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Norwegians´wealth and worth revealed Posted by on Oct 25, 2011 in Culture, Norway and the world

Below is Norway´s formueliste (wealth list) which shows the individual´s navn (name), inntekt (income), skatt (tax), and forume (wealth).

 

Navn Inntekt Skatt Formue
Sum 717 583 205 771 252 030 50 758 078 130
Johan H. Andresen 20 661 960 138 886 765 12 001 206 593
Kjell Inge Røkke 0 87 291 739 7 906 171 404
Olav Thon 75 957 617 115 774 747 7 782 653 899
Hans Petter Jebsen 229 879 279 118 449 969 4 837 732 958
Trond Mohn 359 265 129 142 224 132 3 750 229 395
Svein Støle 4 736 731 40 863 308 3 590 785 334
Johan Johannson 13 194 498 37 982 040 3 091 859 434
Leif Høegh 165 833 33 374 144 3 016 210 672
Helge Knudsen 11 936 978 29 818 345 2 407 909 481
Margaret Boel Garmann 1 785 180 26 586 841 2 373 318 960

In addition to lutefisk season, it is also that time of year when the idea of almost complete transparency is proven in Norway.  The government makes individual Norwegians tax and wealth information available to the public.  As we all know, Norway is a social democracy in which men and women enjoy excellent equality (at least compared to most cultures) and the income gap is moderate.  Whether they like it or not, residents of Norway must accept that they live in a country where their financial and tax information are not private matters.

Tax authorities issue the skatteliste (tax list) which shows nearly every taxpayers annual income and overall net worth.  Some say it´s the Norwegian way to keep up the neighbors and where they stand.  Every year it stirs up media frenzy about how much this actor made or that athlete, or better yet, the oil tycoon or real estate king.

There are of course many people who find this transparency completely inappropriate and a violation of privacy.  Besides just not wanting others to have accessibility to private financial information purely on principle, many argue that this transparency leads to bullying on the playground (´my dad is richer than your dad´).

The information was made public this past Friday, however, it is not quite as easy to find the information as it has been in the past.  One can access the information by logging in as a user on the Skatteetaten (tax agency) website and searching for a particular link.  The media, however, can no longer publish the information directly.  This should cut down on the huge media frenzy that erupts every fall after the information becomes public.

Furthermore, it is important to understand that the information listed is fairly misleading, as the annual income figures are significantly less than the actual income earned over the past year.  This is because they are adjusted for deductions.  Net worth figures are also deceiving because they include tax valuations not based on the market value of real estate.  So, snoopers beware-the numbers do not always reflect reality.

You can find more information about specific individuals if you are snoopy yourself (or just curious…) at this website.

Johan H. Andresen is Norway´s richest man.  He used a massive tobacco inheritance to finance and build several other business ventures.

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About the Author: kari

I attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, where I majored in Norwegian and History. During college, I spent almost a year living in Oslo, Norway, where I attended the University of Oslo and completed an internship at the United States Embassy. I have worked for Concordia Language Villages as a pre-K Norwegian teacher and have taught an adult Norwegian language class. Right now, I keep up by writing this Norwegian blog for Transparent Language. Please read and share your thoughts! I will be continuing this blog from my future residence in the Norwegian arctic!


Comments:

  1. Milton G. Bishop:

    Interesting to read that the majority on this list inherited their wealth, along with being provided the finest of schools and social inner circles.
    I worked in a clerical position for 2 major oil/gas pipelines and solved several major problems for each, and was hardly acknowledged nor allowed to get near the “inner circle”.—the wealthy have it and are not about to allow an outsider into their circle of wealth.
    Did any one on this list ever really work or get their hands dirty ?? Probably not.