Coat of Arms
Prime Minister Erna Solberg
»Norwegian, Lule Sami, Northern Sami, Southern Sami
»Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
»385,178 km2 (61sta)
»$353.230 billion (46th)
» Per capita -$67,619 (4th)
» $523.188 billion (22nd)
» Per capita -$100,438 (3rd)
»Norwegian krone (NOK)
Norway officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a sovereign and unitary monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard.
The Antarctic Peter I Island and the sub-Antarctic Bouvet Island are dependent territories and thus not considered part of the Kingdom.
Norway has a total area of 385,252 square kilometres (148,747 sq mi) and a population of 5,109,059 people (2014). The country shares a long eastern border with Sweden (1,619 km or 1,006 mi long).
Norway is bordered by Finland and Russia to the north-east, and the Skagerrak Strait to the south, with Denmark on the other side. Norway has an extensive coastline, facing the North Atlantic Ocean and the Barents Sea.
King Harald V of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg is the current monarch of Norway.
Erna Solberg became Prime Minister in 2013, replacing Jens Stoltenberg who later became the 13th Secretary-General of NATO.
A constitutional monarchy since 1814, state power is divided between the Parliament, the King and his Council, and the Supreme Court. Between 1661 and 1814, Norway was an absolute monarchy, and before 1661, the King shared power with the Norwegian nobility.
Traditionally established in 872 and originating in one of the petty kingdoms, Norway is one of the oldest still existing kingdoms in Europe and worldwide. The Kingdom has existed continuously for over 1,100 years, and the list of Norwegian monarchs includes over sixty kings and earls.
Norway ranks as the second-wealthiest country in the world in monetary value, with the largest capital reserve per capita of any nation.
According to the CIA World Factbook, Norway is a net external creditor of debt. Norway maintained first place in the world in the UNDP Human Development Index (HDI) for six consecutive years (2001–2006), and then reclaimed this position in 2009, through 2014.
The standard of living in Norway is among the highest in the world. Foreign Policy Magazine ranks Norway last in its Failed States Index for 2009, judging Norway to be the world’s most well-functioning and stable country.
Based on continued oil and gas exports, coupled with a healthy economy and substantial accumulated wealth, Norway is expected to continue as among the richest countries in the world in the foreseeable future.
The Norwegian economy is an example of a mixed economy, a prosperous capitalist welfare state and social democracy country featuring a combination of free market activity and large state ownership in certain key sectors.
The state has large ownership positions in key industrial sectors, such as the strategic petroleum sector (Statoil and Aker Solutions), hydroelectric energy production (Statkraft), aluminium production (Norsk Hydro), the largest Norwegian bank (DnB NOR), and telecommunication provider (Telenor).
Through these big companies, the government controls approximately 30% of the stock values at the Oslo Stock Exchange.
When non-listed companies are included, the state has even higher share in ownership (mainly from direct oil license ownership). Norway is a major shipping nation and has the world’s 6th largest merchant fleet, with 1,412 Norwegian-owned merchant vessels.
Norway is ranked 30 with an Economic Complexity Index (ECI) of 0.928884
Top 5 Products exported by Norway
- Crude Petroleum (36%),
- Petroleum Gas (26%),
- Refined Petroleum (5.3%),
- Non-fillet Fresh Fish (2.4%),
- Raw Aluminium (1.9%)
Top 5 Export destinations of Norway
Top 5 Products imported by Norway
- Cars (5.9%),
- Refined Petroleum (3.7%),
- Passenger and Cargo Ships (3.2%),
- Nickel Mattes (2.5%),
- Computers (2.4%)
Top 5 Import origins of Norway
- Sweden (14%),
- Germany (12%),
- China (8.9%),
- Denmark (6.2%),
- United Kingdom (6.0%)
The main tourist attractions of Norway are the fjord-indented coastline and its mountains, the unspoiled nature of the inner parts of the country, and the cities and smaller towns.
The main attractions of Norway are the varied landscapes that extend across the Arctic Circle. It is famous for its fjord-indented coastline and its mountains, ski resorts, lakes and woods.
The main tourist cities in Norway are Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger, Trondheim and Tromsø. Much of the nature of Norway remains unspoiled, and thus attracts numerous hikers and skiers.
The fjords, mountains and waterfalls in Western and North Norway attract several hundred thousand foreign tourists each year. In the cities, cultural idiosyncrasies such as the Holmenkollen ski jump attract many visitors, as well as historic and cultural buildings and areas such as Bryggen in Bergen and the Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo.
The culture of Norway evolved as a result of its sparse population, harsh climate, and relative isolation from the rest of Europe.
It is therefore distinct from other countries in Europe in that it has fewer opulent palaces and castles, smaller agricultural areas, and longer travel distances.
Regionally distinct architecture, crafts, and art are presented in the various folk museums, typically based on an ethnological perspective. Norsk Folkemuseum at Bygdøy in Oslo is the largest of these.
- Norway has plenty of rural attractions – mountains, fjords, islands, glaciers, waterfalls, forests and small villages. Norway’s natural and cultural sights often coincide, such as an impressive mountain road within a great scenery or the ancient stave churches located in the most serene landscape.
Norway has an abundance of waterfalls, in any size and shape. Norway is home to a notable number of the world’s tallest waterfalls, particularly in the central mountains and western Norway.
- Vøringsfossen falls, hotel and road 7 on the edge above
- Fjords – Norway’s famous fjords are found throughout the country and are not limited to a particular region or location. All major cities sit on the shores of a fjord.
- There are well over 1,000 distinct (named) fjords in Norway. The vast Sognefjord is some 200 km to the far end and includes a number of arms each about the size of Milford Sound. by ferry (a few daring bridges or tunnels have been built).
- In large parts of Norway there is in fact very little continuous land, instead a wide tangle of islands and peninsulas. These peninsulas are often connected to the actual mainland by (narrow) isthmuses. Such isthmuses are shortcuts between fjords and have always been important transport corridors.
- Fjord regions – Western Fjords: The most dramatic and famous fjords are largely in West Norway, approximately from Stavanger to Molde.
- Nordland and Troms: These counties are also home to wild landscapes with alpine summits, islands and impressive fjords. The narrow strait into Skjerstadfjorden at Bodø creates the world’s strongest tidal current, the Saltstraumen.
- Middle Norway: The fjords of Trøndelag, notably the large Trondheimsfjord, are less dramatic but still dominates the landscape. The Trondheimsfjord runs from the large Hitra island to the interior town of Steinkjer. The central part of this fjord is like a small enclosed ocean.
- East Norway: The fjords in the wider Oslo region, primarily Oslofjord, are also key to the geography of these lowlands and flatlands, similar to the Trondheimsfjord.
- South Norway has some scattered fjords, but smallish compared to the wild fjords of the west and the wide Trondheimsfjord.
The fjords of eastern Finnmark are far less dramatic but these long and wide fjords dominate the landscape.
- Fjord-lakes – Many freshwater lakes in the interior are called fjords, for instance Randsfjorden and Tyrifjorden, even lake Mjøsa is called “the fjord” by locals.
- Northern lights and midnight sun: If you want to see the northern lights, CNN has Tromsø on top of its list of best places to see it. Tromsø should also be visited during summer to see the midnight sun.
- Typical wooden town on the south coast. While most people don’t pick Norway because they’d like to walk around in cities with museums, monuments, parks streetside cafés or luxurious restaurants, in Oslo and some other cities that’s also an option. Just getting around in Norway by car, boat, train, bike or foot usually rewards you with great views.
- Urne stave church at Luster fjord
- UNESCO world heritage sites of the country are:
- The rock paintings of Alta
- The Vega archipelago
- Urnes stave church in Luster
- The mining town of Røros
- Bergen’s waterfront, Bryggen
- Wooden towns