The Norwegian flag

Norway is Europe’s northernmost country and it embodies one of the longest coastlines in the world. The country has a long history of seafaring and fishing and contains one of the most sustainably managed fisheries in the world. It also has one of the world’s highest standards of living and the largest sovereign wealth fund, due in large part to its oil revenues, which make up more than half its exports and total about $40 billion annually. Notably, Norway is one of the few Western European countries not a member of the European Union.

    • Official Name: Kingdom of Norway
    • Population: 4,937,000 (as of 4-1-11)
    • Capital: Oslo (population 599,230 as of 1-1-11)
    • Area: 323,802 sq km (approx. 125,020 sq mi; slightly larger than the U.S. state of New Mexico)
    • Nationalities: Norwegian, Sami
    • Annual population growth rate: 0.329% (2011 est.)
    • Life expectancy: 80.2 years
    • Ethnic groups: primarily Norwegian and Sami
Typical rugged coastline found in northern Norway. This is from the mountains just north of Bodø.
    • Literacy: 100% (age 15 and older who can read/write)
    • Major languages:
      • Norwegian (two forms: Bokmål [book form] and Nynorsk [new Norwegian])
      • Sami (three forms: Northern Sami, Lule Sami, and Southern Sami, listed in order of the largest population of speakers)
    • Major religions: Church of Norway 85.7%, Pentecostal 1%, Roman Catholic 1%, other Christian 2.4%, Muslim 1.8%, other 8.1% (2004)
    • Major agricultural products: barley, wheat, potatoes, pork, beef, veal, milk, fish
    • Major industries: petroleum and gas, food processing, shipbuilding, pulp and paper products, metals, chemicals, timber, mining, textiles, fishing
    • Main exports: fuel and fuel products, fish, machinery, metal products
    • Monetary unit: Norwegian kroner (NOK)
    • GDP per capita: $54,600 (2010 est.)
The Norwegian royal family includes King Harald V, Queen Sonja, Crown Prince Haakon, and Crown Princess Mette-Marit.
  • Government: Constitutional monarchy, Parliamentary democracy
    • Prime Minister: Jens Stoltenberg
    • King and Queen: Harald V and Sonja
  • Terrain: glaciated; mostly high plateaus and rugged mountains broken by fertile valleys (about two-thirds of Norway is mountains); small, scattered plains; coastline deeply indented by fjords; Arctic tundra in north
  • Climate: temperate along coast, modified by North Atlantic Current (Gulf Stream); colder interior with increased precipitation and colder summers; rainy year-round on west coast
  • Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, titanium, pyrites, nickel, fish, timber, hydropower
  • Coastline: 25,148 km (includes mainland, long fjords, islands); one of the longest coastlines in the world
  • Number of islands: 50,000+
  • Number of Internet users: 4.4 million (nearly 95% of the population; as of June 2010)