Statistical analyses 156

Culture statistics 2016

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

Public expenditure

Governmental expenditure on cultural purposes in the Ministry of Culture’s budget for 2016 was NOK 13.1 billion. The corresponding figure in the county authorities was over NOK 1.48 billion, and in the local authorities it was NOK 11.3 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 2016. 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 a large margin, with 40 per cent of all employment in the cultural and creative industry.

Art policy measures

In 2016, the Art Council of Norway allocated NOK 885.3 million from the Norwegian Cultural Fund to several cultural purposes. Music received the most; 40 per cent of the Norwegian Cultural Fund. In 2016, visual artists received 551 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 2016, a total of 1.9 million people went to the theatre and/or opera. This was a decrease of almost 2 per cent from the previous year. The non-organised dancing and theatre groups had 844 000 visitors.


In 2016, about 11.2 million people visited Norwegian museums, which had about 55 million objects. The number of visits increased by 400 000 from 2015. The collections of archaeological objects had the greatest increase, growing four per cent since the preceding year, and consisted of 7 million objects in 2016.


In 2016, the total loans of books and other media from public libraries was 22.2 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 3.2 book loans per capita from public libraries in 2016.


A growing number of people are reading newspapers digitally, and in 2016, 56 per cent of the population read an online newspaper on a typical day, while 39 per cent read a hard copy newspaper. Reading newspapers on mobile phones has increased by 13 per cent in the last two years. At the end of 2016, there were 227 newspapers in Norway, and 200 of these had a digital version.

Films and cinemas

In 2016, a total of 13.1 million cinema visits were registered. This is an increase from the previous year, when 12 million people visited Norwegian cinemas. The cinema visits correspond to 2.5 per capita.

Sound and vision

On an average day, the share of the population who listened to the radio remained relatively constant in the period 2000 to 2016, with 57 and 59 per cent in 2000 and 2016 respectively. The content of audio and video media has changed in recent years, and streamed files from the Internet have shown the greatest increase.


At the end of 2016, almost 1.9 million members were registered with the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports, an increase of about 33 000 from the previous year. The number of teams has fallen, and is now 7 736.

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