Construction, housing and property;Public sector;Health
There has been an increase in the number of municipal houses in 2015. More people with a refugee background have also moved into municipal housing for the first time in 2015.

Municipal housing2015


About the statistics


Name and topic

Name: Municipal housing
Topic: Construction, housing and property

Next release

Responsible division

Division for Health, care and social statistics

Definitions of the main concepts and variables

A dwelling with municipal right of disposal is a dwelling that the municipality can rent to its inhabitants through a tenancy agreement, for example nursing and care dwellings, dwellings for refugees, dwellings for socially and/or financially disadvantaged etc. Nursing homes, old people's homes etc without tenancy agreement are not included.

Nursing and care dwellings are dwellings built with grants from the Norwegian State Housing Bank (given from 1994 onwards).

There are three types of tenure status for municipal dwellings . These are municipally owned for rental, rented by the municipality for sublease and privately owned with municipal right of disposal .

Adapted dwellings are municipal disposed dwellings adapted for wheelchair users.

The number of let dwellings is the total number of tenancy agreements as of 31 December.

The residents of municipal dwellings are grouped into the following categories:

Refugees, households in need of an adapted dwelling, mentally ill, substance abusers, people who are both mentally ill and substance abusers, households with other problems and households without means testing.

Temporary stay: Until a permanent dwelling is available the municipality is obliged to provide temporary housing to people who are not able to find a dwelling themselves. For such stays, payment is made per bed-night, e.g. shelter, boarding house, hotel, cottage, caravan etc.

Figures are available for temporary stays divided by duration of stay (0-3 months and more than 3 months).

Standard classifications

Norway's 430 municipalities are divided into 16 groups by population and framework conditions. The classification is based on Langørgen, A., R. Aaberge og E.R. Åserud (2001): Gruppering av kommuner etter folkemengde og økonomiske rammebetingelser 1998. Rapporter 2001/35, Statistics Norway (available in Norwegian only).

Administrative information

Regional level

The statistics are published on municipal level. In addition, statistics are compiled for the urban districts of Oslo.

Frequency and timeliness

The statistics are published annually.

The statistics have been published since 2001, i.e. figures for 2001 were published in the first half of 2002. This schedule applies every year.

International reporting

Not relevant


The microdata are stored in Oracle databases and as SAS-files. Historical data are stored on UNIX.


Background and purpose

Prior to 2001, fragments of the public housing statistics were collected as part of several different statistics. When KOSTRA (Municipality-State-Reporting) was introduced in 1995, there was a need and desire to integrate these fragments into one set of statistics. After that the public housing statistics have extended to cover further elements.

Users and applications

The purpose of the statistics is to fulfil the increasing demand for information in central government for planning purposes, supervision and evaluation of the municipalities' public housing services. In addition, the municipalities themselves require comparable figures on county and national level to evaluate their own services. The most frequent users of the statistics are the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development, the Norwegian directorate of health and the Norwegian State Housing Bank.


Equal treatment of users

Not relevant

Coherence with other statistics

Not relevant

Legal authority

The Statistics Act of 16 June 1989, § 2-1, 2-2, and 3-2.

EEA reference

Not relevant



All dwellings at the municipalities' disposal are registered.

Data sources and sampling

Data are collected by various municipal offices. In Oslo, data are collected by administrative offices in each urban district. In addition, the Norwegian State Housing Bank provides some of the data.

The statistics are based on a full count of all municipalities and all urban districts of Oslo.

Collection of data, editing and estimations

The statistics are mainly based on an annual dispatch of questionnaires to all municipalities as well as all urban districts of Oslo. The questionnaires are returned electronically through KOSTRA. The deadline is 15 February (25 February for data from the Norwegian State Housing Bank).

To secure the logical correlation between the various items in the completed questionnaires, the control and revision routines are based on ordinary logical and validity controls that are built into the electronic forms. The file extracts also undergo controls before they are submitted. The accounts are checked against the central government fiscal accounts upon receipt. Furthermore, the new data are compared with data from the preceding year and various relative figures. If there are large deviations from preceding years, the figures are checked further and corrected as far as possible.

The figures are published on two levels, as basic figures and as indicators. The basic figures mostly consist of units, either added up over the year, or at a given point of time (31 December). These figures are reported as absolute figures, whereas the indicators mainly are ratios.

Seasonal adjustment

Not relevant


For data relating to persons or households, figures are shown as dots (:) for values of three or less.

Comparability over time and space

Because of a comprehensive revised questionnary in 2010, only some figures are comparable over time from 2009 and backwards.

Accuracy and reliability

Sources of error and uncertainty

The questionnary sent to the municipalities was revised in 2010. and efforts have been made to reduce potential sources of measurement errors. Still there are things to improve to avoid different understandings of the questions.

The non-response varies from 3-5 per cent. For some main figures, the non-response has been estimated.


Not relevant