Statistical analyses 150

Culture statistics 2015

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This publication provides updated figures and information about cultural statistics. The main purpose of this publication is to present an overview of available statistics in various cultural fields in Norway. A selection of some main results within cultural fields in this publication is given below.

Public expenditure

Governmental expenditure on cultural purposes in the Ministry of Culture’s budget for 2015 was NOK 12.8 billion, county authorities’ net operating expenditure on cultural purposes was NOK 1.5 billion, and local authorities’ net operating expenditure on cultural purposes was NOK 10.6 billion.

Employment and enterprises in cultural industry

A total of 2.6 per cent of all employed persons in Norway had their main job within the cultural industry in 2015. These jobs are unevenly distributed throughout the country. Over half are located in the biggest cities Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim and Stavanger. Oslo has the largest share by far, with 40 per cent of all employment in the cultural and creative industry.

Art policy measures

In 2015, the Art Council of Norway distributed NOK 765.7 million from the Norwegian Cultural Fund to several cultural purposes. Music received the most; 34 per cent of the Norwegian Cultural Fund. In 2015, visual artists received 553 grants under the Government Grants for Artists, which was the largest group under this arrangement.

Theatre, music and festivals

Theatre, opera and dance are still popular attractions within the field of performing arts. In 2015, a total of 1.9 million people went to the theatre and/or opera. This was an increase of 9 per cent from the previous year. The non-organised dancing and theatre groups had 552 000 visitors.


In 2015, about 11.3 million people visited Norwegian museums, which had about 56 million objects. The number of visits increased by 450 000 from 2014. In the period 2006 to 2015, the number of visitors to museums increased by 21 per cent.


In 2015, the total loans of books and other media from public libraries was 22.7 million. Of the total number of loans in this year, 16.8 million were book loans, including renewals, and 6.0 million were loans of other media. On average, there were 4.4 book loans and other media lending per capita from public libraries in 2015.


After a period of a relatively stable circulation, the trade journals’ circulation decreased by 10 per cent in 2015. Basically, fewer people are reading weekly magazines, comics and periodicals compared to newspapers, but also the share of readers of weekly magazines and periodicals decreased this year.

Films and cinemas

In 2015, a total of 12 million cinema visits was registered; an increase of 0.9 million from the previous year, when 11.1 million people visited Norwegian cinemas. The cinema visits correspond to a visit of 2.3 per capita.

Radio and television

On an average day, the share of the population who listened to the radio remained relatively constant in the period 2000 to 2015, with 57 and 59 per cent in 2000 and 2015 respectively. The content of the medium of audio and video has changed in recent years. Streamed files from the Internet have had the greatest increase.


At the end of 2015, almost 1.9 million members were registered with the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Confederation of Sports; an increase of 40 000 members from the previous year. The number of teams has fallen, and is now 7 819.


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