Updated: 8 November 2022
Next update: 14 September 2023
About the statistics
The statistics provide an overview of both the forest properties and forestry as an industry.
Property with at least 25 decares of productive forest area. Property parcels belonging to the same owner within one municipality are treated as one property.
Personal forest owner
Forest owner owning forest area as an individual owner. Forest areas owned jointly by several individuals are included for one of the owners; the reference owner.
Central government, the Educational Fund, common forest owned by the central government (Statsallmenning), common forest not owned by the central government (Bygdeallmenning), limited company, foundation, municipality etc.
Name: Forest properties
Topic: Agriculture, forestry, hunting and fishing
Division for Housing, Property, Spatial and Agricultural Statistics
The statistics are published yearly.
Edited microdata are stored at Statistics Norway.
The purpose of these statistics is to provide an overview of both the forest properties and forestry as an industry. Since 2006, Statistics Norway has published annual statistics for all forest properties by merging data from different administrative data sources. Prior to this, statistics for all forest properties were only available based on full censuses, the last of which was in 1989.
The main users of the statistics are professional forestry organisations, The Ministry of Agriculture and Food and various research and educational institutions.
No external users have access to the statistics and analyses before they are published and accessible simultaneously for all users on ssb.no at 8 am. Prior to this, a minimum of three months' advance notice is given in the Statistics Release Calendar. This is one of Statistics Norway’s key principles for ensuring that all users are treated equally.
Statistics Norway has yearly statistics on commercial roundwood removals and silviculture based on the same sources as these statistics. Linking the Farm Register with these sources makes it possible to publish figures on commercial removals and silviculture by the size of the productive forest area of the properties and the forest owners' productive forest area.
The National Forest Inventory also publishes figures on the productive forest area in Norway. The inventory estimates a productive forest area that is more than 10 per cent larger than the aggregated areas from the forest properties. The National Forest Inventory estimates the area based on sample plots.
The Statistics Act §§2-1 and 3-2
Including 2010, the statistics comprise all properties in the Farm Register of the Norwegian Agricultural Authority with at least 25 decares of productive forest area.
As from 2011, the number of forest properties and productive forest area are based on new cartographic data analyses and data on owners and properties from the cadastre in combination with data from the Farm register.
Some forest owners are represented in the Farm Register with more than one property within one municipality. In these cases, the properties owned by the same owner are merged into one property within the municipality. Thus the statistics on forest properties up to and including 2011 will include fewer units than the Farm Register. As from 2012 the number of forest properties incresed.
Common forests owned by the central government (Statsallmenning) will always be counted as one single property.
The statistics are derived from existing administrative data files.
Carteographic data and data on forest owners and properties from the cadastre (Land register) are combiined with The Farm Register of the Norwegian Agriculture Agency, and serves as the backbone of the statistics. The information from the Farm Register is combined with information at property level from different data sources such as the Register of Timber Trade and Diverted Trust Fund, and the Forest Trust Fund.
The statistics are derived from the whole population of forest properties.
The statistics are based on linked data files that were edited separately when established. The information on the productive forest area is checked if errors are suspected. Examples: i) If a forest property has commercial felling and does not have a forest area. ii) If a large forest property does not have commercial felling.
Figures are not presented if there is a risk of identifying any respondent.
The statistics on forest properties are comparable with statistics from the Census of Forestry 1967 and the Censuses of Agriculture and Forestry 1979 and 1989. They are also essentially comparable with statistics from the Sample Survey of Agriculture and Forestry in the 1990s and in 2000 and 2004. The number of forest properties has fallen from 128 300 in 1967 to 116 502 in 2005. The Censuses of Agriculture and Forestry 1979 and 1989 calculated 120 900 and 125 500 forest properties respectively. It has been difficult to trace all small-sized properties without commercial felling. In some regions it is difficult to assess whether the areas are productive or not. As from 2011, carteographic analysis are used to decide the properties and the number of properties increased to 131 800 properties. After a review of the properties that fullfill the requirement, the total in 2014 came to 128 200. This causes difficulties when comparing the number of forest properties over time.
Statistics are published for both forest properties and personal forest owners. The following is a brief explanation of the relationship between these units: a forest property is the forest owners' total productive forest area within a municipality. A forest owner may own forest properties in more than one municipality. Therefore the number of forest owners is less than the number of forest properties with a personal forest owner. About 113 000 forest properties with a personal owner are registered in The Farm Register. Out of the personal forest owners, almost 3 000 are deceased, living abroad or lacking information. The statistics on incomes are based on the personal forest owners that are alive.
The main concern is the quality of productive forest area. In the cadastre, 920 000 decares productive forest area are not linked to a title number of a holding number, and will not be included in the statistics. Furthermore, errors may arise when data are entered into the various administrative registers. Including 2010, 2-3 per cent of the quantity of commercial roundwood felled is not linked to any forest property. As from 2011, the Forest Trust Fund is used as source for roundwood cut. The new source also includes energy woood and some assortments that are removed from the statististics on commercial roundwood removals.