About the statistics
Name and topic
Topic: Construction, housing and property
Division for Housing, Property, Spatial and Agricultural Statistics
Definitions of the main concepts and variables
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 separate entrance and with access to water and toilet outside other living quarters.
In section 3.1 there are some examples of when dwellings are to be registered or not in the GAB-register.
Buildings in the Ground Parcel, Address and Building Register (GAB), included in Norwegian Statistics, are defined as constructions that can be measured by utility floor space. Measurement of utility floor space is defined in Norwegian Standard NS 3940 Area and volume calculations of buildings. Registering is voluntary if the building is less than 15 m2 and does not contain a separate dwelling.
Year of construction
The year of construction is the year the building was ready to move into. 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 ready to move in to. In houses that have been renovated, the year of construction is the original year of construction. For dwellings on 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. See section 3.2 for more information about choice of data-source for year of construction.
Utility floor space
The floor area measured within the outer walls, defined in Norwegian Standard NS 3940 Area and volume calculations of buildings.
Number of rooms in the dwelling
A room must satisfy the room requirements of the Building Act and be 6 m2 or larger. Kitchen, bath, hallway and the like are not counted as rooms.
Number of bathrooms
A bathroom is a room with a bathtub or a shower installed.
Number of toilets (WC)
The number of toilets within the dwelling. Toilets that are located outside the dwelling and shared by several dwellings is not counted.
Densely populated area
1. A hub of buildings shall be registered as an urban settlement if it is inhabited by at least 200 persons (60 - 70 dwellings).
2. The distance between the buildings shall normally not exceed 50 metres. Deviations are allowed for areas that cannot/are not to be occupied, for example parks, sports facilities, industrial areas or natural barriers such as rivers or arable land. Also included are agglomerations that naturally belong to the urban settlement with up to a distance of 400 meters from the centre of the urban settlement.
Urban settlements are geographical areas with dynamic boundaries. Thus the number of urban settlements and their boundaries will change over time, depending on construction activity and changes of resident population.
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 is aggregated from the detailed classification in the GAB-register .
Municipal, county and national level.
Frequency and timeliness
At present no international reporting, but the statistics will in the future be used in reporting to the UN and Eurostat.
The individual dwellings are stored as a text file on Unix.
Background and purpose
The purpose of the statistics is to measures the number of dwellings in Norway.
Before the Residence Address Project in 2001, all detached houses and row houses had unique addresses in the Ground Parcel, Address and Building Register (GAB). In buildings with many dwellings, everyone who shared the same main entrance had the same address. The purpose of the Residence Address Project was to make the GAB-register as updated as possible by giving all dwellings a unique address. This has made it possible for Statistics Norway to create register based statistics on the number of dwellings in Norway. The dwellings are now classified by type of building, year of construction, floor space, number of rooms, number of toilets, number of bathrooms and share of buildings in densely built up areas. In addition there is information about number of dwellings in buildings classified as multi-dwelling building.
In the future the plan is to distinguish between occupied and vacant dwellings, and to classify the dwellings by additional characteristics that give information about the standard of living in Norway. A main goal is also to be able to carry out register based Housing Censuses from 2011. Previous Housing censuses have been questionnaire-based.
The statistics was published for the first time in 2006.
Users and applications
Users of the statistics include various organizations and research-institutions, media, the municipalities, the construction industry and Statistic Norway's National Accounts Division.
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 8 am. Prior to this, a minimum of three months' advance notice is given in the Statistics Release Calendar.
See also Principles for equal treatment of users in releasing statistics and analyses.
Coherence with other statistics
The monthly, quarterly and annual Building Statistics measures the number of dwelling permits given, the number of dwellings started and the number of completed dwellings. This statistics does however not include the number of dwellings that have been demolished, burned down or for some other reason does no longer exist. Nor does it include changes in the dwelling-stock because of renovation and changed use (for instance new dwellings added because of non-residential buildings being converted).
Difference in the dwelling-stock from one period to another can in principle be explained as follows:
Difference in number of dwellings=Number of dwellings in new buildings (buildings statistics)
+ / - Changes in number of dwellings as a result of renovation and changed use of buildings
- Reduction in number of dwellings because of buildings that have been demolished burned down etc.
The statistics on the dwelling stock is based on the same building type classifications as the buildings statistics.
The statistics on can not be compared directly with The Population and Housing Census 2001 and the Family and Household Statistics . These statistics covers occupied dwellings/households at time of count based on formal address in the National Population Register (DSF), while the statistics on the dwelling stock does not yet distinguish between occupied and vacant dwellings. Dwellings occupied by people with actual address different from formal address (like unmarried students) is classified as vacant and not included in The Population and Housing Census 2001 and the Family and Household Statistics.
The Statistics Act, Section 3-2.
An EU-regulation is being prepared to the next Population and Housing Census in 2011.
The population is all existing dwellings in Norway. For the time being the statistics does not distinguish between occupied and vacant dwellings.
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 (bed-sits) are counted as dwellings. A dwelling unit is a conventional dwelling with at least one room and kitchen. Single rooms are living quarters with separate entrance and with access to water and toilet outside other living quarters.
Some examples of what is supposed to be registered as a dwelling in GAB:
- Single rooms (bed-sit) in single room buildings. Every single room is considered as a dwelling even if they share things like kitchens and/or bathrooms.
- Student living quarters built as residence for communities. Every private room is considered a dwelling even if they share things like kitchens and/or bathrooms.
- Private dwellings rented by students or others, who are living together and sharing living expenses, are considered as a dwelling.
- Units in residences for communities of elderly or disabled persons are considered a dwelling because the residencies have their own private finances.
- Private dwellings adapted to care of elderly or disabled. The same rules as for units in residences for communities apply.
- Dwellings used as holiday homes. These dwellings are only included in the statistics if there are persons registered living at the address of the dwelling, according to the National Population Register (DSF).
Some examples of what is not considered as a dwelling in GAB:
- A single rented room within a private dwelling (bed-sit) is not considered a dwelling if you have to pass through another dwelling to get to the room.
- Rooms in boarding houses and similar accommodation buildings.
- Rooms in institutions that offer round the clock care and where the residents have (partly) common finances (for instance nursing homes).
- Rooms in workmen's huts established as temporary living quarters.
- Rooms in a military camps, hospitals or prisons.
- Rooms in refugee processing centres and asylum centres.
- Apartment lodging building and other holiday homes.
Data sources and sampling
The dwelling statistics are based on data from Statistics Norway's statistical version of the Ground Parcel, Address and Building Register, SSB-GAB. Information from The Population and Housing Census in 2001 is added to almost 1.54 million of the dwellings in the GAB-register.
The Ground Parcel, Address and Building Register (GAB) are a computer register containing information about ground properties and addresses in Norway. The register also contains information on all buildings under construction at 31 December 1982 and all buildings that have been built or changed since January 1st 1983. After the MABYGG-project was completed in 1995, the register contains all buildings in Norway greater than 15 m2. Data to GAB are collected pursuant to the act relating to the division of landed property and provisions of this act.
From the fifth of November 2007 the municipalities are transferred in groups from the Ground Parcel, Address and Building Register (GAB) to the new property register, Matrikkelen. All municipalities will be transferred by the end of February 2009.
The owner of the register is the Ministry of Environment, with the Norwegian Mapping and Cadastre Authority professionally responsible. The County Mapping Offices administrate the register system in the districts and together with each of the municipalities they are responsible for recording the data.
"Norsk Eiendomsinformasjon AS" runs the register, and the municipalities provide the necessary information for the Building-part of the GAB-register.
Information about year of construction is based on several different sources. The primary source is the date when the building was completed according to the GAB-register. If this date is not known, information from the Housing Census in 2001 is used. If information about year of construction is still missing, the date of building start or date of building permit given is used (both from the GAB-register).
In the process of controlling the quality of the population of dwellings, data from the National Population Register (DSF) is used.
Not relevant. The dwelling statistics are a complete census.
Collection of data, editing and estimations
Electronic data from Statistics Norway's statistical version of the GAB-register, SSB-GAB. In addition population data from Statistics Norway's statistical version of The National Population Register (DSF) is used to produce the statistics.
Some computer-based controls of the data are done. An example of this is dwellings in holiday buildings. There are not supposed to be registered dwelling in this building type in the GAB-register. There are however examples of this being done. To decide if these dwellings are going to be included in the statistics, we use the Population Register to see if they are occupied. Dwellings in buildings that are not registered as completed in the GAB-register are also included if there are persons registered living in them, according to the Population Register. Detached houses without a dwelling unit registered are included as dwelling units in the statistics. Other residential buildings without dwellings registered, and where the type of building is supposed to contain more than one dwelling, are not included.
Totals are calculated by summation.
Comparability over time and space
Experience suggests that municipalities are cleaning up their registers. A number of buildings that were incorrectly classified the previous year may have been assigned the correct building type code the next year. The number of registered dwellings in the municipalities may also change from year to year because of the clean up.
From 2008 Svalbard is included in the statistics. The figures only include the dwelling stock in Longyearbyen, while other areas at Svalbard are not included in the statistics. This is because only buildings in Longyearbyen is registered in the GAB register.
Accuracy and reliability
Sources of error and uncertainty
Municipalities can make mistakes when recording data in the GAB register. The municipalities that do not put building cases online in the GAB register fill in a form that is sent to the county mapping office. In some cases the form can be filled in incorrectly. There are also some municipalities which for various reasons do not always follow the current registration rules for the GAB-register.
The statistics on the dwelling stock are a complete census, and the figures in the statistics therefore have no sample variance.
Municipalities are responsible for recording data in the GAB-register, and there can be several sources for incorrect data. Examples of this are:
- Municipalities failing to register dwellings in the GAB-register. There are for instance residence addresses in the National Population Register (DSF) that are not registered in GAB. In addition there are some buildings registered as a building type that is supposed to contain dwellings, even if no dwellings are registered (e.g. multi-dwelling buildings without dwellings).
- There are dwellings registered in buildings where the building type and the number of dwellings do not match. An example of this is buildings registered as a multi-dwelling building, with less than five dwellings. Another example is buildings registered as detached houses with more than one dwelling. This indicates that either the type of building or the number of dwellings is incorrectly registered.
- Dwellings in buildings that have been demolished, burned down or for some other reason do not longer exist, without this being registered in the GAB-register. This can imply that too many dwellings are included in the statistics.
- Changes that have occurred in existing building stock not being registered in the GAB-register. If the floor space is changed, this is supposed be reported to the municipalities according to § 93 in the Planning and Building act ("Plan- og bygningsloven"), and we therefore expect this to be updated by the municipalities in the GAB-register. When it comes to information about the number of rooms and the number of bathrooms, these changes are not always reported to the municipalities , and is therefore not excepted to be updated in the GAB-register in all cases.
- The GAB-register is not up-to-date because of delayed registration in the municipalities. This delay can contribute to leaving out some of the dwellings that actually were completed during the year.
- Dwellings are not supposed to be registered on holiday houses. This is still being done in some cases.
Changes between 2012 and 2013 in number of dwellings in buildings with elevator is mainly due to quality enhancement in registerinformation.