Norwegian Economy

North Sea Oil Rig - Photo: Marius Fiksdal

The cornerstone of the Norwegian economy is the oil and gas production from the platforms in the North Sea, and account for roughly half of all export earnings.

Norway is also a major producer of aluminum, machinery, fish and fish products, chemicals and ships.

Imports are mainly machinery and equipment, chemicals and other industrial inputs, manufactured consumer goods and food.

The Norwegian economy is what you can call a mixed economy.

A capitalist market economy with a clear component of state influence.

Norwegians has a high standard of living, and unemployment has stayed lower than in most European countries. By the end of October 2012 it was only 3,2%.

Fishery is one of the main and most important incomes in this country, and Norway is one of the top 10 fishing nations in the world.

Economic signals

Fishing boat from Nordic Supply AS

Fishery makes a huge part of the export from Norway, and Norway has one of the most modern fleet of fishing vessels in the world.

The wealth has increased enormously since the 1990's when the money from the North Sea oil production really started to affect our lives.

Norwegian people are having more and more vacations, and work less and less. Not a good combination for the economy of a country.

50% of all Norwegians now has access to 2 or more appartments or dwellings, and more and more people are taking long weekends to go to their cabin or other vacation home.

In the early 1990's Norwegians worked 50 hours more per year than the Swedes, while we now are working 200 hours less. Each Norwegian worker, each year!

Since 1974, the number of annual working hours for full time workers is reduced by 270 hours.
In spite of that, Norwegian wages has increased by 63% since year 2000. The increase is 6 times higher than in comparable, economic well functioning countrys like Sweden and Germany.

An enormous oil wealth, coupled with a strong welfare state that is slowly but surely strangling the economy, threatening Western Europe's success story, writes Reuters.

Reuters is talking about Norwegian economy, one of the wealthiest countries in the world.

The Gross Domestic Product per capita is now 580.000 NOK ($ 100.000), and the Oil Fund, also named The Norwegian Pension Fund has now reached 5110 Billion NOK or close to $730 Billion US dollars!

More and more people prefer working part time, to enjoy the good way of living, so they can spend more time with their children, spend more time in their cabin by the sea or in the mountain, skiing, biking and vacations.

Norwegian economy and the future

The wealth from the oil makes Norwegians feel secure about the economic future, and even the latest economic crisis in the world has not changed that fact.

About 20% of the employed in Norway work within health and social services. 18% in retail, hotel and restaurant business, 12% in manufacturing, mining and quarrying.

In fact only 1,5% work in the oil and gas industry.

norwegian money

For familys with children the Norwegian State also pay a monthly children benefit.  In 2013 the annual benefit per child was NOK 11640 (USD 1.800). The annual benefit is per child, so a family with 4 children is paid $ 7.200 a year in child benefits.

In addition the state pays NOK 38.000 as a one-time payment for each newborn child.

An average Norwegian family is using 28,5% of their household economy on housing, lighting and heating.

18% on transport costs, and 12% on culture and leisure.Only 11,3% is used on food and non-alcoholic beverages, which actually is a little less than in 1999. 2,8% goes to alcohol and tobacco.

Many would expect health expences to be rather high, but only 2,9% of the money from an average family goes to health care.

Norwegian workers are using a smaller part of their wages on food than ever before.

Only four European countrys are using less money on food. Norwegian workers needs to work 1 hour and 53 minutes to afford buying food for 1 week.

25 years ago the Norwegian worker had to work 4 hours and 30 minutes for one weeks food supply.

50 years ago the average Norwegian family was using 40% of their earnings on food. Today the figure is 11%.

Norway is in need for lots of workers from other countries in many categories, and the search for jobs in Norway is increasing each year.

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Norwegian special vessel Photo: Marius Fiksdal