Ballangen, in Ofoten, enjoys dubious distinction of having Norway’s highest absence from work due to sickness

Sick Leave AbsenceSick. Photo:

The small municipality not only has the highest sickness absence in the country, but also the highest rate of disability.


‘We do not quite know why this is the case, but in collaboration with Nav we are in the process of mapping the situation and finding the reasons. It’s important to know what is wrong with patient before you start prescribing medication,’ said Per Kristian Arntzen of Senterpartiet (Sp) to Dagens Næringsliv newspaper.

Ballangen was at one time Northern Norway’s most important mining municipality, though the last mine was shut down in 2003. According to Dagens Næringsliv, however, evidence indicates that the municipality is still struggling with health damage caused by the industrial run.

Arntzen said that most people in the municipality are between 55 and 67 years old. He hopes that what remains after mining can be transformed into a state-of-the-art data centre for technology companies around the world.

The company, Kolos Norway, is behind the project.
‘The plan is to build a large, cost-effective data centre that accesses cheap, green energy’ said the CEO of Kolos Norway, Håvard Lillebo.


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today