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 and Equality’s budget for 2021 was NOK 25.9 billion. This was NOK 2.7 billion more than in 2020. The corresponding figure in the county authorities and local authorities was NOK 1.9 billion and NOK 15.7 billion respectively.

Employment and enterprises in cultural and creative industries

A total of 3 percent of all employed persons in Norway had their main job within the cultural and creative industries in 2021. Oslo has the largest share of employed persons with their main job in the cultural and creative industries, with 7 per cent.

Cultural policy instruments

In 2021, Arts Council Norway allocated NOK 876 million from the Norwegian Cultural Fund to several cultural purposes. This was a 13 percent decrease from 2020. Music received the largest part; 40 per cent of the Norwegian Cultural Fund. In 2021, visual artists made up the largest group of recipients under the Government Grants for Artists scheme, receiving 606 grants, out of a total of 2 061 grants.

Music and theatre

In 2021, the music institutions which report to the Arts Council Norway held over 1 115 arrangements for a total of 269 100 audience members. A total of 600 100 people went to the 8 800 arrangements in the theatre- and/or opera-institutions which report to the Arts Council Norway.


Norwegian museums had a total of about 70 million objects in 2021. About 6.5 million people visited Norwegian museums, 1.4 million more visitors than in 2020. There was a total of 2 600 exhibitions in the museums, 180 more exhibitions than in 2020.


In 2021, a total of 11.2 million books were loaned from public libraries, an increase of 15 per cent from 2020. This was an average of 2.1 loans per capita. The libraries had over 17.5 million registered visits and 34 500 arrangements. The numbers for 2020 was 15.9 million visitors and 30 600 arrangements.

Films and cinemas

In 2021, a total of 5.7 million cinema visits were registered. This was an increase of 17 per cent from 2020, when 4.9 million cinema visits were registered. The cinema visits correspond to 1.0 visit per capita.

Sound and vision

On an average day, the share of the population who listened to the radio in 2021 was 47 per cent, slightly less than in 2019 when it was 49 per cent. The share of the population who watched ordinary TV in 2021 was 46 per cent. In 2020 the share was 48 per cent.


At the end of 2021, 1.78 million memberships were registered with the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports. This was an increase of 1.7 per cent compared to 2020. There were 58 500 sport facilities, an increase of 186 from 2020.

Culture Schools and the Cultural School Bag

In 2021, 13 per cent of all children aged 6-15 were pupils at culture schools, the same percentage as in 2020. In connection with the Cultural School Bag, 35 500 events were held at primary and lower secondary schools, while upper secondary schools hosted 2 800 events.