Population;Income and consumption

Population and Housing Census, household income (discontinued)2011


About the statistics


Name and topic

Name: Population and Housing Census, household income (discontinued)
Topic: Population

Responsible division

Division for Population Statistics

Definitions of the main concepts and variables


Resident person. The census comprises all persons that according to the population register were residents in Norway on 19 November 2011. The Population Registration Act of 16 January 1970 (with later amendments) and its provisions, define persons that are considered resident in Norway and where their address is to be. The total number of persons resident in a region is the total population.


Couple. Two persons are considered a couple when they are registered as resident in the same household and are married to each other, are registered partners or cohabitants, i.e. living together without being married or having a registered partnership. To be classified as a cohabiting couple in the statistics, the persons must live in the same dwelling and in addition be of opposite sex and either have children in common, have been classified as cohabitants in the 2001 census or have been classified as a cohabitant couple in the system for data processing, control and revision described in 3.5. The data quality is not good enough to identify same sex cohabitants, and statistics for this group is accordingly not published.

Divorced and separated couples registered as resident in the same dwelling are considered a couple when they fulfil at least one of the requirements above. Divorced couples are in those cases classified as cohabiting. Separated couples living together are classified as married couples in the household statistics, because they legally are still considered to be married.


Family. A family consists of persons resident in the same dwelling and being a couple and/or parent and child (regardless of the child's age). At most, a family may consist of two subsequent generations and one couple only. This means that persons that are married or cohabiting and/or are living with their own children, do not belong to their parents' family. When persons that have previously been married are living with their parents, this is regarded as two families. In Norwegian statistics single persons are also considered a family, meaning that all persons are part of a family. In international statistics persons living alone are not considered to be a family (family nucleus).


Household. A household consists of persons that according to the population register are resident in the same housing unit (private dwelling or institution). These households are known as dwelling households. The census statistics does not include information on housekeeping units, i.e. persons living in the same dwelling with joint board. A private household comprises persons resident in the same dwelling, where this dwelling is not an institution. An institutional household comprises persons who have board, lodging, care or nursing at an institution. Employees that are resident in an institution are always considered resident in a private household.


Variables - demography and place of residence

Age. In the 2011 Census, persons are grouped according to age at census date (19November). This definition complies with the EU regulation. In previous censuses, persons were grouped according to age at the end of the year (31 December). This variable is also produced in the 2011 census, but it is not used for publishing statistics.

Residential address. In the 2011 census, this is the address where the individual person was registered as resident on 19 November 2011. The main rule in population registration is that a person is to be registered as resident at the address where the person spends the majority of his or her daily night-rest. However there are some exceptions, the most important being that unmarried students may choose whether they want to be registered at their parents’ address or at the address at their place of study. Moreover, married persons who are de facto living in a home for the elderly shall as a main rule be registered with their spouse if he/she is living in a private household. Married persons and persons with their own children in the same household are to be registered as living with their spouse and/or children even though they might be e.g. weekly commuters. Persons that according to the population register have no fixed abode are counted in the municipality where they previously resided. In tables by basic statistical unit and statistical tract, these persons are classified as unknown. The same applies in classifications by densely/sparsely populated area.


In the 2011 census persons that according to the Population register ofSvalbardare residing in Longyearbyen or Ny-Ålesund, are counted as residents there. The address inSvalbardthen replaces the address in the Central population register in the census file.


Family and household variables

Cohabitation arrangements. Persons are classified as living in a married couple, a cohabiting couple or not in a couple. Couples are classified as being married or cohabiting.


Household status describes the type of household in which a person lives and his/hers position in the household. The main division is between persons living in a private household or not in a private household. Persons in private household are classified according to the number of families in the household (one family or two-or-more families). Persons in one-family households are classified as either living alone or living with others. Persons living with others are classified as living in a couple (as married or cohabiting), as a lone parent or as a son/daughter in the family.


Persons not living in a private household should in principle be classified as living in an institution or with household status “unknown”. Given the data quality this subdivision is rather uncertain, especially on municipality level. StatisticsNorwaytherefore has decided to publish figures for persons not living in private households with no such subdivision. In total 52 500 persons belong to this group and it is estimated that a little more than half of them are living in institution. Only persons registered as living in an institution belong to this group. Persons that are living in an institution, but have a spouse living in a private household, are in some cases registered as living with the spouse, i.e. in a private household.


As the definition of family in Norwegian statistics is somewhat different from the definition used in international statistics (see definition of family), the classification by household status are not identical. However, statistics according to the international standard will also be produced from the Norwegian census.


Type of household. The main division is between private households and other households. Private households are classified according to the Standard classification of households 2006, that is according to the number of families in the household (one family or two-or-more families) and as households with or without children. For international comparison, see Household status.


Number of children in the household is the aggregated number of children in all families belonging to the household. Children in the family comprise all persons below 18 years who are registered as residents with the family of at least one of their parents. Persons who are married or cohabiting and/or have their own children do not belong to their parents’ family. Biological children, adopted children and stepchildren are included, but not foster children.


Labour market variables

Current activity status. The classification is based on labour force participation and relates to the situation in census week (14 – 20 November 2011). Persons below 15 years of age are not included.


Employed persons are defined as in the register-based employment statistics, that is as persons who performed work for pay or profit for at least one hour in the census week, or who were temporarily absent from work because of illness, holidays etc. Conscripts are classified as employed persons. Persons engaged by government measures to promote employment are also included if they receive wages. Employment is defined according to the ILO recommendations.


Persons not employed during census week and registered as totally unemployed are classified as unemployed persons.


Persons not in the labour force are classified as pensioners and capital income recipients if they in the census year received

-          pensions from the national insurance benefits of one of the following types: Old age pension, disability pension, widow/widowers pension, contractual pension (early retirement) or supplementary support (for elderly immigrants) or

-          pensions from other sources (equal to more than twice the basic amount in the national insurance benefit scheme) or

-          more than 20 000 NOK in capital income


Persons not in the labour force and not classified as pensioners, are classified as students if they were attending educational activities on 1 October. Apprentices, persons studying abroad and persons participating in job training schemes are also included. For persons 15 years and below there is normally no individual information on education available. However, persons aged 15 years are classified as students unless they are registered as having finished lower secondary school.


Persons who are not in the labour force, not pensioners and not students belongs to the group others (also including home makers).


Main source of income

The classification is based on the total income for all persons in census year (2011). Persons with a total income of less than 1.5 times the National Insurance basic amount are classified as economically dependents. All other persons are classified according to their main source of income: Income from employment (wages and salaries, entrepreneurial income), property income, pensions, other transfers (unemployment benefits, sickness benefit, other taxable transfers and all tax-free transfers except loans to students and scholarships) and scholarships (including loans to students).


Geographical variables

County. The region 21Svalbard is included in tables by counties even though this region is not a county in the legal sense.


Municipality. The municipality distribution as at 1 January 2012 is used. Per 1 January 2012 the municipalities 1723 Mosvik and 1729 Inderøy were merged to 1756 Inderøy. The region 2111_2112 Longyearbyen and Ny-Ålesund are included in tables by municipality even though this region is not a municipality in the legal sense.

Standard classifications

Classification of region

Classification of county

Classification of municipality

Classification of households

Administrative information

Regional level

Most of the census statistics are disseminated on municipality level and on urban districts level for the cities of Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim and Stavanger. Selected statistics will also be disseminated for basic statistical units and statistical tracts.

Frequency and timeliness

Population and housing censuses are conducted every tenth year. In 2011 census day was 19 November. Dates for releases, see Advance release calendar.

International reporting

Reporting to Eurostat and UN


Census micro data without personal identification will be stored in Statistics Norway. Micro data with personal identification will be stored in The National Archives of Norway and will be made available for public use 100 years after the census.


Background and purpose

StatisticsNorwayconducted a register-based population and housing census on 19 November 2011. The purpose of this nationwide census is to describe how people are living inNorway, and to provide information on population structure and living conditions. Another important goal is to produce statistics for international comparisons.


Population and housing censuses have a long history in Norway. The first census was conducted in 1769 and the 2011 census is the 22nd.

In all previous censuses, questionnaires have been used to collect information; from 1980 on, a combination of data from questionnaires and registers have been used. In the 2011 census, all data are for the first time collected from administrative and statistical registers, and there is no longer necessary to use questionnaires in the census data collection. However, data from the Survey of education taken abroad 2012 is used in the 2011 census. More information, see About the statistics for Education statistics.


More information in the census information page.

Users and applications

Census statistics has a wide range of users: Researchers, planners on national and local level, politicians, media and private individuals. The statistics is also used for international comparisons.

Coherence with other statistics

Total population

The 2011 census population on Svalbard only comprises persons registered as residents inNorwayat census time. Compared to the annual population statistics onSvalbard, that comprises all residents in the Norwegian settlement and also a population count for the Russian and Polish settlements, the census will give a lower population figure.

The points made in Comparability over time and space also apply when comparing the 2011 census to the annual population statistics.



The data used in the 2011 census is almost the same as for the annual household statistics per 1 January 2011, but some adjustments have been made. Approximately 13 000 persons who in the annual statistics are counted as members of private households, are in the census classified with “household status unknown”. Except for these differences, the comparability with the annual household statistics for 2011 is good. The data used in the household statistics for 2012 are adjusted in the same way as in the 2011 census.


For comparison with Income statistics for households, see About the statistics for population and housing census, households

Legal authority

Statistics Act, §§2-1, 3-2

EEA reference

Regulation (EC) No 0763/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council.




The Population and housing census 2011 comprises all persons, including foreign citizens, who were registered as residents inNorwayaccording to the Central Population Register on 19 November 2011, census day.


The census comprises all private households and institutional households where at least one person was registered as resident on census day.


The census comprises all conventional dwellings according to the principles for registration of dwellings in the Cadastre (register on ground properties, buildings, dwellings and addresses managed by the Norwegian mapping authorities).

Data sources and sampling

All data in the 2011 census are retrieved from administrative and statistical registers. These data are mainly the same as those used in other register-based statistics. StatisticsNorwayhas built up data systems, referred to as statistical registers, in several statistical areas (sectors). These are again based upon one or more administrative data systems that are either administrative registers held by other public authorities or administrative data collected by Statistics Norway.


The 2011 population and housing census is a full count.


Population data

The population statistics system at Statistics Norway (BeReg) is the most central register for information on persons, families and households in the census. The main source of data is the Central Population Register (CPR). More information inAbout the statistics for Population statistics.

Information on residents in Longyearbyen and Ny-Ålesund is collected from the Population register ofSvalbard.

Data on households

In the population statistics system at Statistics Norway (BeReg) persons are grouped into families through allocation of family numbers. Families in the administrative population register comprise married couples with or without children, lone parents with children and persons living alone. In order to produce figures for cohabiting couples and two or more-family households, and hereby all types of families and households, Statistics Norway processes information from the population register. In addition some information from The Cadastre and the business register are used to identify persons living in institutions.


Data on current activity status

Labour market data is based on several registers. The most important ones are The Register of Employers and Employees, The Register of End of the Year Certificates (Register of Wage Sums), The Register for Personal Tax Payers, The Register of Unemployed and The Central Co-ordinating Register for Legal Entities (business register). StatisticsNorway has established a system to jointly utilise the different labour market registers. The system comprises modules for consistency management between various data sources, selection of the most important job and classification by employment.


Data on education is retrieved from the National Education Database (NUDB), a statistical registers managed by Statistics Norway. The register is based on information from individual educational institutions and state and county-municipal data systems. The register contains information on highest completed education as well as ongoing education (students and pupils).


Data on pensions from the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Organisation is retrieved from a statistical database in Statistics Norway (FD-Trygd). Data on other pensions is retrieved from the End of the Year Certificate Register. Data on capital income is retrieved from The Register for Personal Tax Payers.


Income data

Income data are produced by linking different administrative data. The main sources are the following: the tax returns (wages and salaries, entrepreneurial income, property income, pensions etc.), the Tax Register, End of the Year Certificate Register (unemployment benefit, various tax-free transfers), the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Organisation (family allowances, basic and additional amounts, cash benefit, sickness benefit etc.), State Educational Loan Fund (loans to students, scholarships), State Housing Bank (dwelling support) and municipalities (social assistance).


Geographical information

Information on addresses of residents, dwellings, work places and schools/educational institutions is retrieved from the address section of the Cadastre. This is information on the basic statistical unit, municipality, etc., to which the address

Collection of data, editing and estimations

The 2011 census has no separate data collection, see Data sources and sampling.


Census statistics are produced directly from the individual register data.


Register data used in statistics are verified and edited to a greater or lesser degree. Variables that are not found in any of the administrative sources are created by combining data from various register sources. Editing is mainly carried out in production of the various subject matter statistics.



Household figures in the 2011 census are produced in the same way as in the annual household statistics. The procedure used is described inAbout the statistics for household statistics. The basic principle is that all persons with the same residential address in the population register belong to the same household (see Definitions). However, a household count following this principle gives too few and too large households. Therefore, Statistics Norway has developed a method where information from the census forms in 2001 is used to modify the data from the population register. When members of the original household are not relatives, are not classified as cohabitants and did not move to the dwelling on the same day, households are in some cases divided.


Current activity status

Information on employment and unemployment is retrieved from Statistics Norway’s system for register-based employment statistics. A comprehensive system for joint utilization of several register has been established for classification by employment. For more information, see About the statistics for register-based employment statistics.


Information on education are being edited in the National Education Database, see About the statistics for education statistics.


The variable Current activity status is produced as a part of the population and housing census. Data on employment, unemployment, pensions and ongoing education is combined and a consistent classification is established.



Income data is edited in the production of income statistics for households, see About the statistics .


Small area statistics is an important part of censuses, but the statistics shall not provide information that can be traced back to individual persons. In respect of the protection of privacy, many of the tables have been adjusted in order that combinations of variable figures that only occur once or twice should not be identifiable in the tables. In most of the table matrixes at the most detailed level in every region (county, municipality, urban district, basic statistical unit), all figures 1 and 2 are replaced by 0 or 3 (table matrixes affected by this will be marked with foot notes). The figures 0 and 3 also occur naturally, and it should not be possible to see the difference between the two types of 0 and 3. The replacements are done such that there will be only minor deviations at a higher level of aggregation. These deviations will generally be less than errors in the statistics, and will not reduce the utilitarian value of the statistics. When the same table is produced on the basis of two different matrixes, minor deviations may also occur between the tables.

Comparability over time and space

The basis for comparisons is mainly the 2001 census.


Residents in Svalbard

In the 2011 census, persons actually living on the islands ofSvalbardare counted there, but in previous censuses they were counted at their place of registered residence. Compared to previous censuses, the 2011 census therefore shows a somewhat smaller population in municipalities where a substantial number of registered residents actually live inSvalbard.



Adapting to the EU regulation, the 2011 census uses age at census date (19 November). In previous censuses, age at the end of the years has been used. In particular, the age group below one year will be larger when using age at census time, since all persons born in the last 12 months are included. When using age at end of the year, only persons born in 2011 will belong to this age group. In the 2011 census the difference is approximately 6 500 persons for this age group.


Current activity status

In the 2001 census, only persons 16-74 years were classified by current activity status. In the 2011 census, information is available for all persons 15 years and older.


In the 2011 census only recipients of national insurance benefits were classified as pensioners. In the 2011 census also persons receiving pensions from other sources are included. Furthermore, in order to adapt to the EU-regulation, also recipients of capital income have been included in this group. As a result, the number of pensioners has increased by approximately 2.5 per cent.



In the 2001 census household data was mainly based on information from census forms, but in the 2011 census household data are based on registers only. When the annual, register-based household statistics was established in 2005, comparability with the 2001 census was assessed to be satisfactory, and data from the 2001 census is also used in producing the register-based household statistics. The 2011 census is based on the same data as the annual statistics: In establishing a method for register-based household statistics, comparability with previous censuses was emphasized. However, in assessing changes from the pervious census, this difference in data collection method should be taken into account.



In the 2001 census statistics on income after tax for households was published. In 2011, similar statistics is published as a part of the annual income statistics .

Accuracy and reliability

Sources of error and uncertainty

The 2011 census uses the same register-based data as the different subject matter statistics published by Statistics Norway. For descriptions of sources of error and uncertainty, see About the statistics for the relevant subject matter statistics.


Coverage for the total population

According to the EU regulation, the population is defined as all persons who have been living in the country for 12 months ore more at census time, or if not meeting this criterion, have the intention to stay for at least 12 months. Compared to this definition, a register-based census will have coverage errors.


A person legally living inNorwaywill indeed have self-interest to register as a resident person in the population register. For persons emigrating, de-registration will not be as important, meaning that some persons that no longer live inNorwaymost probably incorrectly are included in the census population. This results in over-coverage. On the other hand there will at any time be some persons staying in the country that are not included in the census population. This applies to all illegal immigrants, but also to asylum seekers that have not obtained a residence permit. This results in under-coverage.


Estimates of over- and under-coverage will be reported in 2013. However, compared to the total population size, coverage errors most certainly are of a very small magnitude.



See About the statistics for Population and housing census, households 


Households in Svalbard

Only persons registered as resident inNorwayare included in the census, having an influence on the household distribution in cases where persons included in the census are living together with persons staying temporarily in the country (and hence are not registered as residents). For example, a resident person living with a spouse or a cohabitant not registered as a resident would be classified as living alone or as a lone parent. In most municipalities this error is of a very small magnitude. In the settlements onSvalbard, however, where such cases occur more frequently, this type of error must be taken into account.




Population and housing census 2011 – background