Local administration of agricultural areas

Updated: 15 March 2023


Next update: Not yet determined

Change in approved area for land reclamation
Change in approved area for land reclamation
2021 - 2022

About the statistics

The statistics give information about land transferred to various types of non-agricultural use, land reclamation, decisions taken about the splitting of agricultural property and applications for concessions to buy a farm.

Arable land comprise fully cultivated land, surface-cultivated land and infield pastureland.

Fully cultivated land

Agricultural area that has been ploughed and can still be ploughed further. The area can be used for cultivating field crops or meadow and pasture renewed by ploughing.

Surface-cultivated land

Agricultural area that is mostly cleared and levelled in such a way that it can be mechanically harvested.

Infield pasture

Pastureland that cannot be mechanically harvested. At least 50 % of the area must be covered by grass species. The area must be fenced in unless it has natural boundaries such as rivers, lakes, sea, mountains etc. Areas of woodland, bogs, lakes and rocks each exceeding 1.0 decares are deducted.

Cultivable land

Area that after land cultivation fulfils the standard of easy or less easy arable land, and which fulfils climate and soil conditions for growing crops.

Conversion of cultivated and cultivable land are distributed on different aims according to the Planning and building Act:

1. Building areas Including areas for dwellings with associated facilities, shops, offices, industry, buildings for leisure purposes (leisure cabins with connected outhouses), as well as sites for public (state, county and municipal) buildings with a specified purpose, other buildings of specifically defined use to the general public, hostels and catering establishments and garages and petrol stations.

2. Agricultural areas Including areas for farming and forestry, reindeer farming and market gardening.

3. Public traffic areas Roads- for the purpose of this Act this also includes streets with pavements, footpaths, cycle paths, courtyards and squares - bridges, canals, railways, tramways, bus stations, parking areas, harbours, airports and other traffic facilities and the necessary land for installations and means of making the traffic areas safe etc.

4. Public outdoor recreation areas Parks, hiking trails, camping sites, areas used for play and sport, and sea areas used for such activities.

5. Danger areas Areas for high voltage installations, shooting ranges, stores of flammable goods and other installations which may represent a hazard to the public, and areas where, due to risk of landslide, flood or other special hazard, building is not permitted or shall be permitted only on special conditions out of consideration for safety.

6. Special areas Including areas for private roads, camping, areas for installations in the ground and in watercourses or for marine installations, areas with buildings and installations which should be preserved on account of their historical, antiquarian or other cultural value, fishing settlements, reindeer farming areas, areas for open-air recreation that are not included under item 4, green belts in industrial areas, nature conservation areas, climate conservation zones, sources of water supply with catchment area, areas with unobstructed visibility close to roads, areas where building is restricted around airports, and areas and installations for operation of radio navigation aids outside airports, areas for installation and operation of municipal technical facilities, graveyards and cemeteries, water and sewerage installations, areas for construction and operation of plants for energy production or district heating, cableways, amusement parks, golf courses, stone quarries and soil extraction sites and other areas entailing significant encroachment on terrain, installations for the Telecommunications Administration and exercise areas with appurtenant installations for the Defence Forces and the Civil Defence.

7. Common areas Common exit roads and common parking areas, common playgrounds for children, courtyards and other areas common to several properties.

8. Areas for renewal Densely built areas which are to be totally renewed or improved.

Several land use categories may be established within the same area or in the same building. However, the land use categories open air recreation area and nature conservation area may not be combined with the category agricultural area. It may also be stipulated that an area or building, after a specifically defined period of time or when other specific conditions have been fulfilled, shall be transferred from one land use category to another.

The municipalities in Norway are divided into 16 groups, based on inhabitants and economically framework conditions. Documentation is given in Rapport 2011/8 Statistics Norway: Gruppering av kommuner etter folkemengde og økonomiske rammebetingelser 2008

Not relevant
Not yet determined
Not relevant

Municipality, county.


Not relevant

Primary data is stored at Statistics Norway.

KOSTRA is an abbreviation for Municipality-State-Reporting. The data collection includes most of the municipal and county municipal activities. The KOSTRA-project started in 1995. As from 2005, the reporting system also includes agricultural topics.

The figures focus on the priorities, the productivity and the coverage of needs, using a vast number of key indicators.

KOSTRA is supposed to give better information about the municipalities, both for the central and for the local governments. This includes a more coherent data collection, which makes it possible to combine data from many sources, for example combination of data on accounts and data on services and personnel. The focus has also been on comparability between municipalities, to make benchmarking possible as a part of the management process. And timeliness is vital. Information is collected in February and the first figures are published in March. In this publishing only electronic tests check the reliability of data. Revised figures are published in June.

The main users of the statistics are the central and local governments, such as the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, the Norwegian Agricultural Economics Research Institute, the Agricultural Budget Commission, the Norwegian Farmers Union, the Norwegian Smallholders Union etc.

Not relevant
Not relevant

Other legal acts and Statistics Act § 2-1.

Not relevant

KOSTRA is a national information system that provides information on municipal and county municipal activities. The data collection includes most of the municipal and county municipal activities, including economy, schools, health, culture, the environment, conversion of agricultural land, social services, public housing, technical services and transport and communication. The figures focus on the priorities, the productivity and the coverage of needs, using a vast number of key indicators.

As from 2005, the reporting system on conversion of agricultural land was simplified, as a detailed governmental administrative data system named AJOUR was replaced by a questionnaire through the municipality state reporting system KOSTRA. In addition to report land area transferred to various types of non-agricultural use, the questionnaire also considers decisions taken about land reclamation, splitting of agricultural property and applications for concession to buy a farm.

The municipalities reports electronically to Statistics Norway. The time limit for the municipalities reporting is set to February 15.

The reported data have gone through several controls, both locally and in Statistics Norway. Preliminary figures are presented 15th of March. This data material will be updated with corrections and forms received in the period March - May, and revised figures are made public June 15th each year.

The release of the statistics includes a number of fixed indicators on the municipalities' priorities, productivity and the coverage of needs. It is structured to enable the comparisons of one municipality with the average for the comparable group of municipalities, the region or the country. The publishing also includes detailed data that enables the users to construct their own indicators and tables.

Not relevant
Not relevant

As from 2005, local administration of agricultural areas, is reported through the municipality state reporting system KOSTRA.

Until 2004, information about conversion of agricultural land, was reported through a detailed governmental administrative data system. As from 2005, this registration is replaced by a questionnaire through KOSTRA. Changes in the routines for reporting has led to a fall in the figures reported, and the figures for 2005 and 2006 are considered as fairly uncertain.

The Norwegian Agricultural Authority analyze the results from the municipalities, and their consideration of the latest results are given in the report KOSTRA Landbruk. En vurdering av rapporteringen for 2011.

As from 2005, the reporting system is simplified, and the detailed governmental administrative data system is replaced by a questionnaire through the municipality state reporting system named KOSTRA. Agricultural area transferred to non-agricultural uses under the provision of the Land Act and The Planning and Building Act is still encumbered by a certain amount of uncertainty.

Not relevant