NOK 4.8 billion in social assistance
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 assistance2005



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NOK 4.8 billion in social assistance

The 129 000 recipients of social assistance received a total of NOK 4.8 billion in 2005. The recipients represent 3 per cent of the total Norwegian population.

The figures have been corrected after the publication 17 august 2006 because the municipalities Fjell and Alstadhaug have supplied new figures for 2005.

As expected, the number of recipients on social assistance dropped in 2005. 128 964 social assistance recipients is a 2.5 per cent drop from 2004. The 2005 figures are similar to figures from 2002, the previous comparable year. For the last two years it has been difficult to separate those receiving benefits given to recently arrived refugees and immigrants from those who receive economic social assistance.

New and old recipients. 1997-2005. Per cent

Number of social assistance recipients. 1987-2005

Although the number of social assistance recipients fell, their share of the population is approximately the same as in the last years, at 3 per cent. Many recipients of social assistance have children and a spouse. If these are included, approximately 223 000 persons received social assistance for a shorter or longer period in 2005, 5 per cent of the population.

The age pattern among social assistance recipients has not changed much in the past years, and the largest group of recipients is aged 30-39 years. However, the largest group as a proportion of the population is the 20-24 age-group. 8 per cent in this age-group received economic social assistance in 2005.

The social assistance recipients in 2005 received NOK 4.8 billion in total, or almost NOK 7 000 on average per person per month. The average payment per person per year was NOK 37 600 and the average recipient was on benefit for five months - approximately the same level as in previous years.

The act relating to benefits to recently arrived refugees and immigrants was introduced as a voluntary arrangement for the local authorities on 1 September 2003, and as a compulsory arrangement on 1 September 2004. As the benefit was introduced late in the year, the figures for 2003 and 2004 are not fully comparable with each other or previous and subsequent years.

Social services staff

At the end of 2005, there were 5 345 jobs in the social services. This figure includes positions related to the traditional social services tasks such as counseling, consultations, preventive work and work related to substance abusers.

If we include positions related to job creation programs, the figure increases to 6 081. There are large differences between the counties, but the average ratio of employees per 1 000 adults (aged 18 and above) is 1.5 full-time equivalents per 1 000 adults in 2005.