Social conditions, welfare and crime

Social services staff (discontinued)2001

The statistics has been discontinued.


About the statistics


Name and topic

Name: Social services staff (discontinued)
Topic: Social conditions, welfare and crime

Responsible division

Division for Income and social welfare statistics

Definitions of the main concepts and variables


The statistics have the following education categories: social workers, child welfare officers, other college/university education, office and business education, other education/unskilled workers.

Unfilled positions

A position is defined as unfilled if it has stood open for four or more months.

Temporary positions

In connection with temporary positions, the education of the substitute shall be registered, not the education of the person on leave.

Social benefit rates

The economic rates used in calculating economic benefits are registered here, along with the expenditures included in the various benefit rates and benefits that reduce the amount of the economic benefit.

Standard classifications

Not relevant

Administrative information

Regional level

National, county and municipal level.

Frequency and timeliness

The statistics are published once a year.

International reporting

Not relevant


Statistics Norway has annual files and file descriptions.


Background and purpose

The purpose of the statistics has been to prepare an overview of personnel resources in municipal social services with information about the job responsibilities and education of employees. One objective has been to prepare an overview of municipal social benefit rates.

In 1992, information was collected for the first time from social welfare offices about the social benefit rates or norms for social assistance along with the organization of social services and cooperation with other agencies. Information about employees and positions was also collected.

Statistics on social service employees are based on information collected through annual report forms from the municipalities. Starting in 1992 the statistics were changed so that social services and child welfare services are now handled as two separate services even though they are organized in the same office in many municipalities.

Users and applications

Users are the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development, counties and municipalities, research institutes and think thanks, the media and students majoring in health and social work. The statistics are also used in public planning, research, education and debates.

Coherence with other statistics

Not relevant

Legal authority

Statistics Norway obtains data for the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs pursuant to Section 2-5 of the Social Services Act of 13 December 1991. Section 3-2 of the Statistics Act of 1989 gives Statistics Norway the authority to use the data to produce official statistics.

EEA reference

Not relevant



Registering of employees in municipal social services is done on a form submitted once a year. Data on personnel are as of the census date of 31 December. The same applies to information about benefit rates for economic social assistance.

Data sources and sampling

The data are from municipal social services.

No sampling. All municipalities send in reports, and information on all employees is registered. This also applies to the municipal social benefit rates.

Collection of data, editing and estimations

The municipalities send in a registration form once a year (deadline 15 February). For KOSTRA-municipalities the data are registered on electronic forms and transferred electronically.

Reporting and recordkeeping burden

Each form takes someone who is familiar with social services about 10 minutes to fill out.

Control of data are based on a comparison with statistics from the previous year.


Not relevant

Comparability over time and space

Starting in 1992, the statistics on employees in social services were changed so that social services and child welfare services are now handled as two separate services even though they are organized in the same office in many municipalities. Figures from before 1992 are consequently not completely comparable with the current statistics.

Accuracy and reliability

Sources of error and uncertainty

Registration of personnel in social services is based on reports from the individual municipality or urban district. A major source of error in the registration process is that the division between social services and other municipal services is unclear. This applies particularly to positions connected with programs targeted at groups of disabled persons, refugees, substance abusers and unemployed young people. There is often doubt about whether the programmes are outside or within the sphere of social services. Small changes in the number of employees can therefore be due to registration errors and not real changes in staffing.

For Statistics Norway, it is difficult to find certain types of errors. Errors and missing information that appear in comparisons with the previous year's figures are corrected. Unrevised tables are sent to municipal social services for correction and the corrections are reported to Statistics Norway.