Around 15 percent of all children in Norway will grow up in relative poverty by 2030 if current trends continue. Newspaper Aftenposten reported this week that Drammen topped the list of cities with the most children living in households that have little income compared to the local average.
That’s likely much higher than in most other countries, but Norway has its share of children growing up in difficult circumstances. In most of the cases, household income is characterized by a high degree of welfare assistance or by just one income instead of two from parents who both hold jobs.
In Drammen, 17.7 percent of all children are living in relative poverty, followed by Oslo with 17.5 percent and Sarpsborg with 16.3 percent. The highest level was found in the small town of Kautokeino in Finnmark Country, where 19.3 percent of all children live in households with income well below local averages.
Aftenposten, citing figures from the state directorate for children, youth and families (Bufdir), reported that 136,000 children in Norway live in homes where more than half of total household income is from public support programs. Østfold County south of Oslo had the highest percentage of such familes, at 18 percent.
Children with just one parent made up nearly 40 percent of all children in low-income familes, which in Norway is gauged at around NOK 350,000 (USD 40,000) or less.