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A changing society

Norway has an ageing population, an increasing proportion of young people dropping out of education and work, new social and cultural conflict lines, increasing social inequality, terrorist threats, declining trust in government, climate change and rapid societal change.

These issues could put the welfare state under pressure, while at the same time Norway is going through a major transition from an oil-based economy to a knowledge-based and green economy.

What do we do?

NORCE researches human health throughout the life cycle, and the mechanisms for why inequalities in health and other living conditions are maintained. We research how children and young people can be ensured a safe upbringing and are given good conditions for a participatory adult life, as well as how the primary health service meets the population's need for health care. We also study how people's perceptions of fairness and equality change, and what political consequences any changes bring. 

Our research on society’s security and emergency preparedness is a key part of the priority area, and includes research on organisation and division of responsibility, coordination and interaction models and risk analyses. 

NORCE has a comprehensive technical infrastructure with drones, communication systems, smart sensors and software systems that are used for condition monitoring, communication and to quickly gain a good situational awareness. This infrastructure can be used for testing, in exercises and in simulation of events.

Social inequality is a growing trend in Norway and in the rest of the world. This will have ripple effects both for the individual's life cycle and for the opportunities to build community and future for the coming generations. Exclusion is seen among young people, people with disabilities and various immigration groups.

Social inequality in health applies to almost all diseases, injuries and ailments. People with a high level of education and income live longer, have fewer health problems and less risk of injury than those with low education and income. These differences entail many lost working days and life years with good health and quality of life, representing a loss for individuals, families and society.

In some places in Norway, the risk of natural disasters is significantly greater than elsewhere, and the chance of getting immediate help also varies with geography and infrastructure. As a result of deteriorating cohesion and trust, increasing differences and polarisation, we are at increased risk of being exposed to crime and terrorism.

To a greater and greater extent, we live lives that are characterised by a digital approach. Digitalisation is changing the labour market, which may have consequences for employment. At the same time as new opportunities are being opened up with digitalisation, we are also facing new threats in terms of abuse or attacks on data security.


Jon Harald Kaspersen

EVP Health & Social Sciences - Bergen

+47 930 36 590

Ingrid Helgøy

Deputy EVP Health & Social Sciences - Bergen
+47 56 10 70 16
+47 990 03 314

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