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 2020 was NOK 23 billion. This was NOK 10.2 million more than in 2019. The corresponding figure in the county authorities and local authorities was NOK 2.0 billion and NOK 14.3 billion respectively.

Employment and enterprises in cultural industries

A total of 3 percent of all employed persons in Norway had their main job within the cultural industries in 2020. Oslo has the largest share of employed persons with their main job within the cultural industries, with 7 per cent.

Cultural policy instruments

In 2020, Arts Council Norway allocated NOK 1 billion from the Norwegian Cultural Fund to several cultural purposes. This was a 3 percent rise from 2019. Music received the majority; 39 per cent of the Norwegian Cultural Fund. In 2020, visual artists made up the largest group of recipients under the Government Grants for Artists scheme, receiving 684 grants, out of a total of 2 429 grants.

Music and theatre

In 2020, the music institutions which report to the Arts Council Norway held over 950 concerts for a total of 172 700 audience members. This was a decrease in concerts and visitors of respectively 37 and 76 per cent from 2019. A total of 774 800 people went to the 8 500 arrangements in the theatre- and/or opera-institutions which report to the Arts Council Norway. This was a decrease of respectively 45 and 64 per cent from 2019.


Norwegian museums had a total of about 62.9 million objects in 2020. About 5.1 million people visited Norwegian museums, half the number of visitors in 2019. There was a total of 2 420 exhibitions in the museums, 244 fewer exhibitions than in 2019.


In 2020, a total of 9.7 million books were loaned from public libraries, a decrease of 20 per cent from 2019. This was an average of 1.8 loans per capita. The libraries had close to 16 million registered visits and 30 600 arrangements. The numbers for 2019 was 26 million visitors and 64 000 arrangements.

Films and cinemas

In 2020, a total of 4.9 million cinema visits were registered. This was a decrease of 57 per cent from 2019, when 11.3 million cinema visits were registered. The cinema visits correspond to 0.9 per capita.

Sound and vision

On an average day, the share of the population who listened to the radio in 2020 was 49 per cent, slightly more than in 2019 when it was 48 per cent. The share of the population who watched ordinary TV was 48 per cent, the same as in 2019.


At the end of 2020, 1.75 million memberships were registered with the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports. This was a decrease of 9 per cent compared to 2019. There were 58 300 sport facilities, an increase of 810 from 2019.

Culture Schools and the Cultural School Bag

In 2020, 13 per cent of all children aged 6-15 were pupils at culture schools, the same percentage as in 2019. In connection with the Cultural School Bag, 33 300 events were held at primary and lower secondary schools, while upper secondary schools hosted 2 500 events.