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NORWAY (/ˈnɔːrweɪ/ (_ listen ) NAWR-way_ ; Norwegian : _ Norge_ ( Bokmål ) or _ Noreg_ ( Nynorsk ); Northern Sami : _Norga_), officially the KINGDOM OF NORWAY, is a sovereign state and unitary monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula plus the remote island of Jan Mayen
Jan Mayen
and the archipelago of Svalbard
Svalbard
. The Antarctic Peter I Island and the sub-Antarctic Bouvet Island are dependent territories and thus not considered part of the Kingdom. Norway
Norway
also lays claim to a section of Antarctica
Antarctica
known as Queen Maud Land . Until 1814, the kingdom included the Faroe Islands , Greenland
Greenland
, and Iceland
Iceland
. It also included Bohuslän until 1658, Jämtland and Härjedalen until 1645, Shetland and Orkney
Orkney
until 1468, and the Hebrides
Hebrides
and Isle of Man
Isle of Man
until 1266.

Norway
Norway
has a total area of 385,252 square kilometres (148,747 sq mi) and a population of 5,258,317 (as of January 2017). The country shares a long eastern border with Sweden
Sweden
(1,619 km or 1,006 mi long). Norway
Norway
is bordered by Finland
Finland
and Russia
Russia
to the north-east, and the Skagerrak strait to the south, with Denmark
Denmark
on the other side. Norway has an extensive coastline, facing the North Atlantic
Atlantic
Ocean and the Barents Sea .

King Harald V of the Dano-German House of Glücksburg is the current King of Norway
King of Norway
. Erna Solberg became Prime Minister in 2013, replacing Jens Stoltenberg . A constitutional monarchy , Norway
Norway
divides state power between the Parliament , the Cabinet and the Supreme Court , as determined by the 1814 Constitution . The kingdom is established as a merger of several petty kingdoms . By the traditional count from the year 872 , the kingdom has existed continuously for 1,145 years, and the list of Norwegian monarchs includes over sixty kings and earls.

Norway
Norway
has both administrative and political subdivisions on two levels: counties and municipalities . The Sámi people have a certain amount of self-determination and influence over traditional territories through the Sámi Parliament and the Finnmark Act . Norway maintains close ties with both the European Union
European Union
and the United States . Norway
Norway
is a founding member of the United Nations
United Nations
, NATO
NATO
, the Council of Europe
Europe
, the Antarctic Treaty
Treaty
, and the Nordic Council ; a member of the European Economic Area , the WTO , and the OECD
OECD
; and a part of the Schengen Area .

The country maintains a combination of market economy and a Nordic welfare model with universal health care and a comprehensive social security system. Norway
Norway
has extensive reserves of petroleum , natural gas , minerals , lumber , seafood , fresh water , and hydropower . The petroleum industry accounts for around a quarter of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). On a per-capita basis, Norway
Norway
is the world's largest producer of oil and natural gas outside the Middle East .

The country has the fourth-highest per capita income in the world on the World Bank
World Bank
and IMF
IMF
lists. On the CIA 's GDP (PPP) per capita list (2015 estimate) which includes territories and some regions, Norway ranks as number eleven. It has the world's largest sovereign wealth fund , with a value of 960 billion USD. Since 2009, Norway
Norway
has the highest Human Development Index
Human Development Index
ranking in the world, a position also held previously between 2001 and 2006. It also has the highest inequality-adjusted ranking. Norway
Norway
ranks first on the World Happiness Report , the OECD Better Life Index , the Index of Public Integrity , and the Democracy Index .

CONTENTS

* 1 Etymology

* 2 History

* 2.1 Prehistory * 2.2 Bronze
Bronze
Age * 2.3 Iron Age
Iron Age
* 2.4 Migration period * 2.5 Viking
Viking
Age * 2.6 Kalmar Union * 2.7 Union with Denmark
Denmark
* 2.8 Union with Sweden
Sweden
* 2.9 Dissolution of the union * 2.10 First and Second World Wars * 2.11 Post- World War II
World War II
history

* 3 Geography

* 3.1 Climate * 3.2 Biodiversity * 3.3 Environment

* 4 Politics and government

* 4.1 Administrative divisions * 4.2 Judicial system and law enforcement * 4.3 Foreign relations * 4.4 Military

* 5 Health

* 6 Economy

* 6.1 Resources

* 6.1.1 Oil fields

* 6.2 Transport

* 7 Demographics

* 7.1 Migration

* 7.1.1 Emigration * 7.1.2 Immigration
Immigration

* 7.2 Religion * 7.3 Largest cities of Norway
Norway
* 7.4 Education * 7.5 Languages

* 8 Culture

* 8.1 Human rights * 8.2 Religion * 8.3 Cinema * 8.4 Music * 8.5 Literature * 8.6 Research * 8.7 Architecture * 8.8 Art * 8.9 Cuisine * 8.10 Sports

* 9 International rankings * 10 See also * 11 Notes * 12 References * 13 Bibliography * 14 External links

ETYMOLOGY

_ Opening of Ohthere\'s Old English account, translated: "Ohthere told his lord Ælfrede_ king that he lived northmost of all Norwegians..."

Norway
Norway
has two official names: _Noreg_ in Nynorsk (Old Norse: _Noregr_) and _Norge_ in Bokmål (Old Norse: _Noregi_, dative of _Noregr_).

The name Norway
Norway
comes from the Old English word _Norþweg_ mentioned in 880, meaning "northern way" or "way leading to the north", which is how the Anglo-Saxons referred to the coastline of atlantic Norway. The Anglo-Saxons of Britain also referred to the kingdom of Norway
Norway
in 880 as _Norðmanna land_.

There is some disagreement about whether the native name of Norway originally had the same etymology as the English form. According to the traditional and until recently undisputed view, the first component was originally _norðr_, a cognate of English 'north', so the full name was _Norðr vegr_, 'the way northwards', referring to the sailing route along the Norwegian coast, and contrasting with _suðrvegar_ "southern way" for Germany
Germany
, and _austrvegr_ "eastern way" for the Baltic . According to another theory, the first component was a word _nór_, meaning 'narrow', referring to the inner-archipelago sailing route ('narrow way') through the land. The interpretation as 'northern', as reflected in the English and Latin forms of the name, was due to later folk etymology . This latter view originated with philologist Niels Halvorsen Trønnes in 1847, and it has recently been advocated by language student and activist Klaus Johan Myrvoll and adopted by Philology professor Michael Schulte . The form _Nore_ is still used in placenames such as the village of Nore and lake Norefjorden in Buskerud
Buskerud
county, and still has the same meaning. Among other arguments in favour of the theory, it is pointed out that the word has a long vowel in Skaldic poetry and is not attested with in any native Norse texts or inscriptions (the earliest runic attestations have the spellings _nuruiak_ and _nuriki_). However, this resurrected theory has received some pushback by other scholars on various grounds, e.g. the uncontroversial presence of the element _norðr_ in the ethnonym _norðrmaðr_ 'Norwegian person', 'Norseman' (modern Norwegian _nordmann_), and the adjective _norrǿnn_ 'northern', _Norse_ and _Norwegian_, as well as the very early attestations of the Latin
Latin
and Anglo-Saxon forms with _th_.

In a Latin
Latin
manuscript of 849, the name _Northuagia_ is mentioned, while a French chronicle of c. 900 uses the names _Northwegia_ and _Norwegia_. When Ohthere of Hålogaland visited King Alfred the Great in England
England
in the end of the 9th century, the land was called _Norðwegr_ (lit. Northway) and _norðmanna land_ (lit. Northmen's land).

Old Norse _norðmaðr_ was Latinized as _Nortmannus_ in the 9th century to mean " Norseman " and also " Viking
Viking
", giving rise to the name of the Normans . After Norway
Norway
had become Christian , _Noregr_ and _Noregi_ had become the most common forms, but during the 15th century, the newer forms _Noreg(h)_ and _Norg(h)e_, found in medieval Icelandic manuscripts, took over and have survived until the modern day.

The adjective _Norwegian_, on the other hand, recorded from c. 1600, is derived from the latinisation of the name as _Norwegia_. In the adjective _Norwegian_, the Old English spelling '-weg' has survived.

HISTORY

Main articles: History of Norway and History of Scandinavia

PREHISTORY

Nordic Bronze Age
Nordic Bronze Age
rock carvings at Steinkjer , Central Norway Main article: Scandinavian prehistory
Scandinavian prehistory

The first inhabitants were the Ahrensburg culture (11th to 10th millennia BC), which was a late Upper Paleolithic culture during the Younger Dryas, the last period of cold at the end of the Weichsel glaciation. The culture is named after the village of Ahrensburg , 25 km (15.53 mi) north-east of Hamburg in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein , where wooden arrow shafts and clubs have been excavated. The earliest traces of human occupation in Norway
Norway
are found along the coast, where the huge ice shelf of the last ice age first melted between 11,000 and 8,000 BC. The oldest finds are stone tools dating from 9,500 to 6,000 BC, discovered in Finnmark
Finnmark
(Komsa culture ) in the north and Rogaland
Rogaland
(Fosna culture ) in the south-west. However, theories about two altogether different cultures (the Komsa culture north of the Arctic Circle being one and the Fosna culture from Trøndelag to Oslo
Oslo
Fjord
Fjord
being the other) were rendered obsolete in the 1970s. Approximate extent of the Corded Ware culture

More recent finds along the entire coast revealed to archaeologists that the difference between the two can simply be ascribed to different types of tools and not to different cultures. Coastal fauna provided a means of livelihood for fishermen and hunters, who may have made their way along the southern coast about 10,000 BC when the interior was still covered with ice. It is now thought that these so-called "Arctic" peoples came from the south and followed the coast northward considerably later.

In the southern part of the country are dwelling sites dating from about 5,000 BC. Finds from these sites give a clearer idea of the life of the hunting and fishing peoples. The implements vary in shape and mostly are made of different kinds of stone; those of later periods are more skilfully made. Rock carvings
Rock carvings
(i.e. petroglyphs) have been found, usually near hunting and fishing grounds. They represent game such as deer , reindeer , elk , bears , birds , seals , whales , and fish (especially salmon and halibut ), all of which were vital to the way of life of the coastal peoples. The carvings at Alta in Finnmark, the largest in Scandinavia, were made at sea level from 4,200 to 500 BC and mark the progression of the land as the sea rose after the last ice age ended ( Rock carvings
Rock carvings
at Alta ).

BRONZE AGE

Locations of the Germanic tribes described by Jordanes in Norway Main article: Nordic Bronze Age
Nordic Bronze Age

Between 3000 and 2500 BC new settlers ( Corded Ware culture ) arrived in eastern Norway
Norway
. They were Indo-European farmers who grew grain and kept cows and sheep . The hunting-fishing population of the west coast was also gradually replaced by farmers, though hunting and fishing remained useful secondary means of livelihood.

From about 1500 BC, bronze was gradually introduced, but the use of stone implements continued; Norway
Norway
had few riches to barter for bronze goods, and the few finds consist mostly of elaborate weapons and brooches that only chieftains could afford. Huge burial cairns built close to the sea as far north as Harstad and also inland in the south are characteristic of this period. The motifs of the rock carvings differ from those typical of the Stone Age
Stone Age
. Representations of the Sun
Sun
, animals , trees , weapons , ships , and people are all strongly stylised.

Thousands of rock carvings from this period depict ships, and the large stone burial monuments known as stone ships , suggest that ships and seafaring played an important role in the culture at large. The depicted ships, most likely represent sewn plank built canoes used for warfare, fishing and trade. These ship types may have their origin as far back as the neolithic period and they continue into the Pre-Roman Iron
Iron
Age, as exemplified by the Hjortspring boat .

IRON AGE

Main article: Iron Age Scandinavia

Little has been found dating from the early Iron Age
Iron Age
(the last 500 years BC). The dead were cremated, and their graves contain few burial goods. During the first four centuries AD the people of Norway
Norway
were in contact with Roman-occupied Gaul
Gaul
. About 70 Roman bronze cauldrons, often used as burial urns, have been found. Contact with the civilised countries farther south brought a knowledge of runes ; the oldest known Norwegian runic inscription dates from the 3rd century. At this time, the amount of settled area in the country increased, a development that can be traced by coordinated studies of topography , archaeology , and place-names. The oldest root names, such as nes, vik, and bø ("cape," "bay," and "farm"), are of great antiquity, dating perhaps from the Bronze
Bronze
Age, whereas the earliest of the groups of compound names with the suffixes vin ("meadow") or heim ("settlement"), as in Bjǫrgvin (Bergen) or Sǿheim (Seim), usually date from the 1st century AD.

Archaeologists first made the decision to divide the Iron Age
Iron Age
of Northern Europe
Europe
into distinct pre-Roman and Roman Iron
Iron
Ages after Emil Vedel unearthed a number of Iron Age
Iron Age
artefacts in 1866 on the island of Bornholm
Bornholm
. They did not exhibit the same permeating Roman influence seen in most other artefacts from the early centuries AD, indicating that parts of northern Europe
Europe
had not yet come into contact with the Romans at the beginning of the Iron Age
Iron Age
.

MIGRATION PERIOD

Viking
Viking
swords found in Norway, preserved at Bergen Museum Main article: Migration period See also: Petty kingdoms of Norway

The destruction of the Western Roman Empire by the Germanic peoples in the 5th century
5th century
is characterised by rich finds, including tribal chiefs ' graves containing magnificent weapons and gold objects. Hill forts were built on precipitous rocks for defence. Excavation has revealed stone foundations of farmhouses 18 to 27 metres (59 to 89 ft) long—one even 46 metres (151 feet) long—the roofs of which were supported on wooden posts. These houses were family homesteads where several generations lived together, with people and cattle under one roof.

These states were based on either clans or tribes (e.g., the Horder of Hordaland
Hordaland
in western Norway
Norway
). By the 9th century
9th century
, each of these small states had _things_ (local or regional assemblies), for negotiating and settling disputes. The _thing_ meeting places, each eventually with a hörgr (open-air sanctuary) or a heathen hof (temple; literally "hill"), were usually situated on the oldest and best farms, which belonged to the chieftains and wealthiest farmers. The regional _things_ united to form even larger units: assemblies of deputy yeomen from several regions. In this way, the _lagting_ (assemblies for negotiations and lawmaking) developed. The Gulating had its meeting place by Sognefjord and may have been the centre of an aristocratic confederation along the western fjords and islands called the Gulatingslag. The Frostating was the assembly for the leaders in the Trondheimsfjord area; the Earls of Lade , near Trondheim
Trondheim
, seem to have enlarged the Frostatingslag by adding the coastland from Romsdalsfjord to Lofoten
Lofoten
.

VIKING AGE

Viking
Viking
helmet found at Gjermundbu in Buskerud
Buskerud
, is the only complete Viking
Viking
Age helmet that has been found The Gokstad ship at the Viking
Viking
Ship Museum in Oslo
Oslo
, Norway
Norway
Main article: Viking
Viking
Age See also: Unification of Norway and Hereditary Kingdom of Norway

From the 8th to the 10th century, the wider Scandinavian region was the source of Vikings . The looting of the monastery at Lindisfarne
Lindisfarne
in Northeast England
England
in 793 by Norse people has long been regarded as the event which marked the beginning of the Viking
Viking
Age . This age was characterised by expansion and emigration by Viking
Viking
seafarers . They colonised , raided, and traded in all parts of Europe. Norwegian Viking
Viking
explorers first discovered Iceland
Iceland
by accident in the 9th century when heading for the Faroe Islands , and eventually came across Vinland
Vinland
, known today as Newfoundland , in Canada
Canada
. The Vikings from Norway
Norway
were most active in the northern and western British Isles and eastern North America
North America
isles.

According to tradition, Harald Fairhair unified them into one in 872 after the Battle of Hafrsfjord in Stavanger , thus becoming the first king of a united Norway. Harald's realm was mainly a South Norwegian coastal state. Fairhair ruled with a strong hand and according to the sagas, many Norwegians left the country to live in Iceland, the Faroe Islands , Greenland
Greenland
, and parts of Britain and Ireland
Ireland
. The modern-day Irish cities of Dublin
Dublin
, Limerick
Limerick
and Waterford
Waterford
were founded by Norwegian settlers. Norwegian, Danish and Swedish expansion during the Viking
Viking
age between 800–1050

Norse traditions were slowly replaced by Christian ones in the late 10th and early 11th centuries.One of the most important sources for the history of the 11th century Vikings is the treaty between the Icelanders and Olaf Haraldsson, king of Norway
Norway
circa 1015 to 1028. This is largely attributed to the missionary kings Olav Tryggvasson and St. Olav . Haakon the Good was Norway's first Christian king, in the mid-10th century, though his attempt to introduce the religion was rejected. Born sometime in between 963–969, Olav Tryggvasson set off raiding in England
England
with 390 ships. He attacked London
London
during this raiding. Arriving back in Norway
Norway
in 995, Olav landed in Moster . There he built a church which became the first Christian church ever built in Norway. From Moster, Olav sailed north to Trondheim
Trondheim
where he was proclaimed King of Norway
King of Norway
by the Eyrathing in 995.

Feudalism never really developed in Norway
Norway
or Sweden, as it did in the rest of Europe. However, the administration of government took on a very conservative feudal character. The Hanseatic League forced the royalty to cede to them greater and greater concessions over foreign trade and the economy. The League had this hold over the royalty because of the loans the Hansa had made to the royalty and the large debt the kings were carrying. The League's monopolistic control over the economy of Norway
Norway
put pressure on all classes, especially the peasantry, to the degree that no real burgher class existed in Norway.

KALMAR UNION

Main article: Kalmar Union See also: Norwegian Empire Norwegian Kingdom at its greatest extent, c. 1265

Upon the death of Haakon V (King of Norway) in 1319, Magnus Erikson , at just three years old, inherited the throne as King Magnus VII of Norway. At the same time, a movement to make Magnus King of Sweden proved successful, and both the kings of Sweden
Sweden
and of Denmark
Denmark
were elected to the throne by their respective nobles, Thus, with his election to the throne of Sweden, both Sweden
Sweden
and Norway
Norway
were united under King Magnus VII.

In 1349, the Black Death radically altered Norway, killing between 50% and 60% of its population and leaving it in a period of social and economic decline. The plague left Norway
Norway
very poor. Although the death rate was comparable with the rest of Europe, economic recovery took much longer because of the small, scattered population. Even before the plague, the population was only about 500,000. After the plague, many farms lay idle while the population slowly increased. However, the few surviving farms' tenants found their bargaining positions with their landlords greatly strengthened. Kalmar Union c. 1400 AD

King Magnus VII ruled Norway
Norway
until 1350, when his son, Haakon, was placed on the throne as Haakon VI . In 1363, Haakon VI married Margaret , the daughter of King Valdemar IV of Denmark
Denmark
. Upon the death of Haakon VI, in 1379, his son, Olaf IV , was only 10 years old. Olaf had already been elected to the throne of Denmark
Denmark
on 3 May 1376. Thus, upon Olaf's accession to the throne of Norway, Denmark
Denmark
and Norway
Norway
entered personal union . Olaf's mother and Haakon's widow, Queen Margaret, managed the foreign affairs of Denmark
Denmark
and Norway during the minority of Olaf IV.

Margaret was working toward a union of Sweden
Sweden
with Denmark
Denmark
and Norway by having Olaf elected to the Swedish throne. She was on the verge of achieving this goal when Olaf IV suddenly died. However, Denmark
Denmark
made Margaret temporary ruler upon the death of Olaf. On 2 February 1388, Norway
Norway
followed suit and crowned Margaret. Queen Margaret knew that her power would be more secure if she were able to find a king to rule in her place. She settled on Eric of Pomerania , grandson of her sister. Thus at an all-Scandinavian meeting held at Kalmar, Erik of Pomerania was crowned king of all three Scandinavian countries. Thus, royal politics resulted in personal unions between the Nordic countries , eventually bringing the thrones of Norway, Denmark
Denmark
, and Sweden
Sweden
under the control of Queen Margaret when the country entered into the Kalmar Union .

UNION WITH DENMARK

Main article: Denmark–Norway See also: Greater Norway The Battle of the Sound between an allied Dano-Norwegian–Dutch fleet and the Swedish navy, 8 November 1658 (29 October O.S. )

After Sweden
Sweden
broke out of the Kalmar Union in 1521, Norway
Norway
tried to follow suit, but the subsequent rebellion was defeated, and Norway remained in a union with Denmark
Denmark
until 1814, a total of 434 years. During the national romanticism of the 19th century, this period was by some referred to as the "400-Year Night", since all of the kingdom's royal, intellectual, and administrative power was centred in Copenhagen
Copenhagen
in Denmark. In fact, it was a period of great prosperity and progress for Norway, especially in terms of shipping and foreign trade, and it also secured the country's revival from the demographic catastrophe it suffered in the Black Death . Based on the respective natural resources, Denmark–Norway was in fact a very good match since Denmark
Denmark
supported Norway's needs for grain and food supplies, and Norway
Norway
supplied Denmark
Denmark
with timber, metal, and fish.

With the introduction of Protestantism in 1536, the archbishopric in Trondheim
Trondheim
was dissolved, and Norway
Norway
lost its independence, and effectually became a colony of Denmark. The Church's incomes and possessions were instead redirected to the court in Copenhagen. Norway lost the steady stream of pilgrims to the relics of St. Olav at the Nidaros shrine, and with them, much of the contact with cultural and economic life in the rest of Europe.

Eventually restored as a kingdom (albeit in legislative union with Denmark) in 1661, Norway
Norway
saw its land area decrease in the 17th century with the loss of the provinces Båhuslen , Jemtland , and Herjedalen to Sweden, as the result of a number of disastrous wars with Sweden. In the north, however, its territory was increased by the acquisition of the northern provinces of Troms
Troms
and Finnmark
Finnmark
, at the expense of Sweden
Sweden
and Russia.

The famine of 1695–1696 killed roughly 10% of Norway's population. The harvest failed in Scandinavia
Scandinavia
at least nine times between 1740 and 1800, with great loss of life.

UNION WITH SWEDEN

Main article: United Kingdoms of Sweden
Sweden
and Norway
Norway
See also: Norwegian protectorate and Norwegian romantic nationalism The 1814 constitutional assembly, painted by Oscar Wergeland

After Denmark–Norway was attacked by the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
at the Battle of Copenhagen
Copenhagen
, it entered into an alliance with Napoleon
Napoleon
, with the war leading to dire conditions and mass starvation in 1812. As the Danish kingdom found itself on the losing side in 1814, it was forced, under terms of the Treaty of Kiel
Treaty of Kiel
, to cede Norway
Norway
to the king of Sweden, while the old Norwegian provinces of Iceland, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands remained with the Danish crown.

Norway
Norway
took this opportunity to declare independence, adopted a constitution based on American and French models, and elected the Crown Prince of Denmark
Denmark
and Norway, Christian Frederick , as king on 17 May 1814. This is the famous Syttende Mai (Seventeenth of May) holiday celebrated by Norwegians and Norwegian-Americans alike. _Syttende Mai_ is also called _Norwegian Constitution Day_.

Norwegian opposition to the great powers' decision to link Norway with Sweden
Sweden
caused the Norwegian-Swedish War to break out as Sweden tried to subdue Norway
Norway
by military means. As Sweden's military was not strong enough to defeat the Norwegian forces outright, and Norway's treasury was not large enough to support a protracted war, and as British and Russian navies blockaded the Norwegian coast, the belligerents were forced to negotiate the Convention of Moss . According to the terms of the convention, Christian Frederik abdicated the Norwegian throne and authorised the Parliament of Norway to make the necessary constitutional amendments to allow for the personal union that Norway
Norway
was forced to accept. On 4 November 1814, the Parliament (Storting) elected Charles XIII of Sweden
Sweden
as king of Norway, thereby establishing the union with Sweden
Sweden
. Under this arrangement, Norway
Norway
kept its liberal constitution and its own independent institutions, except for the foreign service. Following the recession caused by the Napoleonic Wars , economic development of Norway
Norway
remained slow until economic growth began around 1830. Harvesting of oats in Jølster around 1890

This period also saw the rise of the Norwegian romantic nationalism , as Norwegians sought to define and express a distinct national character. The movement covered all branches of culture, including literature ( Henrik Wergeland , Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson , Peter Christen Asbjørnsen , Jørgen Moe ), painting ( Hans Gude
Hans Gude
, Adolph Tidemand ), music ( Edvard Grieg ), and even language policy, where attempts to define a native written language for Norway
Norway
led to today's two official written forms for Norwegian: Bokmål and Nynorsk .

King Charles III John , who came to the throne of Norway
Norway
and Sweden in 1818, was the second king following Norway's break from Denmark
Denmark
and the union with Sweden. Charles John was a complex man whose long reign extended to 1844. He protected the constitution and liberties of Norway
Norway
and Sweden
Sweden
during the age of Metternich . As such, he was regarded as a liberal monarch for that age. However, he was ruthless in his use of paid informers, the secret police and restrictions on the freedom of the press to put down public movements for reform—especially the Norwegian national independence movement.

The Romantic Era that followed the reign of King Charles III John brought some significant social and political reforms. In 1854, women won the right to inherit property in their own right, just like men. In 1863, the last trace of keeping unmarried women in the status of minors was removed. Furthermore, women were then eligible for different occupations, particularly the common school teacher. By mid-century, Norway's democracy was limited by modern standards: Voting was limited to officials, property owners, leaseholders and burghers of incorporated towns. A Sami family in Norway
Norway
around 1900

Still, Norway
Norway
remained a conservative society. Life in Norway (especially economic life) was "dominated by the aristocracy of professional men who filled most of the important posts in the central government". There was no strong bourgeosie class in Norway
Norway
to demand a breakdown of this aristocratic control of the economy. Thus, even while revolution swept over most of the countries of Europe
Europe
in 1848, Norway
Norway
was largely unaffected by revolts that year.

Marcus Thrane
Marcus Thrane
was a Utopian socialist. He made his appeal to the labouring classes urging a change of social structure "from below upwards." In 1848, he organised a labour society in Drammen . In just a few months, this society had a membership of 500 and was publishing its own newspaper. Within two years, 300 societies had been organised all over Norway, with a total membership of 20,000 persons. The membership was drawn from the lower classes of both urban and rural areas; for the first time these two groups felt they had a common cause. In the end, the revolt was easily crushed; Thrane was captured and in 1855, after four years in jail, was sentenced to three additional years for crimes against the safety of the state. Upon his release, Marcus Thrane
Marcus Thrane
attempted unsuccessfully to revitalise his movement, but after the death of his wife, he migrated to the United States.

In 1898, all men were granted universal suffrage , followed by all women in 1913. A bride from Hardanger , about 1900's.

DISSOLUTION OF THE UNION

Main articles: Union dissolution referendum and Dissolution of the union between Norway
Norway
and Sweden
Sweden

Christian Michelsen , a shipping magnate and statesman, and Prime Minister of Norway
Norway
from 1905 to 1907, played a central role in the peaceful separation of Norway
Norway
from Sweden
Sweden
on 7 June 1905. A national referendum confirmed the people's preference for a monarchy over a republic. No Norwegian could legitimately claim the throne because none was able to prove relationship to medieval royalty and in European tradition royal or "blue" blood is a precondition for laying claim to the throne.

The government offered the throne of Norway
Norway
to a prince of the Dano-German royal house of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg . Prince Carl of Denmark
Denmark
was unanimously elected king by the Norwegian Parliament , the first king of a fully independent Norway
Norway
in 508 years (1397: Kalmar Union ); he took the name Haakon VII . In 1905, the country welcomed the prince from neighbouring Denmark, his wife Maud of Wales and their young son to re-establish Norway's royal house. Following centuries of close ties between Norway
Norway
and Denmark, a prince from the latter was the obvious choice for a European prince who could best relate to the Norwegian people.

FIRST AND SECOND WORLD WARS

See also: German occupation of Norway , Reichskommissariat Norwegen , Quisling regime , and Free Norwegian Forces Scenes from the Norwegian Campaign in 1940

Throughout the First World War , Norway
Norway
was in principle a neutral country. In reality, however, Norway
Norway
had been pressured by the British to hand over increasingly large parts of its large merchant fleet to the British at low rates, as well as to join the trade blockade against Germany. Norwegian merchant marine ships, often with Norwegian sailors still on board, were then sailing under the British flag and at risk of being sunk by German submarines. Thus, many Norwegian sailors and ships were lost. Thereafter, the world ranking of the Norwegian merchant navy fell from fourth place to sixth in the world.

Norway
Norway
also proclaimed its neutrality during the Second World War , but despite this, it was invaded by German forces on 9 April 1940. Although Norway
Norway
was unprepared for the German surprise attack (see: Battle of Drøbak Sound , Norwegian Campaign , and Invasion
Invasion
of Norway ), military and naval resistance lasted for two months. Norwegian armed forces in the north launched an offensive against the German forces in the Battles of Narvik , until they were forced to surrender on 10 June after losing British support which had been diverted to France
France
during the German invasion of France
France
.

King Haakon and the Norwegian government escaped to Rotherhithe
Rotherhithe
in London. Throughout the war they sent inspirational radio speeches and supported clandestine military actions in Norway
Norway
against the Germans. On the day of the invasion, the leader of the small National-Socialist party Nasjonal Samling , Vidkun Quisling , tried to seize power, but was forced by the German occupiers to step aside. Real power was wielded by the leader of the German occupation authority, Reichskommissar Josef Terboven . Quisling, as _minister president_, later formed a collaborationist government under German control . Up to 15,000 Norwegians volunteered to fight in German units, including the Waffen-SS . Norwegian fighter pilots in the United Kingdom during World War II
World War II

The fraction of the Norwegian population that supported Germany
Germany
was traditionally smaller than in Sweden, but greater than is generally appreciated today. It included a number of prominent personalities such as Knut Hamsun . The concept of a "Germanic Union" of member states fit well into their thoroughly nationalist-patriotic ideology.

Many Norwegians and persons of Norwegian descent joined the Allied forces as well as the Free Norwegian Forces . In June 1940, a small group had left Norway
Norway
following their king to Britain. This group included 13 ships, five aircraft, and 500 men from the Royal Norwegian Navy. By the end of the war, the force had grown to 58 ships and 7,500 men in service in the Royal Norwegian Navy, 5 squadrons of aircraft (including Spitfires, Sunderland flying boats and Mosquitos) in the newly formed Norwegian Air Force, and land forces including the Norwegian Independent Company 1
Norwegian Independent Company 1
and 5 Troop as well as No. 10 Commandos .

During the five years of German occupation , Norwegians built a resistance movement which fought the German occupation forces with both civil disobedience and armed resistance including the destruction of Norsk Hydro 's heavy water plant and stockpile of heavy water at Vemork , which crippled the German nuclear programme (see: _Norwegian heavy water sabotage _). More important to the Allied war effort, however, was the role of the Norwegian Merchant Marine . At the time of the invasion , Norway
Norway
had the 4th largest merchant marine fleet in the world. It was led by the Norwegian shipping company Nortraship under the Allies throughout the war and took part in every war operation from the evacuation of Dunkirk to the Normandy landings . Each December Norway
Norway
gives a Christmas tree
Christmas tree
to the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
as thanks for the British assistance during the Second World War. A ceremony takes place to erect the tree in London's Trafalgar Square .

POST-WORLD WAR II HISTORY

From 1945 to 1962, the Labour Party held an absolute majority in the parliament. The government, led by prime minister Einar Gerhardsen , embarked on a program inspired by Keynesian economics , emphasising state financed industrialisation and co-operation between trade unions and employers\' organisations . Many measures of state control of the economy imposed during the war were continued, although the rationing of dairy products was lifted in 1949, while price control and rationing of housing and cars continued as long as until 1960. Since the 1980s oil production has helped to expand the Norwegian economy and finance the Norwegian state.

The wartime alliance with the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
and the United States was continued in the post-war years. Although pursuing the goal of a socialist economy, the Labour Party distanced itself from the Communists (especially after the Communists' seizure of power in Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
in 1948), and strengthened its foreign policy and defence policy ties with the US. Norway
Norway
received Marshall Plan
Marshall Plan
aid from the United States
United States
starting in 1947, joined the OEEC one year later, and became a founding member of the North Atlantic
Atlantic
Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1949.

In 1969, the Phillips Petroleum
Petroleum
Company discovered petroleum resources at the Ekofisk field west of Norway. In 1973, the Norwegian government founded the State oil company, Statoil . Oil production did not provide net income until the early 1980s because of the large capital investment that was required to establish the country's petroleum industry. Around 1975, both the proportion and absolute number of workers in industry peaked. Since then labour-intensive industries and services like factory mass production and shipping have largely been outsourced.

Norway
Norway
was a founding member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). Two referendums on joining the European Union
European Union
failed by narrow margins in 1972 and 1994. Town Hall Square in Oslo
Oslo
filled with people with roses mourning the victims of the Utøya massacre , 22 July 2011

In 1981, a Conservative government led by Kåre Willoch replaced the Labour Party with a policy of stimulating the stagflated economy with tax cuts, economic liberalisation, deregulation of markets, and measures to curb record-high inflation (13.6% in 1981).

Norway's first female prime minister, Gro Harlem Brundtland of the Labour party, continued many of the reforms of her conservative predecessor, while backing traditional Labour concerns such as social security , high taxes, the industrialisation of nature, and feminism. By the late 1990s, Norway
Norway
had paid off its foreign debt and had started accumulating a sovereign wealth fund . Since the 1990s, a divisive question in politics has been how much of the income from petroleum production the government should spend, and how much it should save.

In 2011, Norway
Norway
suffered two terrorist attacks on the same day conducted by Anders Behring Breivik
Anders Behring Breivik
which struck the government quarter in Oslo
Oslo
and a summer camp of the Labour party's youth movement at Utøya island, resulting in 77 deaths and 319 wounded.

The 2013 Norwegian parliamentary election brought a more conservative government to power with the Conservative Party and the Progress Party , winning 43% of the electorate's votes.

GEOGRAPHY

Main articles: Geography of Norway and Geology of Norway A satellite image of continental Norway
Norway
in winter The tallest vertical rock face in Europe, Trollveggen
Trollveggen
and Trollryggen over the river Rauma in Romsdalen
Romsdalen
valley.

Norway
Norway
comprises the western part of Scandinavia
Scandinavia
in Northern Europe
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). Norway
Norway
shares a 1,619-kilometre (1,006 mi) land border with Sweden
Sweden
, 727 kilometres (452 mi) with Finland
Finland
, and 196 kilometres (122 mi) with Russia
Russia
to the east. To the north, west and south, Norway is bordered by the Barents Sea , the Norwegian Sea
Norwegian Sea
, the North Sea , and Skagerrak . The Scandinavian Mountains form much of the border with Sweden. Norwegian lowland landscape near the Gaulosen branch of Trondheimsfjord Reine
Reine
in Lofoten
Lofoten
, Northern Norway

At 385,252 square kilometres (148,747 sq mi) (including Svalbard
Svalbard
and Jan Mayen
Jan Mayen
) (and 323,802 square kilometres (125,021 sq mi) without), much of the country is dominated by mountainous or high terrain, with a great variety of natural features caused by prehistoric glaciers and varied topography . The most noticeable of these are the fjords: deep grooves cut into the land flooded by the sea following the end of the Ice Age. Sognefjorden is the world's second deepest fjord, and the world's longest at 204 kilometres (127 mi). Hornindalsvatnet is the deepest lake in all Europe. Permafrost can be found all year in the higher mountain areas and in the interior of Finnmark
Finnmark
county. Numerous glaciers are found in Norway.

Norway
Norway
lies between latitudes 57° and 81° N , and longitudes 4° and 32° E .

The land is mostly made of hard granite and gneiss rock, but slate , sandstone , and limestone are also common, and the lowest elevations contain marine deposits. Because of the Gulf Stream and prevailing westerlies, Norway
Norway
experiences higher temperatures and more precipitation than expected at such northern latitudes, especially along the coast. The mainland experiences four distinct seasons, with colder winters and less precipitation inland. The northernmost part has a mostly maritime Subarctic climate , while Svalbard
Svalbard
has an Arctic tundra climate.

Because of the large latitudinal range of the country and the varied topography and climate, Norway
Norway
has a larger number of different habitats than almost any other European country. There are approximately 60,000 species in Norway
Norway
and adjacent waters (excluding bacteria and virus). The Norwegian Shelf large marine ecosystem is considered highly productive.

CLIMATE

The southern and western parts of Norway, fully exposed to Atlantic storm fronts, experience more precipitation and have milder winters than the eastern and far northern parts. Areas to the east of the coastal mountains are in a rain shadow , and have lower rain and snow totals than the west. The lowlands around Oslo
Oslo
have the warmest and sunniest summers, but also cold weather and snow in wintertime.

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.

The coastal climate of Norway
Norway
is exceptionally mild compared with areas on similar latitudes elsewhere in the world, with the Gulf Stream passing directly offshore the northern areas of the Atlantic coast, continuously warming the region in the winter. Temperature anomalies found in coastal locations are exceptional, with Røst and Værøy lacking a meteorological winter in spite of being north of the Arctic
Arctic
Circle. The Gulf Stream has this effect only on the northern parts of Norway, not in the south, despite what is commonly believed. The northern coast of Norway
Norway
would thus be ice-covered if not for the Gulf Stream. As a side-effect, the Scandinavian Mountains prevent continental winds from reaching the coastline, causing very cool summers throughout Atlantic
Atlantic
Norway. Oslo
Oslo
has more of a continental climate, similar to Sweden's. The mountain ranges have subarctic and tundra climates. There is also very high rainfall in areas exposed to the Atlantic, such as Bergen. Oslo, in comparison, is dry, being in a rain shadow . Skjåk in Oppland county is also in the rain shadow and is one of the driest places with 278 millimetres (10.9 inches) precipitation annually. Finnmarksvidda and the interior valleys of Troms
Troms
and Nordland
Nordland
also receive less than 300 millimetres (12 inches) annually. Longyearbyen
Longyearbyen
is the driest place in Norway
Norway
with 190 millimetres (7.5 inches).

Parts of southeastern Norway
Norway
including parts of Mjøsa have warm-summer humid continental climates (Köppen Dfb), while the more southern and western coasts are mostly of the oceanic climate (Cfb). Further inland in southeastern and northern Norway, the subarctic climate (Dfc) dominates; this is especially true for areas in the rain shadow of the Scandinavian Mountains . Some of the inner valleys of Oppland get so little precipitation annually, thanks to the rain shadow effect, that they meet the requirements for dry-summer subarctic climates (Dsc). In higher altitudes, close to the coasts of southern and western Norway, one can find the rare subpolar oceanic climate (Cfc). This climate is also common in Northern Norway, but there usually in lower altitudes, all the way down to sea level. A small part of the northernmost coast of Norway
Norway
has the tundra/alpine/polar climate (ET). Large parts of Norway
Norway
are covered by mountains and high altitude plateaus, many of which also exhibit the tundra/alpine/polar climate (ET).

CLIMATE DATA FOR OSLO-BLINDERN (KöPPEN DFB) (1961–1990), NORWAY

MONTH JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC YEAR

RECORD HIGH °C (°F) 12.5 (54.5) 12.8 (55) 17.0 (62.6) 21.8 (71.2) 27.7 (81.9) 32.2 (90) 30.5 (86.9) 34.2 (93.6) 24.9 (76.8) 21.0 (69.8) 14.4 (57.9) 12.4 (54.3) 34.2 (93.6)

AVERAGE HIGH °C (°F) −1.8 (28.8) −0.9 (30.4) 3.5 (38.3) 9.1 (48.4) 15.8 (60.4) 20.4 (68.7) 21.5 (70.7) 20.1 (68.2) 15.1 (59.2) 9.3 (48.7) 3.2 (37.8) −0.5 (31.1) 9.57 (49.22)

DAILY MEAN °C (°F) −4.3 (24.3) −4.0 (24.8) −0.2 (31.6) 4.5 (40.1) 10.8 (51.4) 15.2 (59.4) 16.4 (61.5) 15.2 (59.4) 10.8 (51.4) 6.3 (43.3) 0.7 (33.3) −3.1 (26.4) 5.69 (42.24)

AVERAGE LOW °C (°F) −6.8 (19.8) −6.8 (19.8) −3.3 (26.1) 0.8 (33.4) 6.5 (43.7) 10.6 (51.1) 12.2 (54) 11.3 (52.3) 7.5 (45.5) 3.8 (38.8) −1.5 (29.3) −5.6 (21.9) 2.39 (36.31)

RECORD LOW °C (°F) −24.3 (−11.7) −24.9 (−12.8) −20.2 (−4.4) −9.8 (14.4) −2.7 (27.1) 1.4 (34.5) 5.0 (41) 3.7 (38.7) −2.0 (28.4) −7.4 (18.7) −16.0 (3.2) −20.8 (−5.4) −24.9 (−12.8)

AVERAGE PRECIPITATION MM (INCHES) 49 (1.93) 36 (1.42) 47 (1.85) 41 (1.61) 53 (2.09) 65 (2.56) 81 (3.19) 89 (3.5) 90 (3.54) 84 (3.31) 73 (2.87) 55 (2.17) 763 (30.04)

AVERAGE PRECIPITATION DAYS 6 4 6 5 5 7 7 8 7 8 8 6 77

MEAN MONTHLY SUNSHINE HOURS 40 76 126 178 220 250 246 216 144 86 51 35 1,668

Source #1: Norwegian Meteorological Institute eklima.met.no

Source #2: Met .no (precipitation > 3 mm)

CLIMATE DATA FOR BERGEN (KöPPEN CFB), 1961–1990

MONTH JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC YEAR

RECORD HIGH °C (°F) 16.9 (62.4) 13.2 (55.8) 17.2 (63) 22.5 (72.5) 27.6 (81.7) 29.9 (85.8) 31.8 (89.2) 31.0 (87.8) 27.1 (80.8) 23.1 (73.6) 17.9 (64.2) 13.9 (57) 31.8 (89.2)

AVERAGE HIGH °C (°F) 4.4 (39.9) 4.8 (40.6) 7.1 (44.8) 11.5 (52.7) 14.9 (58.8) 18.0 (64.4) 20.7 (69.3) 19.4 (66.9) 15.9 (60.6) 12.2 (54) 8.2 (46.8) 4.9 (40.8) 11.83 (53.3)

DAILY MEAN °C (°F) 2.2 (36) 2.1 (35.8) 3.8 (38.8) 7.4 (45.3) 10.6 (51.1) 13.5 (56.3) 16.4 (61.5) 15.3 (59.5) 12.5 (54.5) 9.1 (48.4) 5.7 (42.3) 2.7 (36.9) 8.44 (47.2)

AVERAGE LOW °C (°F) 0.1 (32.2) −0.1 (31.8) 1.1 (34) 4.0 (39.2) 6.9 (44.4) 9.9 (49.8) 13.2 (55.8) 12.4 (54.3) 9.9 (49.8) 6.5 (43.7) 3.6 (38.5) 0.5 (32.9) 5.67 (42.2)

RECORD LOW °C (°F) −16.3 (2.7) −13.4 (7.9) −11.3 (11.7) −5.5 (22.1) −0.1 (31.8) 0.8 (33.4) 2.5 (36.5) 2.5 (36.5) 0.0 (32) −5.5 (22.1) −10.0 (14) −13.0 (8.6) −16.3 (2.7)

AVERAGE PRECIPITATION MM (INCHES) 190 (7.48) 152 (5.98) 170 (6.69) 114 (4.49) 106 (4.17) 132 (5.2) 148 (5.83) 190 (7.48) 283 (11.14) 271 (10.67) 259 (10.2) 235 (9.25) 2,250 (88.58)

AVERAGE RAINY DAYS (≥ 1 MM) 20 15 17 13 14 11 15 17 20 22 17 21 202

AVERAGE RELATIVE HUMIDITY (%) 78 76 73 72 72 76 77 78 79 79 78 79 76.4

MEAN MONTHLY SUNSHINE HOURS 19 56 94 147 186 189 167 144 86 60 27 12 1,187

Source #1: _http://sharki.oslo.dnmi.no/pls/portal/BATCH_ORDER.PORTLET_UTIL.Download_BLob?p_BatchId=666089 color:#000000;">−1.1 (30) −0.6 (30.9) 0.9 (33.6) 3.7 (38.7) 8.4 (47.1) 11.2 (52.2) 13.1 (55.6) 13.0 (55.4) 9.8 (49.6) 6.6 (43.9) 2.2 (36) −0.1 (31.8) 5.6 (42.1)

AVERAGE PRECIPITATION MM (INCHES) 138 (5.43) 102 (4.02) 114 (4.49) 97 (3.82) 66 (2.6) 83 (3.27) 123 (4.84) 113 (4.45) 180 (7.09) 192 (7.56) 145 (5.71) 157 (6.18) 1,510 (59.45)

Source: Meteorologisk Institutt

CLIMATE DATA FOR RENA-HAUGEDALEN (KöPPEN DFC) (1961–1990), NORWAY

MONTH JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC YEAR

AVERAGE HIGH °C (°F) −7.1 (19.2) −4.4 (24.1) 2.4 (36.3) 7.8 (46) 15.2 (59.4) 20.2 (68.4) 20.9 (69.6) 18.9 (66) 13.3 (55.9) 6.6 (43.9) −1.0 (30.2) −5.7 (21.7) 7.26 (45.06)

DAILY MEAN °C (°F) −11.2 (11.8) −9.6 (14.7) −3.7 (25.3) 1.7 (35.1) 8.2 (46.8) 13.2 (55.8) 14.4 (57.9) 12.5 (54.5) 7.7 (45.9) 2.9 (37.2) −4.3 (24.3) −9.3 (15.3) 1.88 (35.38)

AVERAGE LOW °C (°F) −15.6 (3.9) −14.6 (5.7) −9.6 (14.7) −4.0 (24.8) 1.0 (33.8) 5.9 (42.6) 7.6 (45.7) 6.3 (43.3) 2.9 (37.2) −0.6 (30.9) −7.7 (18.1) −13.4 (7.9) −3.48 (25.72)

AVERAGE PRECIPITATION MM (INCHES) 50 (1.97) 38 (1.5) 40 (1.57) 42 (1.65) 62 (2.44) 78 (3.07) 90 (3.54) 79 (3.11) 85 (3.35) 80 (3.15) 67 (2.64) 55 (2.17) 766 (30.16)

Source:

BIODIVERSITY

The Arctic
Arctic
fox has its habitat in high elevation ranges on the mainland as well as on Svalbard
Svalbard
.

The total number of species include 16,000 species of insects (probably 4,000 more species yet to be described), 20,000 species of algae , 1,800 species of lichen , 1,050 species of mosses , 2,800 species of vascular plants , up to 7,000 species of fungi , 450 species of birds (250 species nesting in Norway), 90 species of mammals , 45 fresh-water species of fish, 150 salt-water species of fish, 1,000 species of fresh-water invertebrates , and 3,500 species of salt-water invertebrates. About 40,000 of these species have been described by science. The red list of 2010 encompasses 4,599 species. Cold-water coral reefs in Skagerak off of the southern coast of Norway.

Seventeen species are listed mainly because they are endangered on a global scale, such as the European beaver , even if the population in Norway
Norway
is not seen as endangered. The number of threatened and near-threatened species equals to 3,682; it includes 418 fungi species, many of which are closely associated with the small remaining areas of old-growth forests, 36 bird species, and 16 species of mammals. In 2010, 2,398 species were listed as endangered or vulnerable; of these were 1250 listed as vulnerable (VU), 871 as endangered (EN), and 276 species as critically endangered (CR), among which were the grey wolf , the Arctic
Arctic
fox (healthy population on Svalbard) and the pool frog .

The largest predator in Norwegian waters is the sperm whale , and the largest fish is the basking shark . The largest predator on land is the polar bear , while the brown bear is the largest predator on the Norwegian mainland. The largest land animal on the mainland is the elk (American English: moose ). The elk is in Norway
Norway
known for its size and strength and is often called _skogens konge_, "king of the forest".

ENVIRONMENT

Stunning and dramatic scenery and landscape is found throughout Norway. The west coast of southern Norway
Norway
and the coast of northern Norway
Norway
present some of the most visually impressive coastal sceneries in the world. National Geographic has listed the Norwegian fjords as the world's top tourist attraction. The country is also home to the natural phenomena of the Midnight sun (during summer) as well as the Aurora
Aurora
borealis know also as the Northern lights. The 2014 Environmental Performance Index put Norway
Norway
in tenth place, based on the environmental performance of the country's policies. A summer evening view from Sande over Lovatnet in Stryn , Sogn og Fjordane in 2013

POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT

Main articles: Politics of Norway and Law of Norway See also: Norwegian parliamentary election, 2013 _ The Royal Palace in Oslo . King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway, reigning since 1991. The Storting_ is the Parliament of Norway . Erna Solberg , the Prime Minister of Norway since 2013.

Norway
Norway
is considered to be one of the most developed democracies and states of justice in the world. From 1814, c. 45% of men (25 years and older) had the right to vote, whereas the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
had c. 20% (1832), Sweden
Sweden
c. 5% (1866), and Belgium
Belgium
c. 1.15% (1840). Since 2010, Norway
Norway
has been classified as the world's most democratic country by the Democracy Index .

According to the Constitution of Norway , which was adopted on 17 May 1814 and inspired by the United States
United States
Declaration of Independence and French Revolution of 1776 and 1789, respectively, Norway
Norway
is a unitary constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government, wherein the King of Norway
King of Norway
is the head of state and the Prime Minister is the head of government . Power is separated among the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government, as defined by the Constitution, which serves as the country's supreme legal document.

The Monarch officially retains executive power. However, following the introduction of a parliamentary system of government, the duties of the Monarch have since become strictly representative and ceremonial, such as the formal appointment and dismissal of the Prime Minister and other ministers in the executive government. Accordingly, the Monarch is commander-in-chief of the Norwegian Armed Forces , and serves as chief diplomatic official abroad and as a symbol of unity. Harald V of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg was crowned King of Norway
King of Norway
in 1991, the first since the 14th century who has been born in the country. Haakon, Crown Prince of Norway , is the legal and rightful heir to the throne and the Kingdom.

In practice, the Prime Minister exercises the executive powers. Constitutionally, legislative power is vested with both the government and the Parliament of Norway, but the latter is the supreme legislature and a unicameral body. Norway
Norway
is fundamentally structured as a representative democracy . The Parliament can pass a law by simple majority of the 169 representatives, who are elected on the basis of proportional representation from 19 constituencies for four-year terms.

150 are elected directly from the 19 constituencies, and an additional 19 seats ("levelling seats") are allocated on a nationwide basis to make the representation in parliament correspond better with the popular vote for the political parties. A 4% election threshold is required for a party to gain levelling seats in Parliament. There are a total of 169 Members of Parliament .

The Parliament of Norway, called the _Stortinget _ (meaning Grand Assembly), ratifies national treaties developed by the executive branch. It can impeach members of the government if their acts are declared unconstitutional. If an indicted suspect is impeached, Parliament has the power to remove the person from office.

The position of Prime Minister , Norway's head of government, is allocated to the Member of Parliament who can obtain the confidence of a majority in Parliament, usually the current leader of the largest political party or, more effectively, through a coalition of parties. A single party generally does not have sufficient political power in terms of the number of seats to form a government on its own. Norway has often been ruled by minority governments.

The Prime Minister nominates the Cabinet, traditionally drawn from members of the same political party or parties in the Storting, making up the government. The PM organises the executive government and exercises its power as vested by the Constitution. Reflecting its monarchical past, Norway
Norway
was established under the Lutheran
Lutheran
Church of Norway
Norway
, and was the state church until 2012. Formerly, the PM had to have more than half the members of Cabinet be members of the Church of Norway, meaning at least ten out of the 19 ministries. This rule was however removed in 2012. The issue of separation of church and state in Norway
Norway
has been increasingly controversial, as many people believe it is time to change this, to reflect the growing diversity in the population. A part of this is the evolution of the public school subject Christianity, a required subject since 1739. Even the state's loss in a battle at the European Court of Human Rights
European Court of Human Rights
at Strasbourg
Strasbourg
in 2007 did not settle the matter. As of January 1, 2017, the Church of Norway
Norway
is a separate legal entity, and no longer a branch of the civil service.

Through the Council of State , a privy council presided over by the Monarch , the Prime Minister and the Cabinet meet at the Royal Palace and formally consult the Monarch. All government bills need the formal approval by the Monarch before and after introduction to Parliament. The Council reviews and approves all of the Monarch's actions as head of state. Although all government and parliamentary acts are decided beforehand, the privy council is an example of symbolic gesture the King retains.

Members of the Storting are directly elected from party-lists proportional representation in nineteen plural-member constituencies in a national multi-party system . Historically, both the Norwegian Labour Party and Conservative Party have played leading political roles. In the early 21st century, the Labour Party has been in power since the 2005 election , in a Red-Green Coalition with the Socialist Left Party and the Centre Party .

Since 2005, both the Conservative Party and the Progress Party have won numerous seats in the Parliament, but not sufficient in the 2009 general election to overthrow the coalition. Commentators have pointed to the poor co-operation between the opposition parties, including the Liberals and the Christian Democrats . Jens Stoltenberg , the leader of the Labour Party, continues to have the necessary majority through his multi-party alliance to continue as PM.

In national elections in September 2013, voters ended eight years of Labor rule. Two political parties, Høyre and Fremskrittspartiet , elected on promises of tax cuts, more spending on infrastructure and education, better services and stricter rules on immigration , formed a government. Coming at a time when Norway's economy is in good condition with low unemployment, the rise of the right appeared to be based on other issues. Erna Solberg became prime minister, the second female prime minister after Brundtland and the first conservative prime minister since Syse . Solberg said her win was "a historic election victory for the right-wing parties".

ADMINISTRATIVE DIVISIONS

Main articles: Administrative divisions of Norway , Counties of Norway
Norway
, Municipalities of Norway , List of towns and cities in Norway , and Dependencies of Norway See also: Sápmi (area)

Norway, a unitary state , is divided into nineteen first-level administrative counties (_fylke_). 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
Governor
. As such, the Government is directly represented at a local level through the County
County
Governors' offices. The counties are then sub-divided into 430 second-level municipalities (_kommunar_), 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
Norway
has two integral overseas territories: Jan Mayen
Jan Mayen
and Svalbard , the only developed island in the archipelago of the same name, located miles away to the north. There are three Antarctic and Subantarctic dependencies : Bouvet Island , Peter I Island and Queen Maud Land . On most maps, there had been an unclaimed area between Queen Maud Land and the South Pole
South Pole
until June 12, 2015 when Norway formally annexed that area. A geopolitical map of Norway, showing the 19 fylker , the Svalbard
Svalbard
(Spitsbergen) and Jan Mayen islands, which are part of the Norwegian kingdom

96 settlements have 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 areas that are not developed; for example, Oslo
Oslo
municipality contains large forests, located north and south-east of the city, and over half of Bergen
Bergen
municipality consists of mountainous areas. Norway
Norway
and its overseas administrative divisions

The counties of Norway
Norway
are:

COUNTY (FYLKE) ADMINISTRATIVE CENTRE MOST POPULOUS MUNICIPALITY REGION

_ Østfold Sarpsborg Fredrikstad Eastern Norway

Akershus
Akershus
Oslo
Oslo
Bærum Eastern Norway

Oslo
Oslo
City of Oslo
Oslo
Oslo
Oslo
Eastern Norway

Hedmark
Hedmark
Hamar Ringsaker Eastern Norway

Oppland Lillehammer Gjøvik Eastern Norway

Buskerud
Buskerud
Drammen Drammen Eastern Norway

Vestfold Tønsberg Sandefjord Eastern Norway

Telemark
Telemark
Skien Skien Eastern Norway

Aust-Agder Arendal Arendal Southern Norway

Vest-Agder Kristiansand
Kristiansand
Kristiansand
Kristiansand
Southern Norway

Rogaland
Rogaland
Stavanger Stavanger Western Norway

Hordaland
Hordaland
Bergen
Bergen
Bergen
Bergen
Western Norway

Sogn og Fjordane
Sogn og Fjordane
Hermansverk Førde Western Norway

Møre og Romsdal Molde Ålesund Western Norway

Sør- Trøndelag Trondheim
Trondheim
Trondheim
Trondheim
Trøndelag

Nord- Trøndelag Steinkjer Stjørdal Trøndelag

Nordland
Nordland
Bodø Bodø Northern Norway

Troms
Troms
Tromsø Tromsø Northern Norway

Finnmark
Finnmark
Vadsø Alta Northern Norway

Svalbard
Svalbard
_ (unincorporated area ) _ Longyearbyen
Longyearbyen
_ _ Longyearbyen
Longyearbyen
_ _ Northern Norway _

JUDICIAL SYSTEM AND LAW ENFORCEMENT

Main article: Judiciary of Norway

Norway
Norway
uses a civil law system where laws are created and amended in Parliament and the system regulated through the Courts of justice of Norway
Norway
. It consists of the Supreme Court of 20 permanent judges and a Chief Justice , appellate courts , city and district courts , and conciliation councils . The judiciary is independent of executive and legislative branches. While the Prime Minister nominates Supreme Court Justices for office, their nomination must be approved by Parliament and formally confirmed by the Monarch in the Council of State. Usually, judges attached to regular courts are formally appointed by the Monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister.

The Courts' strict and formal mission is to regulate the Norwegian judicial system, interpret the Constitution, and as such implement the legislation adopted by Parliament. In its judicial reviews, it monitors the legislative and executive branches to ensure that they comply with provisions of enacted legislation.

The law is enforced in Norway
Norway
by the Norwegian Police Service . It is a Unified National Police Service made up of 27 Police Districts and several specialist agencies, such as Norwegian National Authority for the Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime , known as _Økokrim_; and the National Criminal Investigation Service , known as _Kripos_, each headed by a chief of police. The Police Service is headed by the National Police Directorate , which reports to the Ministry of Justice and the Police. The Police Directorate is headed by a National Police Commissioner. The only exception is the Norwegian Police Security Agency , whose head answers directly to the Ministry of Justice and the Police.

Norway
Norway
abolished the death penalty for regular criminal acts in 1902. The legislature abolished the death penalty for high treason in war and war-crimes in 1979. Reporters Without Borders , in its 2007 Worldwide Press Freedom Index, ranked Norway
Norway
at a shared first place (along with Iceland) out of 169 countries.

In general, the legal and institutional framework in Norway
Norway
is characterised by a high degree of transparency, accountability and integrity, and the perception and the occurrence of corruption are very low. Norway
Norway
has ratified all relevant international anti-corruption conventions, and its standards of implementation and enforcement of anti-corruption legislation are considered very high by many international anti-corruption working groups such as the OECD Anti-Bribery Working Group. However, there are some isolated cases showing that some municipalities have abused their position in public procurement processes.

Norwegian prisons are humane, rather than tough, with emphasis on rehabilitation. At 20%, Norway's re-conviction rate is among the lowest in the world.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

Main article: Foreign relations of Norway See also: Norway
Norway
and the European Union
European Union
and Whaling in Norway _ Royal Norwegian Navy Fridtjof Nansen_ class frigate

Norway
Norway
maintains embassies in 86 countries. 60 countries maintain an embassy in Norway, all of them in the capital, Oslo.

Norway
Norway
is a founding member of the United Nations
United Nations
(UN), the North Atlantic
Atlantic
Treaty
Treaty
Organization (NATO), the Council of Europe
Europe
and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). Norway
Norway
issued applications for accession to the European Union
European Union
(EU) and its predecessors in 1962, 1967 and 1992, respectively. While Denmark, Sweden
Sweden
and Finland obtained membership, the Norwegian electorate rejected the treaties of accession in referenda in 1972 and 1994.

After the 1994 referendum, Norway
Norway
maintained its membership in the European Economic Area (EEA), an arrangement granting the country access to the internal market of the Union, on the condition that Norway
Norway
implements the Union's pieces of legislation which are deemed relevant (of which there were approximately seven thousand by 2010) Successive Norwegian governments have, since 1994, requested participation in parts of the EU's co-operation that go beyond the provisions of the EEA agreement. Non-voting participation by Norway has been granted in, for instance, the Union's Common Security and Defence Policy , the Schengen Agreement , and the European Defence Agency , as well as 19 separate programmes.

Norway
Norway
contributes to international development . In addition, it participated in the 1990s brokering of the Oslo
Oslo
Accords , an attempt to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict . These were unsuccessful.

MILITARY

Main article: Norwegian Armed Forces Norwegian Leopard tanks in the snow in Målselv

The Norwegian Armed Forces numbers about 25,000 personnel, including civilian employees. According to 2009 mobilisation plans, full mobilisation produces approximately 83,000 combatant personnel. Norway has conscription (including 6–12 months of training); in 2013, the country became the first in Europe
Europe
and NATO
NATO
to draft women as well as men. However, due to less need for conscripts after the Cold War ended with the break-up of the Soviet Union, few people have to serve if they are not motivated. The Armed Forces are subordinate to the Norwegian Ministry of Defence . The Commander-in-Chief is King Harald V . The military of Norway
Norway
is divided into the following branches: the Norwegian Army , the Royal Norwegian Navy , the Royal Norwegian Air Force , the Norwegian Cyber Force and the Home Guard .

In response to its being overrun by Germany
Germany
in 1940, the country was one of the founding nations of the North Atlantic
Atlantic
Treaty
Treaty
Organization (NATO) on 4 April 1949. At present, Norway
Norway
contributes in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
. Additionally, Norway
Norway
has contributed in several missions in contexts of the United Nations, NATO, and the Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union.

HEALTH

Main article: Health in Norway

Norway
Norway
was awarded first place according to the UN's Human Development Index (HDI) for 2013. Poverty and communicable diseases dominated in Norway
Norway
together with famines , and epidemics in the 1800s. From the 1900s, improvements in public health occurred as a result of development in several areas such as social and living conditions , changes in disease and medical outbreaks, establishment of the health care system, and emphasis on public health matters. Vaccination
Vaccination
and increased treatment opportunities with antibiotics resulted in great improvements within the Norwegian population. Improved hygiene and better nutrition were factors that contributed to improved health.

The disease pattern in Norway
Norway
changed from communicable diseases to non-communicable diseases and chronic diseases as cardiovascular disease . Inequalities and social differences are still present in public health in Norway
Norway
today.

In 2013 the infant mortality rate was 2.5 per 1,000 live births among children under the age of one. For girls it was 2.7 and for boys 2.3, which is the lowest infant mortality rate for boys ever recorded in Norway.

ECONOMY

Main articles: Economy of Norway , Energy in Norway , European Economic Area , and Exclusive economic zone § Norway
Norway
Graphical depiction of Norway's product exports in 28 colour-coded categories. GDP and GDP growth

Norwegians enjoy the second-highest GDP per-capita among European countries (after Luxembourg
Luxembourg
), and the sixth-highest GDP (PPP) per-capita in the world. Today, Norway
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
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 2015. The standard of living in Norway
Norway
is among the highest in the world. Foreign Policy
Foreign Policy
Magazine ranks Norway
Norway
last in its Failed States Index for 2009, judging Norway to be the world's most well-functioning and stable country. The OECD ranks Norway
Norway
fourth in the 2013 equalised Better Life Index and third in intergenerational earnings elasticity. Norway's exclusive economic zones

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. Public health care in Norway
Norway
is free (after an annual charge of around 2000 kroner for those over 16), and parents have 46 weeks paid parental leave. The state income derived from natural resources includes a significant contribution from petroleum production. Norway
Norway
has an unemployment rate of 4.8%, with 68% of the population aged 15–74 employed. People in the labour force are either employed or looking for work. 9.5% of the population aged 18–66 receive a disability pension and 30% of the labour force are employed by the government, the highest in the OECD
OECD
. The hourly productivity levels, as well as average hourly wages in Norway, are among the highest in the world.

The egalitarian values of Norwegian society have kept the wage difference between the lowest paid worker and the CEO of most companies as much less than in comparable western economies. This is also evident in Norway\'s low Gini coefficient .

The state has large ownership positions in key industrial sectors, such as the strategic petroleum sector ( Statoil ), hydroelectric energy production ( Statkraft ), aluminium production ( Norsk Hydro ), the largest Norwegian bank (DNB ), and telecommunication provider ( Telenor
Telenor
). Through these big companies, the government controls approximately 30% of the stock values at the Oslo
Oslo
Stock Exchange. When non-listed companies are included, the state has even higher share in ownership (mainly from direct oil licence ownership). Norway
Norway
is a major shipping nation and has the world's 6th largest merchant fleet , with 1,412 Norwegian-owned merchant vessels.

By referendums in 1972 and 1994 , Norwegians rejected proposals to join the European Union
European Union
(EU). However, Norway, together with Iceland and Liechtenstein , participates in the European Union's single market through the European Economic Area (EEA) agreement. The EEA Treaty between the European Union
European Union
countries and the EFTA countries– transposed into Norwegian law via "EØS-loven" – describes the procedures for implementing European Union
European Union
rules in Norway
Norway
and the other EFTA countries. Norway
Norway
is a highly integrated member of most sectors of the EU internal market. Some sectors, such as agriculture, oil and fish, are not wholly covered by the EEA Treaty. Norway
Norway
has also acceded to the Schengen Agreement and several other intergovernmental agreements among the EU member states.

The country is richly endowed with natural resources including petroleum , hydropower , fish , forests , and minerals . Large reserves of petroleum and natural gas were discovered in the 1960s, which led to a boom in the economy. Norway
Norway
has obtained one of the highest standards of living in the world in part by having a large amount of natural resources compared to the size of the population. In 2011, 28% of state revenues were generated from the petroleum industry.

Norway
Norway
is the first country which banned cutting of trees (deforestation), in order to prevent rain forests from vanishing. The country declared its intention at the UN Climate Summit in 2014, alongside Great Britain
Great Britain
and Germany. Crops, that are typically linked to forests' destruction are timber, soy, palm oil and beef. Now Norway has to find new way to provide these essential products without exerting negative influence on its environment.

RESOURCES

Agriculture is a significant sector, in spite of the mountainous landscape ( Flakstad ) Oil production has been central to the Norwegian economy since the 1970s, with a dominating state ownership ( Statfjord oil field ) Stockfish has been exported from Lofoten in Norway
Norway
for at least 1,000 years

Export revenues from oil and gas have risen to almost 50% of total exports and constitute more than 20% of the GDP . Norway
Norway
is the fifth-largest oil exporter and third-largest gas exporter in the world, but it is not a member of OPEC . In 1995, the Norwegian government established the sovereign wealth fund ("Government Pension Fund — Global" ), which would be funded with oil revenues, including taxes, dividends, sales revenues and licensing fees. This was intended to reduce overheating in the economy from oil revenues, minimise uncertainty from volatility in oil price, and provide a cushion to compensate for expenses associated with the ageing of the population.

The government controls its petroleum resources through a combination of state ownership in major operators in the oil fields (with approximately 62% ownership in Statoil in 2007) and the fully state-owned Petoro , which has a market value of about twice Statoil, and SDFI . Finally, the government controls licensing of exploration and production of fields. The fund invests in developed financial markets outside Norway. The budgetary rule (_Handlingsregelen_) is to spend no more than 4% of the fund each year (assumed to be the normal yield from the fund).

In March 2017, the Government Pension Fund controlled assets were valued at approximately US$913 billion (equal to US$182,000 per capita), which is about 178% of Norway's current GDP. It is the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world. The fund controls about 1.3% of all listed shares in Europe, and more than 1% of all the publicly traded shares in the world. The Norwegian Central Bank operates investment offices in London, New York, and Shanghai. Guidelines implemented in 2007 allow the fund to invest up to 60% of the capital in shares (maximum of 40% prior), while the rest may be placed in bonds and real-estate. As the stock markets tumbled in September 2008, the fund was able to buy more shares at low prices. In this way, the losses incurred by the market turmoil was recuperated by November 2009.

Other nations with economies based on natural resources, such as Russia
Russia
, are trying to learn from Norway
Norway
by establishing similar funds. The investment choices of the Norwegian fund are directed by ethical guidelines ; for example, the fund is not allowed to invest in companies that produce parts for nuclear weapons. Norway's highly transparent investment scheme is lauded by the international community. The future size of the fund is closely linked to the price of oil and to developments in international financial markets.

In 2000, the government sold one-third of the state-owned oil company Statoil in an IPO . The next year, the main telecom supplier, Telenor , was listed on Oslo
Oslo
Stock Exchange . The state also owns significant shares of Norway's largest bank, DnB NOR and the airline SAS . Since 2000, economic growth has been rapid, pushing unemployment down to levels not seen since the early 1980s (unemployment in 2007: 1.3%). The international financial crisis has primarily affected the industrial sector, but unemployment has remained low, and was at 3.3% (86,000 people) in August 2011. In contrast to Norway, Sweden
Sweden
had substantially higher actual and projected unemployment numbers as a result of the recession. Thousands of mainly young Swedes migrated to Norway
Norway
for work during these years, which is easy, as the labour market and social security systems overlap in the Nordic Countries. In the 1st quarter of 2009, the GNP of Norway
Norway
surpassed Sweden's for the first time in history, although its population is half the size.

Norway
Norway
contains significant mineral resources , and in 2013, its mineral production was valued at US$1.5 billion (Norwegian Geological Survey data). The most valuable minerals are calcium carbonate (limestone ), building stone, nepheline syenite , olivine , iron , titanium , and nickel .

Norway
Norway
is also the world's 2nd-largest exporter of fish (in value, after China). Hydroelectric plants generate roughly 98–99% of Norway's electric power, more than any other country in the world.

Oil Fields

External image Decreasing oil production

Between 1966 and 2013, Norwegian companies drilled 5085 oil wells , mostly in the North Sea . 3672 are _utviklingsbrønner_ (regular production); 1413 are _letebrønner_ (exploration); and 1405 of these have been terminated (_avsluttet_).

Oil fields not yet in production phase include: Wisting Central —calculated size in 2013, 65–156 million barrels of oil and 10 to 40 billion cubic feet (0.28 to 1.13 billion cubic metres), (_utvinnbar_) of gas. and the Castberg Oil Field (_Castberg-feltet_ )—calculated size 540 million barrels of oil, and 2 to 7 billion cubic feet (57 to 198 million cubic metres) (_utvinnbar_) of gas. Both oil fields are located in the Barents Sea .

TRANSPORT

Main articles: Transport in Norway , Rail transport in Norway , and List of airports in Norway

Due to the low population density, narrow shape and long coastlines of Norway, its public transport is less developed than in many European countries, especially outside the major cities. The country has long-standing water transport traditions, but the Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communications has in recent years implemented rail , road , and air transport through numerous subsidiaries to develop the country's infrastructure. Under discussion is development of a new high-speed rail system between the nation's largest cities. E6 highway at Brattlikollen outskirts of Oslo
Oslo

Norway's main railway network consists of 4,114 kilometres (2,556 mi) of standard gauge lines, of which 242 kilometres (150 mi) is double track and 64 kilometres (40 mi) high-speed rail (210 km/h) while 62% is electrified at 15 kV  16 2⁄3 Hz AC . The railways transported 56,827,000 passengers 2,956 million passenger-kilometres and 24,783,000 tonnes of cargo 3,414 million tonne-kilometres . The entire network is owned by the Norwegian National Rail Administration . All domestic passenger trains except the Airport Express Train are operated by Norges Statsbaner (NSB). Several companies operate freight trains. Investment in new infrastructure and maintenance is financed through the state budget , and subsidies are provided for passenger train operations. NSB operates long-haul trains, including night trains , regional services and four commuter train systems, around Oslo
Oslo
, Trondheim
Trondheim
, Bergen
Bergen
and Stavanger . Visualization of Oslo
Oslo
Airport, Gardermoen as of 2017 after the latest expansion and renovation

Norway
Norway
has approximately 92,946 kilometres (57,754 mi) of road network, of which 72,033 kilometres (44,759 mi) are paved and 664 kilometres (413 mi) are motorway . The four tiers of road routes are national, county, municipal and private, with national and primary county roads numbered en route. The most important national routes are part of the European route scheme. The two most prominent are the E6 going north-south through the entire country, and the E39 , which follows the West Coast. National and county roads are managed by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration .

Norway
Norway
has the world's largest registered stock of plug-in electric vehicles per capita . In March 2014, Norway
Norway
became the first country where over 1 in every 100 passenger cars on the roads is a plug-in electric. The plug-in electric segment market share of new car sales is also the highest in the world. According to a report by Dagens Næringsliv in June 2016, the country would like to ban all gasoline and diesel powered vehicles as early as 2025. In June 2017, 42% of new cars registered were electric.

Of the 97 airports in Norway, 52 are public, and 46 are operated by the state-owned Avinor . Seven airports have more than one million passengers annually. 41,089,675 passengers passed through Norwegian airports in 2007, of which 13,397,458 were international.

The central gateway to Norway
Norway
by air is Oslo
Oslo
Airport, Gardermoen . Located about 35 kilometres (22 mi) northeast of Oslo, it is hub for the two major Norwegian airlines : Scandinavian Airlines
Scandinavian Airlines
and Norwegian Air Shuttle , and for regional aircraft from Western Norway. There are departures to most European countries and some intercontinental destinations. A direct high-speed train connects to Oslo
Oslo
Central Station every 10 minutes for a 20 min ride.

DEMOGRAPHICS

Main article: Demographics of Norway
Demographics of Norway
Ethnic woman in Norwegian local geographic environment at Voss near Gudvangen in 1959 Demographics in Norway
Norway

HISTORICAL POPULATION

YEAR POP. ±% P.A.

1500 140,000 —

1665 440,000 +0.70%

1735 616,109 +0.48%

1801 883,603 +0.55%

1855 1,490,047 +0.97%

1900 2,240,032 +0.91%

1950 3,278,546 +0.76%

2000 4,478,497 +0.63%

2010 4,858,199 +0.82%

2013 5,096,300 +1.61%

2060 (projected) 7,032,687 +0.69%

SOURCE: Statistics Norway.

Norway's population was 5,096,300 people in October 2013. Norwegians are an ethnic North Germanic people. Since the late 20th century, Norway
Norway
has attracted immigrants from southern and central Europe, the Mideast, Africa, Asia and beyond.

In 2012, an official study showed that 86% of the total population have at least one parent who was born in Norway. More than 710,000 individuals (14%) are immigrants and their descendants; there are 117,000 children of immigrants, born in Norway.

Of these 710,000 immigrants and their descendants:

* 323,000 (39%) have a Western background (Australia, North America , elsewhere in Europe) * 505,000 (61%) have a non-Western background (primarily Morocco
Morocco
, Iraq
Iraq
, Somalia
Somalia
, Pakistan
Pakistan
, Iran ).

In 2013, the Norwegian government said that 14% of the Norwegian population were immigrants or children of two immigrant parents. About 6% of the immigrant population come from EU, North America
North America
and Australia, and about 8.1% come from Asia, Africa and Latin
Latin
America.

In 2012, of the total 660,000 with immigrant background, 407,262 had Norwegian citizenship (62.2%).

Immigrants have settled in all Norwegian municipalities. The cities or municipalities with the highest share of immigrants in 2012 were Oslo
Oslo
(32%) and Drammen (27%). The share in Stavanger was 16%. According to Reuters , Oslo
Oslo
is the "fastest growing city in Europe because of increased immigration". In recent years, immigration has accounted for most of Norway's population growth. In 2011, 16% of newborn children were of immigrant background.

The Sami people are indigenous to the Far North and have traditionally inhabited central and northern parts of Norway
Norway
and Sweden, as well as areas in northern Finland
Finland
and in Russia
Russia
on the Kola Peninsula . Another national minority are the Kven people , descendants of Finnish-speaking people who migrated to northern Norway from the 18th up to the 20th century. From the 1 9th century
9th century
up to the 1970s, the Norwegian government tried to assimilate both the Sami and the Kven, encouraging them to adopt the majority language, culture and religion. Because of this " Norwegianization process", many families of Sami or Kven ancestry now identify as ethnic Norwegian.

MIGRATION

Minneapolis–Saint Paul has the largest concentration of ethnic Norwegians outside Norway, at 470,000.

Emigration

Main articles: Norwegian diaspora and Norwegian Americans

Particularly in the 19th century, when economic conditions were difficult in Norway, tens of thousands of people migrated to the United States
United States
and Canada, where they could work and buy land in frontier areas. Many went to the Midwest and Pacific Northwest. In 2006, according to the US Census Bureau, almost 4.7 million persons identified as Norwegian Americans , which was larger than the population of ethnic Norwegians in Norway
Norway
itself. In the 2011 Canadian census, 452,705 Canadian citizens identified as having Norwegian ancestry .

Immigration

Main article: Immigration
Immigration
to Norway
Norway

On 1 January 2013 , the number of immigrants or children of two immigrants residing in Norway
Norway
was 710,465, or 14.1% of the total population, up from 183,000 in 1992. Yearly immigration has increased since 2005. While yearly net immigration in 2001–5 was on average 13,613, it increased to 37,541 between 2006 and 2010, and in 2011 net immigration reached 47,032. This is mostly because of increased immigration by residents of the EU, in particular from Poland.

In 2012, the immigrant community (which includes immigrants and children born in Norway
Norway
of immigrant parents) grew by 55,300, a record high. Net immigration from abroad reached 47,300 (300 higher than in 2011), while immigration accounted for 72% of Norway's population growth. 17% of newborn children were born to immigrant parents. Children of Pakistani, Somali and Vietnamese parents made up the largest groups of all Norwegians born to immigrant parents.

Pakistani Norwegians are the largest non-European minority group in Norway. Most of their 32,700 members live in and around Oslo. The Iraqi and Somali immigrant populations have increased significantly in recent years. After the enlargement of the EU in 2004, a wave of immigrants has arrived from Central and Northern Europe, particularly Poland
Poland
, Sweden
Sweden
and Lithuania
Lithuania
. The fastest growing immigrant groups in 2011 in absolute numbers were from Poland
Poland
, Lithuania
Lithuania
and Sweden
Sweden
. The policies of immigration and integration have been the subject of much debate in Norway.

Largest immigrant groups (1st and 2nd generation):

NATIONAL BACKGROUND POPULATION

Poland
Poland
97,196

Lithuania
Lithuania
37,638

Sweden
Sweden
36,315

Somalia
Somalia
28,696

Germany
Germany
24,601

Iraq
Iraq
22,493

Syria
Syria
20,823

Philippines
Philippines
20,537

Pakistan
Pakistan
19,973

Eritrea
Eritrea
19,957

RELIGION

Main article: Religion in Norway The Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim
Trondheim
The Heddal stave church in Notodden
Notodden
, the largest stave church in Norway
Norway
The Baitun Nasr Mosque on the outskirts of Oslo, the largest mosque in Norway
Norway

Most Norwegians are registered at baptism as members of the Church of Norway
Norway
which used to be the official state religion . The constitution still requires that the reigning monarch must be Lutheran
Lutheran
and that the country's values are based on its Christian and humanist heritage. Many remain in the church to participate in the community and practices such as baptism , confirmation , marriage and burial rites. About 71.5% of Norwegians were members of the Church of Norway
Church of Norway
in 2016. In 2016, about 55.3% of all newborns were baptised and about 60.0% of all 15-year-old persons were confirmed in the church.

In the early 1990s, studies estimated that between 4.7% and 5.3% of Norwegians attended church on a weekly basis. This figure has dropped to about 2%.

In 2010, 10% of the population was religiously unaffiliated , while another 9%, were members of religious communities outside the Church of Norway. Other Christian denominations total about 4.9% of the population, the largest of which is the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
, with 83,000 members, according to 2009 government statistics. An article in the newspaper _Aftenposten_ in October 2012 noted there were about 115,234 registered Roman Catholics in Norway; the reporter estimated that the total number of people with a Roman Catholic background may be 170,000–200,000 or higher.

Others include Pentecostals (39,600), the Evangelical Lutheran
Lutheran
Free Church of Norway
Church of Norway
(19,600), Methodists (11,000), Baptists
Baptists
(9,900), Eastern Orthodox (9,900), Brunstad Christian Church (6,800), Seventh-day Adventists (5,100), Assyrians and Chaldeans , and others. The Swedish, Finnish and Icelandic Lutheran
Lutheran
congregations in Norway have about 27,500 members in total. Other Christian denominations comprise less than 1% each, including 4,000 members in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and 12,000 Jehovah\'s Witnesses .

Among non-Christian religions, Islam is the largest, with 132,135 registered members (2014), and probably fewer than 200,000 in total. It is practised mainly by Somali , Arab , Bosniak , Albanian and Turkish immigrants, as well as Norwegians of Pakistani descent .

Other religions comprise less than 1% each, including 819 adherents of Judaism . Indian immigrants introduced Hinduism to Norway, which in 2011 has slightly more than 5,900 adherents, or 1% of non-Lutheran Norwegians. Sikhism has approximately 3,000 adherents, with most living in Oslo, which has two gurdwaras . Sikhs first came to Norway in the early 1970s. The troubles in Punjab after Operation Blue Star and riots committed against Sikhs in India
India
after the assassination of Indira Gandhi led to an increase in Sikh refugees moving to Norway. Drammen also has a sizeable population of Sikhs; the largest gurdwara in north Europe
Europe
was built in Lier . There are eleven Buddhist organisations, grouped under the Buddhistforbundet organisation, with slightly over 14,000 members, which make up 0.2% of the population. The Baha\'i religion has slightly more than 1,000 adherents. Around 1.7% (84,500) of Norwegians belong to the secular Norwegian Humanist Association .

From 2006 to 2011, the fastest-growing religious faith in Norway
Norway
was Orthodox Christianity
Christianity
, which grew in membership by 80%; however, its share of the total population remains small, at 0.2%. It is associated with the huge immigration from Eritrea
Eritrea
and Ethiopia
Ethiopia
, and to a lesser extent from Central and Eastern European and Middle Eastern countries. Other fast-growing religions were the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
(78.7%), Hinduism (59.6%), Islam (48.1%), and Buddhism
Buddhism
(46.7%).

As in other Scandinavian countries, the ancient Norse followed a form of native Germanic paganism known as Norse paganism . By the end of the 11th century, when Norway
Norway
had been Christianised , the indigenous Norse religion and practices were prohibited. Remnants of the native religion and beliefs of Norway
Norway
survive today in the form of names, referential names of cities and locations, the days of the week, and other parts of everyday language. Modern interest in the old ways has led to a revival of pagan religious practices in the form of _Åsatru ._ The Norwegian _Åsatrufellesskapet Bifrost_ formed in 1996; in 2011, the fellowship had about 300 members. _Foreningen Forn Sed_ was formed in 1999 and has been recognised by the Norwegian government.

The Sami minority retained their shamanistic religion well into the 18th century, when most converted to Christianity
Christianity
under the influence of Dano-Norwegian Lutheran
Lutheran
missionaries . Although some insist that "indigenous Sami religion had effectively been eradicated,' athropologist Gutorm Gjessing 's _Changing Lapps_ (1954) argues that the Samis "were outwardly and to all practical purposes converted to Christianity, but at the subconscious and unconscious level, the shamistic frenzy survived, more or less latent, only awaiting the necessary stimulus to break out into the open." Today there is a renewed appreciation for the Sami traditional way of life, which has led to a revival of _Noaidevuohta _. Some Norwegian and Sami celebrities are reported to visit shamans for guidance.

According to the 2010 Eurobarometer Poll, 22% of Norwegian citizens responded that "they believe there is a God", 44% responded that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force" and 29% responded that "they don't believe there is any sort of spirit, God or life force". 5% gave no response.

LARGEST CITIES OF NORWAY

* v * t * e

Largest cities or towns in Norway According to Statistics 2016

RANK NAME COUNTY POP. RANK NAME COUNTY POP.

Oslo
Oslo

Bergen
Bergen
1 Oslo
Oslo
Oslo
Oslo
975,744 11 Moss
Moss
Østfold 46,158

Stavanger/Sandnes

Trondheim
Trondheim

2 Bergen
Bergen
Hordaland
Hordaland
252,772 12 Haugesund
Haugesund
Rogaland
Rogaland
44,536

3 Stavanger/Sandnes Rogaland
Rogaland
213,313 13 Sandefjord Vestfold 43,222

4 Trondheim
Trondheim
Sør- Trøndelag 177,617 14 Arendal Aust-Agder 42,788

5 Drammen Buskerud
Buskerud
115,137 15 Bodø Nordland
Nordland
40,209

6 Fredrikstad/ Sarpsborg Østfold 109,907 16 Tromsø Troms
Troms
34,283

7 Porsgrunn/ Skien Telemark
Telemark
92,001 17 Hamar Hedmark
Hedmark
26,828

8 Kristiansand
Kristiansand
Vest-Agder 61,037 18 Halden Østfold 25,113

9 Ålesund Møre og Romsdal 51,474 19 Larvik Vestfold 23,927

10 Tønsberg Vestfold 51,061 20 Askøy Hordaland
Hordaland
22,777

EDUCATION

Main article: Education in Norway The main building of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim
Trondheim

Higher education in Norway is offered by a range of seven universities , five specialised colleges, 25 university colleges as well as a range of private colleges. Education follows the Bologna Process involving Bachelor (3 years), Master (2 years) and PhD (3 years) degrees. Acceptance is offered after finishing upper secondary school with general study competence.

Public education is virtually free, regardless of nationality. The academic year has two semesters , from August to December and from January to June. The ultimate responsibility for the education lies with the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research .

LANGUAGES

Main article: Languages of Norway See also: Norwegian language and Sami languages Distribution of Norwegian dialect groups: North Norwegian (yellow), Trøndelag Norwegian (navy blue), West Norwegian (orange) and East Norwegian (pale blue).

Norwegian and Sami are the two official languages of Norway.

The North Germanic Norwegian language has two official written forms, _ Bokmål _ and _ Nynorsk _. Both are used in public administration, schools, churches, and media. Bokmål is the written language used by a large majority of about 80–85%. Around 95% of the population speak Norwegian as their first or native language, although many speak dialects that may differ significantly from the written languages. All Norwegian dialects are mutually intelligible, although listeners with limited exposure to dialects other than their own may struggle to understand certain phrases and pronunciations in some other dialects.

Several Uralic Sami languages are spoken and written throughout the country, especially in the north, by some members of the Sami people. (Estimates suggest that about one third of the Norwegian Sami speak a Sami language. ) Speakers have a right to be educated and to receive communication from the government in their own language in a special _forvaltningsområde_ (administrative area) for Sami languages. The Kven minority historically spoke the Uralic Kven language (considered a separate language in Norway, but generally perceived as a Finnish dialect in Finland). Today the majority of ethnic Kven have little or no knowledge of the language. According to the Kainun institutti , "The typical modern Kven is a Norwegian-speaking Norwegian who knows his genealogy." As Norway
Norway
has ratified the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML) the Kven language together with Romani and Scandoromani language has become officially recognised minority languages.

Some supporters have also advocated making Norwegian Sign Language an official language of the country.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, the Norwegian language was subject to strong political and cultural controversies . This led to the development of Nynorsk in the 1 9th century
9th century
and to the formation of alternative spelling standards in the 20th century.

Norwegian is similar to the other languages in Scandinavia: Swedish and Danish . All three languages are to a degree mutually intelligible and can be, and commonly are, employed in communication among inhabitants of the Scandinavian countries. As a result of the co-operation within the Nordic Council
Nordic Council
, inhabitants of all Nordic countries, including Iceland
Iceland
and Finland
Finland
, have the right to communicate with Norwegian authorities in their own language.

Students who are children of immigrant parents are encouraged to learn the Norwegian language. The Norwegian government offers language instructional courses for immigrants wishing to obtain Norwegian citizenship. With increasing concern about assimilating immigrants, since 1 September 2008, the government has required that an applicant for Norwegian citizenship give evidence of proficiency in either Norwegian or in one of the Sami languages, or give proof of having attended classes in Norwegian for 300 hours, or meet the language requirements for university studies in Norway
Norway
(that is, by being proficient in one of the Scandinavian languages).

The primary foreign language taught in Norwegian schools is English , considered an international language since the post-WWII era. The majority of the population is fairly fluent in English, especially those born after World War II. German , French and Spanish are also commonly taught as second or, more often, third languages. Russian , Japanese , Italian , Latin
Latin
, and rarely Chinese (Mandarin) are offered in some schools, mostly in the cities. Traditionally, English, German and French were considered the main foreign languages in Norway. These languages, for instance, were used on Norwegian passports until the 1990s, and university students have a general right to use these languages when submitting their theses.

CULTURE

Main article: Culture of Norway Bryggen in Bergen
Bergen
is on the list of UNESCO
UNESCO
World Heritage Sites

The Norwegian farm culture continues to play a role in contemporary Norwegian culture. In the 19th century, it inspired a strong romantic nationalistic movement, which is still visible in the Norwegian language and media . Norwegian culture blossomed with nationalist efforts to achieve an independent identity in the areas of literature, art and music. This continues today in the performing arts and as a result of government support for exhibitions, cultural projects and artwork. _ Traditional Norwegian farmer's costumes, known as folkedrakt_, and modern costumes inspired by those costumes, known as _bunad _, are widely used on special occasions.

HUMAN RIGHTS

Norway
Norway
has been a progressive country, which has adopted legislation and policies to support women's rights, minority rights, and LGBT rights . As early as 1884, 171 of the leading figures, among them five Prime Ministers for the Liberal Party and the Conservative Party, co-founded the Norwegian Association for Women\'s Rights . They successfully campaigned for women's right to education , women\'s suffrage , the right to work , and other gender equality policies. From the 1970s, gender equality also came high on the state agenda, with the establishment of a public body to promote gender equality, which evolved into the Gender Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud . Civil society organisations also continue to play an important role, and the women's rights organisations are today organised in the Norwegian Women\'s Lobby umbrella organisation.

In 1990, the Norwegian constitution was amended to grant absolute primogeniture to the Norwegian throne, meaning that the eldest child, regardless of gender, takes precedence in the line of succession. As it was not retroactive, the current successor to the throne is the eldest son of the King, rather than his eldest child. The Norwegian constitution Article 6 states that "For those born before the year 1990 it shall...be the case that a male shall take precedence over a female."

The Sami people have for centuries been the subject of discrimination and abuse by the dominant cultures in Scandinavia
Scandinavia
and Russia, those countries claiming possession of Sami lands. The Sami people have never been a single community in a single region of Lapland . Norway has been greatly criticised by the international community for the politics of Norwegianization of and discrimination against the indigenous population of the country. Nevertheless, Norway
Norway
was, in 1990, the first country to recognise ILO-convention 169 on indigenous people recommended by the UN.

In regard to LGBT rights, Norway
Norway
was the first country in the world to enact an anti-discrimination law protecting the rights of gays and lesbians. In 1993, Norway
Norway
became the second country to legalise civil union partnerships for same-sex couples, and on 1 January 2009 Norway became the sixth country to grant full marriage equality to same-sex couples. As a promoter of human rights, Norway
Norway
has held the annual Oslo
Oslo
Freedom Forum conference, a gathering described by _The Economist _ as "on its way to becoming a human-rights equivalent of the Davos economic forum."

RELIGION

Separation of church and state happened significantly later in Norway than in most of Europe
Europe
and is not yet complete. In 2012, the Norwegian parliament voted to grant the Church of Norway
Church of Norway
greater autonomy, a decision which was confirmed in a constitutional amendment on 21 May 2012.

Until 2012 parliamentary officials were required to be members of the Evangelical- Lutheran
Lutheran
Church of Norway, and at least half of all government ministers had to be a member of the state church. As state church, the Church of Norway's clergy were viewed are state employees, and the central and regional church administrations were part of the state administration. Members of the Royal family are required to be members of the Lutheran
Lutheran
church. On 1 January 2017, Norway disestablished the Church, making it independent of the state, but retaining the Church's status as national church .

CINEMA

Main article: Cinema of Norway

The Norwegian cinema has received international recognition. The documentary film _Kon-Tiki _ (1950) of the expedition won an American Oscar Academy Award . In 1959, Arne Skouen 's _Nine Lives_ was nominated, but failed to win. Another notable film is _Flåklypa Grand Prix _ (English: _Pinchcliffe Grand Prix_), an animated feature film directed by Ivo Caprino . The film was released in 1975 and is based on characters from Norwegian cartoonist Kjell Aukrust . It is the most widely seen Norwegian film of all time.

Nils Gaup 's _Pathfinder _ (1987), the story of the Sami , was nominated for an Oscar. Berit Nesheim 's _ The Other Side of Sunday _ was nominated for an Oscar in 1997.

Since the 1990s, the film industry has thrived, producing up to 20 feature films each year. Particular successes were _Kristin Lavransdatter _, based on a novel by a Nobel Prize winner; _The Telegraphist _ and _Gurin with the Foxtail _. Knut Erik Jensen was among the more successful new directors, together with Erik Skjoldbjærg , who is remembered for _Insomnia _.

The country has also been used as filming location for several Hollywood and other international productions, including _The Empire Strikes Back _ (1980), for which the producers used Hardangerjøkulen glacier as a filming location for scenes of the ice planet Hoth. It included a memorable battle in the snow. The films _ Die Another Day
Die Another Day
_, _The Golden Compass _, _ Spies Like Us
Spies Like Us
_ and _Heroes of Telemark
Telemark
,_ as well as the TV series _ Lilyhammer _ and _Vikings _ also had scenes set in Norway. A short film, _The Spirit of Norway_ was featured at Maelstrom at Norway
Norway
Pavilion at Epcot
Epcot
located within Walt Disney World Resort in Florida in the United States. The attraction and the film ceased their operations on 5 October 2014.

MUSIC

Main article: Music of Norway Edvard Grieg , composer and pianist

The classical music of the romantic composers Edvard Grieg , Rikard Nordraak and Johan Svendsen is internationally known as is the modern music of Arne Nordheim . Norway's classical performers include Leif Ove Andsnes , one of the world's more famous pianists; Truls Mørk , an outstanding cellist; and the great Wagnerian soprano Kirsten Flagstad .

Norwegian black metal has been an influence in world music since the late 20th century. Since the 1990s, Norway's export of black metal , a lo-fi, dark and raw form of heavy metal , has been developed by such bands as Emperor , Darkthrone , Gorgoroth , Mayhem , Burzum , and Immortal . More recently bands such as Enslaved , Kvelertak , Dimmu Borgir and Satyricon
Satyricon
have evolved the genre into the present day while still garnering worldwide fans. Controversial events associated with the black metal movement in the early 1990s included several church burnings and two prominent murder cases .

The jazz scene in Norway
Norway
is thriving. Jan Garbarek , Terje Rypdal , Mari Boine , Arild Andersen , and Bugge Wesseltoft are internationally recognised while Paal Nilssen-Love , Supersilent , Jaga Jazzist and Wibutee are becoming world-class artists of the younger generation. Hardingfele , the " Hardanger fiddle", a Norwegian instrument

Norway
Norway
has a strong folk music tradition which remains popular to this day. Among the most prominent folk musicians are Hardanger fiddlers Andrea Een , Olav Jørgen Hegge and Annbjørg Lien , and the vocalists Agnes Buen Garnås , Kirsten Bråten Berg and Odd Nordstoga .

Other internationally recognised bands are A-ha , Röyksopp , Ylvis . A-ha initially rose to global fame during the mid-1980s. In the 1990s and 2000s, the group maintained its popularity domestically, and has remained successful outside Norway, especially in Germany, Switzerland, France, and Brazil.

Some of the most memorable female solo artists from Norway
Norway
are Adelén , Julie Bergan , Maria Mena , Tone Damli , Margaret Berger
Margaret Berger
, Lene Marlin , Christel Alsos , Maria Arredondo , Lene Nystrøm vocalist of the popular Danish dance band Aqua and Marion Raven "> Knut Hamsun , author

The history of Norwegian literature starts with the pagan Eddaic poems and skaldic verse of the 9th and 10th centuries, with poets such as Bragi Boddason and Eyvindr skáldaspillir . The arrival of Christianity
Christianity
around the year 1000 brought Norway
Norway
into contact with European mediaeval learning, hagiography and history writing. Merged with native oral tradition and Icelandic influence, this influenced the literature written in the late 12th and early 13th centuries. Major works of that period include _ Historia Norwegiæ _, _ Þiðrekssaga _ and _ Konungs skuggsjá _.

Little Norwegian literature came out of the period of the Scandinavian Union and the subsequent Dano-Norwegian union (1387–1814), with some notable exceptions such as Petter Dass and Ludvig Holberg . In his play _ Peer Gynt _, Ibsen characterised this period as "Twice two hundred years of darkness/brooded o'er the race of monkeys." The first line of this couplet is frequently quoted. During the union with Denmark, the government imposed using only written Danish, which decreased the writing of Norwegian literature. Henrik Ibsen

Two major events precipitated a major resurgence in Norwegian literature: in 1811 a Norwegian university was established in Christiania . Secondly, seized by the spirit of revolution following the American and French revolutions, the Norwegians created their first Constitution in 1814. Strong authors were inspired who became recognised first in Scandinavia, and then worldwide; among them were Henrik Wergeland , Peter Christen Asbjørnsen , Jørgen Moe and Camilla Collett .

By the late 19th century, in the Golden Age of Norwegian literature, the so-called "Great Four" emerged: Henrik Ibsen , Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson , Alexander Kielland , and Jonas Lie . Bjørnson's "peasant novels", such as _Ein glad gut_ (A Happy Boy) and _Synnøve Solbakken_, are typical of the Norwegian romantic nationalism of their day. Kielland's novels and short stories are mostly naturalistic. Although an important contributor to early romantic nationalism, (especially _ Peer Gynt _), Henrik Ibsen is better known for his pioneering realistic dramas such as _ The Wild Duck _ and _A Doll\'s House ._ They caused an uproar because of his candid portrayals of the middle classes, complete with infidelity, unhappy marriages, and corrupt businessmen.

In the 20th century, three Norwegian novelists were awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature : Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson in 1903, Knut Hamsun for the book _Markens grøde _ ("Growth of the Soil") in 1920, and Sigrid Undset (known for _Kristinlavransdatter _) in 1928. Writers such as the following also made important contributions: Dag Solstad , Jon Fosse , Cora Sandel , Olav Duun , Olav H. Hauge , Gunvor Hofmo , Stein Mehren , Kjell Askildsen , Hans Herbjørnsrud , Aksel Sandemose , Bergljot Hobæk Haff , Jostein Gaarder , Erik Fosnes Hansen , Jens Bjørneboe , Kjartan Fløgstad , Lars Saabye Christensen , Johan Borgen , Herbjørg Wassmo , Jan Erik Vold , Rolf Jacobsen , Olaf Bull , Jan Kjærstad , Georg Johannesen , Tarjei Vesaas , Sigurd Hoel , Arnulf Øverland , Karl Ove Knausgård and Johan Falkberget .

RESEARCH

Internationally recognised Norwegian scientists include the mathematicians Niels Henrik Abel , Sophus Lie and Atle Selberg , physical chemist Lars Onsager , physicist Ivar Giaever , chemists Odd Hassel , Peter Waage , and Cato Maximilian Guldberg .

In the 20th century, Norwegian academics have been pioneering in many social sciences , including criminology , sociology and peace and conflict studies . Prominent academics include Arne Næss , a philosopher and founder of deep ecology ; Johan Galtung , the founder of peace studies ; Nils Christie and Thomas Mathiesen , criminologists; Fredrik Barth , a social anthropologist; Vilhelm Aubert , Harriet Holter and Erik Grønseth , sociologists; Tove Stang Dahl , a pioneer of women's law; Stein Rokkan , a political scientist; and economists Ragnar Frisch , Trygve Haavelmo , and Finn E. Kydland .

In 2014, the two Norwegian scientists May-Britt Moser
May-Britt Moser
and Edvard Moser won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine along with John O\'Keefe . They won the prize for their groundbreaking work identifying the cells that make up a positioning system in the human brain, our "in-built GPS".

ARCHITECTURE

Main article: Architecture of Norway The Urnes Stave Church has been listed by UNESCO
UNESCO
as a World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
.

With expansive forests, Norway
Norway
has long had a tradition of building in wood. Many of today's most interesting new buildings are made of wood, reflecting the strong appeal that this material continues to hold for Norwegian designers and builders. Dalen Hotel in Telemark
Telemark
built in dragestil ("Dragon Style"), a style of design and architecture that originated during the period of Norwegian romantic nationalism .

With Norway's conversion to Christianity
Christianity
some 1,000 years ago, churches were built. Stonework architecture was introduced from Europe for the most important structures, beginning with the construction of Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim
Trondheim
. In the early Middle Ages
Middle Ages
, wooden stave churches were constructed throughout Norway. Some of them have survived; they represent Norway's most unusual contribution to architectural history. A fine example, Urnes Stave Church in inner Sognefjord , is on UNESCO
UNESCO
's World Heritage List . Another notable example of wooden architecture is the buildings at Bryggen Wharf in Bergen, also on the list for World Cultural Heritage sites, consisting of a row of tall, narrow wooden structures along the quayside. The 17th-century town of Røros , designated in 1980 as a UNESCO
UNESCO
World Heritage Site, has the narrow streets and wooden houses of the period.

In the 17th century, under the Danish monarchy, cities and villages such as Kongsberg
Kongsberg
and Røros were established. The city had a church built in the Baroque style. Traditional wooden buildings that were constructed in Røros have survived.

After Norway's union with Denmark
Denmark
was dissolved in 1814, Oslo
Oslo
became the capital. The architect Christian H. Grosch designed the earliest parts of the University of Oslo
Oslo
, the Oslo
Oslo
Stock Exchange , and many other buildings and churches constructed in that early national period.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the city of Ålesund was rebuilt in the Art Nouveau style, influenced by styles of France
France
. The 1930s, when functionalism dominated, became a strong period for Norwegian architecture. It is only since the late 20th century that Norwegian architects have achieved international renown. One of the most striking modern buildings in Norway
Norway
is the Sami Parliament in Kárášjohka , designed by Stein Halvorson and Christian Sundby . Its debating chamber, in timber, is an abstract version of a _lavvo,_ the traditional tent used by the nomadic Sami people .

ART

Main article: Norwegian art _ Brudeferd i Hardanger_ by Adolph Tidemand og Hans Gude
Hans Gude
, 1848

For an extended period, the Norwegian art scene was dominated by artwork from Germany
Germany
and Holland as well as by the influence of Copenhagen. It was in the 1 9th century
9th century
that a truly Norwegian era began, first with portraits, later with impressive landscapes. Johan Christian Dahl (1788–1857), originally from the Dresden school, eventually returned to paint the landscapes of western Norway, defining Norwegian painting for the first time."

Norway's newly found independence from Denmark
Denmark
encouraged painters to develop their Norwegian identity, especially with landscape painting by artists such as Kitty Kielland , a female painter who studied under Hans Gude
Hans Gude
, and Harriet Backer , another pioneer among female artists, influenced by impressionism . Frits Thaulow , an impressionist, was influenced by the art scene in Paris as was Christian Krohg , a realist painter, famous for his paintings of prostitutes.

Of particular note is Edvard Munch
Edvard Munch
, a symbolist/expressionist painter who became world-famous for The Scream
The Scream
which is said to represent the anxiety of modern man.

Other artists of note include Harald Sohlberg , a neo-romantic painter remembered for his paintings of Røros , and Odd Nerdrum , a figurative painter who maintains that his work is not art, but kitsch .

CUISINE

Main article: Norwegian cuisine

Norway\'s culinary traditions show the influence of long seafaring and farming traditions with salmon (fresh and cured), herring (pickled or marinated), trout , codfish and other seafood balanced by cheeses, dairy products and breads (predominantly dark/darker).

Lefse is a Norwegian potato flatbread, usually topped with large amounts of butter and sugar, most common around Christmas. Some traditional Norwegian dishes include lutefisk , smalahove , pinnekjøtt , raspeball and fårikål .

SPORTS

Biathlete Ole Einar Bjørndalen from Norway
Norway
is the most successful Winter
Winter
Olympian of all time, with 13 medals

Sports are a central part of Norwegian culture, and popular sports include Association football , biathlon , cross-country skiing , ski jumping , and, to a lesser degree, ice hockey and handball .

Association football is the most popular sport in Norway
Norway
in terms of active membership. In 2014-2015 polling, football ranked far behind biathlon and cross-country skiing in terms of popularity as spectator sports. Ice hockey is the biggest indoor sport. The women\'s handball national team has won several titles, including two Summer Olympics championships (2008 , 2012 ), three World Championships (1999 , 2011 , 2015 ) and six European Championship (1998 , 2004 , 2006 , 2008 , 2010 , 2014 ).

The Norwegian national football team has participated three times in the FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup
(1938 , 1994 , 1998 ), and once in the European Championship (2000 ). The highest FIFA
FIFA
ranking Norway
Norway
has achieved is 2nd, a position it has held twice, in 1993 and in 1995.

Chess
Chess
is also gaining popularity in Norway. Magnus Carlsen is the current world champion. There are about 10 Grandmasters and 29 International Masters in Norway. The Norwegian women\'s national bandy team in 2006

Bandy
Bandy
is a traditional sport in Norway
Norway
and the country is one of the four founders of Federation of International Bandy
Bandy
. In terms of licensed athletes, it is the second biggest winter sport in the world. As of 2017 the men\'s national team has captured one silver and one bronze, while the women\'s national team has managed four bronzes at the World Championships .

Norway
Norway
first participated at the Olympic Games
Olympic Games
in 1900, and has sent athletes to compete in every Games since then, except for the sparsely attended 1904 Games and the 1980 Summer Olympics
Summer Olympics
in Moscow
Moscow
when they participated in the American-led boycott . Famous Norwegian winter sport athletes are, for instance, biathlete Ole Einar Bjørndalen and cross country skiers Marit Bjørgen and Bjørn Dæhlie .

Norway
Norway
has hosted the Games on two occasions:

* 1952 Winter
Winter
Olympics in Oslo
Oslo
* 1994 Winter
Winter
Olympics in Lillehammer

INTERNATIONAL RANKINGS

The following are international rankings of Norway, including those measuring life quality, health care quality, stability, press freedom and income.

INDEX RANK COUNTRIES REVIEWED

World Happiness Report 2017 1 157

Human Development Index
Human Development Index
2015 1 187

Inequality adjusted Human Development Index
Human Development Index
2015 1 150

OECD Better Life Index 2016 1 38

Legatum Prosperity Index 2015 1 142

Index of Public Integrity 2016 1 105

Democracy Index 2016 1 167

Save the Children State of the World\'s Mothers report 2015 1 179

Total health expenditure per capita 2013 1 188

Press Freedom Index 2017 1 180

Fragile States Index 2016 2 178

Gallup gross median household income 2013 2 131

Median equivalent adult income 2009–2014 2 35

International Property Rights Index 2015 2 129

Net international investment position of creditor nations per capita 2013 2 17

Euro health consumer index 2015 3 35

Global Gender Gap Report 2016 3 144

EF English Proficiency Index
EF English Proficiency Index
2015 4 70

Corruption Perceptions Index 2015 5 175

Networked Readiness Index 2014 5 144

Household final consumption expenditure per capita 2013 5 163

Ease of doing business index 2016 9 185

Global Peace Index
Global Peace Index
2016 17 163

Globalization Index 2015 18 207

Logistics Performance Index 2016 22 160

Index of Economic Freedom 2016 27 167

SEE ALSO

* Norway
Norway
portal * Arctic
Arctic
portal * Europe
Europe
portal

* Outline of Norway * Aristocracy of Norway * Historical capitals of Norway

NOTES

* ^ The Spitsbergen Treaty
Treaty
(also known as the Svalbard
Svalbard
Treaty
Treaty
) of 9 February 1920 recognises Norway's full and absolute sovereignty over the arctic archipelago of Spitsbergen (now called Svalbard
Svalbard
).

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Svalbard
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BIBLIOGRAPHY

* Larsen, Karen (1948). _A History of Norway_. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

EXTERNAL LINKS

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* Norway.no, Norway's official portal * Norway
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at DMOZ * Statistics Norway * State of the Environment Norway * "Norway". _ The World Factbook _. Central Intelligence Agency
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. * Norway
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