Persistent low income (N)


Proportion of people living in a household with persistent low income according to the EU-scale. This scale defines persistent low income as an average household income after tax below 60 per cent of the median household income over a three year period. Figures are calculated including and excluding students who live alone and receive study loans in the last year of the reference period.

Total household income is divided by an index which accounts for the number of adults and children in the household. The first adult is given a weighting of 1.0, the second adult = 0.5 and each child = 0.3. A household with two adults and two children must have an income which is 2.1 times higher than a single person household to have an equivalent economic welfare (1,0 + 0,5 + 0,3 + 0,3 = 2,1).

According to the EU definisjon, the majority of pensionists receiving the minimum pension will be under the low income threshold. Many students will also be under the threshold.

Full Title

Persistent low income (N)

Identification Number



Name Affiliation Abbreviation Role
Statistics Norway SSB

Date of Production


Contact Person

Name Affiliation E-mail address Universal Resource Identifier
Cassie Trewin

Date of Distribution



Date: 2017-08-30

Type: Endelig


Geographical level



Both genders, men, women

Age groups

All ages; From 2004-2006 onwards: 0-17, 0-24, 25-44, 45-64, 65+ years

Time periods

Overlapping three-year periods from 1996-1998 to 2013-2015

Frequency of updates



From the three-year period 2004-2006 onwards, income statistics is a total census of all persons who live in private households in Norway. Information on households is collected via a chain of administrative registers. Comparisons of data from 2004 indicate that figures derived from the Income Distribution Survey are comparable with figures derived from a total census.

Up until the three-year period 2003-2005, low income statistics were based on information from the annual Income Distribution Survey. This is a nationally representative sample survey where Statistics Norway collect interview data from households via post, personal visits and telephone interviews (PC-assisted). People living in institutions are not included. The sample size ranges from around 10 000 to 28 000 households in the period 1996 to 2002. One part of the survey consists of a panel survey where the same individuals are interviewed several times over several years. Indicators are updated every year. The main source for income data is the personal Tax Return from the local tax offices. Further income and demographical information is collected from other registers. The main source of information in establishing the households is the Central Population Register.


Inntekt, brutto, bruttoinntekt

Data quality

The data quality is relatively good. Some data collection and processing errors are unavoidable. These include coding, revision and data processing errors. Comprehensive efforts have been made to minimize these errors, and these types of errors are regarded to be relatively insignificant. All sample surveys are subject to a certain amount of uncertainty. In general, the fewer observations the more uncertain the results. Results up until 2003-2005 are based on survey data and are therefore not reported by age group.


Income and economy are fundamental determinants of health, and research has shown that there is a correlation between income level and health. Low income increases the likelihood of poor self-reported health, illness and premature death.

Related Materials

Income and health in Norway - fact sheet

Metadata Index

This is the Metadata Index for a Nesstar Server.
Nesstar is a tool used for analysing, visualising and downloading datasets.

Click the "Explore Dataset" button to open the dataset.