Statistical analyses 160

Culture statistics 2017

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This publication provides updated figures and information on culture. The main purpose of the 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 2017 was NOK 13.7 billion. The corresponding figure in the county authorities and local authorities was over NOK 1.45 billion and NOK 12.2 billion respectively.

Employment and enterprises in cultural industries

A total of 2.9 per cent of all employed persons in Norway had their main job within the cultural industries in 2017. Oslo has the largest share by a large margin, with 41 per cent of all employment in the cultural and creative industries.

Cultural policy instruments

In 2017, Arts Council Norway allocated NOK 899.0 million from the Norwegian Cultural Fund to several cultural purposes. Music received the most; 40 per cent of the Norwegian Cultural Fund. In 2017, visual artists made up the largest group of recipients under the Government Grants for Artists scheme, receiving a total of 532 grants.

Music and theatre

Theatre, opera and dance are still popular attractions within the field of performing arts. In 2017, music institutions held almost 1 400 concerts for a total of 612 600 audience members. A total of 2.1 million people went to the theatre and/or opera. This was a decrease of 8 per cent from the previous year.


In 2017, about 11.2 million people visited Norwegian museums, which had a total of about 56.5 million objects.


In 2017, a total of 11.9 million books were loaned from public libraries, with an average of 2.2 loans per capita. A total of 642 000 e-books were downloaded, which is an increase of 13 per cent from 2016.


A growing number of people are reading newspapers digitally, and in 2017, 52 per cent of the population read an online newspaper on a typical day, while 32 per cent read a hard copy newspaper. At the end of 2017, there were 223 newspapers in Norway, and 202 of these had a digital version.

Films and cinemas

In 2017, a total of 11.8 million cinema visits were registered. This is a decrease from the previous year, when 13 million people visited Norwegian cinemas. The cinema visits correspond to 2.2 per capita.

Sound and vision

On an average day, the share of the population who listened to the radio in 2017 was 54 per cent. The share of the population who watched ordinary TV was 62 per cent, whereas in 2008, the share was 80 per cent.


At the end of 2017, 1.9 million memberships were registered with the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports. The number of teams has fallen, and is now 7 641.

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