On 8th August 1900, a royal decree declared a national, general census in Norway. The census was to be held on the night between 2. December and 3. December 1900. The census was to include everyone in Norway and one was to be counted at the location at the time of the census. In the rural district, the census was administered by the vicar, together with the local police and the chairman. The actual counting was done by school teachers and selected persons.

The main part of the original census lists are kept in the various Regional State Archives. The lists covering the extra houshold and ship lists are stored in the National Archives in Oslo. 

Digitising the 1900 Census

The digitising of the census is done as a cooperation between the Digital Archives and the Norwegian Historical Data Centre (NHDC). The data has not been proof read, so we are aware that there will be errors, lacunas and duplicates in the data.

The extra households

The so-called "extra households" are lists of persons who spent the night to 3. December 1900 in some sort of institution. This could be hotels, schools, pauper houses, orphanages, hospitals, prisons, military quarters, etc. During the census registration, these lists were kept togehter with the other lists from the same census district. However, in the further statistical work with the census these lists were removed and kept in separate boxes. These lists were never put back to their original location, but in the transcribed verison they are. The extra households contain 16.609 records, spread over 159 of the 482 municipalities (31 cities and 128 "herreder" (rural municipalities)) which were transcribed by Teleslekt in 1993-98.

Ship lists

The ship lists for the 1900 Census are lists with information on crew and ship on the night before 3. December 1900. The ships could be in Norway or abroad. The ship lists contain 25.865 records spread over 2628 vessels.

There were also registered ships and crew members in Norway on the regular census lists for several "herreder" (rural municipalities). These lists were originally sorted with the other census lists, but these lists were later removed and kept separate. In the transcribed data however, these lists are transferred back to their original sorting in their respective "herred". These lists contain 1337 records, divided into 291 vessels in 88 municipalities.

Changes in the data

We moved the data from the old search site to the new one in 2013. Some data was corrected, but there are still need of going through the data thoroughly.

News in the 2013-edition of the digitised 1900 Census:

  • Norwegian ships which were in port in Norway at the time of the census are now included in the municipality of the port. Some of the ships will also appear in the separate ship list so in these cases there will be duplicates.
  • Norwegian ships which were in port abroad or sailing between ports at the time of the census is gathered in a separate ship list. 
  • Unintended duplicate house lists are removed.

Deficiencies in the 1900 Census

The original documents of the 1900 Census are unfortunately difficient. The person lists for an entire municipality and part of other municipaliteies are missing. The lacunas we are currently aware of are: 

  • Bærum "herred" in Akershus county (Vestre Bærum parish, 3219 persons)
  • Risør "kjøpstad" in Aust-Agder county (2 of 3 "tellingskretser", 2249 persons)
  • Siredalen "herred" in Vest-Agder county (all, 1644 persons)
  • Skien "kjøpstad" in Telemark county (93 house lists from "tellingskrets" 1-29 in addition to all of "tellingskrets" 30-35, ca. 3000 persons)
  • Tysnes "herred" in Hordaland county ("tellingskrets" 3, 589 persons)

In addition, a large number of house lists and person lists from all over the counttry are missing, for instance ca. 70 house lists from Bergen and ca. 50 from Trondheim. 

In the part of the 1900 Census that were transcribed by NHDC (20 %), the extra households for 23 rural municipalites and ship lists for 24 rural municipalities are missing. These missing lists will be added once the data has been transcribed.