Reports 2017/29

The distribution of financial resources between women and men, and gender disparities in health


This report describes the distribution financial resources between women and men. It has been prepared by Statistics Norway on behalf of the Ministry of Children and equality.

This report directly corresponds to the gender equality appendix to Proposition to the Storting no.1 (2017−2018) that Statistics Norway has prepared on behalf of the Ministry of Children and Equality.

The report describes the distribution of financial resources between women and men through employment, time use, wages and income, gender disparities in financial resources among persons with an immigrant background and gender disparities in health and the use of health services. The data used in the report are retrieved from Statistics Norway’s labour market statistics, time use surveys, wage statistics, income statistics and health statistics.

The report shows that although the trend for many years has been in the direction of more equality between women and men in terms of the proportion employed, there are still systematic differences in working life that give a gender-based skewed distribution of the financial resources associated with work. The labour market is still gender divided. Far more women than men work part time, and they work in different sectors and industries and have different occupations.

The time use survey shows that women still spend more time on unpaid household work than men, and that men spend more time on paid work compared to women. However, the amount of time men spend on unpaid work and women spend on paid work has increased. For wage earners as a whole, women earn 86 per cent of men’s wages per month on average. The main reason for the wage disparity is that women and men work in different occupations and industries. In 2015, women were registered as recipients of about 41 per cent of the total income for Norwegian households. The main source of income for households is income from work, where women earn about 61 per cent of men’s earnings. Women, on the other hand, receive pensions, social security benefits and other benefits to a greater extent than men. Combined with the structure of the tax system, where men pay more taxes than women due to higher earnings, this equalises the income between the sexes to a degree. Despite this, there is still a significant gender disparity in income.

The employment rate is substantially lower for immigrants than for the rest of the population. The rate is particularly low among women with an immigrant background both compared to men with an immigrant background and the population without an immigrant background. The employment rates among immigrants vary according to, for example, country background, length of residence and level of education. Income disparities between women and men with an immigrant background are greater than between women and men in the general population. However, this disparity is smaller for the group ‘Norwegian-born to immigrant parents’ than for immigrants.

Women have a higher life expectancy than men, but have poorer health and seek health services more often. Gender disparities in health and the use of health care services must be viewed in the context of other social disparities, which are partly reflected in level of education and age. Life phase is important for health in general, but also gives rise to gender disparities.