Norwegians consume 25 per cent more than the average EU citizen - at some of the highest prices
Goods and services are 46 per cent more expensive in Norway than in the EU.
Eurostat and Statistics Norway recently published figures for 2021 that compare the prices households have to pay for goods and services in EU countries, as well as some other European countries.
Findings show that only Iceland is slightly more expensive than Norway.
Denmark and Sweden, are also more expensive than the rest of Europe with price levels that are 40 per cent and 28 per cent above the EU average, respectively.
At the opposite end, we have Poland, which in 2021 had a price level that was 60 per cent of the EU average. Prices were even lower in Bulgaria and Turkey.
Alcohol is the most expensive in Norway
The statistics compare the prices of goods we buy in stores, services we buy from both private and public enterprises, as well as expenses such as housing.
Norway stands out with particularly high prices for alcohol and tobacco.
Here, the price level was 123 per cent above the EU average. In Sweden and Denmark, the prices of alcohol and tobacco were by comparison 36 and 34 per cent above the EU average, respectively.
Food is also expensive in Norway
Food was 49 per cent more expensive in Norway than in Europe. Only Switzerland had more expensive food.
In comparison, the price of food in Sweden was only 17 per cent higher than the EU average.
Clothes and footwear were 27 per cent more expensive in Norway than in the EU, and housing costs were 26 per cent higher.
“We see clear geographical differences when it comes to price levels for consumption in households in Europe. Part of the explanation for the high price level in Norway is that the level of prosperity and wealth is also high,” Espen Kristiansen at Statistics Norway says in a press release (link in Norwegian).
The GDP comparison for 2021, adjusted for price levels, showed that Norway’s GDP per capita was 63 per cent higher than the EU average. This places Norway in third place when it comes to highest per capita GDP in Europe, after Luxembourg and Ireland.
Norwegians consume the most
Despite the high price level in Norway, Norwegians' personal consumption was also at the top in Europe last year.
Last year, Norwegians consumed 25 per cent more than the average EU citizen. Only the inhabitants of Luxembourg had a higher level of consumption. People in Albania and Bosnia-Herzegovina had the lowest level of consumption.
“Norway, together with Luxembourg, has topped the list for personal consumption since 2017,” says Kristiansen.
High consumption of clothes and shoes
Norwegians have an especially high consumption of clothes and shoes.
The consumption of such items last year was as much as 57 per cent above the average in Europe. In neighbouring Finland, on the other hand, people managed with fewer new clothes and shoes last year than the average European.
Norwegians end up even higher when the statisticians compare the consumption of new furniture, household items and maintenance costs. Here, Norway tops with a consumption that is 62 per cent above the average in Europe.
Norwegian food consumption is about the same as the European average.
Translated by Alette Bjordal Gjellesvik.
Read the Norwegian version of this article on forskning.no
Statistics Norway Nordmenns forbruk nest høyest i Europa (Norwegians' consumption second highest in Europe), 2022.