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Number of pupils in primary school in Norway 2009-2019

Primary schools are compulsory in Norway for everyone between six and 16 years, and education is free in public schools. During the past decade, the number of pupils in primary schools increased by 20 thousand pupils, from nearly 616 thousand in 2009 to over 636 thousand as of 2019. The increase in pupils is caused by the increase of people under 16 years in Norway.

Public and private schools

Despite the growing number of pupils, the number of primary schools declined over the course of ten years, reaching 1,548 schools in 2019. At the same time, however, both the number of private schools and pupils admitted to private schools rose significantly.

The Norwegian education system

The education system in Norway is divided into three stages: Primary school, barneskole, lower secondary school, ungdomsskole, and upper secondary school, videregående skole. While primary schools account for the most institutions, it is not uncommon to find combined primary and lower secondary schools. Both primary and lower secondary school is mandatory for Norwegian children, but upper secondary school is optional. Since 2009, the number of students at upper secondary schools remained relatively stable but declined slightly over the past years. This indicates that more Norwegians quit studying after lower secondary school than previously.

Number of pupils in primary school in Norway from 2009 to 2019

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Release date




Survey time period

2009 to 2019

Special properties

Incl. both primary school and municipal school

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Statistics on "Education in Norway"

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