Income and wealth statistics for households (2023)

The terms presented here are explained in accordance with their use in statistics. These explanations may deviate from the usual definitions of the terms.


A household is defined as all persons who live permanently in the same apartment and have a joint household. The statistics only include people in private households. Persons registered as residents in institutions are not recorded.

student home

A student home is a household in which the primary income earner is not primarily employed and does not receive pensions or welfare, but does receive a loan from the state education loan fund.

main source of income

The primary income earner is the person in the household who has the highest total income before taxes of the income earners in the household. If there is no source of income in the household, the oldest person is considered the main source of income.

Total Earnings

Total income is the sum of the income of employees, income from self-employment, property income and transfers received. Taxes settled and other negative transfers are not deducted.

after tax income

After-tax income is calculated as total income minus assessed taxes and negative carryovers.

earned income

Earned income is the sum of the employee's income and the net income from self-employment in the calendar year. As of 2006, sickness and paternity benefits are not included.

Income from self-employment

Income from self-employment. It deals mainly with the profit or loss of companies.

property income

Property income is the sum of interest received, stock dividends received, realized capital gains (or losses), and other property income received during the calendar year.

Taxable Transfers

Taxable transfers are the sum of pensions and benefits from the social security system, public and private employer schemes, unemployment benefits, sickness benefits and other taxable benefits.

Tax-free transfers

Tax-free transfers consist of child benefits, housing benefits, grants, social assistance, basic and nursing allowances and more.

Alimony payments received through private agreements are not recorded and are therefore not included in the statistics.

Liquidated taxes and negative transfers

This includes income tax and wealth tax for central and local governments. Examples of negative transfers are contributions to employment pensions and alimony payments administered by public bodies.

Estimated real capital

Estimated value of land, buildings and structures, possessions, etc.

Market value is used for first and second homes, commercial properties, woods, and farms.

The tax value is used for other private and commercial real estate and personal property.

primary residence

The dwelling in which the owner's address is recorded in the National Population Registry at the end of the year. The value is determined according to the estimated market value. A person can only own one primary residence. Farms on estates are not considered primary residences.

Second home

A home owned by a person other than the main home. The value is determined according to the estimated market value. Cabins and vacation rentals are not second homes.

Estimated gross financial capital

Includes bank deposits, stocks, mutual fund shares, stock savings accounts, bonds, and other securities.

Prior to 2008, increases in the value of shares, mutual funds, share capital certificates, etc. were discounted. The fiscal value was used in the wealth statistics. Between 2008 and 2016, no bonuses were used and the taxable value was equal to the market value. As of 2017, deductions for increased value are used again for the taxation of financial assets. In the patrimonial statistics, however, the fiscal values ​​have been corrected upwards, so that the revaluation used in the patrimonial statistics corresponds to the market or sale value.

estimated gross assets

Sum of estimated physical capital and gross financial capital.


Includes liabilities to creditors and part of the liabilities to owners in construction companies. As of 2017, the market value of the debt is used, including deductions for capital gains used in debt taxation. Before 2017, the market value and tax value of the debt were equal.

As of 2017, the amount of the debt was reduced from the equity estimate before deducting the debt in the case of wealth taxation.

In the income and wealth statistics of private households, the sum of the debts before a possible reduction is used to define wealth.

unsecured debtincludes debts with balances that accrue and do not accrue interest. Data on unsecured debt is only available from fiscal year 2019 onwards. The amount of the unsecured debt is calculated according to the data of Gjeldsregisteret AS as of December 31 of the fiscal year.

estimated net price

Estimated gross assets less debts.

median income

Median income is the exact amount of income that divides a distribution into two equal groups when income is ranked in ascending (or descending) order. The number of people with income above the median corresponds to the number of people with income below the median.

Income per consumption unit (equivalent income)

The needs of a household grow with each additional member, but not proportionally. Due to economies of scale, the need for living space, electricity, etc. it will not be three times greater for a household with three people than for a single person. With the help of equivalence scales, each type of household in the population is assigned a value in relation to its needs. The factors commonly considered to assign these values ​​are the number of people in the home and whether they are adults or children.

There are several equivalent scales that are used for different purposes. The EU scale is used in household income and wealth statistics (see below).

Consumption units calculated according to EU scale

This is the 'Modified OECD Equivalence Scale', which assigns a score of 1 to the head of the family, a score of 0.5 to each of the adult members and a score of 0.3 to each child under the age of 17 years.

Consumption units calculated according to the OECD scale

This equivalence scale assigns a score of 1 to the head of the household, a score of 0.7 to each of the adult members, and a score of 0.5 to each child under 17 years of age.

low income threshold

Low-income thresholds are defined as a portion of the median equivalent after-tax income. Common shares account for 50 or 60 percent of median after-tax income per unit of consumption. In Norway there is no official threshold for low income. Statistics Norway calculates different low-income thresholds based on the income level of the total population and is therefore relative to overall income growth and comparable for people belonging to different types of households.

low income group

People who are part of a household and whose equivalent annual income is below the low income threshold.

economically active

A person whose income from employment or self-employment exceeds twice the basic amount of the National Insurance Scheme (referred to as “G” or “grunnbeløpet”). For the income year 2010 and earlier, those people whose income from someone else's account or self-employment exceeded the minimum pension for a single person were considered employed.

This concept differs from the definition “a paid job', which is used in other statistics and defines whether a person is employed at a given time.

single parent

People of the household type "mother/father with children from 0 to 17 years".


Individuals in households where the main breadwinner receives an old-age pension from the social security system, according to the Norwegian Labor and Welfare Administration.


Individuals in households where the main source of income is a disability pension from the social security system, according to the Norwegian Administration of Labor and Welfare.

Retirees of the voluntary early retirement scheme

People in households where the main breadwinner takes early retirement according to the Norwegian Agency for Work and Welfare.

Recipients of Survivor Benefits

People in households where the main breadwinner receives a survivor's pension (after the death of a spouse) from the social insurance system, according to the Norwegian Labor and Welfare Administration.

Single pensioner, beneficiary of the legal minimum pension

Persons who belong to a single-person household according to Statistics Norway's household income statistics and who receive a special allowance from the Norwegian Administration of Work and Welfare.

Recipients of job evaluation money

People in households where the main breadwinner has been on sick leave for many years. Includes people who receive the rehabilitation benefit, people who cannot be fully employed but who participate in labor market programs, and others. Until 2005, people who were not fully employable but participated in national insurance programs (for example, internships in schools and companies) and people who received benefits for vocational rehabilitation were not included in the statistics.

long-term unemployed

Persons from households in which the main breadwinner is registered as unemployed for at least 6 consecutive months of the year.

people on welfare

People in households where the main breadwinner receives social assistance at least once a year.


People who are the only person in a household.


Individuals in households where the primary breadwinner of two foreign-born parents is foreign-born (first-generation immigrants).

Norwegian born to immigrant parents

Individuals in households where the main breadwinner was born in Norway to two foreign-born parents.


People in households where the main income earner migrated to Norway for refugee purposes.

people with a refugee background

People in households where the main income earner migrated to Norway for refugee reasons, or their immigrant family members.


Age (number of years) at the end of the year.

socioeconomic status

Socioeconomic status is described by type of employment (see above). The active population, which derives its income mainly from paid employment, is divided into self-employed and salaried workers. If the income from self-employment is higher than the income from work for someone else, the person is classified as self-employed and vice versa.

We have the following socioeconomic groups:


  • Self Employed in Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
  • Freelance in other industries.
  • Employees

It does not work

  • pensioners and recipients of social security
  • others don't work

Sources of income not included in the income statistics

Income after taxes is the sum of income from work, income from property and transfers, deducting the taxes paid and negative transfers. This type of definition of income corresponds to the working definition recommended in the Canberra Report (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe 2011).

The income statistics cover most monetary sources of income. Due to lack of information, the following items are not included in the statistics, although they do affect income levels.

  • The value of public services, such as public health care and education
  • The net value of unpaid household services. This includes unpaid domestic work, childcare, and goods manufactured for personal use.
  • The net value of utilities for owner-occupied housing.
  • The net value of services rendered by household durable goods
  • Income withheld from taxes or from criminal activity
  • Child benefit obtained through private agreements
  • Rental income if less than 50 percent of the owner-occupied dwelling is rented
  • City Subsidy Programs for Housing and Child Care Cash Benefits
  • Local property taxes are not deducted when estimating after-tax income due to missing information
  • Interest payments are not deducted from after-tax income, although data is available. This is done as an approximate compensation for not including the value of owner-occupied housing services in income.
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