Norway ......

facts, facts and even more facts

The home of Giants, Trolls,
Henrik Ibsen and .....,


Prekestolen , Rogaland, just a piece of Norway
....a picture that shows a view of a Norwegian fjord.
But the country is much more.....


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Background: Norway gained its independence from Sweden in 1905. As a separate realm, Norway stayed free of World War I but suffered German occupation in World War II. Discovery of oil and gas in adjacent waters in the late 1960s gave a strong boost to Norway's economic fortunes. Norway is planning for the time when its oil and gas reserves are depleted and is focusing on containing spending on its extensive welfare system. It has decided at this time not to join the European Union and the new euro currency regime.


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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

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: 2,515 km
border countries: Finland 729 km, Sweden 1,619 km, Russia 167 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
continental shelf: 200 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 4 nm

Climate: temperate along coast, modified by North Atlantic Current; colder interior; 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: Glittertinden 2,472 m

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

Land use:
arable land: 3%
permanent crops: NA%
permanent pastures: 0%
forests and woodland: 27%
other: 70% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 970 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: NA

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-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, 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: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, 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; Norway is the only NATO member having a land boundary with Russia


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Population: 4,438,547 (July 1999 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 20% (male 447,607; female 423,844)
15-64 years: 65% (male 1,462,906; female 1,415,992)
65 years and over: 15% (male 286,339; female 401,859) (1999 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.4% (1999 est.)

Birth rate: 12.54 births/1,000 population (1999 est.)

Death rate: 10.12 deaths/1,000 population (1999 est.)

Net migration rate: 1.62 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1999 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 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 (1999 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 4.96 deaths/1,000 live births (1999 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 78.36 years
male: 75.55 years
female: 81.35 years (1999 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.77 children born/woman (1999 est.)

noun: Norwegian(s)
adjective: Norwegian

Ethnic groups: Germanic (Nordic, Alpine, Baltic), Lapps (Sami) 20,000

Religions: Evangelical Lutheran 87.8% (state church), other Protestant and Roman Catholic 3.8%, none 3.2%, unknown 5.2% (1980)

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

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99% (1976 est.)
male: NA%
female: NA%


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Country name:
conventional long form: Kingdom of Norway
conventional short form: Norway
local long form: Kongeriket Norge
local short form: Norge

Data code: NO

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: 26 October 1905 (from Sweden)

National holiday: Constitution Day, 17 May (1814)

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 Jens STOLTENBERG (since march 2000)
cabinet: State Council appointed by the monarch with the approval of the Parliament
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; following parliamentary elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the monarch with the approval of the Parliament

Legislative branch: modified unicameral Parliament or Storting which, for certain purposes, divides itself into two chambers (165 seats; members are elected by popular vote by proportional representation to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 15 September 1997 (next to be held NA September 2001)
election results: percent of vote by party—Labor 35%, Center Party 7.9%, Conservatives 14.3%, Christian People's 13.7%, Socialist Left 6%, Progress 15.3%, Liberal Party 4.4%, other parties 1.6%; seats by party—Labor 65, Center Party 11, Conservatives 23, Christian People's 25, Socialist Left 9, Progress 25, Liberal Party 6, other parties 1
note: for certain purposes, the Parliament divides itself into two chambers and elects one-fourth of its membership to an upper house or Lagting

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

Political parties and leaders: Labor Party [Thorbjorn JAGLAND]; Conservative Party [Jan PETERSEN]; Center Party [Anne ENGER LAHNSTEIN]; Christian People's Party [Valgerd SVARSTAD HAUGLAND]; Socialist Left Party [Kristin HALVORSEN]; Norwegian Communist Party [Kare Andre NILSEN]; Progress Party [Carl I. HAGEN]; Liberal Party [Lars SPONHEIM]; Red Electoral Alliance [Aslak Sira MYHRE]

International organization participation: AfDB, AsDB, Australia Group, BIS, CBSS, CCC, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, EFTA, ESA, FAO, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MONUA, MTCR, NAM (guest), NATO, NC, NEA, NIB, NSG, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIBH, UNMOP, UNPREDEP, UPU, WEU (associate), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO, ZC

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

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)


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Economy—overview: Norway is a prosperous bastion of welfare capitalism. The economy consists of 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), and extensively subsidizes agriculture, fishing, and areas with sparse resources. Norway maintains an extensive welfare system that helps propel public sector expenditures to more than 50% of GDP and results in one of the highest average tax levels in the world. A major shipping nation, with a high dependence on international trade, Norway is basically an exporter of raw materials and semiprocessed goods. 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. Only Saudi Arabia exports more oil than Norway. Norway imports more than half its food needs. Norway opted to stay out of the EU during a referendum in November 1994. Economic growth in 1999 should drop to about 1%. Despite their high per capita income and generous welfare benefits, Norwegians worry about that time in the 21st century when the oil and gas run out.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$109 billion (1998 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 2.4% (1998 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$24,700 (1998 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 2%
industry: 30%
services: 68% (1997)

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 4.1%
highest 10%: 21.2% (1991)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.3% (1998 est.)

Labor force: 2.3 million (1998 est.)

Labor force—by occupation: services 71%, industry 23%, agriculture, forestry, and fishing 6% (1993)

Unemployment rate: 2.6% (yearend 1997)

revenues: $48.6 billion
expenditures: $53 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1994 est.)

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

Industrial production growth rate: 2.7% (1998 est.)

Electricity—production: 103.374 billion kWh (1996)

Electricity—production by source:
fossil fuel: 0.76%
hydro: 99.23%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0.01% (1996)

Electricity—consumption: 112.374 billion kWh (1996)

Electricity—exports: 4.2 billion kWh (1996)

Electricity—imports: 13.2 billion kWh (1996)

Agriculture—products: oats, other grains; beef, milk; fish

Exports: $39.8 billion (f.o.b., 1998)

Exports—commodities: petroleum and petroleum products 55%, machinery and equipment, metals, chemicals, ships, fish (1997)

Exports—partners: EU 76% (UK 19%, Germany 10%, Netherlands 11%, Sweden 9%, France 8%), US 6% (1997)

Imports: $37.1 billion (f.o.b., 1998)

Imports—commodities: machinery and equipment, chemicals, metals, foodstuffs

Imports—partners: EU 68% (Sweden 16%, Germany 14%, UK 9%, Denmark 7%, Netherlands 4%), US 6%, Japan 4%(1997)

Debt—external: none—Norway is a net external creditor

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

Currency: 1 Norwegian krone (NKr) = 100 oere

Exchange rates: Norwegian kroner (NKr) per US$1—7.4524 (January 1999), 7.5451 (1998), 7.0734 (1997), 6.4498 (1996), 6.3352 (1995), 7.0576 (1994)

Fiscal year: calendar year


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Telephones: 2.39 million (1994 est.); 470,000 cellular telephone subscribers (1994)

Telephone system: high-quality domestic and international telephone, telegraph, and telex services
domestic: NA domestic satellite earth stations
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)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 46, FM 493 (350 private and 143 government), shortwave 0

Radios: 3.3 million (1993 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 209 (1997)

Televisions: 1.5 million (1993 est.)


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total: 4,012 km
standard gauge: 4,012 km 1.435-m gauge (2,422 km electrified; 96 km double track) (1996)

total: 91,180 km
paved: 67,473 km (including 109 km of expressways)
unpaved: 23,707 km (1997 est.)

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

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: 788 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 21,200,416 GRT/33,642,888 DWT
ships by type: bulk 106, cargo 150, chemical tanker 99, combination bulk 8, combination ore/oil 39, container 19, liquefied gas tanker 86, multifunction large-load carrier 1, oil tanker 143, passenger 12, refrigerated cargo 15, roll-on/roll-off cargo 52, short-sea passenger 22, vehicle carrier 36
note: the government has created an internal register, the Norwegian International Ship register (NIS), as a subset of the Norwegian register; ships on the NIS enjoy many benefits of flags of convenience and do not have to be crewed by Norwegians (1998 est.)

Airports: 103 (1998 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 66
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 11
1,524 to 2,437 m: 14
914 to 1,523 m: 11
under 914 m: 29 (1998 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 37
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 32 (1998 est.)

Heliports: 1 (1998 est.)


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

Military manpower—military age: 20 years of age

Military manpower—availability:
males age 15-49: 1,103,738 (1999 est.)

Military manpower—fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 917,244 (1999 est.)

Military manpower—reaching military age annually:
males: 27,448 (1999 est.)

Military expenditures—dollar figure: NA

Military expenditures—percent of GDP: 2.2% (1998)

  Transnational Issues  

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Disputes—international: territorial claim in Antarctica (Queen Maud Land); Svalbard is the focus of a maritime boundary dispute in the Barents Sea between Norway and Russia

Illicit drugs: minor transshipment point for drugs shipped via the CIS and Baltic states for the European market; increasing domestic consumption of cannabis and amphetamines

Information obtained from CIA, The World Factbook 1999 and modified.