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Flag of Norway

Country Profile

Capital City: Oslo

Other Cities: Bergen (236 000), Trondheim (153 000), Stavanger (111 000), Bærum (102 000).

Local Time: UTC +1h

Location: Northern Europe.
Area (including the island territories of Svalbard and Jan Mayen): 385 155 sq. km. (150 000 sq. mi.)
Terrain: Rugged with high plateaus, steep fjords, mountains, and fertile valleys.
Border countries: Denmark

Climate: Temperate along the coast, colder inland.

Type: Hereditary constitutional monarchy.
Independence: 1905.
Constitution: 17 May 1814.

Nationality: Noun and adjective--Norwegian(s).
Population: 4 579 000 (2004)
Ethnic Groups: Norwegian, Sami 20 000; foreign nationals (315 000) from Nordic and other countries.
Religions: Evangelical Lutheran, 86%; other Christian, 4%; Muslim.
Languages: Bokmaal Norwegian (official), Nynorsk Norwegian (official), small Sami- and Finnish-speaking minorities, English is widely spoken.
Literacy: 100%


Currency: Norwegian kroner, NOK

Natural resources: Petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, titanium, pyrites, nickel, fish, timber, hydropower.

Agriculture products: Barley, wheat, potatoes; pork, beef, veal, milk; fish.

Industries: Petroleum and gas, food processing, shipbuilding, pulp and paper products, metals, chemicals, timber, mining, textiles, fishing.

Exports partners:
UK 21.3%, Germany 13%, Netherlands 9.6%, USA 8.7%, France 8.2%, Sweden 7.4% (2003)

Imports partners: Sweden 16.1%, Germany 13.3%, Denmark 7.9%, UK 7.2%, USA 5.2%, Netherlands 4.5%, China 4.4%, France 4.3%, Italy 4% (2003)

Internet Links

Official Sites of Norway
Det Norske Kongehus


Statsministerens kontor (SMK)


Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI)

Utenriksdepartementet (UD)

Diplomatic Missions
Norway - Mission to the United Nations

Norwegian Embassies and Delegations on the web

Statistisk sentralbyrå

Meteorologisk institutt

Norway Maps
Map of Norway



The Norway Post



Background:  Despite its neutrality, Norway was not able to avoid
occupation by Germany in World War II. 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 referenda
held in 1972 and 1994, Norway rejected joining the EU.

Geography Norway

Location:  Northern Europe, bordering the North Sea and the North Atlantic
Ocean, west of Sweden

Geographic coordinates:  62 00 N, 10 00 E

Map references:  Europe

Area:  total: 324,220 sq km land: 307,860 sq km water: 16,360 sq km

Area - comparative:  slightly larger than New Mexico

Land boundaries:  total: 2,544 km border countries: Finland 729 km,
Sweden 1,619 km, Russia 196 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)

Maritime claims:  contiguous zone: 10 NM territorial sea: 4 NM continental
shelf: 200 NM exclusive economic zone: 200 NM

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: 3% permanent crops: 0% other: 97% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land:  1,270 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural hazards:  rockslides, avalanches

Environment - current issues:  water pollution; acid rain damaging
forests and adversely affecting lakes, threatening fish stocks; air
pollution from vehicle emissions

Environment - international agreements:  party to: Air Pollution, Air
Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants,
Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile
Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine
Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate
Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification,
Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone
Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94,
Wetlands, Whaling signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol

Geography - note:  about two-thirds mountains; some 50,000 islands off
its much indented coastline; strategic location adjacent to sea lanes and
air routes in North Atlantic; one of most rugged and longest coastlines
in world

People Norway

Population:  4,525,116 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:  0-14 years: 20% (male 464,789; female 439,117) 15-64
years: 65% (male 1,491,720; female 1,451,450) 65 years and over: 15%
(male 281,551; female 396,489) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate:  0.47% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:  12.39 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:  9.78 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:  2.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:  at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.06
male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female 65 years and over:
0.71 male(s)/female total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate:  3.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:   82.07 years (2002 est.)  male: Total fertility
rate:  1.8 children born/woman (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  NA% (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:  1,600 (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:  8 (1999)

Nationality:  noun: Norwegian(s) adjective: Norwegian

Ethnic groups:  Norwegian, Sami 20,000

Religions:  Evangelical Lutheran 86% (state church), other Protestant
and Roman Catholic 3%, other 1%, none and unknown 10% (1997)

Languages:  Norwegian (official) note: small Sami- and Finnish-speaking

Literacy:  definition: age 15 and over can read and write total
population: 100% male: NA% female: NA%

Government Norway

Country name:   Kingdom of Norway conventional short form: Government
type:  constitutional monarchy

Capital:  Oslo

Administrative divisions:  19 provinces (fylker, singular - fylke);
Akershus, Aust-Agder, Buskerud, Finnmark, Hedmark, Hordaland, More og
Romsdal, Nordland, Nord-Trondelag, Oppland, Oslo, Ostfold, Rogaland,
Sogn og Fjordane, Sor-Trondelag, Telemark, Troms, Vest-Agder, Vestfold

Dependent areas:  Bouvet Island, Jan Mayen, Svalbard

Independence:  7 June 1905 Norway declared the union with Sweden
dissolved; 26 October 1905 Sweden agreed to the repeal of the union

National holiday:  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

Constitution:  17 May 1814, modified in 1884

Legal system:  mixture of customary law, civil law system, and common
law traditions; Supreme Court renders advisory opinions to legislature
when asked; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

Suffrage:  18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:  chief of state: King HARALD V (since 17 January 1991);
Heir Apparent Crown Prince HAAKON MAGNUS, son of the monarch (born 20
July 1973) head of government: Prime Minister Kjell Magne BONDEVIK (since
19 October 2001) cabinet: State Council appointed by the monarch with
the approval of Parliament elections: none; the monarch is hereditary;
following parliamentary elections, the leader of the largest party or
the leader of the majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister
by the monarch with the approval of the Parliament

Legislative branch:  modified unicameral Parliament or Storting (165
seats; members are elected by popular vote by proportional representation
to serve four-year terms) elections: last held 10 September 2001 (next
to be held NA September 2005) note: for certain purposes, the Parliament
divides itself into two chambers and elects one-fourth of its membership
to an upper house or Lagting election results: percent of vote by party
- Labor Party 24.3%, Conservative Party 21.2%, Progress Party 14.6%,
Socialist Left Party 12.5%, Christian People's Party 12.4%, Center
Party 5.6%, Liberal Party 3.9%, Coastal Party 1.7%, other 3.8%; seats
by party - Labor Party 43, Conservative Party 38, Progress Party 26,
Socialist Left Party 23, Christian People's Party 22, Center Party 10,
Liberal Party 2, Coastal Party 1

Judicial branch:  Supreme Court or Hoyesterett (justices appointed by
the monarch)

Political parties and leaders:  Center Party [Odd Roger ENOKSEN];
Christian People's Party [Valgerd Svarstad HAUGLAND]; Coastal Party
[Steinar BASTESEN]; Conservative Party [Jan PETERSEN]; Labor Party
[Thorbjorn JAGLAND]; Liberal Party [Lars SPONHEIM]; Progress Party
[Carl I. HAGEN]; Socialist Left Party [Kristin HALVORSEN]

Political pressure groups and leaders:  NA

International organization participation:  AfDB, AsDB, Australia Group,
IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, NAM (guest), NATO, NC, NEA,
NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, UN, UN Security Council

Diplomatic representation in the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador Knut
VOLLEBAEK chancery: 2720 34th Street NW, Washington, DC 20008 consulate(s)
general: Houston, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, and San Francisco FAX:
[1] (202) 337-0870 telephone: [1] (202) 333-6000

Diplomatic representation from the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador
John D. ONG embassy: Drammensveien 18,
 PSC 69, Box 1000, APO AE 09707 telephone:
Flag description:  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)

Economy Norway

Economy - overview:  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 and Russia export more oil than
Norway. Oslo 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. The government moved ahead with
privatization in 2000, even proposing the sale of up to one-third of the
100% state-owned oil company Statoil. With arguably the highest quality
of life 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 oil-boosted budget surpluses in a Government Petroleum
Fund, which is invested abroad and now is valued at more than $43 billion.

GDP:  purchasing power parity - $138.7 billion (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:  1.3% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita:  purchasing power parity - $30,800 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:  agriculture: 2% industry: 31% services: 67%

Population below poverty line:  NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:  lowest 10%: 4.1%
highest 10%: 21.8% (1995)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:  25.8 (1995)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):  3.1% (2001 est.)

Labor force:  2.4 million (2000 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:  services 74%, industry 22%, agriculture,
forestry, and fishing 4% (1995)

Unemployment rate:  3.6% (2001 est.)

Budget:  revenues: $71.7 billion expenditures: $57.6 billion, including
capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)

Industries:  petroleum and gas, food processing, shipbuilding, pulp and
paper products, metals, chemicals, timber, mining, textiles, fishing

Industrial production growth rate:  -1% (2001 est.)

Electricity - production:  141.162 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - production by source:  fossil fuel: 0.49% hydro: 99.31%
other: 0.2% (2000) nuclear: 0%

Electricity - consumption:  112.495 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - exports:  20.259 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - imports:  1.474 billion kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products:  barley, wheat, potatoes; pork, beef, veal,
milk; fish

Exports:  $58 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)

Exports - commodities:  petroleum and petroleum products, machinery and
equipment, metals, chemicals, ships, fish

Exports - partners:  EU 76.8% (Netherlands 11.4%, Germany 10.3%, France
10.0%, Sweden 8.4%), US 7.6% (2000)

Imports:  $33.5 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)

Imports - commodities:  machinery and equipment, chemicals, metals,

Imports - partners:  EU 62.5% (Sweden 14.7%, Germany 11.9%, UK 8.1%,
Denmark 6.4%), US 8.2%, Japan 5.2% (2000)

Debt - external:  $0 (Norway is a net external creditor)

Economic aid - donor:  ODA, $1.4 billion (1998)

Currency:  Norwegian krone (NOK)

Currency code:  NOK

Exchange rates:  Norwegian kroner per US dollar - 8.9684 (January 2002),
8.9917 (2001), 8.8018 (2000), 7.7992 (1999), 7.5451 (1998), 7.0734 (1997)

Fiscal year:  calendar year

Communications Norway

Telephones - main lines in use:  2.735 million (1998)

Telephones - mobile cellular:  2,080,408 (1998)

Telephone system:  general assessment: modern in all respects; one of
the most advanced telecommunications networks in Europe domestic: Norway
has a domestic satellite system; moreover, the prevalence of rural areas
encourages the wide use of cellular mobile systems instead of fixed
wire systems international: 2 buried coaxial cable systems; 4 coaxial
submarine cables; satellite earth stations - NA Eutelsat, NA Intelsat
(Atlantic Ocean), and 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic and Indian Ocean regions);
note - Norway shares the Inmarsat earth station with the other Nordic
countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, and Sweden) (1999)

Radio broadcast stations:  AM 5, FM at least 650, shortwave 1 (1998)

Radios:  4.03 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations:  360 (plus 2,729 repeaters) (1995)

Televisions:  2.03 million (1997)

Internet country code:  .no

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):  13 (2000)

Internet users:  2.45 million (2001)

Transportation Norway

Railways:  total: 4,006 km standard gauge: 4,006 km 1.435-m gauge (2,471
km electrified) (2001)

Highways:  total: 91,180 km paved: 67,838 km (including 109 km of
expressways) unpaved: 23,342 km (1999)

Waterways:  1,577 km (along west coast) note: navigable by 2.4 m maximum
draft vessels

Pipelines:  refined petroleum products 53 km

Ports and harbors:  Bergen, Drammen, Floro, Hammerfest, Harstad,
Haugesund, Kristiansand, Larvik, Narvik, Oslo, Porsgrunn, Stavanger,
Tromso, Trondheim

Merchant marine:  total: 746 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 20,691,266
GRT/32,126,513 DWT ships by type: bulk 84, cargo 130, chemical tanker 119,
combination bulk 9, combination ore/oil 38, container 18, liquefied gas
91, passenger 6, petroleum tanker 143, refrigerated cargo 9, roll on/roll
off 41, short-sea passenger 21, specialized tanker 2, vehicle carrier
35 note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of
convenience: Australia 1, Denmark 14, Germany 11, Greece 10, Hong Kong 7,
Iceland 2, Japan 11, Lithuania 1, Monaco 42, Poland 1, Saudi Arabia 3,
Singapore 10, Sweden 42, Switzerland 2, United Kingdom 4, United States 5
(2002 est.)

Airports:  102 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:  total: 67 over 3,047 m: 1 2,438 to 3,047
m: 13 1,524 to 2,437 m: 13 914 to 1,523 m: 15 under 914 m: 26 (2001)

Airports - with unpaved runways:  total: 35 914 to 1,523 m: 6 under 914 m:
29 (2001)

Military Norway

Military branches:  Norwegian Army, Royal Norwegian Navy (including
Coast Artillery and Coast Guard), Royal Norwegian Air Force, Home Guard

Military manpower - military age:  20 years of age (2002 est.)

Military manpower - availability:  males age 15-49: 1,099,966 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:  males age 15-49: 911,632
(2002 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:  males: 27,341
(2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure:  $3.113 billion (FY98/99)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:  2.13% (2002)

Transnational Issues Norway

Disputes - international:  Norway asserts a territorial claim in
Antarctica (Queen Maud Land and its continental shelf); despite recent
discussions, Russia and Norway continue to dispute their maritime
limits in the Barents Sea and Russia's fishing rights beyond Svalbard's
territorial limits within the Svalbard Treaty zone

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002

Arts & Culture
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