Facts about Norway


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Two centuries of Viking raids into Europe tapered off following the adoption of Christianity by King Olav Tryggvason in year 994. Conversion of the Norwegian Kingdom occurred over the next several decades. In 1397, Norway was absorbed into a union with Denmark that was to last for more than four centuries. In 1814, Norwegians resisted the cession of their country to Sweden and adopted a new constitution. Sweden then invaded Norway but agreed to let Norway keep its constitution in return for accepting the union under a Swedish king. Rising nationalism throughout the 19th century led to a referendum in 1905, granting Norway independence. Norway remained neutral in World War I and proclaimed its neutrality at outset of World War II.
Nevertheless, it was not able to avoid a five-year occupation by Nazi Germany (1940-1945). In 1949, neutrality was abandoned and Norway became a member of NATO. Discovery of oil and gas in adjacent waters in the late 1960s boosted Norway's economic fortunes. The current focus is on containing spending on the extensive welfare system and planning for the time when petroleum reserves are depleted. In referendum held in 1972 and 1994, Norway rejected joining the EU.


Location Northern Europe, bordering the North Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Sweden
Geographic coordinates 62 00 N, 10 00 E
Area Total: 324,220 km
Land: 307,860 km
Water: 16,360 km
Land boundaries Total: 2,544 km
Borders to: Russia 196 km, Finland 729 km, Sweden 1,619 km
Coastline 21,925 km
(Includes mainland 3,419 km, large islands 2,413 km, long fjords, numerous small islands, and minor indentations 16,093 km)
Climate Temperate along coast, modified by North Atlantic Current; colder interior with increased precipitation and colder summers; rainy year-round on west coast.
Terrain Glaciated; mostly high plateaus and rugged mountains broken by fertile valleys; small, scattered plains; coastline deeply indented by fjords; arctic tundra in north.
Elevation extremes Lowest point: Norwegian Sea 0 m
Highest point: Galdhopiggen 2,469 m
Natural resources Petroleum, copper, natural gas, pyrites, nickel, iron ore, zinc, lead, fish, timber, hydropower
Land use Arable land: 2,9 %
Permanent crops: 0 %
Other: 97,06 % (1998)
Natural hazards Rockslides, avalanches


Population 4,546,123 (July 2003)
13 inhabitants per km
Total fertility rate 1,8 children born/woman (2003)
Median age Total: 37,7 years
Female: 38,7 years
Male: 36,7 years
Life expectancy at birth Total population: 79,09 years
Female: 82,22 years
Male: 76,15 years
Population growth rate 0,46%
Ethnic groups Norwegians and sami 20,000
Religions Evangelical Lutheran 86% (State church), other Protestant and Roman Catholic 3%, others 1%, non and unknown 10%. (1997)
Language Norwegian Bokmal and Nynorsk. Small minority talks sami
Nationality Norwegian

Country name Conventional long form: Kingdom of Norway
Conventional short form: Norway
Local long form: Kongeriket Norge
Local short form: Norge
Government type Constitutional Monarchy
Capital Oslo
Administrative divisions 19 provinces (fylker, singular-fylke); Akershus, Aust-Agder, Buskerud, Finnmark, Hedemark, Hordaland, More og Romsdal, Nordland, Nord-Trondelag, Oppland, Oslo, Ostfold, Rogaland, Songn og Fjordane, Sor-Trondelag, Telemark, Troms, Vest-Agder, Vestfold
Depended areas Bouvet Island, Jan Mayen, Svalbard
Independence 7. June 1905 Norway declared the uion with Sweden agreed to the repeal of the union
National day Constitution Day, 17 May (1814);
note - on 14 January 1814 Denmark ceded Norway to Sweden; resisting Swedish domination, Norwegians adopted a new constitution four months later; on 14 August 1814 Norway was proclaimed independent but in union with Sweden; on 7 June 1905 Norway declared the union with Sweden dissolved
National flag Norwegian flag
National anthem Ja, vi elsker dette landet.., (Yes, we love this country...)
Constitution Modified in 1884
Suffrage 18 years
Flag Red with a blue cross outlined in white that extends to the edges of the flag; the vertical part of the cross is shifted to the hoist side in the style of the Dannebrog (Danish flag). All the Nordic countries has the same styled flag with variations in colours

The Norwegian economy is a prosperous bastion of welfare capitalism, featuring a combination of free market activity and government intervention. The government controls key areas, such as the vital petroleum sector (through large-scale state enterprises). The country is richly endowed with natural resources - petroleum, hydropower, fish, forests, and minerals - and is highly dependent on its oil production and international oil prices; in 1999, oil and gas accounted for 35 % of exports. Only Saudi Arabia an Russia export more oil than Norway.
Norway opted to stay out of the EU during a referendum in November 1994. Growth picked up in 2000 to 2.7 %, compared with the meager 0.8 % of 1999, but fell back to 1.3 % in 2001. High oil prices helped the economy in 2002 in face of the sluggish world economy. The government has moved ahead with privatization. With arguably the highest quality of lift worldwide, Norwegians still worry about that time in the next two decades when the oil and gas begin to run out. Accordingly, Norway has been saving its oilboosted budget surpluses in a Government Petroleum Fund, which is invested abroad and now is valued at more than $ 43 billion

Labour force
2,4 millions (2000)
Labour force - by occupation Services 74 %, Industry 22 %, agriculture, forestry and fishing 4 % (1995)
Unemployment rate 3,9 % (2002)
Industry Oil and gas, food processing, shipbuilding, pulp and paper products, metals, chemicals, timber, mining, textiles and fishing
Industrial growth 1,2 % (2002)
Electricity production by source Oil and gas: 0,4 %
Hydro: 99,3 %
Other: 0,3 %
Nuclear: 0 %
Export partners EU 76 % (UK 19,8 %, France 11,8 %, Germany 11,6 %, Holland 10,2 %, Sweden 7,9 %),
US 7,9 % (2001)
Import partners EU 66,5 % (Sweden 15,5 %, Germany 12,8 %, UK 7,8 %, Denmark 7,2 %, France 5,2 %),
USA 7,0 % (2001)
External debts 0 $ (Norway is a net external creditor)
Economic aid-help ODA, $ 1,4 billion(1998)
Currency Norwegian Krone (NOK)
Exchange rate Norwegian kroner per US $: 6-7 (2004), 7,98 (2002), 8,99 (2001), 8,8 (2000), 7,7 (1999), 7,5 (1998).

Military branches Norwegian Army, Royal Norwegian Navy (including Coast Artillery and Coast Guard), Royal Norwegian Air Force and Home Guard
Military manpower military age 20 years
Military manpower availability Males age 15-49 years: 1.099.314 (2003)
Military manpower reaching military age annualy Males: 27,249 (2003)



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