Education;Public sector;Immigration and immigrants
vgu, Upper secondary education, upper secondary education, folk high schools, tertiary vocational education, pupils, apprentices, tainees, education programmes, fields of study, vocational examinations, apprentice examination, course level, completed education, interrupted education, immigrants, Norwegian-born with immigrant parentsKOSTRA , Education, Upper secondary schools, Public sector, Immigration and immigrants, Education

Upper secondary education


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Key figures

245 086

pupils, apprentices and trainees in upper secondary education

Upper secondary education
20192018 - 20192015 - 2019
Change in per cent
1Pupils in vocational training in schools are included
Pupils196 629-1-2
Apprentices and trainees148 457516
Pupils and apprentices and trainees245 08601
Immigrants35 974538
Norwegian-born12 922530

See selected tables from this statistics

Table 1 
Pupils , apprentices and trainees in upper secondary education in per cent of registered cohorts 16 -18 years, immigrants and norwegian-born to immigrant parents, by gender. 1 October

Pupils , apprentices and trainees in upper secondary education in per cent of registered cohorts 16 -18 years, immigrants and norwegian-born to immigrant parents, by gender. 1 October1
Pupils, apprentices and trainees
Total populationImmigrants and Norwegian-born to immigrant parentsImmigrantsNorwegian-born to immigrant parents
1Pupils in education leading to basic competence, and pupils in vocational training in schools are included
Both sexes93.485.480.293.5

Table 2 
Pupils , apprentices and trainees in upper secondary education, immigrants and norwegian-born to immigrants, by gender. 1 October

Pupils , apprentices and trainees in upper secondary education, immigrants and norwegian-born to immigrants, by gender. 1 October
Pupils, apprentices and trainees in upper secondarImmigrants and Norwegian-born to immigrant parentsImmigrantsNorwegian-born to immigrant parentsImmigrantsNorwegian-born to immigrant parents
1Pupils in education leading to basic competence are included
2Pupils in vocational training in schools are included
Total245 08648 89629 86311 8456 1111 077
Men131 99026 39315 7075 9623 927797
Women113 09622 50314 1565 8832 184280

Table 3 
Pupils, apprentices and trainees in upper secondary education, by education programs , grade and county of residence

Pupils, apprentices and trainees in upper secondary education, by education programs , grade and county of residence
TotalProgrammes for general studiesVocational education programmesVocational education programmes
1Pupils in education leading to basic competence are included
2Pupils in vocational training in schools are included
Total196 62946 5971 860122 45074 17946 597
Upper secondary level 175 8120038 00637 8060
Upper secondary level 266 1482142834 26131 887214
Upper secondary level 354 66946 3831 83250 1834 48646 383
County of residence
Østfold (-2019)11 1852 5543236 7254 4602 554
Akershus (-2019)24 6143 8219417 4217 1933 821
Oslo19 6242 4935715 4844 1402 493
Hedmark (-2019)6 8891 620423 9412 9481 620
Oppland (-2019)7 0861 780683 8703 2161 780
Buskerud (-2019)10 3762 5001246 4743 9022 500
Vestfold (-2019)9 1932 1351345 6383 5552 135
Telemark (-2019)6 7851 695714 0282 7571 695
Aust-Agder (-2019)4 7241 345302 7341 9901 345
Vest-Agder (-2019)7 6741 992964 5223 1521 992
Rogaland19 0395 19410211 0767 9635 194
Hordaland (-2019)20 0845 06815612 0558 0295 068
Sogn og Fjordane (-2019)4 4241 477642 4142 0101 477
Møre og Romsdal10 0932 4711055 9104 1832 471
Trøndelag - Trööndelage16 2764 9462289 6046 6724 946
Nordland9 2942 812765 0904 2042 812
Troms - Romsa (-2019)5 8461 674623 5182 3281 674
Finnmark - Finnmárku (-2019)2 806977261 4511 355977
County not stated61743249512243

Table 4 
Pupils, apprentices and trainees in upper secondary education, by education programmes /field of study. Percentage of women

Pupils, apprentices and trainees in upper secondary education, by education programmes /field of study. Percentage of women
TotalPer cent womenTotalPer cent women
1Pupils in vocational training in schools are included
Total196 6295146 59728
General studies122 45056--
Specialisation in general studies (The Knowledge Promotion Reform)94 45456--
Sports and physical studies (The Knowledge Promotion Reform)12 26844--
Music, dance and drama (The Knowledge Promotion Reform)6 33869--
Art, design and architecture , Knowledge Promotion Reform 2016/20172 99278--
Media and communication, Knowledge Promotion Reform 2016/20176 39849--
Vocational education74 1794246 59728
Building and construction (The Knowledge Promotion Reform)9 086710 2205
Design, arts and crafts (The Knowledge Promotion Reform)3 611751 83784
Electricity and electronics (The Knowledge Promotion Reform)9 95968 9325
Healthcare, childhood and youth development (The Knowledge Promotion Reform23 519808 55779
Media and communication (The Knowledge Promotion Reform)0.3754
Agriculture, fishing and forestry (The Knowledge Promotion Reform)5 192511 40230
Restaurant and food (The Knowledge Promotion Reform)3 546471 95047
Service and transport (The Knowledge Promotion Reform)8 073325 47731
Technical and industrial production (The Knowledge Promotion Reform)11 193118 1859

About the statistics

The statistics gives number of pupils, apprentices, students and participants in upper secondary education.


Definitions of the main concepts and variables

Enrolled pupils: Pupils, apprentices or trainees 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 2000.

The Knowledge Promotion: New reform in upper secondary education. This reform was introduced in autumn 2006 and replaces the Reform 94. The new reform involves a transformation of the contents and structure of upper secondary education.

Course level: This is used to differentiate the three class levels in upper secondary education. The first year: Basic course or level 1, second year: advance course I/level 2 and third year: advance course II/level 3.

General areas of study (Reform 94): Includes courses in general, economic and management studies, music dance and drama, sports and physical education.

Programmes for General Studies (The Knowledge Promotion): Includes courses in specialization in general studies, sports and physical education, music, dance and drama, art, design and architecture and media and communication.

In autumn 2016 media and communication went from being a vocational education programme to a programme for general studies. Pupils who began in autumn 2015 or earlier continue this education.

Vocational areas of study (Reform 94): 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.

Vocational Education Programmes (The Knowledge Promotion): Includes courses in agriculture, fishing and forestry, building and construction, design, arts and crafts, electricity and electronics, healthcare, childhood and youth development, restaurant and food processing, service and transport, and technical and industrial production.

Trade and journeyman’s examination: Final examination taken on completion of an apprenticeship at a workplace or upper secondary school. Successful candidates are awarded a trade or journeyman’s certificate entitling them to practice the trade concerned.

Trainee: A person who take a less comprehensive test than the vocational examination.

Skills test: A test at a lower level than the vocational examination, a test in terms of the goals that are established for the training.

Alternative education program: Pupils in alternative curriculum. Former a separate education programme. From fall 2010 pupils in alternative education is primarily reported under the ordinary education programmes where they are connected.

Type of Education: Educational activity is classified by the Norwegian Standard Classification of Education (NUS2000). It groups different types of educations by levels and fields of orientation.

Ownership: Schools are classified into state, county, municipal and private schools.

Social background: Mother or father’s education background. The highest education level of one of the parents defines the pupils social background.

Basic requirements for higher education: Pupils who have completed and passed upper secondary education programme for general studies meet the basic requirements for higher education. Basic requirement can also be gained in vocational education programmes. Occupational skills can be attained normally after two years in school and two years of practical training in an organization (differs in some subject areas). Occupational skills can equally be attained after three years of vocational training, then attaining a certificate. A trainee take a less comprehensive test than the vocational examination, a skills test.

Adults in upper secondary education: This involves both adults in ordinary courses and others in specialised courses for adults.

Completed education: Educational activities completed at an educational institution within a specific period and apprentices and trainees who have taken a vocational examination.

Completed and passed: Among pupils, apprentices and trainees completed education also means that the individual has passed all courses that can lead to a certificate, vocational qualification or skills test. In folk high schools and other education programmes it means the pupil has completed the educational activity and may not have passed.

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

School residence: Is based on the address of the school or apprenticeship workplace as of 1 October the current year.

Immigrants: These are persons born abroad of two foreign-born parents and four foreign-born grandparents. Immigrants emigrated to Norway at some point.

Norwegian-born to immigrant parents: Persons who are born in Norway of two parents born abroad.

Other upper secondary education: Includes pupils in approved private schools. Also, pupils in a few other schools that has approval for economic support to upper secondary education by Lånekassen, and where the schools are not approved by the directorate for education and training.

Labour marked courses: Courses for adults arranged at upper secondary schools on behalf of NAV.

Foundation Course for Engineering Studies: A one-year course that provides the qualifications necessary for admission to and Engineering Bachelor programme in Norway.

Folk high schools: These are independent schools with an integrated goal and usually without a curriculum and normally without examinations.

Long courses in folk high schools: These are courses with a duration between 16.5 and 33 weeks.

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

Name and topic

Name: Upper secondary education
Topic: Education

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Responsible division

Division for Education and Culture Statistics

Regional level

The statistics provide figures for the county and national level.

Frequency and timeliness


International reporting

The statistics is reported 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 in Norway, as regulated by the Education Act and also other upper secondary education programmes. 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, apprentice and trainee. All educational activities were attached to each person's Personal ID-number. Data on adult applicants and participants reported at individual levels with personal ID-numbers are included in the data. Individualized personal data on education has been collected since 1970.

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 Development, 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.

Equal treatment of users

No external users have access to the statistics and analyses before they are published and accessible simultaneously for all users on ssb.no at 8 am. Prior to this, a minimum of three months' advance notice is given inthe Statistics Release Calendar.

Coherence with other statistics

Data on upper secondary education is included in the Norwegian National Education Database (NUDB). NUDB collects all statistics on ongoing and completed education from 1974/75 and BHU since 1970 in a common database.

Legal authority

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

EEA reference

Data leveres i henhold til EU rettsakt 1925/99 3711/91



The statistics include all pupils, apprentices and trainees registered at upper secondary education under the Education Act and completed education at upper secondary as well as folk high schools, vocational schools (as of 2015, vocational schools are not included), employment training and other upper secondary education programmes. There is also an annual collection of data on adults in specialised courses for adults since 2004.

Data sources and sampling

Within upper secondary education, the counties own administrative data system, VIGO, is the main source as well as special registration systems for adults in the counties. For folk high schools, data on applicants and pupils is sent electronically to Statistics Norway. The various institutions are the source of data of the other areas within upper secondary education. Accredited web-based schools are included from 2012.

Collection of data, editing and estimations

Data is collected from administrative registers from the counties main enrolment 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 or trainees, and sit for qualifying examination. The folk high schools report their data to the administration system NAVI. Statistics Norway gather necessary statistics from this server. Statistics Norway also receives data from the Labour Directorate and other upper secondary institutions.

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, apprentices and trainees, completed education or vocational examination or skills test, and adults registered in an educational activity as at 30 September in the reporting year.

Seasonal adjustment

Not relevant


The general rule is not to publish data if less than 3 pupils are found within a cell or 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. Data on trainees was collected for the first time in 2006.

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 are not comprehensive enough.


Not relevant