Housing conditions, register-based

Updated: 25 January 2023

Next update: Not yet determined

Per cent of households who own their dwelling
Per cent of households who own their dwelling

About the statistics

The housing conditions of all residents and households in Norway is presented. This includes ownership rates, crowded dwellings, the type of building and accessibility.

Resident: The statistics include all persons that are residents of a private household (see definition below) in Norway in 1 January according to the National Population Register. Who is regarded as a resident of Norway and where in Norway a person shall be counted as a resident is stipulated in the Population Registration Act of 16 January 1970 (with subsequent changes) and its regulation from 1994. The total number of residents in an area is the population. Students registered with their parents while they study abroad are not included in the statistics. The same applies for some persons that according to the register can be considered to reside abroad.

Couples: Two persons who live in the same residence and are married, registered partners or cohabitants (living together without being married or registered partners) are considered to be a couple. To be regarded as cohabitants, the persons have to be living in the same residence, be of the opposite sex, and either

  • have children together
  • be registered as cohabitants in the 2001 census form, or
  • have been registered as cohabitants in the revision routine to update the households from the 2001 census.

The data source does not have enough information to identify unmarried same sex couples. Divorced and separated couples that are registered in the same residence are considered a couple when they fulfil the requirements for cohabitation.

Children: Children are persons registered as living with at least one of their parents (biological or adoptive), and who are not in a couple or/and have children of their own. Children include biological and adoptive children, but not foster children.

Household: A private household consists of persons that are residents in the same private dwelling according to the National Population Register. The creation of households is described in more detail in Production. Households can consist of one or more families. Persons that belong to the same family also belong to the same household. We first determine which persons belong to the same household, and then which persons belong to the same family.

Immigrants are persons born abroad of two foreign-born parents and four foreign-born grandparents. Country of Birth is mainly the mother's place of residence at the time she is giving birth.

EU/EEA, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand includes immigrants with their country of birth in: Denmark, Greenland, Finland, Faroe Islands, Iceland, Sweden, Belgium, Bulgaria, Andorra, Estonia, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Ireland, Croatia, Italy, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Lithuania, Spain, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany, Slovenia, Hungary, Austria, Vatican City State, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand.

Asia, Africa, Latin America, Oceania except Australia and New Zealand and Europe except EU/EEA includes immigrants with their country of birth in: Albania, Belarus, Moldova, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Asia, Africa, America except USA and Canada and Oceania except Australia and New Zealand. Persons who were stateless at birth and with an unknown place of birth are also included.

Dwelling: A dwelling is defined as one or more rooms that has been built or rebuilt for the purpose of being used as a round-the-year dwelling for one or more persons. It must be possible to have access to the room(s) without having to go through another dwelling. Both dwelling units and single rooms are counted as dwellings. A dwelling unit is a conventional dwelling with at least one room and kitchen. Single rooms are living quarters with a separate entrance and with access to water and toilet outside other living quarters.

Year of construction: The year of construction is the year that a building became habitable. In buildings with more than one dwelling, where the dwellings are being occupied gradually, the year of construction is the year when at least half of the dwellings are habitable. In houses that have been renovated, the year of construction is the original year of construction. For dwellings in extensions to the main building, where data is only registered on the extension of the building, the year of construction of the extension is used.

Utility floor space: The floor area measured within the outer walls, defined in Norwegian Standard NS 3940 Area and volume calculations of buildings. All types of room (including storage rooms) within the outer walls are included. Rooms that need to be entered by exiting the dwelling are not included.

P-area: Area within the outer walls, defined in Norwegian Standard NS 3940 Area and volume calculations of buildings, of rooms used for short or long stays (P rooms). The following rooms are included as P-rooms: basement sitting room, TV room, loft room, playroom, study, home office, computer room, media room, library, gym, lounge, living room, family room, dressing room, bathroom/shower room, toilet, utility room, entrance/porch, kitchen, bedroom, sauna, hobby room, pool room, enclosed stairwell/elevator and other living areas used for residential purposes.

Number of rooms in the dwelling: A room must satisfy the room requirements of the Building Act and be 6 m2 or larger. Kitchens, baths, hallways and the like are not counted as rooms.

Number of floors: The number of floors is collected from the table of floors that is connected to each building.

Placement (floor) in the building: The numerical address includes information on the entrance floor of the dwelling.

Elevator: The variable indicates whether an elevator is installed in the building. Passenger elevators are counted as elevators, but not goods elevators or stair lifts.

Lives in crowded dwelling, many rooms and sq.m.: Households are considered as living crowded if: 1. the number of rooms is lower than the number of residents or one resident lives in one room, and 2. the number of square metres (P-area) is below 25 sq.m. per person. If the number of rooms or the P-area is not specified, a household will be regarded as living in cramped conditions if one of these criteria is met.

Tenure status shows the household’s ownership status to the property. Owners include freeholders and . The household owns the dwelling if at least one of the residents is registered as owning the property. The householders are considered to be tenants when none of the residents are registered as owners.

Type of building is established according to the function of the building. Combined buildings, for instance combined dwelling and business buildings, are classified by the function that occupies the main part of the utility floor space. The building types in the dwelling statistics are aggregated from the most detailed classification in the GAB register, see About the statistic for Dwellings.

Detached house includes single-unit dwellings (including farms)

House with two dwellings both horizontally and vertically divided

Row house, linked house and house with 3 or 4 dwellings

Multi-dwelling building block of flats or apartment buildings with at least 2 floors

Other residential building includes building types not included in the other groups. Residences for communities (including student accomodations) is included in this group.

EU-equivalence scale is used to compare economic well-being in households of different sizes, by using economies of scale.  It assigns a value of 1 to the household head, of 0.5 to each additional adult member and of 0.3 to each child under the age of 17. According to this scale, a household with two adults and two children has to have a household income which is 2.1 times as high as a single person in order to have the same economic well-being. This is also called the equivalence income.

Low income, 60 per cent: All households that have a disposable equivalence income below 60 per cent of the median income. The median income is the mid-way income point in the distribution of income when sorted in ascending (or descending) order. The number of persons with an income above the median will be the same as the number of persons with an income below the median.

Income quartiles: All households are divided into four groups of equal sizes based on equivalence income. The lowest quartile is the fourth with the lowest equivalence income. The second quartile is the fourth with the second lowest equivalence income. The third quartile is the fourth with the second highest equivalence income. The highest quartile is the fourth with the highest equivalence income.

Recipients of dwelling support: Households that have received state dwelling support during the income year.

Recipients of social assistance: Households where the main income earner has received NOK 1 000 or more in socialassistance during the income year.

Recipients of social security benefits: Households where the main income earner has received more than half of their income from the National Insurance. The numbers are presented separately for households where the main income earner is below 67 years old and 67 years old or older. The latter group is dominated by recipients of the old-age pension.

High debt burden: Households that have a total debt equal to or more than three times that of the household's total income. A corresponding indicator can be found in the Income and Wealth Statistics for Households.

Household type. The variable follows the standard classification of household type. Distinctions are made between one-person and multi-person households, and between households with and without children (see the definition of Children). For more, see About the statistics for Families and households.

Name: Housing conditions, survey on living conditions

Topic: Construction, housing and property

Not yet determined

Division for Income and social welfare statistics

Most of the statistics are published at municipality level. Some tables are only available for municipalities with at least 10 000 inhabitants. 

Annually. The statistics are registered on 1 January. For release dates, see the statistics release calendar.

Not relevant

Data files with individual information are stored. 

The aim of the statistics is to present the housing conditions for persons and households registered as living in Norway, and to present this information over time. The statistics also look at housing conditions for different parts of the population. Housing conditions are presented at a small geographical level and the population is broken down at a detailed level. The statistics are presented for the first time in 2016, covering data from 2015. The Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation has provided funding to develop the statistics.

The main users are ministries, directorates and researchers studying housing conditions or living conditions in general. Counties and municipalities are also important users as the statistics can be presented at a detailed geographical level.

The statistics also give information to the media or others interested in the state and development of the population’s housing conditions.

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 in the statistics release calendar.

The tables are based on similar data used in the population and housing census 2011 and some of the indicators are comparable with data in the publication Population and housing census, dwellings. Tables cannot, however, be compared directly.

Some of the indicators are similar to those found in the statistics Housing conditions, survey on living conditions, which is based on a nationally representative survey. We have commented on the cases where definitions in these statistics differ from definitions in “Housing conditions, survey on living conditions” below. 

The statistics are based on the same data sources as the statistics on Dwellings and the statistics on Families and households.

Corresponding and relevant documentation for indicators based on registered income can be found in the Income and wealth statistic for households.

The Statistics Act, Section 10.

Not relevant

All persons registered as a resident in a private household in Norway on 1 January that can be matched with a registered dwelling. A person is registered as a resident in Norway when they have lived here or intend to live here for at least 6 months and have a valid residence permit. Persons who immigrated to work in Norway less than 6 months before the date of registration are not included in the statistics. For a further definition of residents in Norway see: “Definitions, Definitions of the main concepts and variables, Resident”. In some cases we have not been able to match persons or households to dwellings. These persons and households are not included in the statistics.

All the information is obtained from administrative and statistical registers. Most of the register data that is utilised is also in other statistics from Statistics Norway. Statistics Norway has created systems called statistical registers within different areas of statistics (sectors). These are based on one or more administrative data systems, either administrative registers from other government agencies or administrative data collected by Statistics Norway.

Population and household data

Data on persons, families and households is based on information from the National Population Register, the Ground Parcel, Address and Building Register and the Central Coordinating Register for Legal Entities in Brønnøysund. From 1 January 2014, information about students that receive student living allowances and are registered as living with their parents have been collected from NRK (the Norwegian broadcasting company), Norway Post and the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund.

Information from the population register is processed by Statistics Norway in order to provide information about households. Information from the Ground Parcel, Address and Building Register and the Central Coordinating Register for Legal Entities is used in this work. The information is used to find out who belongs to the same household and if it is a private household or a different kind of household (institution etc.).

A comprehensive system for control, editing and data processing has been developed to make sure the statistics cover all households. The aim is to determine which persons make up a couple, a family and a household. This has been necessary because the data has weaknesses, especially in relation to dwelling numbers in the address data. The address alone is therefore not enough to determine the composition of families and households.

See About the statistics for Families and households for more detailed information.

Dwelling data

The statistics on dwellings are mostly based on information from Statistics Norway’s statistical version of the Ground Parcel, Address and Building Register (GAB), the SSB-GAB. The Norwegian Mapping and Cadastre Authority is responsible for the administration of the GAB. The municipalities provide the information on dwellings in the GAB based on applications from developers, owners and other applicants. Other data sources are used as a supplement for information on year of construction, utility floor space, bathrooms and toilets (WC). The most important sources are the National Population Register, which is used for year of construction and utility floor space, the SEFRAK register (the Directorate for Cultural Heritages register on older buildings), for year of construction, and information on dwellings sold through finn.no. Information on some dwellings collected in the 2001 census is also used as supplementary data.

Information on elevators is collected from registers kept by Nasjonalt installasjonsregister for løfteinnretninger (NIREG).

Information about type of ownership is found in data about sector codes and organisational structure from the Central Coordinating Register for Legal Entities and information about the owners address of residence is taken from BeReg (Statistics Norway’s statistical version of the National Population Register).

See About the statistics for Dwellings for more detailed information.

Income data

Data on income is taken from the register-based income statistics, which have been a full census since 2004. Various administrative and statistical data sources have been merged to provide the information on income and wealth as of 31 December of the income year.

See About the statistics for Income and wealth statistics for households for more detailed information.

Geographical information

Information on addresses for residents and dwellings is gathered from the address data in the Ground Parcel, Address and Building Register. This includes details of the basic statistical unit, the municipality etc. the address belongs to and whether the address is in a densely or sparsely populated area.

The statistics are only based on registers and there is no data collection, see “Data sources and sampling”.

Register-based data utilized in statistics is controlled and to a greater or lesser extent revised. The variables that are not found in one specific administrative source are created by combining different register sources. Control and revision of the data is mainly done within the different areas of statistics.


The household data is made according to the principles used in the household statistics. The procedure for creating a household is described in About the statistics for Families and households. The basic principle is that all persons registered at the same address in the National Population Register belong to the same household (see “Definitions of the main concepts and variables”).


Information on type of ownership is found by combining household and dwelling data. The household is registered as a freeholder when at least one of the residents is registered as the owner of the dwelling in the Ground Parcel, Address and Building Register. When at least one of the residents is registered as owner through a housing cooperative or has the right of occupation in SERG (the tax administration’s property register), the dwelling is regarded as owned by part-/ shareholders. The household is registered as tenants if none of these criteria are met.

Consistency between private households and inhabited dwellings

In theory, the number of households should be the same as the number of inhabited dwellings (see “Definitions of the main concepts and variables”). The principle is that residents and households are connected using the residential address. It was necessary to develop a method for coordination between household and dwelling data because of mistakes and missing values in the data. The method gives reasonable estimates for households and inhabited dwellings, but not complete conformity between the two populations. Approximately 8 000 households are not matched with a dwelling. They are not included in the statistics.


Some data is missing, especially for older houses. Because of this, supplementary information is collected from sources other than the Ground Parcel, Address and Building Register, and imputations are made of characteristics like utility floor space, the number of rooms, the number of bathrooms and toilets. There are different routines for different types of dwellings. For example, the number of rooms/bathrooms/toilets that is most common in blocks of flats is imputed for dwellings in that kind of building where data is missing.

The procedure is described in more detail in About the statistics for Dwellings.

Comparability: See Coherence with other statistics.

Not relevant

One of the goals of the statistics on housing conditions is to provide data for small geographical areas, but the statistics cannot provide information that can be traced back to specific individuals. It is therefore necessary to make sure that combinations of variables that only occur once or twice cannot be identified in the tables. Ones and twos in tables at the municipal level are therefore replaced randomly by 0 or 3. The numbers 0 and 3 also occur naturally, and it is not possible to differentiate between the two types of 0 and 3. The replacements are done in a way that minimises the possibility of influencing the numbers at a higher level of aggregation. Small deviations from the original figures will still occur. These deviations will generally be smaller than the deviations caused by the errors described in “Sources of error and uncertainty” and will not lessen the usefulness of the statistics. Minor discrepancies can occur when the same table is made based on two different matrices.

In terms of previously published statistics, the Population and housing census 2011 is the source that  is most comparable to the statistics on housing conditions. Some changes have however been made in how households are constructed. Unmarried students registered as living at home were included in their parents’ household in the 2011 census. They are now registered as residents in a household closer to the place of study. Furthermore, one-person households living at the same address have now been combined into one household to a greater degree than previously. These changes have led to a decline in the number of households by 0.7 per cent. See About the statistics for Families and households for more information. This also includes information on the comparability with the household statistics. See About the statistic for Dwellings for the comparable information for the dwelling statistics.

See About the statistic for Dwellings for possible sources of errors in the data on dwellings.

See About the statistics for Families and households for possible errors in the data on persons and households.

Not relevant


Madeleine Elisabeth Schlyter Oppøyen


(+47) 41 58 41 65