How Much Does It Cost To Live in Norway?

Like many Nordic countries, Norway offers its residents a high quality of life with reliable public services, including healthcare, education, and transportation.

Wages in Norway are higher than in most countries, but these wages are required to offset the cost of living. 

It costs $2,099 to $2,380 per month for one person to live frugally in Norway. These costs include rent, food, utility, healthcare, and education. While renting in Norway is expensive, utility and food prices also contribute to the high cost of living in the country. 

The high salaries in the country sustain the high cost of living in Norway. Eating out in Norway is more expensive than in New York City, so people tend to eat out less. [1]

However, food and groceries are also expensive since many of them need to be imported into the country. 

Also, see What Is There To Do In Norway? to learn more.

Norway lake
What is the average rent in Norway? See below

What Is the Average Rent in Norway?

There is an overall housing shortage in Norway. Cities tend to be more expensive overall, with Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger, and Trondheim being the most expensive cities in Norway. [2]

The average rent in Norway is about $952 to $1,452, depending on the location. Oslo has the highest rental prices in the country, especially in the city center.

Apart from the monthly rent, your security deposit might equal up to six months’ rent, which can be quite expensive.

In Norway, rent is pretty manageable. Unfortunately, most people are shocked by the hefty security deposit required, which must be budgeted separately.

The deposit must be paid in addition to the first month’s rent to secure a rental home. 

Bergen and Stavanger are two cities that are about as expensive as Norway’s capital, Oslo, when it comes to renting. [3] The countryside and northernmost parts of Norway, like Finmark, Troms, and Nordland, are cheaper.

However, these areas have fewer job opportunities, especially for ex-pats, so they aren’t as desirable. 

Short-term rentals are mostly recommended to people who’ve recently arrived in Norway to allow them the opportunity to explore housing options and areas.

Short-term rentals are also an advantage in the competitive rental market, where most quality rentals are filled in a couple of weeks. 

Norwegian landlords prefer long-term tenants, and expats with guarantors tend to get preference over those without. 

Also, see What Is Norway Known For? to learn more.

Norway northern lights
What is the average price of a house in Norway? See below

What Is the Average Price of a House in Norway?

Norwegian housing policy is based on ownership as the government offers incentives for homeownership. Most Norwegians own the homes they live in.

Owning a house in Norway tends to be cheaper than renting it in the long run. However, a shortage of new projects has led to an increase in housing prices overall. 

The average price of a house in Norway can be as little as $51,535 to $614,294, depending on the area that the house is in and the condition of the house.

Cheaper houses tend to be rare and require extensive refurbishment to be livable. 

City centers tend to be the most expensive when it comes to houses, while the countryside is cheaper. There are no limitations on foreigners buying houses in Norway, assuming they’re able to find a suitable house for purchase. 

The cost of houses is affected by the market supply and demand, with demand increasing at much faster rates than supply.

High standards of living, costs of insulating the houses, and wages for construction workers also contribute to the overall rates. 

In general, housing prices have been increasing steadily.

While the demand for houses has been slowing down, construction activity in Norway remains slow, which means that there are fewer houses on the market than needed. [4] 

Potential homeowners must get a loan commitment certificate, which is a mortgage that must be paid back over 20 to 30 years. 

The amount of money that can be borrowed will depend on the tax assessment of the individual and their level of income.

Anyone who wants a mortgage must prove that they can pay about 15% of the cost from their own capital to be eligible for the mortgage. [5]

Owning property comes with additional expenses like property taxes, which depend on the municipality where the house is located.  

Also, see How to Move to Norway to learn more.

Norwegian bridge
Does Norway have free healthcare? See below

Does Norway Have Free Healthcare?

Norwegians and residents of Norway enjoy a very high standard of living, including a robust healthcare system.

Healthcare is part of the country’s commitment to the Nordic model, which prioritizes the health of its citizens. However, this doesn’t mean that healthcare is free. 

Norway does not have free healthcare, but it is subsidized. Norwegian healthcare is funded by taxes and payroll contributions from employers and employees.

Most services have caps on out-of-pocket expenses, and patients make co-payments for healthcare like doctor’s visits and prescriptions. 

The responsibility for providing subsidized healthcare is divided between the national and municipal governments.

Primary healthcare is supplied by municipalities, including long-term care and physiotherapy, but the responsibility for funding specialized healthcare lies with the national government. 

The public, universal healthcare has automatic enrollment for all Norwegian citizens.

Everyone who has access to healthcare is expected to pay about $210 towards their healthcare, after which they receive an exemption card for any other services they might need in the year. 

In addition to this, some citizens have access to private healthcare as well because private services offer faster access and choices of healthcare providers. [6]

Visitors from EU/EEA countries are offered the same services in Norway as they would receive in their home countries, in accordance with the healthcare programs of those countries. 

Undocumented immigrants who are adults are only offered emergency care, while children are treated in the same way as naturalized citizens of Norway.

Documented immigrants can access healthcare after they’ve lived in Norway for a minimum of six months. 

Visitors to Norway from non-EU countries do not have access to the country’s healthcare subsidies and must pay full price for any treatments they receive in the country.


The cost of living in Norway is high because of expensive food and rentals. Healthcare isn’t free but is subsidized for citizens and documented immigrants.

Also, see Why Does Will Farrell Hate Norway? to learn more.

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Christian Christensen

Christian started Scandinavia Facts to explore his family heritage, raise awareness of one of his academic interests as a professor, and civilly promote the region. Please see the About page for details.

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