Statistics provide a foundation for producing factual information and are a necessary component in a well-functioning democracy. In order to ensure public confidence in the statistics, they must be developed, produced and disseminated as a common good, independent of political and other external influences.
The official statistics must be of general interest, cover a wide range of user needs, help increase public knowledge, and provide a basis for analysis, research, decision-making and general public discourse.
The statistical programme was approved by the Government on 18 December 2020, and is subject to the Act relating to official statistics and Statistics Norway. The programme will be operational in the period 2021–2023. The proposed statistical programme was developed by Statistics Norway in consultation with the Committee for official statistics. The committee is an advisory body consisting of public authorities that are responsible for official statistics or own registers which are central sources for the statistics.
The statistical programme provides a framework for the Norwegian statistical system and defines which areas of statistics are covered and which public authorities are responsible for the statistics. Official statistics are limited to statistics included in the programme.
Scope and content of the programme
The statistical programme is divided into 21 main thematic areas and reflects the significance of these areas and the need for statistics. The main areas are divided into a further 88 sub-themes. The programme describes the purpose of the statistics in the sub-themes and provides information about the most important elements of the content. The description often includes a brief outline of important users or how the statistics are used, and in some cases, information is given on data sources or other relevant aspects of the field of statistics. The statistical programme stipulates which public authorities are responsible for production within each sub-theme.
The programme does not describe the individual statistics in detail. Official statistics need to be adapted to changing user needs, new data sources and new technology, and the statistics may change during the programme period. The descriptions include an outline of the development work aimed at new and improved statistics that are planned for release during the programme period, as well as some areas that need to be clarified with a view to development in the longer term.
Statutory statistical obligations in accordance with Annex XXI to the European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement are specified for each sub-theme. Other international obligations or reporting are mentioned as applicable.