Europe :: Norway

Introduction ::Norway

    Two centuries of Viking raids into Europe tapered off following the adoption of Christianity by King Olav TRYGGVASON in 994. Conversion of the Norwegian kingdom occurred over the next several decades. In 1397, Norway was absorbed into a union with Denmark that lasted 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 1905 referendum granting Norway independence. Although Norway remained neutral in World War I, it suffered heavy losses to its shipping. Norway proclaimed its neutrality at the outset of World War II, but was nonetheless occupied for five years by Nazi Germany (1940-45). 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. In referenda held in 1972 and 1994, Norway rejected joining the EU. Key domestic issues include immigration and integration of ethnic minorities, maintaining the country's extensive social safety net with an aging population, and preserving economic competitiveness.

Geography ::Norway

    Northern Europe, bordering the North Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Sweden
    62 00 N, 10 00 E
    total: 323,802 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 68
    land: 304,282 sq km
    water: 19,520 sq km
    slightly larger than New Mexico
    total: 2,542 km
    border countries: Finland 727 km, Sweden 1,619 km, Russia 196 km
    25,148 km (includes mainland 2,650 km, as well as long fjords, numerous small islands, and minor indentations 22,498 km; length of island coastlines 58,133 km)
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    contiguous zone: 10 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    continental shelf: 200 nm
    temperate along coast, modified by North Atlantic Current; colder interior with increased precipitation and colder summers; rainy year-round on west coast
    glaciated; mostly high plateaus and rugged mountains broken by fertile valleys; small, scattered plains; coastline deeply indented by fjords; arctic tundra in north
    lowest point: Norwegian Sea 0 m
    highest point: Galdhopiggen 2,469 m
    petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, titanium, pyrites, nickel, fish, timber, hydropower
    arable land: 2.52%
    permanent crops: 0.01%
    other: 97.46% (2011)
    1,149 sq km (2007)
    382 cu km (2011)
    total: 2.94 cu km/yr (28%/43%/29%)
    per capita: 622.4 cu m/yr (2006)
    rockslides, avalanches
    volcanism: Beerenberg (elev. 2,227 m) on Jan Mayen Island in the Norwegian Sea is the country's only active volcano
    water pollution; acid rain damaging forests and adversely affecting lakes, threatening fish stocks; air pollution from vehicle emissions
    party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    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 the most rugged and longest coastlines in the world

People and Society ::Norway

Government ::Norway

    conventional long form: Kingdom of Norway
    conventional short form: Norway
    local long form: Kongeriket Norge
    local short form: Norge
    constitutional monarchy
    name: Oslo
    geographic coordinates: 59 55 N, 10 45 E
    time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
    19 counties (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
    Bouvet Island, Jan Mayen, Svalbard
    7 June 1905 (Norway declared the union with Sweden dissolved); 26 October 1905 (Sweden agreed to the repeal of the union)
    Constitution Day, 17 May (1814)
    17 May 1814; amended many times
    mixed legal system of civil, common, and customary law; Supreme Court can advise on legislative acts
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age; universal
    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 17 October 2005)
    cabinet: State Council appointed by the monarch with the approval of parliament
    (For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
    elections: the monarchy is hereditary; following parliamentary elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the monarch with the approval of the parliament
    modified unicameral Parliament or Storting (169 seats; members elected by popular vote by proportional representation to serve four-year terms)
    elections: last held on 14 September 2009 (next to be held in September 2013)
    election results: percent of vote by party - Ap 35.4%, FrP 22.9%, H 17.2%, SV 6.2%, Sp 6.2%, KrF 5.5%, V 3.9%, other 2.7%; seats by party - Ap 64, FrP 41, H 30, SV 11, Sp 11, KrF 10, V 2
    highest court(s): Supreme Court or Hoyesterett (consists of the chief justice and 18 associate justices)
    note - in addition to professionally trained judges, there are elected lay judges that sit on the bench with professional judges in the Courts of Appeal and district courts
    judge selection and term of office: justices appointed by the monarch (King in Council) upon the recommendation of the Judicial Appointments Board; justice retirement mandatory at age 70
    subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal or Lagmensrett; regional and district courts; Conciliation Boards; ordinary and special courts
    Center Party or Sp [Liv Signe NAVARSETE]
    Christian Democratic Party or KrF [Knut Arild HAREIDE]
    Conservative Party or H [Erna SOLBERG]
    Labor Party or Ap [Jens STOLTENBERG]
    Liberal Party or V [Trine SKEI-GRANDE]
    Progress Party or FrP [Siv JENSEN]
    Socialist Left Party or SV [Audun LYSBAKKEN]
    Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (Naeringslivets Hovedorganisasjon) or NHO [President Kristin SKOGEN LUND; CEO John Gordon BERNANDER]
    Norwegian Association of the Disabled
    Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (Landsorganisasjonen i Norge) or LO [Roar FLATHEN]
    other: environmental groups; media; digital privacy movements
    ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council, Australia Group, BIS, CBSS, CD, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EFTA, EITI (implementing country), ESA, FAO, FATF, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MONUSCO, NATO, NC, NEA, NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNMISS, UNRWA, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
    chief of mission: Ambassador Wegger C. STROMMEN
    chancery: 2720 34th Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 333-6000
    FAX: [1] (202) 469-3990
    consulate(s) general: Houston, New York, San Francisco
    chief of mission: Ambassador Barry B. WHITE
    embassy: Henrik Ibsens gate 48, 0244 Oslo; note - the embassy will move to Huseby in the near future
    mailing address: PSC 69, Box 1000, APO AE 09707
    telephone: [47] 21-30-85-40
    FAX: [47] 22-44-33-63, 22-56-27-51
    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); the colors recall Norway's past political unions with Denmark (red and white) and Sweden (blue)
    lion
    name: "Ja, vi elsker dette landet" (Yes, We Love This Country)

    lyrics/music: Bjornstjerne BJORNSON/Rikard NORDRAAK
    note: adopted 1864; in addition to the national anthem, "Kongesangen" (Song of the King), which uses the tune of "God Save the Queen," serves as the royal anthem

Economy ::Norway

    The Norwegian economy is a prosperous mixed economy, with a vibrant private sector, a large state sector, and an extensive social safety net. The government controls key areas, such as the vital petroleum sector, through extensive regulation and large-scale state-majority-owned enterprises. The country is richly endowed with natural resources - petroleum, hydropower, fish, forests, and minerals - and is highly dependent on the petroleum sector, which accounts for the largest portion of export revenue and about 20% of government revenue. Norway is the world's third-largest natural gas exporter; and seventh largest oil exporter, making one of its largest offshore oil finds in 2011. Norway opted to stay out of the EU during a referendum in November 1994; nonetheless, as a member of the European Economic Area, it contributes sizably to the EU budget. In anticipation of eventual declines in oil and gas production, Norway saves state revenue from the petroleum sector in the world's second largest sovereign wealth fund, valued at over $700 billion in January 2013 and uses the fund''s return to help finance public expenses. After solid GDP growth in 2004-07, the economy slowed in 2008, and contracted in 2009, before returning to positive growth in 2010-12, however, the government budget is set to remain in surplus.
    $281.7 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 46
    $273.5 billion (2011 est.)
    $269.9 billion (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    $501.1 billion (2012 est.)
    3% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    1.3% (2011 est.)
    0.2% (2010 est.)
    $55,900 (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 9
    $55,000 (2011 est.)
    $55,000 (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    40.1% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 11
    37.7% of GDP (2011 est.)
    35.2% of GDP (2010 est.)
    household consumption: 40.4%
    government consumption: 21.3%
    investment in fixed capital: 20.6%
    investment in inventories: 4.5%
    exports of goods and services: 40.7%
    imports of goods and services: -27.5%
    (2012 est.)
    agriculture: 2.9%
    industry: 41.8%
    services: 55.3% (2012 est.)
    barley, wheat, potatoes; pork, beef, veal, milk; fish
    petroleum and gas, food processing, shipbuilding, pulp and paper products, metals, chemicals, timber, mining, textiles, fishing
    6.5% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 37
    2.678 million (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 109
    agriculture: 2.9%
    industry: 21.1%
    services: 76% (2008)
    3.2% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 26
    3.3% (2011 est.)
    NA%
    lowest 10%: 3.9%
    highest 10%: 21% (2008)
    25 (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 131
    25.8 (1995)
    revenues: $285.7 billion
    expenditures: $216.5 billion (2012 est.)
    57% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 9
    13.8% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 4
    29.7% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    28.7% of GDP (2011 est.)
    note: data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data exclude treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data exclude debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions
    calendar year
    0.7% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 12
    1.3% (2011 est.)
    6.25% (31 December 2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 125
    1.75% (31 December 2009 est.)
    3.7% (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 164
    4.4% (31 December 2011 est.)
    $152.2 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 26
    $138.9 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $309.2 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 30
    $280.4 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
    $705.4 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 21
    $615.3 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $219.2 billion (31 December 2011)
    country comparison to the world: 30
    $250.9 billion (31 December 2010)
    $227.2 billion (31 December 2009)
    $76.1 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    $70.3 billion (2011 est.)
    $158.8 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 32
    $159.2 billion (2011 est.)
    petroleum and petroleum products, machinery and equipment, metals, chemicals, ships, fish
    UK 25.6%, Germany 12.6%, Netherlands 12%, France 6.7%, Sweden 6.3%, US 5% (2012)
    $86.72 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 38
    $89.1 billion (2011 est.)
    machinery and equipment, chemicals, metals, foodstuffs
    Sweden 13.6%, Germany 12.4%, China 9.3%, Denmark 6.3%, UK 6.1%, US 5.4% (2012)
    $51.86 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 36
    $49.4 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $659.1 billion (31 December 2012)
    country comparison to the world: 21
    $595.7 billion (31 December 2011)
    note: Norway is a net external creditor
    $244.2 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 21
    $236.4 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $224.9 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 23
    $210.6 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    Norwegian kroner (NOK) per US dollar -
    5.8162 (2012 est.)
    5.6065 (2011 est.)
    6.0442 (2010 est.)
    6.288 (2009)
    5.6361 (2008)

Energy ::Norway

Communications ::Norway

    1.529 million (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 66
    5.7 million (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 100
    general assessment: modern in all respects; one of the most advanced telecommunications networks in Europe
    domestic: Norway has a domestic satellite system; the prevalence of rural areas encourages the wide use of mobile-cellular systems
    international: country code - 47; 2 buried coaxial cable systems; submarine cables provide links to other Nordic countries and Europe; 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) (2011)
    state-owned public radio-TV broadcaster operates 3 nationwide TV stations, 3 nationwide radio stations, and 16 regional radio stations; roughly a dozen privately owned television stations broadcast nationally and roughly another 25 local TV stations broadcasting; nearly 75% of households have access to multi-channel cable or satellite TV; 2 privately owned radio stations broadcast nationwide and another 240 stations operate locally (2008)
    .no
    3.588 million (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 29
    4.431 million (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 53

Transportation ::Norway

    95 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 61
    total: 67
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 14
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 10
    914 to 1,523 m: 22
    under 914 m: 21 (2013)
    total: 28
    914 to 1,523 m: 6
    under 914 m:
    22 (2013)
    1 (2013)
    condensate 578 km; condensate/gas 220 km; gas 8,044 km; oil 3,794 km; oil/gas/water 457 km; water 96 km (2013)
    total: 4,169 km
    country comparison to the world: 39
    standard gauge: 4,169 km 1.435-m gauge (2,784 km electrified) (2009)
    total: 93,509 km (includes 253 km of expressways) (2007)
    country comparison to the world: 50
    1,577 km (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 52
    total: 585
    country comparison to the world: 19
    by type: bulk carrier 55, cargo 105, carrier 5, chemical tanker 121, combination ore/oil 12, liquefied gas 47, passenger 3, passenger/cargo 121, petroleum tanker 54, refrigerated cargo 9, roll on/roll off 4, vehicle carrier 49
    foreign-owned: 81 (Bermuda 24, Canada 1, Cyprus 1, Denmark 7, France 5, Iceland 2, Lithuania 1, Saudi Arabia 3, Sweden 27, US 10)
    registered in other countries: 974 (Antigua and Barbuda 9, Bahamas 186, Barbados 38, Belize 2, Bermuda 5, Brazil 3, Canada 4, Chile 1, Comoros 1, Cook Islands 8, Croatia 2, Curacao 2, Cyprus 14, Denmark 2, Dominica 1, Equatorial Guinea 1, Estonia 2, Faroe Islands 13, Gibraltar 46, Hong Kong 48, Indonesia 3, Isle of Man 30, Italy 6, Liberia 38, Libya 1, Malta 96, Marshall Islands 75, Netherlands 19, Panama 81, Portugal 2, Saint Kitts and Nevis 3, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 13, Singapore 153, Spain 10, Sweden 3, UK 32, US 17, Vanuatu 1, unknown 3) (2010)
    Bergen, Haugesund, Maaloy, Mongstad, Narvik, Sture

Military ::Norway

Transnational Issues ::Norway

    Norway asserts a territorial claim in Antarctica (Queen Maud Land and its continental shelf); Denmark (Greenland) and Norway have made submissions to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental shelf (CLCS) and Russia is collecting additional data to augment its 2001 CLCS submission; Norway and Russia signed a comprehensive maritime boundary agreement in 2010
    refugees (country of origin): 8,870 (Somalia); 5,727 (Iraq); 7,129 (Eritrea); 5,984 (Afghanistan) (2012)
    stateless persons: 2,313 (2012)