Norway

Capital:

Oslo

Population:

5,033,675

Official Languages:

Norwegian

Time Zone:

+1 / Summer +2

Dialing Code:

+47

 

Government:

Unitary parliamentary

Area:

385,252 km2

largest city:

Oslo

Currency :

Norwegian krone (NOK)

ISO 3166 code:

NO

Norway Flag

Basic Info

Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Scandinavian unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and the subantarctic Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of 385,252 square kilometres (148,747 sq mi) and a population of about 5 million. It is the second least densely populated country in Europe. The country shares a long border with Sweden; it is also bordered by Finland and Russia to the north-east; in its south Norway borders the Skagerrak Strait across from Denmark. The capital city of Norway is Oslo. Norway's extensive coastline, facing the North Atlantic Ocean and the Barents Sea, is home to its famous fjords. According to the UN Human Development Index (HDI), Norway is the best country in the World in which to live.


Norway Location in World Map

Geography

Norway comprises the western part of Scandinavia in Northern Europe. The rugged coastline, broken by huge fjords and thousands of islands, stretches 25,000 kilometres (16,000 mi) and 83,000 kilometres (52,000 mi) including fjords and islands. Norway shares a 1,619-kilometre (1,006 mi) land border with Sweden, 727 kilometres (452 mi) with Finland and 196 kilometres (122 mi) with Russia at the east. To the north, west and south, Norway is bordered by the Barents Sea, the Norwegian Sea, the North Sea and Skagerrak.


Climate

The southern and western parts of Norway experience more precipitation and have milder winters than the southeastern part. The lowlands around Oslo have the warmest and sunniest summers but also cold weather and snow in wintertime (especially inland).


Because of Norway's high latitude, there are large seasonal variations in daylight. From late May to late July, the sun never completely descends beneath the horizon in areas north of the Arctic Circle (hence Norway's description as the "Land of the Midnight Sun"), and the rest of the country experiences up to 20 hours of daylight per day. Conversely, from late November to late January, the sun never rises above the horizon in the north, and daylight hours are very short in the rest of the country.


Religion

Most Norwegians are registered at baptism as members of the Church of Norway; many remain in the state church to be able to use services such as baptism, confirmation, marriage and burial, rites which have strong cultural standing in Norway. About 77.0% of Norwegians were members of the Church of Norway as of January 1, 2012. About 66% of all newborns were baptized and about 65% of all 15 year old persons were confirmated in the church in 2011. However, only 20% of Norwegians say that religion occupies an important place in their life (according to a Gallup poll in 2009), the fourth-lowest such percentage in the world (only Estonia, Sweden and Denmark are lower). In the early 1990s, it was estimated that between 4.7% – 5.3% of Norwegians attended church on a weekly basis. This figure has dropped to about 2% – the lowest such percentage in Europe – according to 2009 and 2010 data


Administrative divisions

Norway, a unitary state, is divided into nineteen first-level administrative counties (fylker). The counties are administrated through directly elected county assemblies who elect the County Governor. Additionally, the King and government are represented in every county by a fylkesmann, who effectively acts as a Governor. As such, the Government is directly represented at a local level through the County Governors' offices. The counties are then sub-divided into 430 second-level municipalities (kommuner), which in turn are administrated by directly elected municipal council, headed by a mayor and a small executive cabinet. The capital of Oslo is considered both a county and a municipality.


Norway also has two integral overseas territories, Jan Mayen and Svalbard. There are three Antarctic and Subantarctic dependencies: Bouvet Island, Peter I Island and Queen Maud Land.


In addition, there are 96 settlements with city status in Norway. In most cases, the city borders are coterminous with the borders of their respective municipalities. Often, Norwegian city municipalities include large non-built up areas; for example, Oslo municipality contains large forests, located north and southeast of the city, and over half of Bergen municipality consists of mountainous areas.


County (fylke)

Administrative centre

Most populous municipality

Østfold

Sarpsborg

Fredrikstad

Akershus

Oslo

Bærum

Oslo

City of Oslo

Oslo

Hedmark

Hamar

Ringsaker

Oppland

Lillehammer

Gjøvik

Buskerud

Drammen

Drammen

Vestfold

Tønsberg

Sandefjord

Telemark

Skien

Skien

Aust-Agder

Arendal

Arendal

Vest-Agder

Kristiansand

Kristiansand

Rogaland

Stavanger

Stavanger

Hordaland

Bergen

Bergen

Sogn og Fjordane

Leikanger

Førde

Møre og Romsdal

Molde

Ålesund

Sør-Trøndelag

Trondheim

Trondheim

Nord-Trøndelag

Steinkjer

Stjørdal

Nordland

Bodø

Bodø

Troms

Tromsø

Tromsø

Finnmark

Vadsø

Alta

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