Pupils in upper secondary education1 October 2004


About the statistics


Name and topic

Name: Pupils in upper secondary education
Topic: Education

Responsible division

Division for Education and Culture Statistics

Definitions of the main concepts and variables

Enrolled pupils: Pupils registered at an educational institution.

Reform 94: gives youth from 16 to 19 years old a legalised right to education at the upper secondary level. This right was extended to all from 2002. Upper secondary education exists of a one-year basic course, advance course I and II.

General fields of study : Includes courses in general, economic and management studies, music dance and drama, sports and physical education.

Vocational fields of study: Includes courses in health and social studies, agriculture, fishing and forestry, arts, crafts and designs, hotel and food processing trades, building and construction trades, technical building, electrical trades, engineering and mechanical trades, chemical and processing trades, woodworking trades, media and communication, sales and service.

Municipality of residence: Is based on the registered address as of 1st October the current year.

Social background : Is based on parent's educational level. The parent with the highest educational level defines the social background of the pupil.

Standard classifications

The Norwegian Standard Classification of Education, which was created by Statistics Norway in 1970, groups the educational activity. The standard has been revised; the latest version is from 2000. The type of educational institution is classified by the International Standard Industrial Classification of all Economic Activities (NOS C 182).

Administrative information

Regional level

The statistics provide figures for the municipal, county and national level.

Frequency and timeliness


International reporting

The statistics is reported to the OECD in accordance with the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED97). Norway is obliged to make use of ISCDE97 in all international reporting to UNESCO, OECD and Eurostat.


All education statistics at Statistics Norway is stored in a proper, standardized manner in consultation with the Data Inspectorate.


Background and purpose

The purpose of these statistics is to collect data on all upper secondary education under the Education Act in Norway. It is in the public interest to create as accurate data as possible for research and planning. The statistics is individually based, and report each educational activity for each pupil. All educational activities were attached to each person's Personal ID-number.

Users and applications

Important users of the education statistics are public administration, special interest organizations, the media, researchers, business and industry. Key users are among the ministries are, in particular, the Ministry of Education and Research, the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Government, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Children and Family Affairs. The statistics is also used by international organizations such as the EU, the OECD and UNESCO.

Coherence with other statistics

Data on pupils in upper secondary education is included in the final education statistics for pupils and students in all education institutions (See "About the statistics, 04.02 Education statistics, pupils and students")

Legal authority

Sections 2-2 and 2-3 and the Ministry of Finance's delegation letter of February 13. February 1990.

EEA reference

Data are delivered pursuant to EU Community 1921/99, 1925/99, 557/98, 3711/91.



The statistics include all pupils registered at upper secondary education under the Education Act. The statistics on upper secondary education encompasses pupils who participates in a program of at least 300 hours of teaching per year.

Data sources and sampling

Within upper secondary education, the counties own administrative data system, VIGO, is the main source.

Survey techniques are not employed in this statistics.

Collection of data, editing and estimations

Data is collected from administrative registers from the counties main enrollment system, VIGO. The main purpose of VIGO is the management of the enrolment of pupils in upper secondary. The database however contains data on all pupils registered in county upper secondary schools. Data from private upper secondary schools are also reported through VIGO. VIGO also includes vocational education, which are persons in apprenticeship training and sit for qualifying examination.

All education data undergo various on-receipt controls. It encompasses deletion of duplicates (units with identical Personal ID-number), a control of correct and valid values for each variable. The data is also recoded so they are comparable. All Personal ID-numbers are checked for errors.

The statistics is based on enumeration of the number registered pupils.


The general rule is not to publish data if less than 3 pupils are found within a cell/unit in a table. This is to prevent identification of individuals within the statistics.

Comparability over time and space

Individually based education statistics was collected for the first time in 1974, and has been published annually since then. Most variables are comparable, but some have changed. The Norwegian Standard Classification of Education has been revised to secure comparability over time.

Accuracy and reliability

Sources of error and uncertainty

A statistical investigation may be encumbered with various sorts of error. Errors may occur during the collection of data if units being investigated are not identical to the mass of units we aim at describing. Other types of error may occur during the coding the data collected.

Errors in data collected from administrative registers can be caused by uncertainties in the definition of variables and values between those responsible for the registers and others responsible for data collection from the registers.

Other sources of error can be the quality of the personal and school data in the registers or the registration process of data input into the registers. Such errors can affect the quality of the data if the control and revision processes in Statistics Norway is not comprehensive enough.

Non-sampling errors

Education statistics is not based on sample surveys.