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EXPLAINED: How wealthy are Norwegians really?

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
EXPLAINED: How wealthy are Norwegians really?
A new report has named Norwegians as the 7th wealthiest nationals on the planet. We've taken a closer look at the numbers. Pictured are crowds on a busy Oslo street. Photo by Nick Night on Unsplash

Norwegians are the seventh wealthiest group of nationals in the world, according to the Global Wealth Report for 2023. The Local takes a closer look at the figures on wealth and income in Norway.

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The average Norwegian adult has an estimated wealth of around 4.05 million kroner or 385,340 dollars, according to the Global Wealth Report from Swiss Banking giants UBS and Credit Suisse.

The figure is an increase of over 400,000 kroner from the previous year, and Norway was the highest-ranked country where the level of wealth has increased since last year. Switzerland was the wealthiest country in the world, with an average wealth of 685,230 dollars.

The USA, Hong Kong, Australia, Denmark and New Zealand were the countries with a higher average wealth than Norway.

In median terms, Norway was the eighth wealthiest country in the world. The median wealth of the average Norwegian adult was 1.51 million kroner or 143,890 dollars. The bank used assets such as property, shares, and funds when calculating wealth.

The median figure is much lower as it isn’t as influenced by the highest earners in the same way the average wealth is.
While global prosperity dropped worldwide in 2022, the number of Norwegian adults with a net worth of more than one million dollars increased significantly.

The number of Norwegians with an estimated wealth of over one million dollars rose from 247,000 to 352,000.

As the figures for wealth include any property owned, it’s worth pointing out that Norway is a nation of homeowners. Figures from the national data agency, Statistics Norway, showed that 76.4 percent of households owned a home in Norway.

The high levels of homeownership will have undoubtedly lifted the figures up. The average home price in Norway was 3,944,271 kroner at the end of July 2023. House prices have risen by 5.2 percent in 2023.

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The global wealth report outlines that asset growth in 2020 and 2021 was due to a rise in the value of assets such as housing. The report pointed to house prices rising as a factor in why wealth grew in Norway in 2022.

Additionally, the report found that households in the Nordics had higher levels of debt than their gross wealth.

How much money do Norwegians earn?

Figures from Statistics Norway show that the average wage in Norway was 53,150 kroner in 2022. Men earned, on average, 56,250 kroner and women earned 49,280 kroner. The median salary was lower at 49,400 kroner per month.

Figures also show that immigrants in Norway make less money than their Norwegian counterparts.

READ MORE: Do foreigners get paid less than Norwegians?

Is there a lot of inequality in Norway?

When it comes to inequality, analysis from Statistics Norway from 2021 shows that inequality in Norway is increasing, and researchers from the national data agency Statistics Norway believe that the disparity is much more significant than the statistics show.

According to UN estimates, around 10 percent of the population in Norway lives below the relative poverty line. This is defined as those who earn less than 60 percent of the median income.

A 2021 report from Faktisk, a Norwegian fact-checking website that is a collaboration between several major media companies, found that while the rich in Norway were getting richer, it could still be classified as one of the countries in Europe with the lowest levels of income inequality.

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This means there is less disparity in earnings in Norway than in other countries. The one caveat to this analysis is the age of the data, as two years have passed since the Statistics Norway and Faktisk reports.

While income inequality is low, the Global Wealth Report wrote that wealth inequality was relatively high in all Nordic countries.

“Income inequality is low in the Nordic countries, but wealth inequality is not. The generous public pensions and other forms of social insurance that make wealth accumulation less important mean that middle-class people often have low personal assets by international standards. As a consequence, the relative wealth of the top groups that own concentrations of shares or other business equity is greater than in many other advanced countries,” the report said.

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