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Public health profiles for municipalities and counties

Norway has 5 million inhabitants, spread between 19 counties and 428 municipalities. The public health profiles were developed to give a summary of health data for each municipality to identify and measure areas for improvement in each community.

According to the Public Health Act of January 2012, Norwegian counties and municipalities are required to have sufficient overview over health conditions and influencing factors in order to:

  • Contribute to societal development that promotes public health and reduces social inequalities in health.
  • Ensure that municipalities, county authorities and central government health authorities implement measures and coordinate their activities in the area of public health in a proper and adequate manner
  • Facilitate long-term, systematic public health work.

As a result, the public health profiles for municipalities and counties were developed and are used actively by the municipalities. The reports are also popular with the media who use them to compare the health of the local population with the rest of Norway.

Here is an example of a report for Tromsø, a municipality in northern Norway:

Public health profile 2013.jpg
Public Health Profile page 2 2013.jpg
Public Health Profile page 3 2013.jpg
Public health profile page 4 2013.jpg

The last page includes a list of various health indicators with a barometer to compare them to the country average. The municipality/county is positioned based on the results and the colour comes from the statistical significance.

2013 Indicators

Interpreted statistics and figures and diagrams for 2013 were provided for 34 indicators including: 

  • Population 
    • Population growth 
    • Percentage over age 80 
    • Life expectancy, male and female 
    • Single person households 
    • Immigrants 
  • Living conditions 
    • Education level 
    • Low income 
    • Disability pensions 18 - 44 
    • Children of single parents 
  • Environment 
    • Drinking water quality 
    • Injuries/accidents 
  • Schools 
    • Pupils enjoying school 
    • Bullying in schools 
    • Reading ability 
    • Percentage high school drop-outs 
  •  Health determinants 
    • Smoking in women 
    • Overweight in male recruits 
  • Health and illness 
    • Mental disorders/illness, primary care 
    • Mental disorders, medication 
    • High blood pressure, primary care 
    • Cholesterol-lowering drugs 
    • Cardiovascular disease, hospital data 
    • COPD/asthma, medication 
    • Diabetes 2, medication 
    • Diabetes 2, primary care 
    • Cancer, new cases in total 
    • Cancer of the bowel, new cases 
    • Hip fractures, hospital data 
    • Musculoskeletal symptoms, primary care 
    • Vaccination coverage, MMR, 6-year-olds

Data source

Norway is in a unique position with many good quality health registries. Data from these are collected, along with information from Statistics Norway and Norwegian health studies, into the online municipal statistics bank and the Norhealth statistics bank.

Data source municipal county public health proflies statistics bank.jpg


Data for the public health profiles for municipalities and counties are automatically generated from the municipal statistics bank and can be downloaded quickly as required.

The data are updated in January every year and the latest profiles are released shortly afterwards.

The online municipal statistics bank has indicators at a municipal level, so users can create tailored tables and figures other than those supplied in the standard profiles.

Registries used

  • Cause of Death Registry
  • Norwegian Patient Registry
  • Cancer Registry of Norway
  • Medical Birth Registry of Norway
  • Childhood Immunisation Registry
  • Norwegian Prescription Database
  • Registry of the Norwegian Armed Forces
  • Registries at Statistics Norway
  • Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration
  • Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training
  • other municipal data sources