Increase in income - unequal property distribution
Income and consumption;Immigration and immigrants
ifhus, Income and wealth statistics for households, income statistics, household income, wealth statistics, wealth, household types (for example single, couples with children, couples without children), income accounts, income from employment, capital income, transfers (for example pension, supplementary benefit, cash for care), debts, poverty, low income, child poverty,Income and wealth, Income and consumption, Income and consumption, Immigration and immigrants

Income and wealth statistics for households1999



This is an archived release.

Go to latest release

Increase in income - unequal property distribution

The average after-tax income for the Norwegian households measured at constant prices increased by almost 5 per cent from 1998 to 1999. Almost all types of households experienced increase in their income. Among the groups that had the highest income rise include retired couples and couples with small children.

The Norwegian households became wealthier in the same period, but the distribution of property among the households has become more unequal in the recent years. The ten per cent with highest financial property owned two-third of all the financial capital in 1999.

The second half of 1990s was, from economic point of view, very favourable period for the Norwegian households. Just between 1994 and 1999 the average after-tax income for all households measured in 1999 prices increased by NOK 46 500. Families with small children are among the groups that experienced the highest income growth in this period, the increase in after-tax income for this household type measured in 1999 prices was NOK 62 400. In 1999 couples with children under 7 years had an average after-tax income of NOK 415 000.

Increased interest payments

Average interest payments for all households was NOK 26 200 in 1999. This was almost NOK 5 000 more than the previous year. Couples with small children spent most on interest payments, an average of NOK 54 200.

Despite the increase in the interest rates, the majority of households have interest expenditure that is in propotion to their income. For all households the interest expenditure corresponded to 7 per cent of total household income. Again it is the couples with small children (0-6 years) that had the heaviest interest burden. In 1999 interest expenses corresponded to 10 per cent of the total household income for these households. Although the interest rates have increased in recent years, they are far below the level of the 1980s. At that time interest expenditure exceeded 20 per cent of the total household income for families with small children.

More debt ...

The interest expenditure also increased because the households borrowed more. In average the households had a debt of NOK 384 000 in 1999. It is the young couples that are most indebted. Couples with children in which the age of youngest child is under 7 years of age had a debt of NOK 758 000 in 1999.

Despite the increase in debt there are very few households that borrow more than what is affordable. Only 6 per cent of the households had a debt that was 3 three times more than their total household income. This figure has hardly changed in 1990s.

... and more property

The Norwegian households save more than before in form of bank deposits and shares. Bank deposits increased in average by NOK 15 000 from 1998 to 1999. Other forms of saving like shares and securities increased even higher, these increased by NOK 22 400 from 1998 to 1999. Shares and securities represented 50 per cent of all the financial capital of the households in 1999. It is specially households in which the main income earner is in the age group between 45 and 54 years that saves most in share, whereas the pensioners prefer to save in the bank.

More unequal property distribution

The Norwegian households had an average financial capital (that is the sum of bank deposits, shares and other securities) of NOK 322 500 in 1999. There is, nevertheless, a great disparity in property among the households. If we rank the households by the size of the financial capital each household possesses and then split them into ten equal groups, one will find the richest 10 per cent own 67 per cent of all financial capital in 1999. The distribution of the financial capital has become more unequal in the recent years. Back in 1980s the richest 10 per cent possessed nearly 50 per cent of all financial capital at that time. The average financial capital for the wealthiest 10 per cent was NOK 2.2 million in 1999.

Statistical basis

The basis for the income and property statistics for households is a sample of around 10 000 households. When statistics are compiled on the basis of a sample of the population, the sample will from time to time show a different distribution of some income and expenditure components than the population as a whole would show. This often applies to income and expenditure components that very few households have but where the amounts are large, for example some types of capital income and capital expences.