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How much money do you need to earn in Norway for a good life in 2024?

Robin-Ivan Capar
Robin-Ivan Capar - [email protected]
How much money do you need to earn in Norway for a good life in 2024?
Photo by Oskar Hadland / Unsplash

From day-to-day expenses such as food to monthly costs such as rent or a mortgage, life in Norway doesn't come cheap. So, how much do you need to earn for a good life in Norway?

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There is no need to beat around the bush, Norway is among the most expensive countries in Europe. However, the high prices are offset, to an extent, by the generally high salaries in the country.

So, it would be fair to say that Norway is – as a rule of thumb – very expensive to visit, high salaries mean it is not as expensive for people living and working in the country.

READ ALSO: Do foreigners get paid less than Norwegians?

Earnings in Norway

According to Statistics Norway (SSB), the average monthly earnings in Norway was 56,360 kroner in 2023. 

As some experts claim that the median monthly earnings are a better measure of earnings than average earnings, it's also worth noting that the median monthly earnings in Norway amount to roughly 52,580 kroner before taxes, according to updated figures from Statistics Norway.

That means that 50 percent of workers in Norway earn less, and 50 percent earn more.

Furthermore, international media often describe Norwegians as "rich" compared to workers in other countries based on their disposable income alone.

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Disposable income in Norway is among the highest in the world, according to figures from OECD. Norwegians had a net-adjusted disposable income of 39,144 dollars, according to the figures, well above the average of around 30,000 dollars.

Of the 41 countries measured by the OECD, Norway's disposable income was the fourth highest.

Regional differences in earnings and the overall cost of living

There are significant differences in the cost of living and job opportunities between different regions and cities in Norway.

The highest average salaries are found off the Norwegian mainland, according to figures from Statistics Norway. This is likely due to the high wages offshore workers in Norway can make.

After that, Oslo was the area with the highest average monthly pay for full-time employees at 62,920 kroner per month. The figures for Oslo and those not on the mainland significantly increase the national average. 

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As a result, the only other county above the national average (55,390 kroner per month) is Rogaland (home to Stavanger), with an average monthly salary of 58,440 kroner.

The average cost of renting in Norway at the beginning of 2024 was 18,146 kroner per month, according to figures from the Utleiemegleren rental agency

In Bergen, the average was lower at 14,068 kroner per month. In Trondheim, a place to rent set tenants back 13,950 kroner per month. Stavanger was a considerably more expensive place to call home at 15,067 kroner per month. 

The national average rent in Norway was 15,843 kroner per month, according to the figures.  

If we take the aforementioned average monthly gross earnings in Norway – 56,360 kroner – and apply an expected tax rate of roughly 27 percent, the resulting net monthly income would be 41,142 kroner.

READ MORE: Does Norway really have some of the highest taxes in the world?

Norway's National Institute for Consumer Research has a calculator that can crunch the numbers on how much a person in Norway can expect to spend in Norway per month. It considers how much the person would spend on monthly expenses, excluding rent or a mortgage. 

For example, a man aged 31-50 earning the average income would have around 15,000 kroner in monthly outgoings before rent or a mortgage repayment has to be paid. 

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The calculator can be tweaked to change the age, gender or earnings of the person. You can also add children to see how much that increases monthly expenses. 

How much money do you need for a good life then?

The average earnings in Norway enable most people to cover all their essential and consumption costs and still have a part of their paycheck available to put into savings or spend on other items.

How much household income is left over will be determined by several factors such as where you live, whether you have children and what kind of expenses you have overall.

Norwegian workers generally have higher earnings than their peers in other European countries, meaning they have more money to bear the higher living costs. Additionally, they also have more disposable income than most other workers.

When it comes to a "good life", the definition of what constitutes a good life varies from person to person. For some, a good life may be as simple as having financial security and some money to put away for savings or to enjoy. For most on a Norwegian salary, this should be possible.

Others, though, may want more from life. In addition to the financial security provided by the average wage in Norway, they may wish to travel on exotic holidays or be able to purchase the luxury items they had always dreamed of owning, on top of being able to save or invest.

In this case, they may need to earn well north of one million kroner to afford such a lifestyle.

READ MORE: How many foreigners are in Norway's top one percent of earners?

So, in many cases, what constitutes a good life will vary from person to person, but those living in Norway typically end up better off than those living in many other countries. 

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