Kongeriket Norge
      (Kingdom of Norway)

      Derives from the Old Norse words "nordr" and "vegr" meaning "northern way" and refers to the long coastline of western 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 (declaring the union with Sweden dissolved. Sweden agreed to the repeal of the union in October of the same year).

      Although Norway remained neutral in World War I, it suffered heavy losses to its shipping. Despite its neutrality, Norway was not able to avoid occupation by Germany in World War II. 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. Norway asserts a territorial claim in Antarctica (Queen Maud Land and its continental shelf). Despite discussions, Russia and Norway continue to dispute their maritime limits in the Barents Sea and Russia's fishing rights beyond Svalbard's territorial limits within the Svalbard Treaty zone.

      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 in a sizeable way to the EU budget.

      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 Erna Solberg (since 16 October 2013).

      Constitution Day (17 May) is the National holiday.

      Capital of Norway is Oslo.

      Location: Northern Europe, bordering the North Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Sweden.
      About two-thirds mountains. Some 50,000 islands off its much indented coastline; one of most rugged and longest coastlines in the world. Norway is the only NATO member having a land boundary with Russia. The area is approximately 323,802 sq km (307,442 sq km land. 16,360 sq km water). Terrain is glaciated. Mostly high plateaus and rugged mountains broken by fertile valleys. There are small, scattered plains, but the coastline is deeply indented by fjords. To the north you will find arctic tundra. Natural hazards include rockslides and avalanches. Climate is temperate along coast, modified by the North Atlantic Current. Norway has a colder interior with increased precipitation, and colder summers causing glaciers to grow. Also, rainy year-round on west coast.

      Population: About 5,265,158 people live in Norway.
      The majority of residents are Norwegian. Approximately 60,000 are of the Sami ethnic group. Main language spoken is Norwegian; Bokmal (official), Nynorsk (official). There are also Sami and Finnish-speaking minorities; Sami is an official language in nine municipalities.

      Religions: Church of Norway (Evangelical Lutheran), other Protestant denominations, Roman Catholic, Muslim, and others.

      Agriculture: Products include barley, wheat, potatoes; pork, beef, veal; fish; milk.

      Exports (commodities): Petroleum and petroleum products, machinery and equipment, metals, chemicals, ships, and fish.

      Economy: The Norwegian economy is a prosperous bastion of welfare capitalism, featuring 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). The country is richly endowed with natural resources (petroleum, hydropower, fish, forests, and minerals). 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's economy remains buoyant. Domestic economic activity is, and will continue to be, the main driver of growth, supported by high consumer confidence and strong investment spending in the offshore oil and gas sector.

      Currency: Norwegian krone (NOK).

      Norway's flag shall take you back

      Source~The World Factbook

      This page was last updated on 02 February, 2018