About the statistics
Name and topic
Name: Housing conditions, survey on living conditions
Topic: Construction, housing and property
Division for Income and Living Conditions Statistics
Definitions of the main concepts and variables
The variables are mostly based on self-reported information. Some variables are based on registered data. These exceptions are specified.
One-dwelling building cover dwelling house on farm, detached one-family house, undetached houses, buildings in chain and atrium, two-family houses and terraced houses.
Vertically divided one-dwelling building cover undetached houses, building in chain or atrium or other assembled house
Horizontally divided one-dwelling building cover horizontally divided duplex, triplex, quadruplex and terrace house.
Owns cottage Owns cottage or holiday home alone or with others.
Owned dwelling cover dwelling owned by freeholder, and dwelling owned through housing cooperative and through housing stock company.
Crowded dwelling means one person is living in a dwelling with one room, or a household with more than one person living in a dwelling with less than one room per person. Kitchen, bathroom, hall and rooms less than six sqm are not counted as rooms.
Very spacious dwelling means that there is at least three rooms more that the number of persons in the household.
Experience lack of space. Persons who find the dwelling too small.
Live in a dwelling with damp and/or rot. Live in a dwelling with leaking roof, damp walls/floors or rot in windows or floors.
Living area is defined as the total area inside the outer walls of the dwelling. In the cellar and in the attic storey only rooms meant for living are counted.
Access to safe play- and recreational area. This is an area within 200 meters from the dwelling that is at least 5000 sqm and that can be used for play and recreation. Further it is considered that access to the area is safe for all members of the household.
Access to nearby walking area. This is an area within 500 meters from the dwelling that can be used for walking and other outdoor activities.
Area considered unsafe for small children because of traffic. Because of the traffic outside the house it is considered that a five-year-old child should absolutely not or rather not be left alone outside the house.
Subjected to dust, smell or other kind of pollution. Have problems with dust, smell or other pollution from traffic, industry or company in the nearby area of dwelling, and find the pollution highly or some annoying.
Subjected to noise nuisance in dwelling, coming from outside. Have problems with noise from neighbours or other noise when inside the dwelling, and find the nise nuisance highly or somewhat annoying.
Subjected to noise nuisance outside dwelling. Report somewhat or highly annoying noise from street or road, from airplanes, companies or building and construction works, when outside the dwelling.
All rooms in dwelling accessible for wheeled chair users. Doorway to hall, bathroom and WC, living room, sleeping room and kitchen is at least 80 cm wide and the door sill is maximum 2,5 cm.
Dwelling is difficult to access for user of wheel chair. Stairs with more than three steps, steep access or other obstacles that make it difficult for a user of a wheel chair to come from a parking place to the entrance to the house.
Average total housing expenditure on home loan and rent. Includes interest rates and instalment for home owners with home loan. Payment of joint debt through the rent not included. Rent or joint expences, included expences for garage , joint laundry and so on. Expences for heating and electricity excluded if possible.
Low share of housing costs. Total housing expenditures amounts to less than 10 per cent of the households disposable income. Income information is collected from the income register.
High share of housing costs. Total housing expenditures amounts to more than 25 per cent of the households disposable income. Income information is collected from the income register.
Total housing costs. Total amount for different items connected to expenditure on dwelling. Annual amount spent on rent, joint expenses, interest rates on mortgage (instalment not included), home insurance, municipal taxes, electricity and fuel and maintenance.
Rental income. Average annual income for households renting out a room with mutual entrance or households renting out an apartment with separate entrance.
Persons are grouped by age at year-end for the completion of the main part of the interview.
Area of residence
Persons are grouped according to sparsely populated areas or densely populated areas of different size. Sparsely populated areas include clusters of houses with less than 200 inhabitants. Densely populated areas include areas with 200 inhabitants or more, and a distance between houses - as a main rule - not more than 50 meters.
The regions include the following counties:
Oslo and Akershus
Eastern Norway excluding Oslo and Akershus: Østfold, Vestfold, Hedmark, Oppland, Buskerud and Telemark
Agder and Rogaland: Aust-Agder, Vest-Agder and Rogaland
Western Norway: Hordaland, Sogn og Fjordane, Møre and Romsdal
Trøndelag: Sør-Trøndelag and Nord-Trøndelag
Northern Norway: Nordland, Troms and Finnmark.
Family cycle phase
Persons are grouped mainly by age, marital status and whether the person has children. There is a distinction between singles and couples, where couples include both married and cohabitants. The concept single persons do not necessarily refer to persons living alone in the household.
The groups with children consist of persons living with their own child(ren) (including stepchildren and adopted children) aged 0-19 years in the household.
Below upper secondary level
Upper secondary level
Tertiary education, short
Tertiary education, long
Type of household 1
Type of household is defined as persons permanently living at the same address and who make shared provision for food. The address is actual address, not registered. The households are grouped by number of persons in household, if there is any couple in the household (married or cohabitant) and if the couple is living together with children in the age of 0-19 years old. Couples without children are grouped by the age of the respondent.
Type of household 2
Type of household is defined as persons permanently living at the same address and who make shared provision for food. Dependent children are defined as all children aged 0-17 years old, as well as economic inactive persons in the age of 18-24 years old, living with at least one of the parents. Economic activity is based on self defined status at the time of the interview. All persons not reporting working part-time or full-time are defined as economic inactive (see Economic status).
Economic status : This variable covers the person's own perception of the main activity on the date of interview. This differs from the ILO definition which has a predefined classification of economic status.
Working full-time: Consists of both employees and self employed
Working part-time: Consists of both employees and self employed
Student, pupil, further training, unpaid work experience: includes persons in vocational training and military service
Permanently disabled or/and unfit to work
Fulfilling domestic tasks and care responsibilities
Work intensity of a household is the ratio of the total number of months the working-age household members (16 years and older) have worked or studied during the income year and the total number of months the same household members theoretically could have worked or studied during the same period. Work intensity = Total months worked in the household / Theoretically number of months worked in the household. The result will be in the ratio 0 to 1. 1 means that all members of the household is working or studying during the year and 0 means that none of the household members is working during the year.
National, regional and residential area.
Frequency and timeliness
The Survey of Living Conditions EU-SILC, is carried out annually. From 2011 onwards the survey consists of a set of core questions and a theme sections with rotating topics. The topics are repeated in a cycle of three years. In 2011, the topics were outdoor activities, organizational activity, political participation and social networks. In 2012 the topics are housing conditions and offences and fear of crime. In 2013 the use of cultural actvities, sport and physical activity will be dealt with. Every three years there is conducted separate surveys of health care and social relations (last in 2012) and work and working conditions (last in 2013).
As from 2011 the data collection of the national topics in the living survey is coordinated with the Survey on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC). EU-SILC is a European sample survey of income, social exclusion and living conditions that are coordinated through the EU's statistics agency Eurostat, and anchored in the European Statistical System (ESS). Data from the EU-SILC is sent to Eurostat annually. The annual cross-sectional files covers the years t-1. The annual panel files covers t-2 to t-5.
Data files with results from the interviews and statistical files with coded variables, linked information and weights are stored. Anonymised files are also available for researchers through the NSD - Norwegian Centre for Research Data.
Background and purpose
There are two main purposes of living surveys aim to satisfy. They will firstly make it possible to shed light on the main aspects of living conditions and inequalities in living conditions. Secondly, the study of living conditions make it possible to follow the living conditions development, both the level of living conditions and inequalities.
The Survey of Living Conditions EU-SILC will, together with the surveys of working conditions and health care and social contact, over a 3-year period cover the major areas of living conditions.
From 1973 to 1995 there was carried out six general surveys. The studies shed light on economics, housing condition, leisure, social networks, health, education, employment and working conditions.
In 1996 a coordinated system of surveys was introduced. The system consisted of annual surveys with a set of rotating topics and an annual panel survey. Work environment was the theme in 1996, 2000, 2003, 2006 and 2009. Housing, leisure activities and victims of crime was the theme in 1997, 2001, 2004 and 2007. Health care and social relations was the theme in 1998, 2002, 2005 and 2008. The annual panel survey covered some important main topic.
In 2011 a new system of survey of living conditions was introduced. A key objective of the new system was better coordination with international requirements connected to EU-SILC. The new system in high degree covers earlier topics, in addition to new themes to illuminate political participation, social networks and economic and social problems.
The regular living conditions survey by Statistics Norway consists, from 2011, of the annual Survey of Living Conditions EU-SILC, a survey of working environment that is carried out every three years (last in 2013), and a survey of health, care and social relations, that is also carried out approximately every three years (last in 2012). The Survey of Living Conditions EU-SILC has a fixed core of questions which mainly covers household, housing, finances, health and work. Each year a topic section with varying themes are asked as well, and these are to be repeated every three years. The topics are: Leisure and outdoor activities, organization activity, political participation and social network (the first time in 2011). Exploration of housing conditions as well as offences and fear of crime (the first time in 2012). Sports activities and cultural activities (the first time in 2013).
In addition to the regular surveys of living conditions Statistics Norway, commissioned from outside, conduct individual surveys among selected groups.
Users and applications
The main users are government ministries, directorates, and research communities in the areas of working environment, health care, housing, leisure and local environment and living conditions in general.
Apart from this the statistics serve as a basis for information to the media and others interested in the condition and development in the living conditions.
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 08:00 am. Prior to this, a minimum of three months' advance notice is given in the Statistics Release Calendar.
Coherence with other statistics
The concept of living conditions covers a very wide range of topics and statistics on living conditions is therefore associated with many other statistics.
Information on housing is also available in the annual Dwelling stock statistics. The Population and Housing Census makes breakdowns on more detailed geographical level possible. Some information from the Population and Housing Census 2001 was applied in the SLC on housing conditions in 2001. The Survey of Consumer Expenditure has also issues on housing conditions, among other things a more detailed summary of most kinds of housing expenditures
Information on employment is collected from several sources. The Labour Force Survey is an important source and provide some information that supplements the information in the study of living conditions, eg. training in the workplace, weekend work, working arrangements and disability relation to the labor market. Some records like the employee/employer registry, sick leave registry etc. are also relevant. The information in these registers can also be utilized in the survey of living conditions.
The topic leisure activities does not contain information about cultural activities. These can be obtained from the Cultural and Media Use Surveys Statistics Norway conducts and from different cultural statistics.
To some degree the SLC gives input to the Statistics on Natural Resources and the Environment.
The population is residents aged 16 years and over not living in institutions.
Data sources and sampling
Data sources are interview data from the annual representative sample surveys and various attached registry information.
The net sample in the Survey of Living Conditions EU-SILC is made up of about 9,200 people.
The sample is drawn according to the procedures for random selection.
Collection of data, editing and estimations
Data collection is mainly done by telephone (Computer Assisted Telephone Interview CATI) and in some cases the interviewer visits the interviewee (Computer Assisted Personal Interview CAPI). Data collection for the Survey of Living Conditions EU-SILC occurs mainly from January to May in the year of interview.
The interview takes place using a computer-based questionnaire. The questionnaire includes various controls to prevent incorrect answers or registration errors during the interview. In some cases, the interviewer receives warnings for the registered response. In other cases, there is a limit on values that can not be exceeded. Moreover, it verifies that only valid codes are recorded.
In surveys where industry and occupation are collected, these are encoded by Statistics Norway.
The sample consists of people. Analysis unit is primarily person, but in some cases household. Using the household as the unit of analysis requires the use of weights.
Comparability over time and space
The SLC on outdoor activities, organization activity, political participation and social network is partly based on earlier surveys. Outdoors and organizational activity was the subject of investigations in 1997, 2001, 2004 and 2007, while the themes political participation and social network are new. Some time series of organizational activity and outdoor recreation can be traced back to the general living conditions surveys in 1980-1995.
The SLC on housing conditions is partly based on earlier surveys on housing conditions. The first was conducted in 1967, followed by similar surveys in 1973, 1981, 1988 and 1995. Some time series can also be traced back to the general living conditions surveys in 1980-1995.
The SLC on victimization are based on the general living conditions surveys. The first time this included questions about victimization was in 1983. The questions has only been slightly altered since 1997. The questions asked over the years can be seen in the StatBank.
The SLC on work environment is based partly on the earlier surveys on working environment in 1989 and 1993. Some time series can thus be traced back to 1989. In recent years, major revisions were made in 2006 and 2009. In some areas time series are therefore short.
The SLC on health is partly based on health surveys. The first was conducted in 1968, followed by surveys in 1975, 1985 and 1995. Some time series can also be traced back to the general surveys on living conditions in 1980-1995.
The SLC on care and social contacts are based primarily on the general living conditions surveys and multiple time series can be traced back to 1980.
Sources of error and uncertainty
The gross sample is drawn in order to reflect the whole population, however, because non-response differs unequally in the different categories used, the net sample will not be fully representative. This bias will vary for different groups and variables in question. In order to adjust for some of the biases that the net sample in relation to the gross sample, figures in the tables are weighted. The following variables are included in the weighting for non-response: Gender, age, education and family size.
The uncertainty of the findings based only a part of the population is often called sampling variance. Standard deviation is a measure of this uncertainty. The size of standard deviation depends, among other factors, on the number of observation in the sample, and on the distribution of the current variable in the whole population.
Statistic Norway has not made exact calculations to compute standard deviation for the findings. However, in table 1, the approximate size of standard deviation is given for observed percentages.
To illustrate the uncertainty associated with a percentage, we can use an interval to give the level of the true value of an estimated quantity (the value obtained if making observation on the whole population instead of observation based on a part of the population). Such intervals are called confidence intervals if constructed in a special way. In this connection one can use the following method: let M be the estimated quantity, and S the estimate of standard deviation of M. The confidence interval will be an interval with limits (M - 2*S) and (M + 2*S).
This method will give, with approximately 95 per cent probability, an interval containing the true value.
The following example illustrates the use of table 1 for finding confidence intervals: The estimate of standard deviation of 70 percent is 3.2 when the estimate is based on 300 observations. The confidence interval for the true value has limits 70 ± 2*3.2, which means the interval, is from 63.6 to 76.4 per cent.