Change in agricultural and arable land area

2/21/223:34 PM Iris Ørnhaug

The figures show the reallocation of arable and cultivated land for purposes other than food production for the period 2011-2020 in the northern Norwegian counties and on a national basis, and the purposes for which the land is reallocated.

To see how the development has been for the indigenous population in the region, a figure has also been included that shows the development within the Sami municipalities.

Slide 1:
In 2020, 1,873 decares of arable land and 688 decares of cultivated land in northern Norway were reallocated. The northern part of the country accounted for 25 per cent of the national reallocation of arable land in 2020, and 14 per cent of the reallocation of cultivated land.

In 2020, well over 40 per cent of the land was reallocated to transport and other infrastructure, while more than half of the arable land and around 40 per cent of the cultivated land were reallocated to buildings.

Troms accounted for 70 percent of all land, which was reallocated in northern Norway in 2020.

In the period 2015-2020, an average of 3088 decares of land were reallocated in northern Norway. Of this, 69 per cent was arable land and 31 per cent cultivated land.

In the period 2011-2019, the number of decares of land that were reallocated in Nordland, Troms, and on a national basis, was fairly similar from year to year, but increased greatly in Troms from 2019. Finnmark, on the other hand, had a strong increase from 2012-2017, which fell at a low level in 2018.

Slide 2:
In the Sami municipalities in northern Norway, 578 decares of arable land and 411 cultivated land were reallocated in 2020. The Sami municipalities accounted for 39 per cent of all land that was reallocated in northern Norway this year.

67 per cent of all the land was used for transport and technical infrastructure and 28 per cent went to construction, of which 6 per cent to holiday homes. Balsfjord accounted for 68 percent of all land, which was reallocated in the Sami municipalities in 2020.
In the period 2015-2020, an average of 725 decares of land were reallocated in the Sami municipalities in northern Norway. Of these, 75 per cent were arable land and 26 per cent cultivated land.


Area is a limited resource, which is often the subject of conflicting interests. A reduction in agricultural area will have consequences for food production, species diversity and greenhouse gas emissions, among other things. Norway has set itself the goal that the reallocation of cultivated land should not exceed 3,000 acres by 2025. This goal must be achieved by the northern Norwegian municipalities and counties.