Statistics; Norway and Canada

October 19, 2005, [MD]

Last Thursday, I spent several hours reading up on Norwegian and Canadian statistics in a number of categories; partly because I was preparing a research paper on Norwegian development aid, and partly because of proper interest. Here are some of my disparate findings (sources: Statistics Norway, CIDA, Norad and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs - let me know if you want a specific reference for any of this).

Development aid: Norway gives about 0.92% of GDP, Canada gives 0.25%. That coupled with a higher GDP/capita for Norway, means that Norway gives very close to the same real amount of development aid as Canada - even though Norway has 4.5 million inhabitants, and Canada around 30 million.

Farming subsidies: Norwegian agriculture employs about 71,000 “full-time worker equivalents” (for example 142,000 half-time workers, etc). The full amount of Norwegian agricultural subsidies divided by the number of full time worker equivalents yields an average of \$50,000 CAD in state subsidies per “worker”. This amounts to almost 3% of Norway’s GDP (and thus more than three times our development budget).

Newspapers: Our biggest daily, VG, ranks as the 51st biggest newspaper in the world (in terms of circulation), with a circulation of over 800,000 copies daily. Probably because we are a newspaper-reading country with few national newspapers to choose from, compared to other countries. (Even very well known international English and American newspapers, like the Times and the Washington Post, have surprisingly low circulation). I believe the newspaper with the highest circulation was Korean.

Oil: Norway is the third biggest oil exporter in the world. This surprised me quite a bit. However, part of the reason is that we spend very little of what we produce, compared to larger oil producing nations. (The two others are Saudia Arabia, and Russia).

Universities: The University of Oslo and the University of Toronto’s budgets, controlled for the number of students, are roughly similar in size. However, in Norway the government covers the whole bill, whereas in Canada, the students pay roughly half.


Stian Håklev October 19, 2005 Toronto, Canada
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