Form of Government: Constitutional monarchy
Area: 323 808 sq km
Population: 5 391 369 inhab. (estimate 2021)
Density: 16.65 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 71° - 58° N; long. 5° - 32° E
Capital: Oslo (capital) 697 010 inhab. (2021); Oslo 1 036 059 inhab. (2020), urban agglomeration
Currency: Norwegian krone (100 øre)
Human development index: 0.957 (rank: 1)
Sovereign: King Harald V, since 17 January 1991
Prime Minister: Erna Solberg (Conservative Party), since 16 October 2013, reconfirmed 24 January 2020
Parliament: seats (July 2021 update): AP (Labour Party), 48; H (Conservative Party), 45; FrP (Progress Party, liberal), 26; SP (Centre Part), 20; SV (Socialist Left Party), 11; V (Liberal Party, left), 8; KrF (Christian Democratic Party), 8; others, 3
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
In late 2020, Norway introduced the Longship Project, with an investment of 1.7 billion euro. The project aims to store liquid CO2 in former oil fields under the North Sea, hence ensuring “net zero emissions” in the country by 2050.
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).
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||1 036 059||inhab.||2020|
|Population by age and gender (% - 2020)|
|Foreigners, total||601 567||units||2021|
The pandemic had a limited effect on the Norwegian economy in 2020 (GDP -0.8%). A hike in oil prices and minor restrictions are expected to bring 3.9% growth in 2021.
|Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)||107.09||index||2016|
|Agricultural prod. index (2014-16=100)||101.87||index||2019|
|Active population||2 827 000||units||2020|
|Active population, Females||46.9||%||2020|
|Unemployment rate, Females||44$||%||2020|
|Expenses||1 631 472||M LCU||2020|
|Revenues||1 547 898||M LCU||2020|
|Currency in circulation||41.006||BN LCU||2020|
|International reserves||75 258.813||M US$||2020|
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 and herring further south. Fish farming is widespread (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. Since 2015, the annual public subsidy for seal hunting has been suspended.
|cereals, total||1 323.7||1000 t||2019|
|roots and tubers, total||332.2||1000 t||2019|
|carrots and turnips||49.282||1000 t||2019|
|beans, green||1.308||1000 t||2019|
|peas, dry||4$||1000 t||2019|
|carrots and turnips||1.823||1000 ha||2019|
|beans, green||0.173||1000 ha||2019|
|peas, dry||2.77||1000 ha||2019|
|timber||12 733 466||m³||2019|
|cattle and buffaloes||872.955||1000 heads||2019|
|sheep||2 300.39||1000 heads||2019|
|equines, total||34.787||1000 heads||2019|
|birds||16 420||1000 heads||2019|
|crustaceans and molluscs||273 882.753||t||2019|
|marine fishes||2 039 957.465||t||2019|
Norway has large oil and natural gas reserves in the North Sea; the debate continues on whether to expand the exploitation of the deposits. A gas liquefaction terminal is active near Hammerfest; there are also other plants aimed at exporting oil and gas to Europe through a dense pipeline network.
Part of the enormous revenue from exports is invested in a sovereign wealth fund, which is now committed to reducing stakeholdings in highly polluting sectors. The fund is worth approximately 1275 billion dollars (2020), up from 1148 billion in 2019.
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. A large investment program in renewables was announced in 2020.
Norway is hosting two refineries, in Mongstad and in Slagen, and several basic chemical plants. Abundant electricity has encouraged the expansion of the iron and steel industry and the production of other metals (aluminium, zinc and silicon carbide).
Ship-building is highly developed, with yards at Oslo, Moss, Fredrikstad, Stavanger and Bergen.
Other industries include textiles, beer and margarine; fish processing centres are active on the coast.
|coal, total||70.4||1000 t||2020|
|iron ore||3 520||1000 t||2016|
|limestone||5 669||1000 t||2018|
|- hydro||123 662.88||M kWh||2019|
|- other renew.||5 991.78||M kWh||2019|
|- hydro||31 182||1000 kW||2019|
|- other renew.||2 706||1000 kW||2019|
|total net generation||131 881.94||M kWh||2019|
|total installed capacity||35 416||1000 kW||2018|
|aluminium||1 400||1000 t||2020|
|aluminium, primary||1 400||1000 t||2019|
|petrol||4 408.7||1000 t||2014|
|nitrogen fertilizers||615.4||1000 t||2019|
|wool fabrics||0.5||M m²||2007|
|wool yarn||1.6||1000 t||2007|
|beer of barley||545.324||1000 t||2018|
|fish, frozen||918.2||1000 t||2006|
|mechanical pulp||833||1000 t||2019|
|cement||1 950||1000 t||2018|
|chemicals production||1 888.639||M US$||2016|
|food, beverages and tobacco production||5 887.357||M US$||2018|
The trade balance remains positive, despite the drop in oil prices. The main trading partners are the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and China.
(M US$ - 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||55.988||% of goods exports||2019|
|manufactures||19.705||% of goods exports||2019|
|United Kingdom||14 408||M US$||2020|
|Germany||9 634||M US$||2020|
|China||9 810||M US$||2020|
|Germany||9 327||M US$||2020|
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||17 992||M US$||2019|
|Number of arrivals||5 879 000||units||2019|
|Civil aviation, km flown||128 000 000||km flown||2004|
|Civil aviation, passengers carried||29 905.7||1000 units||2011|
|Broadband subscribers||420.276||per 1000 pop.||2019|
|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||18.12||years||2018|
|Students, primary level||447 355||units||2018|
|Students, secondary level||449 330||units||2018|
|Social protection spending||38.24||% of total expenses||2019|
|Social protection spending||25.316||% of GDP||2019|
|Hospital beds||3.53||per 1000 pop.||2018|
|Physicians||4.93||per 1000 pop.||2019|
|HIV||0.1||% of adults||2018|
|Museums, visitors||10 433 301||units||2019|
|Research and development spending||2.15||% of GDP||2019|
|Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking||100||%||2019|
|Access to electricity||100||%||2019|