Social assistance to more than 130 000 persons


For the first time since 2004, more than 130 000 persons received social assistance during 2016. Payments exceeded NOK 6 billion.

On average, recipients received social assistance for 5.1 months during the year, according to the statistics Social assistance. This means that the monthly average number of recipients was 55 472 persons. Almost 27 000 recipients received payments for only one month, while more than 13 000 got payments all 12 months. In general, younger recipients experience shorter periods of payment.

Figure 1 Number of social assistance recipients. By number of months receiving assistance. 2016

1 month 26778
2 months 19237
3 months 14143
4 months 11319
5 months 8737
6 months 7547
7 months 6206
8 months 5742
9 months 5476
10 months 5607
11 months 6254
12 months 13359

Less recipients support themselves with their own wages

Social assistance was the main source of income for about four out of ten recipients, while a little more than one out of four depended on pensions. Less than five percent of recipients were full-time workers, while a somewhat higher number had part-time wage as their main source of income.

Who is counted as a social assistance recipient?

The statistics comprise persons receiving social assistance (allowances and loans) according to Act on social services in the Labor and Welfare Service, §§ 18 and/ or 19 during 2016. Other municipal or state benefits are not included.