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


NOK billion in dividend payments

Received dividends, by holding sector
20182017 - 2018
NOK millionSharePer cent
Total537 07910024
Non-financial corporations290 2975441
Financial corporations31 93960
General government48 468924
Non-profit institutions serving households2 958136
Households58 854112
Rest of the world96 993180
Unspecified sector7 5711931

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.
Total301 357933 875434 240313 106952 562537 079
Agriculture, forestry and fishing4 5229 33410 7284 7969 42110 071
Mining and quarrying1 276111 49474 9461 269107 301109 394
Manufacturing13 299104 31061 00613 318113 41975 678
Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply1 48492 80828 4751 53293 29528 902
Water supply, sewerage, waste7952 9745598052 832464
Construction42 91937 20521 91044 47737 31130 831
Wholesale and retail trade: repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles44 84958 13242 84344 76253 25738 950
Transportation and storage9 95989 27812 73910 04194 42823 657
Accommodation and food service activities9 9369 6691 87610 1379 7551 891
Information and communication14 59837 44451 25615 23637 44079 618
Financial and insurance activities20 430172 88343 52719 891180 03948 762
Real estate activities62 109134 47150 79763 579133 62752 644
Professional, scientific and technical activities36 38641 78718 31837 81144 94521 413
Administrative and support service activities12 92620 1448 93613 27720 2626 513
Education3 8027433653 994741317
Human health and social work activities9 0033 0012 5549 3022 9823 716
Arts, entertainment and recreation4 6804 1748984 9713 280840
Other service activities4 6961 9111 0324 8791 938921
Missing3 6882 1121 4759 0296 2882 497

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 sectors933 875434 240952 562537 079
Non-financial corporations490 083205 401508 544290 297
Financial corporations127 87231 793131 56831 939
General government61 00939 18761 51348 468
Non-profit institutions serving households15 0432 17914 5492 958
Households72 78257 66672 32858 854
Rest of the world166 74497 280155 02496 993
Unspecified sector3417349 0357 571

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
Total664 37972 53857 4441 3833 787678 88972 53858 6251 1453 796
0-19 years9 0165701712138 79657017338
20-29 years45 8012 4581 223245747 9952 4581 16513061
30-39 years97 6757 3944 89191267101 1627 3944 90493231
40-49 years136 88815 21213 677170461137 01215 21213 320260487
50-59 years143 89820 05918 047443962147 30920 05917 955290754
60-69 years121 19316 74212 9464841 425122 17716 74213 9902351 579
70-79 years78 0697 8505 56513946481 3837 8506 060116321
80 years or older31 8392 2529233113833 0552 2521 05719354
Total459 34355 58447 1971 1372 932470 21955 58447 5958902 965
0-19 years5 4252891161105 39728912521
20-29 years33 6911 63478551935 6331 63474711437
30-39 years70 2735 1103 7276714472 9415 1103 66370112
40-49 years97 01510 96711 05910531497 29210 96710 437205332
50-59 years99 81515 92015 136414805101 95115 92014 822219587
60-69 years83 80314 05811 0383931 18784 50514 05811 9631651 378
70-79 years51 4306 3264 70612436653 8216 3265 06599236
80 years or older17 8911 281630288618 6791 28177416282
Total205 03616 95410 247246855208 67016 95411 030255831
0-19 years3 59128255133 3992824817
20-29 years12 110824438193812 3628244181624
30-39 years27 4022 2841 1652412328 2212 2841 24123118
40-49 years39 8734 2452 6176514739 7204 2452 88454155
50-59 years44 0834 1392 9112915745 3584 1393 13371167
60-69 years37 3902 6851 9099123837 6722 6852 02770201
70-79 years26 6391 524860159827 5621 5249951686
80 years or older13 94897129335214 376971283372

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 74497 280155 02496 993
Sweden25 07119 83221 27916 379
United Kingdom25 8149 02124 7698 068
United States11 4237 80310 8049 214
Denmark6 6345 2115 8704 187
France7 0196 5038 58114 221
Netherlands13 58824 97713 43020 979
Luxembourg13 8058 06010 8097 320
Germany12 8861 7057 3311 423
Cyprus1 977525880314
Spain..1 639..1 341
Switzerland3 3171 4232 9612 918
Belgium3 6841 8562 0671 030

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
Total678 88972 13412.7368 88958 6256.9
Østfold30 3012 46110.216 2942 6675.5
Akershus86 9638 65113.949 2569 1347.9
Oslo99 07914 71114.553 65313 4157.9
Hedmark21 5501 74910.912 0961 2036.1
Oppland22 9352 00912.113 0611 2966.9
Buskerud35 2303 40412.419 1323 1826.8
Vestfold29 8563 13911.916 0672 5826.4
Telemark22 6521 79113.112 4311 2227.2
Aust-Agder12 8971 27611.06 1011 2405.2
Vest-Agder20 9303 20511.29 5631 5335.1
Rogaland65 0337 91413.739 0114 8368.2
Hordaland71 2786 52113.637 2716 0127.1
Sogn og Fjordane16 6921 51215.29 1298618.3
Møre og Romsdal33 0084 17212.318 6982 2787.0
Trøndelag57 5084 93312.430 2413 8926.5
Nordland28 5332 12611.715 6411 7446.4
Troms - Romsa16 9591 77210.18 2961 2165.0
Finnmark - Finnmárku7 4857879.92 9483123.9
Total470 21955 32117.5250 71947 5959.3
0-19 years5 3972540.83 2981250.5
20-29 years35 6331 5409.715 4087474.2
30-39 years72 9415 01519.831 0953 6638.5
40-49 years97 29210 25226.045 62510 43712.2
50-59 years101 95115 44728.853 59414 82215.1
60-69 years84 50514 38729.350 52011 96317.5
70-79 years53 8217 02726.637 2215 06518.4
80 years or older18 6791 39921.413 95877416.0
Total208 67016 8147.9118 17011 0304.5
0-19 years3 3992600.62 179480.4
20-29 years12 3627833.65 7054181.6
30-39 years28 2211 8168.112 1731 2413.5
40-49 years39 7203 86411.218 7972 8845.3
50-59 years45 3584 77913.425 2843 1337.5
60-69 years37 6722 73313.123 5622 0278.2
70-79 years27 5621 58912.719 6359959.0
80 years or older14 37699010.410 8352837.8

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.