Nature and the environment;Svalbard
arealdekke, Area of land and fresh water, land cover, land area, area of fresh water, height above sea levelArea , Nature and the environment, Nature and the environment, Svalbard

Area of land and fresh water


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Key figures

323 808

Km2: mainland Norway 

Land and fresh water. Square kilometres1
In allLandFresh water
1Source: The Norwegian Mapping Authority (1:50 000) and The Norwegian Polar Institute (1: 100 000).
The kingdom of Norway384 484364 26620 218
The mainland323 808304 05519 754
Svalbard60 29959 841458
Jan Mayen3773716

About the statistics

Statistics of land area and fresh water area for counties, municipalities and basic statistical units. More detailed land cover and land use statistics is published under “Land use and land cover”, see link under “Related content”.Statistics of land area and fresh water area for counties, municipalities and basic statistical units. More detailed land cover and land use statistics is published under “Land use and land cover”, see link under “Related content”.


Definitions of the main concepts and variables

Municipalities is an administrative division of Norway and represents the local self-governance. Municipalities is both a term for a political/administrative level, and a term for a regional level in the statistics.

The country is further divided into about 14 000 statistical units. The objective of dividing municipalities into statistical units is to make small, stable geographical units which may form a flexible basis to work with and present regional statistics. This in turn is aiming at a more efficient statistical basis for analysis on regional and municipal level, for management and for planning purposes.

In addition to being stable over a certain time period, statistical units should also be geographically coherent areas. Another main criteria is that statistical units should be homogeneous, with respect to nature and basis for economic activities, conditions for communications, and structure of buildings.

Area is given in square kilometres and for height intervals above sea level.



Standard classifications

Land area, area of fresh water (lakes and rivers). The statistics might be divided into more classes.

Administrative information

Name and topic

Name: Area of land and fresh water
Topic: Nature and the environment

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Responsible division

Division for Housing, Property, Spatial and Agricultural Statistics

Regional level

Counties, municipalities, statistical units

Frequency and timeliness


International reporting

Not relevant


Statistics is supplied by the Norwegian Mapping Authorithies.


Background and purpose

The purpose of the statistics is to follow the changes in area of municipalities and statistical units, and to enable combination with other statistics.

Users and applications

The statistics is widely used by civil administration (ministries, directorates, county- and municipality administrations) as well as for research purposes, press, media and private persons.

Equal treatment of users

Not relevant

Coherence with other statistics

Figures for land area are also presented in the land resources and land use statistics. The sum area for municipalities and counties may deviate from the figures presented here due to different map data bases. 

Legal authority

Register information. Act concerning official statistics and the Central Bureau of Statistics § 3.2

EEA reference

Not relevant



The statistics comprises all municipalities and statistical units in Norway including Svalbard and Jan Mayen. The statistics include land area and fresh water. Sea and fjords are not included.

Data sources and sampling

Digital maps for administrative boundaries and land cover.

Collection of data, editing and estimations

Based on registers and the use of GIS.

Data revised by owners of the registers, e.g. Statistics Norway , municipalities and the Norwegian Mapping Authorities.

The calculations are carried out at The Norwegian Mapping Authority. Area calculations on digital map databases.

Seasonal adjustment

Not relevant


Not relevant

Comparability over time and space

Figures for 2003 are partially estimated from elder maps in the scale 1 : 100 000 based on manual methods; changes from 2003 and onwards might be explained from this.

From 2010 the basis for administrative units and basic statistical units are The Cadastre. Quality improvements may cause deviations from prvious years statistics.

Quality improvements from year to year may cause deviations over time. 

Accuracy and reliability

Sources of error and uncertainty

Figures rely on digital maps aimed at presentation in scale 1 : 50 000. Accuracy varies from +/- 10 meter to +/- 50 meter.


Not relevant