A Short History of Gender Statistics

Governments recognized the importance of statistics on women for development planning in 1975, at the World Conference of the International Women’s Year in Mexico, and reiterated the relevance of such data at the second world conference in Copenhagen in 1980. Responses by governments and international agencies led to the first reports and publications with statistics about women. 

The recognition that information on men is also needed in order to adequately describe the situation of women resulted in a shift in focus from statistics on women to statistics on gender. In 1985, governments attending the Third World Conference on Women in Nairobi agreed to develop or reorganize their national information systems to compile and disseminate statistics on women and men in order to better address gender issues. As a result, many national statistical offices and international agencies began preparing user-friendly booklets with statistics that compared the situation of women and men in many aspects of life.

In 1995, the Beijing Platform for Action, adopted at the Fourth World Conference on Women, urged national, regional and international statistical services to ensure that statistics related to individuals are collected, analysed and presented by sex and age, and reflect problems, issues and questions related to women and men. More recently, in the outcome document of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly entitled “Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century", governments resolved to provide national statistical offices with the institutional and financial support required to collect, compile and disseminate data disaggregated by sex, age and other factors.

Resources for Facts & Figures

Choose category/topics:

The Figures Speak for themselves

The survey shows gender disparities in leading roles (directors, script-writers and producers) and the distribution of funding - women held 18 percent of key positions as directors, producers and writers in films that received support in the years between 2002 and 2006, and women received 28 percent of the support given to manuscript development.

Read more at The Norwegian Ministry of Children and Equality / The Norwegian Ministry of Culture and Church Affairs (PDF)

How is the time of women and men distributed in Europe?

Although patterns of time use are generally quite similar throughout Europe, some interesting differences can be observed between women and men and between the countries surveyed. On average, women aged 20 to 74 spend much more time than men on domestic work, ranging from less than 50% more in Sweden to over 200% more in Italy and Spain. Women spend most time doing domestic work in Italy, Estonia, Slovenia, Hungary and Spain, around 5 hours or more per day. The lowest figures are found in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Latvia - less than 4 hours per day.

Read more at Office for Official Publications of the European Communities / UNECE

Facts on immigrants and their descendants 2007

The main author of this publication is Gunnlaug Daugstad, with significant contributions from Bjørn Olsen, Mads Ivar Kirkeberg, Vebjørn Aalandslid, Svein Blom, Lars Østby and Natasza P. Sandbu. The entire data basis for this publication has been taken from Statistics Norway: Population statistics, Education statistics, Labour market statistics, Income statistics, Election statistics and data from attitude surveys.

Read more at Statistics Norway (PDF)

Gender differences in environmental related behaviour

This report shows that women generally have a more positive attitude to environmental measures than men. These attitudes are not, however, reflected in their actions. Men and women have relatively similar behaviour in relation to recirculation, organic food and water-saving and energy saving, although men drive more cars than women.

Read more at Statistics Norway

Military women : the achilles heel in defence politics?

Since April 2008, the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) has carried out a research project amongst enrolled cohorts. An important goal has been to identify the necessary measures to increase the share of women in the Norwegian Armed Forces. Findings from the first five years of the research was published in Norwegian in 2013. Now, the anthology is translated to English.

Read more at Kilden Information Centre for Gender Research in Norway


Still decline in fertility


A total of 54 500 children were born in Norway in 2019, 600 fewer than in 2018. This gives a total fertility rate for women of 1.53 and is the lowest rate ever registered. Fertility has thus decreased by almost half a child per woman in the last decade, according to Statistics Norway. 

Read more at ssb.no

Decline in fertility



A total of 55 100 children were born in Norway in 2018, which is 1 500 fewer than 2017. This gives a total fertility rate (TFR) for women of 1.56.

Read more at Statistics Norway.

Decline in fertility for immigrant women



In 2018, the total fertility rate (TFR) for immigrant women was 1.87 per woman - the lowest ever. The fertility rate for all women in Norway was 1.56.

Read more at Statistics Norway.

Education gap widens


The gender gap in education is widening every year. In many Norwegian municipalities the proportion of highly educated women is more than twice as large as the proportion of men.

Read more at Statistics Norway.

Nordic Countries Top The World Economic Forum's Gender Gap Index


The five Nordic countries, which also perform consistently well in the World Economic Forum’s competitiveness rankings, all continue to hold a place among the top 10, with Sweden (1), Norway (2), Finland (3), Iceland (4) and Denmark (8) in the same positions as last year.

Read more at World Economic Forum

Unequal distribution of part-time work and family responsibilities in the Nordic countries


In the Nordic countries, part-time work is much more common among women than men. This affects both the gender equality in the labour market and the economic opportunities available to women and men.

Read more at Nordic Information on Gender (NIKK)