New report: Norway could have a surplus of teachers towards 2040

Guri MelbyPhoto: Heiko Junge / NTB

For the first time, calculations from Statistics Norway (SSB) show that there may be a surplus of primary and lower secondary school teachers up to 2040. The decline in population growth is the main reason.

In its Lærermod report, Statistics Norway (SSB) projects a teacher surplus towards 2040. The SSB calculates a deficit of teachers until 2025 only for primary school teachers, after which there will also be a surplus for this group of teachers. 

According to the Statistics Norway’s projection model, low and partly negative growth in the number of children and young people in the future, i.e., a decline in population growth, is behind the surplus of teachers. 

According to calculations, in 2020, there was a surplus of around 3,100 teachers in total. In 2025, the surplus is estimated to reach almost 19,000, and in 2040, almost 69,000 teachers. 

The surplus will be particularly large for lecturers, subject teachers, and kindergarten teachers.

Future surplus

“The projections show a surplus of teachers in the years ahead. We must use it in a way that benefits kindergarten children, students, and staff. The government has worked systematically over time to train more teachers, with better implementation, competence requirements, and master’s degrees,” Minister of Education and Integration Guri Melby (V) said.

Melby pointed out that if the SSB calculations materialize, it will provide good conditions for ensuring that everyone who works as a teacher in kindergartens and schools is qualified and has the right competence.


Every three years, the SSB projects supply and demand for teachers for the next 20 years. The projections are affected by a number of factors such as student numbers, completion rate, how many with relevant education work in the sector, and how many retire. 

There is, therefore, great uncertainty associated with the calculations. The report is based on education and labor market statistics from 2019. 

The population projections used in the report are from 2020. There is uncertainty associated with these, the SSB noted.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayEducation

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