Almost half of all tips in Norway go to employees who are among the 10 per cent lowest paid. Most work in the hospitality or accommodation industry.
Almost half of all tips in Norway go to employees who are among the 10 per cent lowest paid. Most work in the hospitality or accommodation industry.

Norwegians and Americans have different views on tipping 

Americans often leave a 15 to 20 per cent tip. In Norway, it is common for people to tip little or nothing at all.

Both the USA and Norway have now received new research-based reports on tipping.

Almost everyone tips in the US

Norwegians travelling in the US have experienced that more tipping is expected there than in Norway.

Now the PEW Research institute has asked Americans who they tip and how much they leave in tips.

Both at restaurants and hair salons, a large majority of the surveyed Americans always tip. Almost as many tip when food is delivered.

Americans with higher education tip more often than those with less education. But those with less education tip more often when buying fast food.

15 per cent tip

Around 15 per cent is the most common tip at a restaurant in the USA. But it is not unusual for Americans to tip 20 per cent.

Only 2 per cent said they usually don’t leave a tip after a restaurant visit.

A clear majority of those Pew Research surveyed in this study believe they are now more often encouraged to tip than they were before.

Almost three out of four have noticed that tipping has become more common in the last five years.

The phenomenon is now so widespread in the US that some call it ‘tipflation’.

Uncertain about how much

It is not just Norwegians who feel uncertain about how much to tip. Americans also feel this uncertainty.

Two out of three of the 12,000 Americans in the study feel this uncertainty.

And only one in five Americans perceives tipping the waiter or hairdresser as completely voluntary. Especially young people perceive this as something they are obligated to do.

Both in the USA and Norway, many are uncertain about tipping.
Both in the USA and Norway, many are uncertain about tipping.

4.6 per cent of wages are tips

In Norway, Statistics Norway recently released a new report (link in Norwegian). Tipping in the Norwegian workplace is one of the topics.

The report shows that it in low-wage professions, it is most common to receive tips. Almost half of all tipping in Norway goes to employees who are among the 10 per cent lowest paid.

Especially in the accommodation and service industry, many receive part of their income as tips.

“For the jobs that have tips in accommodation and service, 25,300 jobs, the monthly salary is raised by 4.6 per cent if we include tips,” researchers at Statistics Norway write.

In the first 11 months of 2022, NOK 354 million (32.9 million USD) in tips were reported in Norway, according to Statistics Norway.

On average, each employee received NOK 16,300 (1.510 USD) in tips.

Norwegians tip less

Researchers at the Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences published their own study on Norwegian tipping habits in 2020.

“The level of service plays a big role. When we feel that we’re getting good service, we tip more often and far larger amounts than we normally do,” Professor Christer Thrane told Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation NRK (link in Norwegian).

But the norm is that Norwegians tip little, as the researchers found in their study.

“Everything suggests that we tip less frequently and lower amounts than in other countries,” Thrane said.

Many Norwegians probably never tip.

References:

Tipping Culture in America: Public Sees a Changed Landscape. Pew Research Report, 9 November 2023.

Jobber med lav lønn (Jobs with low wages), Statistics Norway report 2023/40.

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Translated by Alette Bjordal Gjellesvik

Read the Norwegian version of this article on forskning.no

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