Area of land and fresh water
Updated: 23 January 2023
Next update: 26 January 2024
About the statistics
Statistics of land area and fresh water area for counties, municipalities and basic statistical units. More detailed land cover and land use statistics is published under “Land use and land cover”, see link under “Related content”.Statistics of land area and fresh water area for counties, municipalities and basic statistical units. More detailed land cover and land use statistics is published under “Land use and land cover”, see link under “Related content”.
Municipalities is an administrative division of Norway and represents the local self-governance. Municipalities is both a term for a political/administrative level, and a term for a regional level in the statistics.
The country is further divided into about 14 000 statistical units. The objective of dividing municipalities into statistical units is to make small, stable geographical units which may form a flexible basis to work with and present regional statistics. This in turn is aiming at a more efficient statistical basis for analysis on regional and municipal level, for management and for planning purposes.
In addition to being stable over a certain time period, statistical units should also be geographically coherent areas. Another main criteria is that statistical units should be homogeneous, with respect to nature and basis for economic activities, conditions for communications, and structure of buildings.
Area is given in square kilometres and for height intervals above sea level.
Name: Area of land and fresh water
Topic: Nature and the environment
Division for Housing, Property, Spatial and Agricultural Statistics
Counties, municipalities, statistical units
Statistics is supplied by the Norwegian Mapping Authorithies.
Collected and revised data are stored securely by Statistics Norway in compliance with applicable legislation on data processing.
Statistics Norway can grant access to the source data (de-identified or anonymised microdata) on which the statistics are based, for researchers and public authorities for the purposes of preparing statistical results and analyses. Access can be granted upon application and subject to conditions. Refer to the details about this at Access to data from Statistics Norway.
The purpose of the statistics is to follow the changes in area of municipalities and statistical units, and to enable combination with other statistics.
The statistics is widely used by civil administration (ministries, directorates, county- and municipality administrations) as well as for research purposes, press, media and private persons.
Figures for land area are also presented in the land resources and land use statistics. The sum area for municipalities and counties may deviate from the figures presented here due to different map data bases.
The statistics are developed, produced and disseminated pursuant to Act no. 32 of 21 June 2019 relating to official statistics and Statistics Norway (the Statistics Act).
The statistics comprises all municipalities and statistical units in Norway including Svalbard and Jan Mayen. The statistics include land area and fresh water. Sea and fjords are not included.
Digital maps for administrative boundaries and land cover.
Based on registers and the use of GIS.
Data revised by owners of the registers, e.g. Statistics Norway , municipalities and the Norwegian Mapping Authorities.
The calculations are carried out at The Norwegian Mapping Authority. Area calculations on digital map databases.
Employees of Statistics Norway have a duty of confidentiality.
Statistics Norway does not publish figures if there is a risk of the respondent’s contribution being identified. This means that, as a general rule, figures are not published if fewer than three units form the basis of a cell in a table or if the contribution of one or two respondents constitutes a very large part of the cell total.
Statistics Norway can make exceptions to the general rule if deemed necessary to meet the requirements of the EEA agreement, if the respondent is a public authority, if the respondent has consented to this, or when the information disclosed is openly accessible to the public.
More information can be found on Statistics Norway’s website under Methods in official statistics, in the ‘Confidentiality’ section.
Figures for 2003 are partially estimated from elder maps in the scale 1 : 100 000 based on manual methods; changes from 2003 and onwards might be explained from this.
From 2010 the basis for administrative units and basic statistical units are The Cadastre. Quality improvements may cause deviations from prvious years statistics.
Quality improvements from year to year may cause deviations over time.
Figures rely on digital maps aimed at presentation in scale 1 : 50 000. Accuracy varies from +/- 10 meter to +/- 50 meter.