwegian company will be classified as Dutch in the statistisics, eventhough the ultimate owner is American.

Administrative information

Name and topic

Name: Shares and dividend payments
Topic: Establishments, enterprises and accounts

Next release

Responsible division

Division for Accounting Statistics and Business Register

Regional level

National level

Frequency and timeliness

Frequency: Annual, preliminary and final figures.

Timeliness: Preliminary figures are published 26 weeks after the year-end.

International reporting

Not relevant.


Final statistics files are documented and stored.


Background and purpose

The purpose of the stock statistics is to present the value of shares and dividends of Norwegian limited companies and public limited companies by ownership.

Statistics Norway has published annual stock statistics since 1984 with the exception of the period between 1991-1993 and 2000-2003.

Users and applications

The stock statistics is used by the Ministry of Finance, internal and external research institutes, the Bank of Norway (Norges Bank) and they are used in the National Accounts.

The statistics can be used to analyse the structure of a group of companies, the ownership structure of limited companies, the distribution of dividends from the companies to the shareholders etc.

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 8 am. Prior to this, a minimum of three months' advance notice is given inthe 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 stock statistics cover nearly the same population as accounting statistics for non-financial limited companies. The register-based accounting statistics include the profit and loss account and the balance sheet, thus providing more detailed figures broken down by industry and other variables.

Tax statistics for companies include both limited companies and public limited companies. The tax statistics are based on the Directorate of Taxes' register of non-personal taxation entities, and gives inter alia overall ordinary income.

The tax statistics for personal taxpayers comprise all taxable individuals. The tax statistics contains data about received dividend and it includes dividend from both Norwegian and foreign companies.

Legal authority

The Statistics Act section 3-2.

EEA reference

Not relevant.



Starting in the fiscal year 2004 the statistics incorporate all limited companies and public limited companies. As of 2006, the statistics also cover primary capital certificates (PCC). The statistics on taxable capital gains on sale of shares also include sale of equity fund shares.

Previously the statistics included all Norwegian limited companies registered on the Directory of Taxes' Register of Shares. Between 1997-1998 the statistics for non-listed companies did not included firms that were subject to tax regulation for electric power stations.

Data sources and sampling

Starting in 2004 the statistics are based on data from the Directorate of Taxes' Register of Shareholders. In the statistics on taxable dividend, data on dividend reported electronically to the Directorate of Taxes are also used.

Between 1984 and 1999 the statistics were based on the Directory of Taxes' Register of Shares and annual statistics of listed companies from Oslo Stock Exchange (Oslo Børs).

For each company additional data regarding industry and institutional sector is obtained from the Central Register of Establishments and Enterprises.

Collection of data, editing and estimations

Starting with the fiscal year 2004 Statistics Norway collected data from the Directorate of Taxes' Register of Shareholders. The registers consist of all Norwegian limited companies, specifying the number of shares issued, the share capital, the share premium, and proposed and paid dividend. In addition the register gives information about the shareholders and received dividends. Statistics Norway also collect information about received dividends that the tax payers report electronically to the Directorate of Taxes.

Between 1984 and 1999 Statistics Norway gathered data from the Register of Shares, which is a part of the Directories of Taxes' Register for Non-Personal Taxpayers. The Register of Shares contains information about the nominal value and the number of shares for Norwegian limited companies, as well as the tax value and proposed dividend for non-listed companies. Information about the listed companies was obtained from the Oslo Stock Exchange, partly through their published statistics and partly as an electronic data request.

The Tax Authorities control that the necessary and correct data is registered. In addition Statistics Norway carry out quality controls to ensure coherence and consistency within and with other available statistics.

The analysis unit is the limited company and the shareholder. The statistics are estimated by counting all units with a certain characteristic, e.g. the number of limited companies by main industry, and by aggregating a certain characteristic for all units in the statistics, e.g. received dividend.

Seasonal adjustment

Not relevant


As a main rule a figure is not published if it is based on less than three units, if one single company amounts for 90 per cent or more of the value, or if two companies amount for 95 per cent or more of the value.

Comparability over time and space

A change of source means that starting in 2004 the stock statistics are not directly comparable to earlier statistics. Some of the variables are redefined, e.g. previously the statistics included proposed dividends and as of 2004 the statistics include paid dividends.

The statistics are comparable for the period 1994 to 1999.

Prior to 1991 the stock statistics showed the estimated market value of non-listed companies. An estimate of the market value was obtained by simply using the tax value of the firm unless the tax value was zero, in which case the face value was used.

Prior to 1990 the amount published as paid dividend was the proposed dividend in the previous year. Starting in 1994 the dividend figure published included the proposed dividend to be paid out in the following year.

Adjustments to the tax system and to the accounting regulation over the years are reflected in the data and influence the continuity of the timeseries.

Adjustment of industry categorisation or structural changes within the industries might have an impact on the figure and impede the comparison over the years.

The introduction of a new institutional sector classification in 2012 means that the sector classified statistics are not fully comparable with previous years. This particularly affects the demarcation between financial and non-financial corporations.

Accuracy and reliability

Sources of error and uncertainty

The dataset is based on information given by the companies in the Shareholder Registration form, and errors arise if the information given is erroneous or inaccurate. If mistakes are not corrected during the quality controls the information of the Shareholder Registration form might be incorrect. Mistakes can also occur during the processing, the correction or the registration of the data. The quality control is mainly concerned with mistakes that can have a significant impact on the statistics. As a result, less significant errors, which have no impact on the total amounts, may not be corrected.

Some errors made during the collecting and processing of the data are unavoidable and include coding, editing and data processing errors etc. Extensive efforts have been made to minimize these errors, and we regard these types of errors to be relatively insignificant.

The statistics are based on an administration register of the population. Still there could be that some companies are not included in the register. The non-response rate is between 3 and 7 per cent of the total population of limited companies. Non-response can typically be caused by limited companies that are establish during the year or are no longer in business. When the owner is a foreign company or the general government, we also see a larger non-response rate. This is most likely caused by the fact that these shareholders are not taxed by the shareholder model, and thus the incentive to report is smaller.

The quality of the register and the linked data from administrative registers also have an impact on the quality of the finished result. Both the administrative and statistics registers are regularly updated, and will therefore change during the production process.

The stock statistics present figures for both limited companies and shareholders. Comparing these figures on might find that for items such as share capital and dividend paid there will be some differences.


Revisions are planned adjustments made to previously published figures (for instance when preliminary figures are revised and replaced with final figures). In Shares and capital returns, preliminary figures covering the recent income year are publised together with final figures covering the previous income year. To get more information about revisions, please see Principles for revisions in Statistics Norway.