This is an archived release.
Unchanged number of social assistance recipients
After six years with a decline in the number of social assistance recipients, there was a small increase in 2000. The increase continued in 2001 when 127 900 persons received social assistance. (The article was corrected June 2003.)
From 2000 to 2001 the number of social assistance recipients increased by 0.5 per cent or 700 persons. As in 2000 there was a small increase in the number of social assistance recipients in 2001 after a long period with a stable decline.
NOK 4.3 billion in social assistance was paid out last year, an increase of about NOK 199 million, or 4,6 percent compared with 2000 (calculated in constant prices). The average annual social assistance benefits per recipient last year were NOK 31.400, or just above NOK 6.700 per month. Last year the average benefit time for all recipients was 5 months - approximately at the same level as in 2000.
Stable flow of recipients
Since 1998 the annual number of persons that received social assistance for the first time has been more or less stable at approximately 45 000 recipients. The number on recipients that also received social assistance the year before has been rather stable as well since 1999.
Even though the number of new recipients has been stable, there was an increase in recipients who received social assistance over a period of more than six months. In 2001 39 per cent of all recipients received social assistance for more than six months, and the numbers for 1999 and 2000 was 37 and 38 per cent respectively. Despite the increase in the number of long time receivers of social assistance, the portion of recipients that received social assistance through the entire year was only 10 per cent. In this group of recipients, single men add up to 44 per cent, while single parents with children were only 9 per cent.
Finnmark has the highest share of social assistance cases
There are considerable differences among the counties in the number of social assistance cases in proportion to the population. Since 1998 Finnmark has had the highest portion of such cases. Until 1998 Oslo was the county with the highest number of social assistance cases per 1.000 inhabitants, but in 1998 Finnmark got the highest portion with 47 cases per 1.000 inhabitants, while Oslo had 44. Since 1998 both counties have had a steady decrease and today the two counties have 45 and 37 cases respectively per 1.000 inhabitants.
Akershus and Sogn og Fjordane were in the same period the counties with fewest social assistance cases in proportion to the population, with 22 cases per 1.000 inhabitants in 1998, compared with 21 and 25 cases respectively in 2001. In 2001 Møre og Romsdal also had 250 cases per 1.000 inhabitants.
The percentage of social assistance cases increases with the number of inhabitants in the municipality. Municipalities with more than 50.000 inhabitants have an average of 34 cases per 1.000 inhabitants, while the corresponding number for municipalities with below 5.000 residents is 28.
Highest benefit level in Oslo
The regional differences in average annual benefit are large too. Oslo has clearly the highest level of benefit with an average of NOK 46.600 per case. This is nearly NOK 12.800 or 27 per cent more than the next county, Hordaland, with NOK 33.800 per case. Once again, Finnmark had the lowest average benefit level, with NOK 20.400 per case.
There is a close correlation between the size of the municipality and benefit level. The level of the benefit is highest in the most populated municipalities. While the average benefit per case in municipalities with more than 50.000 residents was NOK 39.000 in 2001, the corresponding number for municipalities with below 5.000 inhabitants was NOK 20.900.
- Table 1 Number of cases on social assistance, by age, county and size of municipality. 1987-2001
- Table 2 Expenditure on social assistance, by nature of assistance, county and size of municipality. 1987-2001. 2001-kroner (Corrected June 2003)
- Table 3 Average payments of social assistance per month on assistance. Figures of duration of benefit and family cycle phase. 2001
- Table 4 Recipients of social assistance, by duration of benefit and family cycle phase. 2001
- Table 5 Recipients of social assistance, by number of municipalities from which they have received payments and age. 2001
- Table 6 Recipients of social assistance, by main source of income and family cycle phase. 2001
- Table 7 Recipients of social assistance, by labour force status and family cycle phase. 2001
- Table 9 Recipients of social assistance, by citizenship and age. 2001