Small rise in income and wealth inequality
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Income and wealth statistics for households2013



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Small rise in income and wealth inequality

Households at the top of the income and wealth distribution gained a larger proportion of total income and wealth in 2013 compared to the previous year.

Income after tax for households by type of household, Median1
After tax median incomePer cent2
20132012 - 20132008 - 2013
1Students not included
2In constant prices
All households464 5001.98.7
Singles under 45 years267 8002.73.9
Singles 45-64 years299 8001.88.3
Singles 65 years and older238 5002.215.9
Couples without children, oldest person under 45 years552 500-2.5-1.5
Couples without children, oldest person 45-64 years679 7002.513.4
Couples without children, oldest person 65 years and older511 5002.619.0
Couples with children 0-6 years699 9001.16.3
Couples with children 7-17 years803 5002.29.4
Couples with children, oldest child 18 years and older892 0003.411.2
Single mother/father with children 0-17 years381 2000.84.6
Single mother/father with children 18 years and older498 2002.47.6

Average household after-tax income rose by 2.5 per cent in 2013, in real terms, while the median rose by 1.9 per cent. This was a slightly weaker growth than in the previous year. In 2013, median household after-tax income was NOK 464 500, while average income was NOK 543 000.

Household income has seen a sharp increase in recent years. Since 2000, median household after-tax income has risen by 45 per cent in real terms, with elderly households having the fastest income rise. Households where the main income earner is 65 years or older had an increase in real terms of 73 per cent between 2000 and 2013. For single persons, 65 years or older, the corresponding figure was 63 per cent.

High-income households saw the strongest rise in income

The share of total household equivalent income received by the top decile was 20.7 per cent in 2013. This was an increase of 0.1 percentage points from the previous year. The share of income received by the bottom decile was 3.9 per cent in 2013. This was the same share as in the previous year. Other summary measures of inequality suggest that there have been only minor changes in the income distribution between 2006 and 2013. The Gini-coefficient, a standard measure of income inequality, increased from 0.239 in 2012 to 0.241 in 2013.

The rise in income inequality in 2013 may be explained by a strong growth in property income, particularly dividends and capital gains. These are income sources mainly received by households at the top end of the distribution.

Richest tenth of households own half of the net wealth

The net worth of households consists of the sum of financial and non-financial wealth, minus liabilities. The distribution of net worth is highly skewed. While average net worth of Norwegian households was NOK 2.1 million in 2013, the median net worth was NOK 1.2 million.

Households in the highest 10 per cent for net worth owned 49.5 per cent of the total net worth in 2013. This was up from 48.8 per cent in 2012. The richest 1 per cent owned 18.3 per cent of the total net worth, while the richest 0.1 per cent of all households, roughly 2 300 households, owned 8.3 per cent of the total net worth in 2013.