Country profile

Norway is a constitutional monarchy in Northern Europe, with a population of a little below five million. The country is governed by a central government, along with nineteen administrative counties and 430 municipalities. Norway has a universal and public healthcare system, which is highly centralized.

Norway is a highly developed welfare state with comprehensive welfare arrangements, and thus a high level of equality. Norway has the highest GDP per capita after Luxembourg, and was in 2009 through 2011 ranked highest on the Human development index. Although keeping strong relations to the EU, Norway is not a member.


Policy responses

Health inequalities are high on the agenda of the Norwegian government, who started to focus on the issue in 2003, when a White Paper on Public Health Policies was published that included a specific chapter on the issue. A second White Paper (National Strategy to Reduce Social Inequalities in Health), which was published in 2007, was the second big step in addressing health inequalities in Norway. The trigger for the policy response may have been a publication by Prof Mackenbach in the late 90s, which paved the way to start collecting data on inequality issues.

The current policy response appropriate to the situation, as the measures taken have a broad scope and are oriented on the social determinants of health and their distribution across society. There is high level of cross-governmental collaboration on reducing health inequalities, and a Cross- Sectoral Body was set up during the development of the three White Papers.

An overview of policy responses addressing health inequalities in can be found in our Policy Database.


Good practices

An overview of projects and initiatives that are currently taking place or that have successfully been finalized, and that are addressing health inequality issues, can be found in our Project Database.

Key actors

Please find below an overview of key actors in Norway working on health inequality issues:


Are you aware of any other key actors that should be added to this list?
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Key resources

Please find below an overview of relevant documents addressing health inequality issues in Norway. Further publications can be found in our Publications Database.

Are you aware of any other key resources that should be added to this list?
Please let us know!

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