Farmers’ income and debt

Updated: 16 March 2023

Modified: 17 Mar 2023, 13:55:00

Next update: Not yet determined

Average net entrepreneurial income from agriculture for farmers
Average net entrepreneurial income from agriculture for farmers
198 700
Farmers’ income and debt
Farmers’ income and debt
2021Change in per cent
Personal holders (number)35 935-1.6-7.5
Average income for holders (NOK)727 10015.332.0
Wages and salaries323 7004.920.2
Net entrepreneurial income from agriculture198 70010.523.8
Other entrepreneurial income96 20013.627.1
Pensions69 8005.626.9
Capital income etc.108 90060.4103.2
Average debt for holders (NOK)2 844 9005.432.9
Average interest paid for holders (NOK)70 200-8.011.1
Explanation of symbols

Selected tables and charts from this statistics

  • Entrepreneurial income from agriculture for holders, by county
    Entrepreneurial income from agriculture for holders, by county
    Net entrepreneurial income from agricultureNet entrepreneurial income from agricultureHolders by net entrepreneurial income from agriculture
    NOK millionNOKNumberPer cent
    TotalPer holderHolders, totalWithout positive income1 - 49 999 NOK50 000 - 99 999 NOK100 000 - 249 999 NOK250 000 - 399 999 NOK400 000 and more
    20196 132166 40036 846321113151118
    20206 564179 80036 508331112151119
    20217 139198 70035 935331012141021
    Oslo and Viken1 027173 9005 906331014151118
    Innlandet1 397212 7006 56732911151222
    Vestfold og Telemark390162 1002 40541111311817
    Agder217128 0001 69843131011815
    Rogaland1 082289 9003 73325911141130
    Vestland669121 1005 52540131212914
    Møre og Romsdal366166 6002 19739111110821
    Trøndelag - Trööndelage1 278246 9005 17728911141226
    Nordland - Nordlánnda482283 6001 701261010141031
    Troms og Finnmark - Romsa ja Finnmárku229223 3001 02631108141324
    Explanation of symbols
  • Average income for holders, by county. NOK
    Average income for holders, by county. NOK
    Total net incomeWages and salariesNet entrepreneurial income from agricultureOther entrepreneurial incomePensionsCapital income etc
    2019594 700298 800166 40084 00063 80063 300
    2020630 700308 500179 80084 70066 10067 900
    2021727 100323 700198 70096 20069 800108 900
    Oslo and Viken872 000369 300173 900153 80076 600169 500
    Innlandet713 300290 900212 700115 10061 400107 000
    Vestfold og Telemark781 900373 400162 100109 10084 900114 800
    Agder659 300345 200128 00079 40078 80084 500
    Rogaland826 600315 600289 90081 70062 100167 300
    Vestland663 400352 900121 10063 50081 30086 900
    Møre og Romsdal628 500323 900166 60077 10071 70051 100
    Trøndelag - Trööndelage682 600308 200246 90077 60053 00087 100
    Nordland - Nordlánnda619 700230 200283 60058 60075 10055 700
    Troms og Finnmark - Romsa ja Finnmárku552 200223 400223 30066 00070 50025 800
    Explanation of symbols
  • Holders by net entrepreneurial income from agriculture as per cent of net income, by county
    Holders by net entrepreneurial income from agriculture as per cent of net income, by county
    Holders, totalShare of holders by net entrepreneurial income from agriculture as per cent of net income
    0 per cent1-9 per cent10-49 per cent50-89 per cent90 per cent or more
    201936 8463115271512
    202036 5083214271512
    202135 9353314271412
    Oslo and Viken5 906321633127
    Innlandet6 5673112281712
    Vestfold og Telemark2 405411626117
    Agder1 698431522128
    Rogaland3 7332513281718
    Vestland5 525401625119
    Møre og Romsdal2 1973913211314
    Trøndelag - Trööndelage5 1772712281717
    Nordland - Nordlánnda1 7012612241722
    Troms og Finnmark - Romsa ja Finnmárku1 0263110241520
    Explanation of symbols
  • Interest paid and debt for holders, by county
    Interest paid and debt for holders, by county
    Interest paid, total. NOK millionInterest paid per holder. NOKDebt, total. NOK millionDebt per holder. NOK
    20193 00781 60095 0712 580 200
    20202 78776 30098 4972 698 000
    20212 52370 200102 2002 844 900
    Oslo and Viken42071 10018 7003 164 800
    Innlandet48573 80019 9003 025 400
    Vestfold og Telemark15062 4006 6002 732 700
    Agder9656 6004 1002 424 300
    Rogaland33690 00014 2003 803 200
    Vestland23442 3009 9001 794 000
    Møre og Romsdal13661 9005 2002 349 900
    Trøndelag - Trööndelage46790 20017 2003 315 300
    Nordland - Nordlánnda14283 5004 5002 632 400
    Troms og Finnmark - Romsa ja Finnmárku5856 8002 1002 019 100
    Explanation of symbols
  • Holders by size of debt, by county
    Holders by size of debt, by county
    Holders, totalHolders by size of debt
    NOK 0-0.09 millionNOK 0.1-0.9 millionNOK 1-1.9 millionNOK 2-3.9 millionNOK 4 million or more
    201936 8467 0078 6926 0217 4197 707
    202036 5087 0288 3175 6867 3348 143
    202135 9356 8027 9915 3937 2468 503
    Oslo and Viken5 9061 0481 2918381 1491 580
    Innlandet6 5671 0301 5861 0161 3091 626
    Vestfold og Telemark2 405492491360524538
    Agder1 698402303245397351
    Rogaland3 7336036954137251 297
    Vestland5 5251 5041 3769041 045696
    Møre og Romsdal2 197476514328479400
    Trøndelag - Trööndelage5 1777451 0188091 1001 505
    Nordland - Nordlánnda1 701311434277314365
    Troms og Finnmark - Romsa ja Finnmárku1 026191283203204145
    Explanation of symbols

About the statistics

The statistics present figures for incomes and debt for persons who are operating agricultural holdings, independent of the holding as source of income. The amounts are derived from tax statistics for personal tax payers.

Agricultural holding

A single unit both technically and economically, which has single management and which produces agricultural products. The holding is independent of municipality boundaries. The agricultural holding's headquarter must be located to an agricultural property.


The person considered responsible for operating the holding.

Gross income

Total wages and salaries, pensions, gross entrepreneurial income and property income.

Average income for farmers

Average gross income with deduction of debt interest and the year's deficit in the industry.

Wages and salaries

Comprise payments in cash and in kind, taxable sick pay and unemployment benefit.


Cover all benefit paid by social security and private pension and life insurance benefit.

Gross entrepreneurial income

A result of the activities of a self-employed person, and is estimated from profit and loss account and balance sheet. The entrepreneurial income is transferred to the tax return and is included in the calculation of ordinary income.

Gross entrepreneurial income from agriculture

This is positive entrepreneurial income from agriculture according to the tax return. In addition, entrepreneurial social security benefits in agriculture, forestry and fishery are included. Deductions such as membership payments to industry organisations, the year's entrepreneurial deficit, interest on debt and a separate agricultural deduction are not deducted. Income from any supplementary industry executed on the holding, e.g. forestry, are included in other entrepreneurial income if the industry concerned are considered as independent according to taxation.

Net entrepreneurial income from agriculture

Gross entrepreneurial income from agriculture with deduction of the year's deficit in the industry.

Capital income

Consist of interest income, dividends, realised capital gains, rent and other income from property.

The following classifications are used in the tables: county where the holding is located, size of holding expressed in decares of utilised agricultural area, type of farming of the holding and sex of holder.


See new county classification:

Name: Farmers’ income and debt
Topic: Agriculture, forestry, hunting and fishing

Not yet determined

Division for Housing, Property, Spatial and Agricultural Statistics


Annual, about 55 weeks after the reference year

Not relevant

Collected and revised data are stored securely by Statistics Norway in compliance with applicable legislation on data processing.

Statistics Norway can grant access to the source data (de-identified or anonymised microdata) on which the statistics are based, for researchers and public authorities for the purposes of preparing statistical results and analyses. Access can be granted upon application and subject to conditions. Refer to the details about this at Access to data from Statistics Norway.

The purpose is to present statistics on incomes and debt for persons who are operating agricultural holdings, independent of the holding as source of income. An essential feature of the Norwegian agriculture is that many persons that are running agricultural holdings work part-time in agriculture or the work is concentrated to the growing season. Many holders have wage/salary or entrepreneurial income from other industries as main source of income.

Statistics Norway has produced statistics on the farmers' income, property and taxes based on the tax assessment for personal taxpayers since 1968. More detailed tax return data have been presented from 1999 and onwards.

There is much focus on level, distribution and development of incomes of holders in agriculture. The main users of the statistics are the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, the Agricultural Budget Commission, the Norwegian Farmers Union, the Norwegian Smallholders Union etc.

No external users have access to statistics before they are released at 8 a.m. on after at least three months’ advance notice in the release calendar. This is one of the most important principles in Statistics Norway for ensuring the equal treatment of users.

Yearly, Statistics Norway also presents Income statistics for all self-employed persons . At first level the self-employed persons are classified into two groups: self-employed with main income from industry and self-employed with main income from wages/salaries and pensions. Furthermore, those with main income from industry are classified into primary industries and other industries. Primary industries consist of agriculture, forestry and fishery.

The The Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research yearly presents Account Results in Agriculture and Forestry. This survey shows results for holdings where most of the family's total income are derived from the holding. More information:

The statistics are developed, produced and disseminated pursuant to Act no. 32 of 21 June 2019 relating to official statistics and Statistics Norway (the Statistics Act).

Not relevant

Agricultural holdings are operated by two main types of holders: natural person and legal person. The total number of holdings has been decreasing over many years, while during the last years the number of holdings operated by a legal person has increased. The percentage of holdings operated by a legal person increased from 1 per cent in 1999 to 6 per cent in 2008. The proportion has decreased somewhat, and in 2021 they make up just over 5 per cent of the population. The statistics on the farmers' income and property cover only agricultural holdings operated by a natural person.

The agricultural companies have a large variation in the scope of production, this includes everything from hobby production to holdings with turnover in the millions. Some of the holdings have small-scale production under the threshold to be considered an industry by the tax authorities.

The individual person who is considered as responsible for operating the holding is referred to as holder (farmer). Some holdings change holder during the year. Mainly, the holder being holder as per 31 July the year concerned is included. For the holders information has been obtained on any spouse, registered partner or cohabitant. Up to and including 2004, cohabitant included only he/she who had children in common with the holder. As from 2005, also cohabitant who lived together with holder according to the Population and Housing Census 2001 and still has common address is included.

Married couples and registered partners who jointly operate a holding may share the taxable entrepreneurial income. Cohabitants who want to share the entrepreneurial income from a jointly operated holding have to organize the management as a legal entity other than sole proprietorship, or one of them has to be an employee.

The population of persons may differ from one table to another. Mainly, a table either comprises holders only or an aggregate of holders and spouses/registered partners/cohabitants.

The statistics are based on the population of agricultural holdings operated by a natural person and tax return data. Division for Income and Wage Statistics links data from the Tax statistics for personal tax payers to the population of farmers. The tax statistics for personal taxpayers is a total census based on data from the ordinary tax assessments. For more information:

The statistics are based on collocation of data files that have been separately edited when established. Furthermore, the statistics have been examined for extreme values, i.g. values for individual holders or spouses/partners/cohabitants which significantly influence the whole population of agricultural holdings operated by a natural person. Individuals who meet one or more of the following conditions are omitted from the statistics: had a gross income of more than NOK 100 million, had a debt of more than NOK 100 million or had property of more than NOK 300 million. Annually, this concerns about 10 individuals.

Some holders and spouses/partners/cohabitants operate holdings separately. To avoid double counting, information from the tax return data are linked to the holding with the largest production. Annually, this concerns about 100 couples.

Average figures for a variable, e.g. wages and salaries for the holder, is estimated by summing up the value of the variable wages and salaries for all holders and divide the sum with the number of total holders. This means that holders without wages and salaries are included in the average figures.

Not relevant

Employees of Statistics Norway have a duty of confidentiality.

Statistics Norway does not publish figures if there is a risk of the respondent’s contribution being identified. This means that, as a general rule, figures are not published if fewer than three units form the basis of a cell in a table or if the contribution of one or two respondents constitutes a very large part of the cell total.

Statistics Norway can make exceptions to the general rule if deemed necessary to meet the requirements of the EEA agreement, if the respondent is a public authority, if the respondent has consented to this, or when the information disclosed is openly accessible to the public.

More information can be found on Statistics Norway’s website under Methods in official statistics, in the ‘Confidentiality’ section.

Changes in the tax regulations influence the data and consequently the statistics over time. The tax regulations were significantly changed as from 1992. The statistics are essentially comparable for the period 1992 - 2002. In 2003, the tax return forms filled in by self-employed persons were considerably changed. Particularly, a separate deduction in entrepreneurial income from agriculture was deducted before the entrepreneurial income was transferred to the tax return form. Due to this neither the entrepreneurial income nor the gross income are comparable with the other years. As from 2004, the agricultural deduction again is stated as a deduction on the tax return.

Changes in tax regulations as from 1 January 2006 increased taxes for certain types of income. Due to this, taxpayers realised income in 2005 to avoid increased taxes in 2006 or later years.

Changes in the regulation concerning governmental production subsidies as per 31 July 2002 have caused increased number of holdings operated by other legal entities than sole proprietorship. This concerns particularly the legal entities general partnership and general partnership with shared liability. Furthermore, the changes of the regulation has influenced the number of holders participating in joint operation (organised as general partnerships) and at the same time running their own enterprise (sole proprietorship). Before 2002, holders participating in joint operation in milk production had to apply separately for area production subsidies. Now, the participants may choose whether they will cultivate fodder in own separate enterprise or operate the area jointly.

From 2002, holders applying governmental production subsidies as a general condition had to be registered in the Value Added Tax Registration List. Later, the minimum turnover for being in this list has increased. In order to still include small holdings, a new condition was introduced; the holding has to have an overall turnover, included withdrawal of commodities, over a certain threshold during the last 12 months. From 2014 there is no threshold.

A revised calculation of type of farming of the holdings was implemented in the Farmers' Income and Property 2007. The revision has caused a fall in the farm types "Various grazing livestock" and "Mixed crops - livestock", while the farm type "Other field crops" has increased. Other farm types are hardly affected.

New changes in the type of farming classification have been introduced as from 2010. Before 2010 standard gross margin (SGM) was used as common unit of measurement for various crop and livestock husbandry within a holding. From 2010 and onwards SGM is replaced by standard output (SO). Some other changes concerning the methodology are also introduced. The two versions are not fully comparable.

The most important source of error is that taxpayers may fill in incorrect information on income, deductions, property or debt in the personal tax return or place amounts under wrong items. In most cases this will be detected and corrected by the local tax offices. Nevertheless, errors that do not influence the assessment of taxes may be ignored. Furthermore, errors may also originate during the scanning of the tax return forms, despite of the fact that controls are executed.

A non-significant number of holdings are missing information on income etc. No information is imputed for these holdings.

Statistics Norway receives data from the Directorate of Taxes before all complaints from taxpayers are finished.

Only final figures are published.