Sharp decrease in social assistance 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 assistance2007



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Sharp decrease in social assistance recipients

In 2007, 109 600 persons received a total of NOK 4.3 billion in social assistance. Compared with 2006, the number of recipients decreased by 10 per cent, while total payments decreased by 8 per cent.

New recipients and reappearances 1997-2007

Number of social assistance recipients 1987-2007

A total of 2.3 per cent of the Norwegian population received social assistance in 2007. Since 1994, the number of recipients has decreased1, but the decrease has never been as marked as in 2007. The decrease in payments was more stable with 7 per cent from 2005 to 2006 and 8 per cent from 2006 to 2007.

Although the number of social assistance recipients has decreased, the distribution between age groups was unchanged from 2006. The largest group was the 30-39 age group, which accounted for 25 per cent. This pattern has been for the past 20 years. However, the percentage of recipients below 30 years of age has decreased over the past 20 years, while the percentage of recipients aged 40-67 has increased.

Increase in average disbursement

The decrease in total payments has not been as strong as the decrease in recipients of social assistance. Hence, average disbursements per person per year have increased slightly since 2006. In 2007, average disbursements per person was NOK 38 900 per year and NOK 7 300 per month. The corresponding figures in 2006 were NOK 37 900 and NOK 7 100. The majority of the recipients reported social assistance to be their main source of income.

The social assistance recipients received benefits for 5.3 months on average in 2007 - unchanged from 2006. A total of 12 per cent received social assistance during the entire year, but the largest group, 21 per cent, received benefits for one month only in 2007.

12002-2004 shows a slight increase in the number of social assistance recipients. For the years 2003 and 2004, participants in the introductory programme for newly arrived immigrants are included in the statistics.