[Country map of Norway]



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

Map references: Europe

total area: 324,220 sq km
land area: 307,860 sq km
comparative area: slightly larger than New Mexico

Land boundaries: total 2,515 km, 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

International disputes: territorial claim in Antarctica (Queen Maud Land); maritime boundary dispute with Russia over portion of Barents Sea

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

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

Land use:
arable land: 3%
permanent crops: 0%
meadows and pastures: 0%
forest and woodland: 27%
other: 70%

Irrigated land: 950 sq km (1989)

current issues: water pollution; acid rain damaging forests and adversely affecting lakes, threatening fish stocks; air pollution from vehicle emissions
natural hazards: NA
international agreements: party to - Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Wetlands, Whaling; signed, but not ratified - Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Desertification, Law of the Sea, Tropical Timber 94

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 and Turkey only NATO members having a land boundary with Russia


Population: 4,330,951 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 19% (female 390,344; male 444,570)
15-64 years: 65% (female 1,375,493; male 1,424,027)
65 years and over: 16% (female 408,675; male 287,842) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.37% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 12.86 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 10.35 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: 1.15 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 6.1 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 77.61 years
male: 74.26 years
female: 81.15 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.76 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Norwegian(s)
adjective: Norwegian

Ethnic divisions: Germanic (Nordic, Alpine, Baltic), Lapps (Sami) 20,000

Religions: Evangelical Lutheran 87.8% (state church), other Protestant and Roman Catholic 3.8%, none 3.2%, unknown 5.2% (1980)

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

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1976 est.)
total population: 99%

Labor force: 2.13 million
by occupation: services 71%, industry 23%, agriculture, forestry, and fishing 6% (1992)


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

Digraph: NO

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: 26 October 1905 (from Sweden)

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 (born 20 July 1973)
head of government: Prime Minister Gro Harlem BRUNDTLAND (since 3 November 1990)
cabinet: State Council; appointed by the king in accordance with the will of the Storting

Legislative branch: modified unicameral Parliament (Storting) which, for certain purposes, divides itself into two chambers
Storting: elections last held 13 September 1993 (next to be held September 1997); results - Labor 37.1%, Center Party 18.5%, Conservatives 15.6%, Christian People's 8.4%, Socialist Left 7.9%, Progress 6%, Left Party 3.6%, Red Electoral Alliance 1.2%; seats - (165 total) Labor 67, Center Party 32, Consevatives 18, Christian People's 13, Socialist Left 13, Progress 10, Left Party 1, Red Electoral Alliance 1, unawarded 10
note: for certain purposes, the Storting divides itself into two chambers and elects one-fourth of its membership to an upper house or Lagting

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (Hoyesterett)

Political parties and leaders: Labor Party, Thorbjorn JAGLUND; Conservative Party, Jan PETERSEN; Center Party, Anne ENGER LAHNSTEIN; Christian People's Party, Kjell Magne BONDEVIK; Socialist Left, Kjellbjorg LUNDE; Norwegian Communist, Kare Andre NILSEN; Progress Party, Carl I. HAGEN; Liberal, Odd Einar DORUM; Left Party; Red Electoral Alliance, Erling FOLKVORD


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

US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Ambassador Thomas A. LOFTUS
embassy: Drammensveien 18, 0244 Oslo
mailing address: PSC 69, Box 1000, APO AE 09707
telephone: [47] 22 44 85 50
FAX: [47] 22 44 33 63

Flag: 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)


Overview: Norway has a mixed economy involving 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. Norway also maintains an extensive welfare system that helps propel public sector expenditures to slightly more than 50% of the GDP and results in one of the highest average tax burdens in the world (54%). A small country with a high dependence on international trade, Norway is basically an exporter of raw materials and semiprocessed goods, with an abundance of small- and medium-sized firms, and is ranked among the major shipping nations. The country is richly endowed with natural resources - petroleum, hydropower, fish, forests, and minerals - and is highly dependent on its oil sector to keep its economy afloat. Norway imports more than half its food needs. Although one of the government's main priorities is to reduce this dependency, this situation is not likely to improve for years to come. The government also hopes to reduce unemployment and strengthen and diversify the economy through tax reform and a series of expansionary budgets. The budget deficit is expected to hit a record 8% of GDP because of welfare spending and bail-outs of the banking system. Unemployment is currently running at 8.4% - including those in job programs - because of the weakness of the economy outside the oil sector. Economic growth, only 1.6% in 1993, moved up to 5.5% in 1994. Oslo opted to stay out of the EU during a referendum in November 1994.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $95.7 billion (1994 est.)

National product real growth rate: 5.5% (1994 est.)

National product per capita: $22,170 (1994 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.3% (1994 est.)

Unemployment rate: 8.4% (including people in job-training programs; 1994 est.)

revenues: $50.9 billion
expenditures: $55.5 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1994 est.)

Exports: $36.6 billion (f.o.b., 1994)
commodities: petroleum and petroleum products 40%, metals and products 10.6%, fish and fish products 6.9%, chemicals 6.4%, natural gas 6.0%, ships 5.4%
partners: EC 66.3%, Nordic countries 16.3%, developing countries 8.4%, US 6.0%, Japan 1.8% (1993)

Imports: $29.3 billion (c.i.f., 1994)
commodities: machinery and equipment 38.9%, chemicals and other industrial inputs 26.6%, manufactured consumer goods 17.8%, foodstuffs 6.4%
partners: EC 48.6%, Nordic countries 25.1%, developing countries 9.6%, US 8.1%, Japan 8.0% (1993)

External debt: $NA

Industrial production: growth rate 4.6% (1994); accounts for 14% of GDP

capacity: 27,280,000 kW
production: 118 billion kWh
consumption per capita: 23,735 kWh (1993)

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

Agriculture: accounts for 3% of GDP and about 6% of labor force; among world's top 10 fishing nations; livestock output exceeds value of crops; fish catch of 1.76 million metric tons in 1989

Illicit drugs: transshipment point for drugs shipped via the CIS and Baltic states for the European market

Economic aid:
donor: ODA and OOF commitments (1970-89), $4.4 billion

Currency: 1 Norwegian krone (NKr) = 100 oere

Exchange rates: Norwegian kroner (NKr) per US$1 - 6.7014 (January 1995), 7.0469 (1994), 7.0941 (1993), 6.2145 (1992), 6.4829 (1991), 6.2597 (1990)

Fiscal year: calendar year


total: 4,026 km
standard gauge: 4,026 km 1.435-m gauge (2,422 km electrified; 96 km double track) (1994)

total: 88,922 km
paved: 61,356 km (75 km of expressway)
unpaved: gravel, crushed stone, earth 27,566 km (1990)

Inland waterways: 1,577 km along west coast; 2.4 m draft vessels maximum

Pipelines: refined products 53 km

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

Merchant marine:
total: 764 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 20,793,968 GRT/35,409,472 DWT
ships by type: bulk 159, cargo 92, chemical tanker 85, combination bulk 8, combination ore/oil 28, container 17, liquefied gas tanker 81, oil tanker 162, passenger 13, passenger-cargo 2, railcar carrier 1, refrigerated cargo 13, roll-on/roll-off cargo 54, short-sea passenger 21, vehicle carrier 28
note: the government has created a captive 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

total: 104
with paved runways over 3,047 m: 1
with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 12
with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 13
with paved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 10
with paved runways under 914 m: 62
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 6


Telephone system: 3,102,000 telephones; high-quality domestic and international telephone, telegraph, and telex services
local: NA
intercity: domestic earth stations
international: 2 buried coaxial cable systems; 4 coaxial submarine cables; EUTELSAT, INTELSAT (Atlantic Ocean), and MARISAT earth stations

broadcast stations: AM 46, FM 493 (350 private and 143 government), shortwave 0
radios: 3.3 million

broadcast stations: 54 (repeaters 2,100)
televisions: 1.5 million

Defense Forces

Branches: Norwegian Army, Royal Norwegian Navy, Royal Norwegian Air Force, Home Guard

Manpower availability: males age 15-49 1,116,130; males fit for military service 928,774; males reach military age (20) annually 29,123 (1995 est.)

Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $3.4 billion, 3.2% of GDP (1994)