6 000 more recipients
Social conditions, welfare and crime;Public sector;Immigration and immigrants
soshjelpk, Social assistance, social assistance recipients, social assistance, qualification programme, assistant status, social services, duration of support, support cases, type of support (allowance, loan), personnel in the social services (for example social workers, child welfare officers, office employees), operating costsKOSTRA , Social security and benefits , Social conditions, welfare and crime, Social conditions, welfare and crime, Public sector, Immigration and immigrants

Social assistance2013



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6 000 more recipients

In 2013, there were 120 800 recipients of social assistance; 5 per cent more than the year before. Payments were up 12 per cent when controlled for the general increase in prices.

Social assistance
Recipients of social assistance120 775
Single males total47 621
Single females total27 886
Social assistance as primary source of income49 152
Expenditure on social assistance (1 000 NOK)5 122 169
Average payment per month8 345

After two years of decreasing numbers of social assistance recipients, 2013 saw a new increase. Payments showed an even sharper increase to a level of NOK 5.2 billion. The average assistance period was only slightly up, from 5.0 to 5.1 months. Expenditure per month, however, showed a marked shift upward by 7 per cent.

As for participation in the workforce, one out of four recipients were either receiving a salary, in education or participating in employment measures. The proportion of unemployed and persons outside the workforce amounted to two thirds of recipients. These numbers were on a par with last year’s levels.

A total of 7 000 persons received social assistance in more than one municipality. Of these, 92 per cent received assistance in two municipalities, while a total of 20 persons received assistance in 5 or more.

Increasing numbers with social assistance as main source of income

A total of 40.6 per cent of recipients had social assistance as their main source of income. This proportion showed a downward trend during the years 2006-2011, but the last two years have seen increasing numbers. This tendency is corresponding to the decreasing number of recipients on qualification programmes; measures aimed at persons with high social assistance dependency.

As in previous years, there is a clear correlation between social assistance dependency and family status. Among recipients, social assistance as main source of income is most common among single males under 20 years of age, with 64 per cent.

Payments per month markedly up

Payments per month were up from NOK 7 816 in 2012 to NOK 8 345 in 2013, or 6.8 per cent. The highest monthly payments can be found among persons receiving assistance thorough the whole year (NOK 9 905), while the lowest payments are found in assistance periods of 2 months (NOK 6 516).

Twenty-one municipalities had monthly payments above 50 per cent of last year’s level, while in 18 municipalities the monthly payments were reduced by more than 20 per cent. Of the 10 most populous municipalities, only one (Bergen) had an increase in monthly payments below the general increase in prices.

6 500 man-years in social services

The municipal social services employed a total of almost 6500 man-years in 2013. This figure includes almost 2 400 man-years performed by social workers and slightly more than 300 by residential child care workers.