Form of Government: Constitutional monarchy
Area: 323 805 sq km
Population: 5 328 212 inhab. (estimate 2019)
Density: 16.46 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 71° - 58° N; long. 5° - 32° E
Capital: Oslo (capital) 681 071 inhab. (2019); Oslo 1 000 467 inhab. (2018), urban agglomeration
Currency: Norwegian krone (100 øre)
Human development index: 0.953 (rank: 1)
Sovereign: King Harald V, since 17 January 1991
Prime Minister: Erna Solberg (Conservative Party), since 16 October 2013
Parliament: seats based on the elections of 11 September 2017: AP (Labour Party), 49; H (Conservative Party), 45; FrP (Progress Party, liberal), 27; SP (Centre Part), 19; SV (Socialist Left Party), 11; V (Left Liberal Party), 8; KrF (Christian Democratic Party), 8; others, 2
Internet: www.ssb.no (Statistics Norway)
Member of Council of Europe, EBRD, EFTA, NATO, Nordic Council, OAS observer, OECD, OSCE, UN, WTO
International license plate code N
International dialling code 0047
Travel vaccinations requirement none
Electricity (Voltage) 230
Driving side rigth
Internet code .no
DST duration (start-end) late March-late October
Annual average temperature (°C) Oslo 6.2; Tromsø 2.9
Average temperature in January/July (°C) Oslo -4.5/17.5; Tromsø -4/12.5
Daily sunshine hours in June/December (average) Oslo 8/1; Tromsø 7/0
Annual average precipitation (mm) Oslo 735; Tromsø 995
Days of rainfall (annual average) Oslo 108; Tromsø 152
Politics and current affairs
On 17 January 2019, Prime Minister Erna Solberg successfully formed a government with a centre-right majority.
In foreign policy, tensions grew with Russia in the Arctic region, which has become increasingly strategic.
Extending along the Atlantic shore of the Scandinavian peninsula, Norway is bordered to the north-east by Russia and Finland, to the east by Sweden, to the north by the Arctic Sea and the Barents Sea, to the south by the North Sea and to the west by the Atlantic Ocean.
The highest terrain is in the south-west (Galdhøpiggen, 2469 m), covered with glaciers and scoured by glacial valleys that have filled with seawater to create fiords.
The offshore islands form two archipelagos, the Lofoten Islands and Vesterålen Islands. The largest river is the Glåma, and there are numerous lakes totalling an area of 14 000 km². Despite the high latitude of the country, the climate can be unusually mild owing to the mitigating effect of the North Atlantic Stream.
Joined to Denmark until 1814 and to Sweden until 1905, Norway is now a constitutional monarchy. Labour and centre-right parties (conservatives and Christian democrats) have alternated in power since 1950. Referendums in 1972 and 1994 decided that the country would not join the EEC and EU, though in 1996 it did sign up to the Schengen Treaty allowing free circulation of people within the EU.
Under the 1814 Constitution (amended many times over the decades), legislative power is exercised by the unicameral Parliament (Storting), made up of 169 members elected directly for a four-year term, which casts a vote of confidence for the government (Statsråd), today sustained by a minority conservative coalition, which proposes a ban on niqābs in schools.
Military service is compulsory and lasts 12 months, followed by four or five top-up training periods.
The judicial system is based on a combination of continental European law and Common Law. In 2015, reform of the criminal law came into effect, allowing for a maximum of 30 years of imprisonment for the most serious crimes.
|Oslo||1 000 467||inhab.||2018|
|Population by age and gender (% - 2018)|
|Foreigners, total||584 233||units||2019|
The moderate economic growth recorded in 2018 should continue in 2019-20 (+1.4%), supported in part by the rise in energy prices. Unemployment is stably below 4%; the Central Bank has begun to increase interest rates.
|Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)||107.09||index||2016|
|Balance of trade||35 346.4||M US$||2018|
|Active population||2 791 900||units||2018|
|Active population, Females||47||%||2018|
|Unemployment rate, Females||44||%||2018|
|Expenses||1 395 431||M LCU||2018|
|Revenues||1 673 744||M LCU||2018|
|Currency in circulation||44.8||BN LCU||2018|
|International reserves||63 145.5||M US$||2018|
Agriculture and forests.
The main crops are cereals (oats, barley, wheat, rye) and, in the south, fruit and vegetables (carrots, apples, plums).
Norway is the least forested of the Scandinavian countries. The most common species is fir, which is used to make mechanical pulp, chemical pulp, cellulose and paper.
Livestock farming, principally sheep, followed by cattle, pigs and fur animals (fox and mink) is well developed. Reindeer are reared by the Laps in the north of the country.
The main catches are cod in the northern seas off the Lofoten Islands, and herring further south. Fish farming is widespread, especially salmon.
Though it initially subscribed to moratorium on whaling introduced by the IWC (International Whaling Commission), Norway now hunts for whales (mainly as food) with an upper limit on catches fixed year by year. As of 2015, government-approved seal hunting was suspended.
|cereals, total||1 284.763||1000 t||2017|
|roots and tubers, total||314.5||1000 t||2017|
|carrots and turnips||47.654||1000 t||2017|
|beans, green||0.96||1000 t||2017|
|peas, dry||4.06||1000 t||2017|
|carrots and turnips||1.531||1000 ha||2017|
|beans, green||0.125||1000 ha||2017|
|peas, dry||2.611||1000 ha||2017|
|timber||12 187 000||m³||2017|
|cattle and buffaloes||861.012||1000 heads||2017|
|sheep||2 393.348||1000 heads||2017|
|equines, total||33.985||1000 heads||2017|
|birds||15 239||1000 heads||2017|
|crustaceans and molluscs||184 759.838||t||2017|
Norway has large oil and natural gas reserves on the continental shelf under the North Sea; a gas liquefaction terminal is active near Hammerfest. Part of the enormous revenue from exports is invested in a sovereign wealth fund, today aimed at higher transparency regarding the environmental impact of the participating companies. There are also significant deposits of iron ore (Mo i Rana and Sydvaranger, reopened in 2019), copper and nickel (Narvik), titanium (Tellnes), pyrites, olivine and graphite.
Energy and industry.
Almost all the electricity generation is hydroelectric (over 95%).
The main oil refineries are located at Slagen-Valloy and Mongstad, while chemical plants are found at Rjukan, Notodden, Odda and Herøya. Abundant electricity has encouraged the development of the iron and steel industry and the production of other metals (aluminium); zinc production is also sizeable as well as silicon carbide.
Ship-building is highly developed, with yards at Oslo, Moss, Fredrikstad, Stavanger and Bergen.
The main textile centres are Bergen, Oslo, Sandnes and Halden. Other industries include beer and margarine.
The most important fish processing centres are Bergen, Trondheim and Stavanger.
|coal, total||133.6||1000 t||2017|
|iron ore||3 520||1000 t||2016|
|limestone||5 547||1000 t||2016|
|- hydro||143 006||M kWh||2016|
|- thermal||2 609.44||M kWh||2016|
|- hydro||30 298||1000 kW||2016|
|- other renew.||1 085||1000 kW||2016|
|total net generation||147 739.44||M kWh||2016|
|total installed capacity||33 855||1000 kW||2016|
|aluminium||1 300||1000 t||2018|
|aluminium, primary||1 220||1000 t||2016|
|petrol||4 408.7||1000 t||2014|
|nitrogen fertilizers||420||1000 t||2017|
|wool fabrics||0.5||M m²||2007|
|wool yarn||1.6||1000 t||2007|
|beer of barley||239.6||1000 t||2014|
|fish, frozen||918.2||1000 t||2006|
|chemical pulp||144.485||1000 t||2017|
|chemi-mechanical pulp||902||1000 t||2017|
|cement||1 850||1000 t||2016|
|chemicals production||469||M US$||2016|
|food, beverages and tobacco production||4 678.5||M US$||2016|
The trade balance is extremely healthy.
The main trading partners are the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and China.
(M US$ - 2017)
natural gas 26 488, crude oil 25 875, fresh and preserved fish 11 040, petroleum products 5 222, machinery 4 028, aluminium 3 997, electrical and electronic equipment 2 682, chemicals 2 399, iron and steel 2 003, ships and boats 1 593, technical and electro-medical appliances 1 413, nickel 904, vehicles and parts thereof 892, pharmaceuticals 756, electric energy 703, timber 585, aircraft and parts thereof 550, refined zinc 514, furniture and accessories 508, plastics 490, paper 440
Finance and banking.
The Norges Bank acts as the country’s central bank, which manages the sovereign fund. The main merchant banks are privately owned, and there are numerous savings banks. The Stock Exchange is in Oslo.
|fuels||57.217||% of goods exports||2017|
|manufactures||19.120||% of goods exports||2017|
|United Kingdom||26 542||M US$||2018|
|Germany||19 593||M US$||2018|
|Sweden||10 568||M US$||2018|
|Germany||9 531||M US$||2018|
Tourism. Tourism is a major source of income and has modern, highly developed infrastructures. The main attractions are the fiords and winter sports resorts.
|Expenditures||17 800||M US$||2017|
|Number of arrivals||6 252 000||units||2017|
|Civil aviation, km flown||128 000 000||km flown||2004|
|Civil aviation, passengers carried||29 905.7||1000 units||2011|
|Broadband subscribers||402.252||per 1000 pop.||2017|
|Computers||629||per 1000 pop.||2008|
Social and welfare
Education, culture & research.
Education is compulsory from 7 to 15 years.
Social security and health.
Norway has first-class social services. An equal opportunity law introduced in 2002 stipulates that 40% of the board members of every company should be women.
|Expected years of schooling||18.1||years||2017|
|Teachers, primary level||48 644||units||2016|
|Teachers, secondary level||50 972||units||2016|
|Social protection spending||40||% of total expenses||2016|
|Social protection spending||25||% of GDP||2018|
|Hospital beds||3.7||per 1000 pop.||2016|
|Physicians||4.7||per 1000 pop.||2017|
|HIV||0.1||% of adults||2017|
|Museums, visitors||11 224 608||units||2017|
|Research and development spending||2.09||% of GDP||2017|
|Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking||100||%||2016|
|Access to electricity||100||%||2017|