Norwegian cultural barometer

Updated: 5 March 2024

Next update: Not yet determined

Share who visited the cinema a specific year
Share who visited the cinema a specific year
Percentage using different kinds of cultural activities last 12 months (age 9 and older)
Percentage using different kinds of cultural activities last 12 months (age 9 and older)
Percentage of the population
Public library463744
Ballet or dance performance14513
Exhibition of pictorial art or handicrafts361825
Religious or ethical meeting361927
Sports event552948
Explanation of symbols

Selected tables and charts from this statistics

  • Percentage of the population that participated in different cultural activities physically. Per cent

  • Percentage of the population that want to use cultural activities more frequently. Per cent

  • Average visits at different culture activities last 12 months (age 9 and older)
    Average visits at different culture activities last 12 months (age 9 and older)
    Average visits last 12 months (number)
    Public library4.32.53.6
    Ballet or dance performance0.30.90.2
    Exhibition of pictorial art or handicrafts1.00.40.6
    Religious or ethical meeting2.91.32.6
    Sports event7.01.94.4
    Explanation of symbols
  • Share of analog and digital usage of culture activities last 12 months (age 9 and older)
    Share of analog and digital usage of culture activities last 12 months (age 9 and older)
    Analog usage, percentage of the population (per cent)Digital usage, percentage of the population (per cent)
    Public library4418
    Ballet or dance performance138
    Exhibition of pictorial art or handicrafts256
    Religious or ethical meeting2711
    Book1 6619
    1Applies to reading paper books and reading e-books
    Explanation of symbols

About the statistics

The statistics are based on a survey about the population's use of various cultural activities, such as cinema, theatre, concerts, museums, libraries, and sports events.

Norwegian Cultural Barometer and Cultural Activity Survey

The Norwegian Cultural Barometer (Kulturbarometeret) is a report based on the Cultural Activity Survey (Kulturbruksundersøkelsen), which is a questionnaire. An additional report called "Cultural Activity Among People with an Immigrant Background" also relies on the Cultural Activity Survey.

Public Libraries

All municipalities are required to have a public library that is open to everyone and funded by public funds. The Cultural Barometer also include school libraries and technical, academic or research libraries.

Sports Events

Sports events that require physical attendance. Events where you participate as an athlete and sports watched on TV or the internet are not included.

Religious or Other Faith-Based Meetings

Religious or other faith-based meetings are worship services, masses, or gatherings organized by religious communities or organizations representing non-religious philosophies. Baptisms, confirmations, weddings, and funerals are not included.

People with an Immigration Background

“Immigrants” are individuals born abroad to two foreign-born parents and four foreign-born grandparents.

“Norwegian-born individuals with immigrant parents” are those born in Norway to two foreign-born parents and four foreign-born grandparents.


The Cultural Activity Survey asks the respondents about long-term illnesses or disabilities and whether these conditions have an impact on their ability to perform everyday activities.


Individuals who respond to the survey.


The 2021 Cultural Activity Survey has no upper age limit. The sample consists of individuals aged 9 and older, following the Classification of Age. In previous years, the survey was limited to respondents aged 9-79.

Respondents are recorded with the age they had at the end of the year before they completed the survey. This means that someone born late in the year but interviewed early in the year will be recorded with the age they have during the year they answered the survey.


This variable refers to the highest level of education for respondents aged 16 or older and is obtained from the National Education Database (NUDB). The grouping is based on the Classification of Education (NUS):

  • Elementary School Level: Completed elementary school level.
  • Upper Secondary School Level: Completed upper secondary education or vocational school.
  • University and College Level Short: Completed higher education up to 4 years.
  • University and College Level Long: Completed higher education with a duration of more than 4 years, including doctoral education.

Parents' Education Level

Parents' education level refers to the parent with the highest education level.

Occupation Status (16 Years or older)

Occupational status for respondents aged 16 and older who responded to the survey is grouped according to the Classification of Occupations (STYRK-08):

  • Occupational Group 1: Administrative leaders and politicians
  • Occupational Group 2: Academic professions
  • Occupational Group 3: Professions with shorter college and university education and technicians
  • Occupational Group 4: Office and customer service professions
  • Occupational Group 5: Sales, service, and care professions
  • Occupational Group 6: Professions within agriculture, forestry, and fishing
  • Occupational Group 7: Craftsmen and similar professions
  • Occupational Group 8: Process and machine operators and transport workers and similar professions
  • Occupational Group 9: Professions without educational requirements

In occupational group 0: Military professions and unspecified. Enlisted personnel (privates) are placed in occupational group 9, commanding officers 1 are placed in occupational group 3, and commanding officers 2 are placed in occupational group 1-2.

Pensioners: Includes individuals receiving early retirement, old-age pensions, survivor's pensions, disability pensions, and transitional allowances for single parents.

Other statuses: Includes individuals who do not belong to any other group, such as homemakers and those outside the labour force.


The division is based on the Classification of Region:

  • Oslo/Viken
  • Innlandet
  • Agder and South-Eastern Norway
  • Western Norway
  • Trøndelag
  • Northern Norway
  • Not specified

Residential Areas

Those who responded to the survey are grouped based on whether they live in sparsely populated or densely populated areas, following the Classification of Residential Areas. Densely populated areas have more than 200 residents, and the distance between houses is usually less than 50 meters. Sparsely populated areas have more widely spaced houses and include areas with fewer than 200 residents.

Household Type (Formerly Family Stage)

Respondents are grouped by age, marital status, whether the person has children, and the age of the children. The Classification of Households is used:

  • Living Alone
  • Couples without children at home
  • Couples with young children (youngest child aged 0-5 years)
  • Couples with older children (youngest child aged 6-17 years)
  • Single mothers/fathers with young children (youngest child aged 0-5 years)
  • Single mothers/fathers with older children (youngest child aged 6-17 years)
  • Single-family households with adult children (youngest child aged 18 and over)
  • Multi-family households (multiple families living together)
  • Multi-family households without children aged 0-17
  • Multi-family households with young children (youngest child aged under 0-5 years)
  • Multi-family households with older children (youngest child aged 6-17 years)

The survey distinguishes between singles and couples (both married and cohabiting). "Single" refers to whether the person is in a romantic relationship, not whether they live alone. Couples without their own children are sorted by the age of the oldest person.

A private household consists of individuals residing in the same private dwelling. A communal household consists of individuals residing in and receiving care in an institution. Employees registered as residing in or near a communal household (e.g., institution or military barracks) are considered residents of a private household. Households can consist of one or more families.

Address refers to where the respondents live and may not necessarily be the same as the registered address in the National Population Register.

Household Size

Household size indicates how many members there are in the household. The division is as follows:

  • Living alone
  • 2 household members
  • 3 household members
  • 4 household members
  • 5 or more household members

Household Income

Household income is obtained from the Income and Wealth Statistics for Households.

The variable includes occupational and capital income before taxes, taxable transfers, and tax-free transfers. Child benefits or cash support are not included.

Name: Norwegian cultural barometer
Subject: Culture and recreation

Not yet determined

Division for Education and Culture Statistics

Whole country, all regions, and residential areas.

The Cultural Activity Survey was conducted every four years, in conjunction with the Media Use Survey; in 1991, 1994, 1997, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016. Starting from 2021, the Cultural Activity Survey is conducted as a separate survey and is published every other year.

Not relevant

Statistics Norway (SSB) stores collected and revised data securely, in accordance with applicable data processing laws.

SSB can provide access to the source data (de-identified or anonymized microdata) on which the statistics are based to researchers and public authorities for the purpose of producing statistical results and analyses. Access can be granted upon request and under specific conditions. Learn more about this in Access to Data from Statistics Norway.

The purpose of the Norwegian Culture Barometer (Norsk Kulturbarometer) is to gather information about and to present the population's access to and use of various cultural activities.

The data is collected through the Cultural Activity Survey.

The Cultural Activity Survey was first conducted in 1991 alongside the Media Use Survey. Starting from 2021, the Cultural Activity Survey is an independent survey.

Key users of the statistics are the Ministry of Culture and Equality (Kultur- og likestillingsdepartementet) and Art and Culture Norway (Kulturdirektoratet). The Cultural Activity Survey is funded by the Ministry of Culture and Equality.

Some of the most important information that the Norwegian Cultural Barometer provides to society is an overview of the participation in cultural activities, how different groups participate more or less compared to others, and how accessible the cultural activities are for various people.

With surveys conducted over several years, one can also observe how the usage of cultural activities evolves over time.

No external users have access to the statistics and analyses before they are published and accessible simultaneously for all users on at 08:00 am, after advance notification three months earlier in the Upcoming Releases and Publications Calendar. This is one of Statistics Norway’s key principles for ensuring that all users are treated equally.

The Cultural Activity Survey is, starting from 2021, conducted as its own, separate survey. Prior to this, it was conducted in conjunction with the Media Use Survey.

Participation in the survey is voluntary.

The statistics are developed, compiled, and disseminated under the authority of the Act of 21 June 2019 No. 32 on Official Statistics and Statistics Norway (the Statistics Act,

For information on the Statistics Act before 2019, please refer here.

The statistics are part of the National Program for Official Statistics 2021-2023, in the main area of Culture and Leisure, sub-area Norwegian Cultural Barometer.

Not relevant

Starting from 2021, the sample for the Cultural Barometer consists of a representative sample of the population aged 9 years and older. Until 2021, the upper age limit was 79 years.

Each person included in the survey is interviewed, either by phone or with a sent web form.

The data source for the Norwegian Cultural Barometer is the Cultural Activity Survey, which is an independent questionnaire survey.

In the surveys starting from 2021, several background variables (education, household type, country of birth, etc.) are sourced from SSB's population registries.

The Cultural Activity Survey distinguishes between the main survey and the supplementary survey (Cultural Activity Among Persons with an Immigrant Background).

From 2021, the main survey involves a sample of 6,000 individuals aged 9 and older.

For the supplementary survey from 2021, a nationally representative sample of immigrants and individuals born in Norway to two immigrant parents consists of 3,000 individuals.

Before 2021, the Cultural Activity Survey was part of the Culture and Media Use Survey (Kultur- og mediebruksundersøkelsen). After 2021, it is a separate survey.

Data Collection

Starting from 2021, data collection takes place through telephone interviews and/or web forms and is conducted in March and September every other year.

For surveys up to 2016, data collection occurred in the months of March, June, September, and December through telephone interviews.

Telephone interviews are conducted using questionnaires containing several checks to prevent incorrect responses or registration errors during the interview. When using web forms instead of telephone interviews, there are also numerous controls and filters to ensure that the form is easy to answer.


Editing involves checking, reviewing, and modifying data. All questionnaires undergo a receipt check, where factors such as whether the form is completed and whether there are any obvious errors are examined. There are numerous built-in controls in electronic reporting. After the data is machine-readable, more detailed checks are carried out, in addition to checks against previous surveys and annual reports.


The surveys are based on responses from respondents, and calculations of uncertainty are not made in connection with the responses. For more information on the calculation of uncertainty, please refer to the section on "Sources of Error and Uncertainty".

Not relevant

Interviewers and all those working at SSB are bound by confidentiality. SSB has appointed its own Data Protection Officer.

SSB does not publish figures that pose a risk of disclosing individual information about persons or households. To ensure this, the method of suppression is used in these statistics, meaning that not all figures are published. More information can be found in the "Confidentiality" section on SSB's methods in official statistics page.

In general, the figures have been comparable since the 1991 survey. Where figures are not comparable, this will be indicated in the publications. The results, comparisons over time, and differences between different groups in each category will have some associated uncertainty.

Measurement and Processing Errors

In any survey, there will be incorrect responses. Errors can occur both during data collection and during processing, known as measurement and processing errors.

Measurement errors refer to errors in data due to the measuring instrument. An example of this is when respondents provide incorrect answers because they misunderstand, remember incorrectly, or provide dishonest answers for various reasons, such as shame or a desire to impress. Interviewers may also record answers incorrectly in the questionnaire.

Processing errors refer to errors in data that occur during processing at SSB. This can mean discrepancies between the value recorded in the questionnaire and the value reported at the end. Through questionnaire revision and machine controls, errors are sought to be identified and corrected, but not all errors are detected.

Sampling Errors

Sampling error refers to the uncertainty caused by the fact that the numbers are produced based on a sample of units and not the entire population. Sampling uncertainty is often called sampling variance.

Standard deviation is used to measure how uncertain the results are. The amount of uncertainty depends, among other things, on the number of observations in the survey and how the different groups in the survey are distributed. We can estimate the standard deviation by looking at the numbers in the sample. Statistics Norway has not made any special calculations of such estimates for the figures in the publications, but in the table on this page, we have indicated the size of the standard deviation.

To show the uncertainty, we use an interval that shows where the actual value of what we measure can be. This is called a confidence interval. For example, if we have calculated that 70% of 2,000 observations have a certain characteristic, and we know the standard deviation is 1.0, we can say with 95% confidence that the actual value is somewhere between 68% and 72%. When comparing percentages between different groups, we must remember that both numbers we are comparing are uncertain. The difference between them is also uncertain, and this uncertainty is usually greater than the uncertainty associated with each individual number.

Table 1. Standard error in percentage points for observed percentages at different sample sizes. In percent

Number of


Observed percentages








































































Dropout Errors

By dropout errors, we mean errors caused by either unit dropout, where the unit (e.g., a person or a business) has failed to respond, or partial dropout, where the unit has failed to respond to at least one of the questions in the survey. If certain groups are more likely than other groups not to respond to the survey, it can lead to the sample no longer representing the entire population under study.

How skewed a sample is will vary depending on the variable being examined. For more information on bias due to dropout in the different surveys, please refer to the publications for each individual survey.

Data collection for surveys up to 2016 took place in the months of March, June, September, and December, and on all days of the week. From 2021, data collection takes place in March and September. To correct for any bias due to non-participation in these periods, the figures in the tables are weighted so that all periods count equally.

When the survey included both cultural and media use until 2021, the number of children aged 9-15 years in the sample was doubled. In the tables, this age group is adjusted to count as half, so that the sample is more in line with the actual population.

Revision is the planned change of figures that have already been published, for example, when publishing final figures where preliminary figures have previously been published. See SSB's Principles for Revisions for more information.

In 2021, a major revision of the Cultural Activity Survey was carried out, which among other things, led to the removal of an upper age limit in the sample.