Population of Svalbard1 January 2014


About the statistics


Name and topic

Name: Population of Svalbard
Topic: Population

Responsible division

Division for Population Statistics

Definitions of the main concepts and variables

Population: All persons with a personal identification number who are resident in a municipality on the mainland, and persons that have been issued with a D-number for tax purposes in Norway, but who are not deemed to be resident in a Norwegian municipality.

Population growth: There are two ways of calculating population growth; 1) the total of excess of births over deaths and net migration, or 2) the difference between the population at the end of the quarter minus population at the beginning of the half-year. Ideally the two methods should give the same result, but extensive experience in corresponding statistics for the Norwegian mainland shows that there is always a discrepancy between these two methods.

Excess of births over deaths: The difference between births and deaths, also called "net natural increase in the total population". A minus sign means an excess of deaths over births.

Births: Live births

Net migration: The difference between inward migration and outward migration. A minus sign means net outward migration. Inward migration, outward migration: Migration is the relocation of one person between Svalbard and a Norwegian municipality or between Svalbard and abroad.

D-number: Persons subject to taxes who are not resident in Norway are issued with a D-number by the tax authorities. The D-number is also issued to other non-residents when the Norwegian authorities require an unambiguous identification definition.

Standard classifications

Not relevant

Administrative information

Regional level


Frequency and timeliness

Half-yearly. The statistics are published about two and a half months after the reference periods, which are 1 January and 1 July

International reporting

Not relevant


The half-yearly statistics contain aggregated data and are only stored for a short period of time. Annual population figures and final figures of changes are stored for longer.


Background and purpose

Statistics Norway publishes statistics on the number of persons on Svalbard and a census of the Norwegian part of the population in Longyearbyen and Ny-Ålesund by age and sex. In order to provide more and better statistics, half-yearly population statistics will be published on these settlements as from 2009.

The statistics will show half yearly population changes in the Norwegian settlements, as well as the composition of the population.

The Population Register of Svalbard was started in the summer of 2008, and is structured in the same way as the Central Population Register, which the Svalbard register communicates with.

Users and applications

The statistics are used by the public administration, institutes involved in researching demographics and living conditions, and the Norwegian settlements on Svalbard.

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 08 am. Prior to this, a minimum of three months' advance notice is given inthe Statistics Release Calendar.

Coherence with other statistics

Not relevant

Legal authority

§§ 2-1, 2-2,3-2 of the Statistics Act

EEA reference

Not relevant



The Population Register of Svalbard covers persons in Longyearbyen and Ny-Ålesund , i.e. everyone who plans to live on Svalbard for more than six months.

Holders of a personal identification number who are registered as residents in a municipality on the mainland or who have been resident in a Norwegian municipality are included in the Population Register of Svalbard. The register also includes holders of a D-number who are not deemed to be resident in a Norwegian municipality.

Persons that have relocated from Norway to Svalbard are registered in two places; as resident in a Norwegian municipality and with residency on Svalbard with a duration of more than six months.

The Population Register of Svalbard does not cover the settlements of Barentsburg and Hornsund.

Figures for changes in the half-year are based on notifications of events during the half-year (births, deaths, relocations) that are registered within three months of the end of the half-year. Table 1 includes figures for Barentsburg and Hornsund, which have been obtained from the Governor of Svalbard.

Data sources and sampling

The statistics are based on the Population Register of Svalbard (BRSV) and the daily reports used to update the BRSV through communication with the Central Population Register. Figures for residents in Barentsburg and Hornsund are obtained from the Governor of Svalbard.

Collection of data, editing and estimations

Statistics Norway receives daily reports from the BRSV

In addition to the controls carried out in the BRSV, Statistics Norway also performs checks for statistical purposes. The Central Population Register and Statistics Norway carry out this work together, which contributes to the high quality of the register.

The population (resident persons), live births, deaths and migration in both directions are aggregated for the Norwegian settlements on Svalbard.

Seasonal adjustment

Not relevant


Where one or two units form the basis of the figures in a cell, and these can be traced to the respondent or other identifiable individual, the cells are rounded off or replaced by dots.

Comparability over time and space

Statistical releases older than 25 April 2017

Previously published population statistics for the Longyearbyen and Ny-Ålesund  only cover persons that live or have been registered as resident on the Norwegian mainland.

Statistical Yearbook. Persons in settlements on Svalbard Statistical Yearbook. Norwegian settlements on Svalbard by age and sex

Accuracy and reliability

Sources of error and uncertainty

Some errors can occur in the collection and processing routines from the point reports are received from the BRSV until statistics are produced.

Other errors can occur, for instance coding errors, revision errors, data processing errors etc. Routines are in place to minimise such errors and Statistics Norway considers these to be of minor importance.

The BRSV contains persons with personal identification numbers and D-numbers. Persons belonging to the Russian and Polish settlements are not included in the BRSV. Persons that do not report relocations to Svalbard are not included in the statistics.


Not relevant