Essential Services Every Resident Needs to Know About in Norway

Living in Norway offers access to a wide range of essential services that contribute to a high quality of life. Here are some of the key services every resident should be aware of:


Public Healthcare System

  • Universal Coverage: Norway has a public healthcare system that provides universal coverage to all residents. Most healthcare services are funded through taxes.
  • Primary Care: Residents must register with a General Practitioner (GP), known as a “fastlege,” who serves as the first point of contact for medical issues.
  • Specialized Care: Referrals from a GP are required to see specialists.
  • Emergency Services: Emergency medical services are available and can be accessed by dialing 113.

Health Insurance

  • National Insurance Scheme: All residents are automatically covered under the National Insurance Scheme (Folketrygden), which provides health benefits.


Primary and Secondary Education

  • Compulsory Education: Education is compulsory for children aged 6 to 16.
  • Public Schools: Public education is free and widely available.

Higher Education

  • Universities and Colleges: Norway offers free higher education at public universities and colleges, although some fees may apply.
  • Student Loans and Grants: Financial support is available through the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund (Lånekassen).

Childcare and Family Services


  • Kindergartens (Barnehage): Subsidized childcare services are available for children from 1 to 5 years old.
  • Parental Leave: Generous parental leave policies include up to 49 weeks of full pay or 59 weeks at 80% pay, which can be shared between parents.

Family Benefits

  • Child Benefit (Barnetrygd): Monthly payments to families with children under 18.
  • Cash-for-Care Benefit (Kontantstøtte): Financial support for parents who choose to care for their children at home instead of using public childcare services.

Social Services

Social Welfare

  • NAV (Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration): NAV provides various social welfare services, including unemployment benefits, disability benefits, and social assistance.
  • Housing Assistance: Financial support for housing is available for those in need.

Public Transportation

Local and Regional Transport

  • Buses, Trains, and Trams: Extensive public transportation networks are available in cities and towns.
  • Ferries: Coastal and island communities are connected by a network of ferries.

National Transport

  • Rail Services: Long-distance trains connect major cities and regions.
  • Air Travel: Domestic flights are available for travel between regions.


Water and Sewage

  • Municipal Services: Water supply and sewage services are typically managed by local municipalities.

Electricity and Heating

  • Energy Providers: Multiple providers offer electricity and heating services. Residents can choose their supplier.

Communication Services

Internet and Mobile

  • Broadband: High-speed internet is widely available.
  • Mobile Networks: Several providers offer mobile phone services with extensive coverage.

Banking and Financial Services


  • Accounts: Residents can open bank accounts with various Norwegian banks.
  • Digital Banking: Online and mobile banking services are widely used.

Financial Assistance

  • Loans and Mortgages: Various financial products are available, including personal loans, mortgages, and credit cards.

Legal and Civic Services


  • National Registry: Residents must register with the National Registry (Folkeregisteret) and obtain a Norwegian identification number (fødselsnummer).

Voting and Civic Participation

  • Voting Rights: Residents who are Norwegian citizens or have lived in Norway for a certain period can participate in local and national elections.

Emergency Services

Police, Fire, and Ambulance

  • Emergency Number: Dial 112 for police, 110 for fire services, and 113 for medical emergencies.


Understanding and utilizing these essential services can greatly enhance your experience as a resident in Norway. Whether it’s accessing healthcare, enrolling your children in school, or navigating public transportation, being informed about these services will help you integrate smoothly into Norwegian society.

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