Norway [Country Flag of Norway]
Transnational Issues
[Country map of Norway] Background: Despite its neutrality, Norway was not able to avoid occupation by Germany in World War II. In 1949, neutrality was abandoned and Norway became a member of NATO. Discovery of oil and gas in adjacent waters in the late 1960s boosted Norway's economic fortunes. The current focus is on containing spending on the extensive welfare system and planning for the time when petroleum reserves are depleted. In referenda held in 1972 and 1994, Norway rejected joining the EU.



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Location: Northern Europe, bordering the North Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Sweden

Geographic coordinates: 62 00 N, 10 00 E

Map references: Europe

total: 324,220 sq km
land: 307,860 sq km
water: 16,360 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly larger than New Mexico

Land boundaries:
total: 2,515 km
border countries: Finland 729 km, Sweden 1,619 km, Russia 167 km

Coastline: 21,925 km (includes mainland 3,419 km, large islands 2,413 km, long fjords, numerous small islands, and minor indentations 16,093 km)

Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 10 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 4 nm

Climate: temperate along coast, modified by North Atlantic Current; colder interior; rainy year-round on west coast

Terrain: glaciated; mostly high plateaus and rugged mountains broken by fertile valleys; small, scattered plains; coastline deeply indented by fjords; arctic tundra in north

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Norwegian Sea 0 m
highest point: Galdhopiggeh 2,469 m

Natural resources: petroleum, copper, natural gas, pyrites, nickel, iron ore, zinc, lead, fish, timber, hydropower

Land use:
arable land: 3%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 0%
forests and woodland: 27%
other: 70% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 970 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: NA

Environment - current issues: water pollution; acid rain damaging forests and adversely affecting lakes, threatening fish stocks; air pollution from vehicle emissions

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol

Geography - note: about two-thirds mountains; some 50,000 islands off its much indented coastline; strategic location adjacent to sea lanes and air routes in North Atlantic; one of most rugged and longest coastlines in world; Norway is the only NATO member having a land boundary with Russia


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Population: 4,481,162 (July 2000 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 20% (male 459,608; female 434,809)
15-64 years: 65% (male 1,472,974; female 1,430,526)
65 years and over: 15% (male 283,741; female 399,504) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.5% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 12.79 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 9.89 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: 2.13 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 3.98 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 78.65 years
male: 75.73 years
female: 81.77 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.81 children born/woman (2000 est.)

noun: Norwegian(s)
adjective: Norwegian

Ethnic groups: Norwegian (Nordic, Alpine, Baltic), Lapps (Sami) 20,000

Religions: Evangelical Lutheran 86% (state church), other Protestant and Roman Catholic 3%, other 1%, none and unknown 10% (1997)

Languages: Norwegian (official)
note: small Lapp- and Finnish-speaking minorities

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 100%
male: NA%
female: NA%


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Country name:
conventional long form: Kingdom of Norway
conventional short form: Norway
local long form: Kongeriket Norge
local short form: Norge

Data code: NO

Government type: constitutional monarchy

Capital: Oslo

Administrative divisions: 19 provinces (fylker, singular - fylke); Akershus, Aust-Agder, Buskerud, Finnmark, Hedmark, Hordaland, More og Romsdal, Nordland, Nord-Trondelag, Oppland, Oslo, Ostfold, Rogaland, Sogn og Fjordane, Sor-Trondelag, Telemark, Troms, Vest-Agder, Vestfold

Dependent areas: Bouvet Island, Jan Mayen, Svalbard

Independence: 7 June 1905 Norway declared the union with Sweden dissolved; 26 October 1905 Sweden agreed to the repeal of the union

National holiday: Constitution Day, 17 May (1814)

Constitution: 17 May 1814, modified in 1884

Legal system: mixture of customary law, civil law system, and common law traditions; Supreme Court renders advisory opinions to legislature when asked; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: King HARALD V (since 17 January 1991); Heir Apparent Crown Prince HAAKON MAGNUS, son of the monarch (born 20 July 1973)
head of government: Prime Minister Jens STOLTENBERG (since 17 March 2000)
cabinet: State Council appointed by the monarch with the approval of the Parliament
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; following parliamentary elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the monarch with the approval of the Parliament

Legislative branch: modified unicameral Parliament or Storting which, for certain purposes, divides itself into two chambers (165 seats; members are elected by popular vote by proportional representation to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 15 September 1997 (next to be held NA September 2001)
election results: percent of vote by party - Labor Party 35%, Center Party 7.9%, Conservative Party 14.3%, Christian People's Party 13.7%, Socialist Left Party 6%, Progress Party 15.3%, Liberal Party 4.4%, other parties 1.6%; seats by party - Labor Party 65, Center Party 11, Conservative Party 23, Christian People's Party 25, Socialist Left Party 9, Progress Party 25, Liberal Party 6, other parties 1
note: for certain purposes, the Parliament divides itself into two chambers and elects one-fourth of its membership to an upper house or Lagting

Judicial branch: Supreme Court or Hoyesterett, justices appointed by the monarch

Political parties and leaders: Center Party [Johan J. JAKOBSEN]; Christian People's Party [Valgerd HAUGLAND]; Conservative Party [Jan PETERSEN]; Labor Party [Thorbjorn JAGLAND]; Liberal Party [Lars SPONHEIM]; Norwegian Communist Party [Kare Andre NILSEN]; Progress Party [Carl I. HAGEN]; Red Electoral Alliance [Erling FOLKVORD]; Socialist Left Party [Kristin HALVORSEN]


Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Tom Erik VRAALSEN
chancery: 2720 34th Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 333-6000
FAX: [1] (202) 337-0870
consulate(s) general: Houston, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, and San Francisco

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador David B. HERMELIN
embassy: Drammensveien 18, 0244 Oslo
mailing address: PSC 69, Box 1000, APO AE 09707
telephone: [47] (22) 44 85 50
FAX: [47] (22) 43 07 77

Flag description: red with a blue cross outlined in white that extends to the edges of the flag; the vertical part of the cross is shifted to the hoist side in the style of the Dannebrog (Danish flag)


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Economy - overview: The Norwegian economy is a prosperous bastion of welfare capitalism, featuring a combination of free market activity and government intervention. The government controls key areas, such as the vital petroleum sector (through large-scale state enterprises), and extensively subsidizes agriculture, fishing, and areas with sparse resources. The extensive welfare system helps propel public sector expenditures to more than 50% of GDP. A major shipping nation, with a high dependence on international trade, Norway is basically an exporter of raw materials and semiprocessed goods. The country is richly endowed with natural resources - petroleum, hydropower, fish, forests, and minerals - and is highly dependent on its oil production and international oil prices. Only Saudi Arabia exports more oil than Norway. Norway imports more than half its food needs. Oslo opted to stay out of the EU during a referendum in November 1994. Growth was a meager 0.8% in 1999 because of weak private consumption and anemic investment activity in the oil and other sectors. Growth should pick up in 2000, perhaps to 2.7%. Despite their high per capita income and generous welfare benefits, Norwegians worry about that time in the next two decades when the oil and gas begin to run out.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $111.3 billion (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 0.8% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $25,100 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 2.2%
industry: 26.3%
services: 71.5% (1998)

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 4.1%
highest 10%: 21.2% (1991)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.8% (1999 est.)

Labor force: 2.7 million (1999 est.)

Labor force - by occupation: services 74%, industry 22%, agriculture, forestry, and fishing 4% (1995)

Unemployment rate: 2.9% (1999 est.)

revenues: $69.7 billion
expenditures: $60.1 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)

Industries: petroleum and gas, food processing, shipbuilding, pulp and paper products, metals, chemicals, timber, mining, textiles, fishing

Industrial production growth rate: 0.7% (1999 est.)

Electricity - production: 115.485 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 0.58%
hydro: 99.16%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0.26% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 111.001 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 4.4 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 8 billion kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: barley, other grains, potatoes; beef, milk; fish

Exports: $47.3 billion (f.o.b., 1999 est.)

Exports - commodities: petroleum and petroleum products, machinery and equipment, metals, chemicals, ships, fish

Exports - partners: EU 77% (UK 17%, Germany 12%, Netherlands 10%, Sweden 10%, France 8%), US 7% (1998)

Imports: $38.6 billion (f.o.b., 1999 est.)

Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, chemicals, metals, foodstuffs

Imports - partners: EU 69% (Sweden 15%, Germany 14%, UK 10%, Denmark 7%), US 7%, Japan 4% (1998)

Debt - external: $0 (Norway is a net external creditor)

Economic aid - donor: ODA, $1.4 billion (1998)

Currency: 1 Norwegian krone (NKr) = 100 oere

Exchange rates: Norwegian kroner (NKr) per US$1 - 8.0129 (January 2000), 7.7992 (1999), 7.5451 (1998), 7.0734 (1997), 6.4498 (1996), 6.3352 (1995)

Fiscal year: calendar year


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Telephones - main lines in use: 2,325,010 (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular: 1,676,763 (1997)

Telephone system: high-quality domestic and international telephone, telegraph, and telex services
domestic: domestic satellite system
international: 2 buried coaxial cable systems; 4 coaxial submarine cables; satellite earth stations - NA Eutelsat, NA Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean), and 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic and Indian Ocean regions); note - Norway shares the Inmarsat earth station with the other Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, and Sweden)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 5, FM at least 650, shortwave 1 (1998)

Radios: 4.03 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 209 (1997)

Televisions: 2.03 million (1997)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 21 (1999)


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total: 4,012 km
standard gauge: 4,012 km 1.435-m gauge (2,530 km electrified; 96 km double track) (1998)

total: 90,741 km
paved: 67,602 km (including 128 km of expressways)
unpaved: 23,139 km (1998 est.)

Waterways: 1,577 km along west coast; navigable by 2.4 m draft vessels maximum

Pipelines: refined petroleum products 53 km

Ports and harbors: Bergen, Drammen, Floro, Hammerfest, Harstad, Haugesund, Kristiansand, Larvik, Narvik, Oslo, Porsgrunn, Stavanger, Tromso, Trondheim

Merchant marine:
total: 788 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 21,460,260 GRT/34,178,125 DWT
ships by type: bulk 100, cargo 142, chemical tanker 111, combination bulk 9, combination ore/oil 35, container 18, liquified gas 86, multi-functional large load carrier 1, passenger 11, petroleum tanker 157, refrigerated cargo 11, roll-on/roll-off 48, short-sea passenger 22, vehicle carrier 37 (1999 est.)
note: the government has created an internal register, the Norwegian International Ship register (NIS), as a subset of the Norwegian register; ships on the NIS enjoy many benefits of flags of convenience and do not have to be crewed by Norwegians (1998 est.)

Airports: 103 (1999 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 67
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 12
1,524 to 2,437 m: 13
914 to 1,523 m: 12
under 914 m: 29 (1999 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 36
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 31 (1999 est.)

Heliports: 1 (1999 est.)


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Military branches: Norwegian Army, Royal Norwegian Navy (includes Coast Artillery and Coast Guard), Royal Norwegian Air Force, Home Guard

Military manpower - military age: 20 years of age

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 1,103,256 (2000 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 915,949 (2000 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 27,417 (2000 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $3.113 billion (FY98)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 2.1% (FY98)

Transnational Issues

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Disputes - international: territorial claim in Antarctica (Queen Maud Land)