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Censuses and censuses of men

From the middle of the 17th century, it has been important for the authorities to keep a count of the population and its composition. Here you can find government censuses and censuses of men, as well as some municipal censuses.

Censuses of men from the 1660's and 1701

Censuses of men were kept for the 1660's and in 1701. Over time, a number of these have been lost, and in particular the 1701 censuses are missing large portions of information. All the available censuses of men have been scanned, and a number of them have been transcribed into searchable format. Previously, a larger part of the 1660's censuses searchable, but the data proved to be unreliable, and it is necessary with a full review before it can be republished.

1801 census

The 1801 census is scanned and transcribed to searchable form in its entirety. The known significant deficiencies in this dataset are Holt parish in Aust-Agder county, and Maridalen in the Aker parish (now Oslo municipality)

1815-1855 censuses

Between 1815 and 1855, censuses were taken every decade. These counts were numerical, i.e the residents were not registered by name, but merely counted and categorized by age and profession etc. This census material is therefore primarily statistical in nature, but for some parishes the lists of names have been kept, which were probably used as the basis for calculating the statistical data to be sent to the authorities. The statistical material housed at the government statistics department has been scanned in its entirety, in addition to any of the name lists, if we are aware of them. Even today, new unknown lists of names appear in the archives. Many of the name lists are searchable.

1865 census

The 1865 census is scanned and transcribed to searchable form in its entirety. Some significant deficiencies are known for the original material. Gol parish in Buskerud county (4162 people), Holtålen Parish in Sør-Trøndelag county (3801 people), Bjerke parish in the Nannestad dioceses in Akershus county (1457 people), and at least 106 special lists in Kristiania (Old name for Oslo) (approx 3700 people).

1870 census

The 1870 census was only conducted in trading centres. This census has not been completely digitalised, and thus far are only Kongsvinger, Lillehammer and Gjøvik that are available in The Digital Archives - both in scanned and searchable form.

1875 census

The 1875 census is scanned in its entirety, but is not searchable on a nationwide basis. The Norwegian Historical Data Centre and The Genealogy Society of Norway are currently working to transcribe the parishes which are not yet searchable. A significant deficiency known for the original material is Hattfjelldal Parish in Nordland county.

1885 census

Like the 1870 census, the 1885 census was only conducted in trading centres. The 1885 census is searchable in its entirety, but only the lists for the trading centres of Østfold, Akershus, Oslo, Buskerud, Vestfold and Telemark, as well as Risør, Tvedestrand and Arendal in Aust-Agder county that are scanned.

1891 census

The 1891 census is scanned in its entirety. This census, as well as the 1920 census, differ somewhat from the regular censuses in that a form has been filled out for each individual person. These censuses are therefore quite comprehensive in terms of volume, both physical and in regards to the number of digital scans. Parts of the 1891 census are searchable, which is primarily thanks to volunteer transcription work by individuals and special interest groups.

1900 census

The 1900 census is searchable in its entirety. It is also scanned, and the scans are being published as of June 2017. The following deficiencies in the original material are known: Bærum district in Akershus (Vestre Bærum parish, 3 219 resident individuals), Risør trading centre in Aust-Agder (two of three areas, 2 249 resident individuals), Sirdal district in Vest-Agder (all areas, 1644 resident individuals ), Skien trading centre in Telemark (93 house lists from area 1-29 + entire of area 30-35, approx. 3 000 resident individuals), Tysnes district i Hordaland (area 3, 589 resident individuals), as well as a large number of individual house lists (cities) and person lists (districts) from across the country. For example, 70 house lists from Bergen and 50 from Trondheim are missing.

1910 census

The 1910 census is searchable in its entirety. It is not scanned, and this is unlikely to be prioritized in the foreseeable future. Compared to the 1900 census, the 1910 census has some considerable changes:

  • Full birth date had to be disclosed for all persons, not only for children under two years of age, as in the 1900 census. Feedback from users of The Digital Archives has revealed many faults with the birth dates as registered in the original census forms.
  • Repatriated norwegian-americans were required to disclose information about emigration year, return year, place of residence before emigration as well as their final place of work and residence in America.
  • Information pertaining to unemployment was required to be disclosed.
  • A agricultural census was not conducted, but instead a separate census of tradesmanship.
  • Ship rolls were only to be created for ships operating in Norwegian waters and ports, and not for norwegian ships operating in foreign waters and ports.

In regards to deficiencies in the original material, the following are known. Census area number 3 for Sun in Gjerstad, Aust Agder County (approx 125 house lists constituting approx 4850 people), comprising all lists from mental hospitals and asylums, ships lists, some family lists from towns and one of three family lists for the palace at Drammensveien 1 in Kristiania, which presumably contained the royal family.

1920 census

The 1920 census is currently being scanned, and pictures continually being added to The Digital Archives. As some information about personal situations in government censuses are confidential for 100 years, the census will not be made freely available until 1st December, 2020. Researchers who apply and are granted permission to view the 1920 census, will be able to access it digitally, as long as the scanning has been completed.

1930 and 1950 censuses

The 1930 and 1950 censuses are scanned in conjunction with the "Historic Population Register" project. As information about personal situations in government censuses are confidential for 100 years, these censuses will not be made freely available until 2030 and 2050 respectively. As of 2017, they are not added to The Digital Archives in any form, but will most probably be published at some time in the near future. Researchers who apply and are granted permission to view these censuses, will be able to access them digitally, as long as the scanning has been completed.

Municipal censuses

From the end of the 19th century and up until the 1950's, a number of municipal census were conducted. In particular, the larger towns conducted their own census, where Kristiania (Oslo) stands out especially as the municipality conducted their own censuses every year from 1899 to 1954, except for the years when a nationwide census was conducted. In The Digital Archives, you will find the municipal censuses - both scanned and/or searchable - for Moss, Kristiania (Oslo), Hamar, Bergen, Trondheim and Strinda.

Local censuses

Local censuses is The Digital Archives name given to name lists which can be categorised as censuses, but do not fit into the category of nationwide or municipal censuses. A handful of these are known from the latter half of the 18th century, and a number of these are scanned and/or searchable.