Møre og Romsdal (Urban East Norwegian: [ˈmø̂ːrə ɔ ˈrʊ̀msdɑːɫ] ; English: Møre and Romsdal) is a county in the northernmost part of Western Norway. It borders the counties of Trøndelag, Innlandet, and Vestland. The county administration is located in the town of Molde, while Ålesund is the largest town. The county is governed by the Møre og Romsdal County Municipality which includes an elected county council and a county mayor. The national government is represented by the county governor.

Møre og Romsdal County
Møre og Romsdal fylke
Møre fylke  (historic name)
Romsdals amt  (historic name)
Møre og Romsdal within Norway
Møre og Romsdal within Norway
Coordinates: 62°44′15″N 07°09′30″E / 62.73750°N 7.15833°E / 62.73750; 7.15833
CountyMøre og Romsdal
DistrictWestern Norway
Administrative centreMolde
 • BodyMøre og Romsdal County Municipality
 • Governor (2022)Else-May Norderhus (Ap)
 • County mayor
Tove-Lise Torve (Ap)
 • Total14,356 km2 (5,543 sq mi)
 • Land13,840 km2 (5,340 sq mi)
 • Water516 km2 (199 sq mi)  3.6%
 • Rank#9 in Norway
 • Total265,544
 • Rank#9 in Norway
 • Density19.2/km2 (50/sq mi)
 • Change (10 years)
Increase +5.6%
DemonymsSunnmøringer, Nordmøringer, and Romsdalinger[1]
Official language
 • Norwegian formNynorsk
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
ISO 3166 codeNO-15[3]
Income (per capita)139,200 kr (2001)
GDP (per capita)243,412 kr (2001)
GDP national rank#6 in Norway
(3.89% of country)
WebsiteOfficial website

Name edit

Map of the three districts in the county. Green is Sunnmøre, purple is Romsdal, and blue is Nordmøre.

The name Møre og Romsdal was created in 1936. The first element refers to the districts of Nordmøre and Sunnmøre, and the last element refers to Romsdal. Until 1919, the county was called "Romsdalens amt", and from 1919 to 1935 "Møre fylke".

For hundreds of years (1660-1919), the region was called Romsdalen amt, after the Romsdalen valley in the present-day Rauma Municipality. The Old Norse form of the name was Raumsdalr. The first element is the genitive case of the name Raumr derived from the name of the river Rauma, i.e. "The Dale of Rauma". Raumr may refer to stream or current,[4] or to booming or thundering waterfalls like Sletta waterfall.[5] A purely legendary approach to the name refers to Raum the Old, one of the sons of Nór, the eponymous Saga King of Norway.[citation needed][disputed ] Since the majority of the residents of the county lived in the Sunnmøre region, there was some controversy over the name. In 1919, many of the old county names were changed and this county was renamed Møre fylke.

The name Møre was chosen to represent the region where the majority of the county residents lived. That name is dative of Old Norse: Mǿrr (á Mǿri) and it is probably derived from the word marr referring to something wet like bog (common along the outer coast) or the sea itself. The name is interpreted as "coastland" or "bogland". Møre was originally the name of the coastal area from Stad and north including most of Fosen.[6] (There is also a coastal district in Sweden that has the same name: Möre.) The change in name from Romsdalen to Møre was controversial and it did not sit well with the residents of the Romsdal region. Finally in 1936, the name was changed again to a compromise name: Møre og Romsdal (English: Møre and Romsdal).

The ambiguous designation møring— "person from Møre"— is used strictly about people from Nordmøre (and less frequently for people from Sunnmøre), excluding the people from Romsdal (while, consequently, romsdaling— "person from Romsdal"— is used about the latter).

Coat of arms edit

The coat of arms was granted on 15 March 1978. It shows three gold-colored Viking ships on a blue background. Shipping and shipbuilding were historically very important to the region, so boats were chosen as the symbol of the arms. The masts on the Viking ships form crosses, which symbolize the strong Christian and religious beliefs as well as the strong religious organisations in the county. There are three boats to represent the three districts of the county: Sunnmøre, Romsdal and Nordmøre.[7]

Geography edit

Traditionally, the county has been divided into three districts. From north to south, these are Nordmøre, Romsdal, and Sunnmøre. Although the districts do not have separate governments and despite modern road, sea, and air connections throughout the county, the three districts still have their own identities in many ways. Historically speaking, connections have been stronger between Nordmøre and Sør-Trøndelag to the north, Romsdal and Oppland to the east, and Sunnmøre and Sogn og Fjordane to the south, than internally. Differences in dialects between the three districts bear clear evidence of this. Due to geographical features, the county has many populated islands and is intersected by several deep fjords. Due to its difficult terrain, Møre og Romsdal has been very dependent on boat traffic, and its main car ferry company, MRF, has existed since 1921.

Settlements edit

Møre og Romsdal has six settlements with town status. The largest three (Ålesund, Kristiansund, and Molde) were towns long before 1993 when municipalities were given the legal authority to grant town status rather than just the King (and government). This change in law led to an increase in the number of towns (Fosnavåg, Åndalsnes, and Ulsteinvik were all added after this time). The county contains many other urban settlements (as defined by Statistics Norway) without town status, every municipality except for Halsa and Smøla contains at least one. As of 1 January 2018, there were 192,331 people (about 72 percent of the population) living in densely populated areas in the county while only 73,946 people lived in sparsely populated areas.[8] The population density is highest near the coast, with all of the county's towns located on saltwater.

The largest town in the county is Ålesund, with a population of 52,626 in the agglomeration which it forms together with parts of Sula.

Rank Town/Urban Area Municipality Region Population (2022)[9]
1 Ålesund Ålesund, Sula Sunnmøre 54,983
2 Molde Molde Romsdal 21,417
3 Kristiansund Kristiansund Nordmøre 18,047
4 Ørsta Ørsta Sunnmøre 7,252
5 Volda Volda Sunnmøre 6,891
6 Ulsteinvik Ulstein Sunnmøre 5,936
7 Aure Sykkylven Sunnmøre 4,314
8 Nordstrand Giske Sunnmøre 4,262
9 Sunndalsøra Sunndal Nordmøre 3,907
10 Hareid Hareid Sunnmøre 3,467

Municipalities edit

Møre og Romsdal has a total of 26 municipalities.[10][11]

Name Adm. Centre Location in
the county
Established Includes (former municipalities)
1505   Kristiansund Kristiansund   1 Jan 2008 1554 Bremsnes (part)
1555 Grip
1556 Frei
1506   Molde Molde   1 Jan 2020 1542 Eresfjord og Vistdal
1543 Nesset
1544 Bolsøy
1545 Midsund
1545 Sør-Aukra
1507   Ålesund Ålesund   1 Jan 2020 1523 Ørskog
1529 Skodje
1530 Vatne
1531 Borgund
1534 Haram
1546 Sandøy (part)
1511   Vanylven Fiskåbygd   1 Jan 1838 1512 Syvde
1513 Rovde (part)
1514   Sande Larsnes   1 Jan 1867 1513 Rovde (part)
1515   Herøy Fosnavåg   1 Jan 1838
1516   Ulstein Ulsteinvik   1 Jan 1838
1517   Hareid Hareid   1 Jan 1917
1520   Ørsta Ørsta   1 Aug 1883 1521 Vartdal
1522 Hjørundfjord
1525   Stranda Stranda   1 Jan 1838 1523 Sunnylven
1528   Sykkylven Aure   1 Aug 1883
1531   Sula Langevåg   1 Jan 1977
1532   Giske Valderhaugstrand   1 Jan 1908 1533 Vigra
1535   Vestnes Vestnes   1 Jan 1838 1536 Tresfjord
1539   Rauma Åndalsnes   1 Jan 1964 1537 Voll
1537 Eid og Voll
1538 Eid
1539 Grytten
1540 Hen
1541 Veøy (part)
1547   Aukra Falkhytta   1 Jan 1838 1546 Sandøy (part)
1554   Averøy Bruhagen   1 Jan 1964 1552 Kornstad
1553 Kvernes
1554 Bremsnes
1557   Gjemnes Batnfjordsøra   1 Sep 1893 1553 Kvernes (part)
1558 Øre
1560   Tingvoll Tingvollvågen   1 Jan 1838 1559 Straumsnes
1564 Stangvik (part)
1563   Sunndal Sunndalsøra   1 Jan 1838 1561 Øksendal
1562 Ålvundeid
1564 Stangvik (part)
1566   Surnadal Skei   1 Jan 1838 1564 Stangvik (part)
1565 Åsskard
1573   Smøla Hopen   1 Jan 1960 1573 Edøy
1574 Brattvær
1575 Hopen
1576   Aure Aure   1 Jan 1838 1568 Stemshaug
1570 Valsøyfjord
1572 Tustna
1577   Volda Volda   1 Jan 1838 1444 Hornindal
1518 Dalsfjord
1578   Fjord Stordal   1 Jan 2020 1524 Norddal
1526 Stordal
1579   Hustadvika Elnesvågen   1 Jan 2020 1548 Fræna
1549 Bud
1550 Hustad
1551 Eide
Religion in Møre og Romsdal[12][13]
religion percent

Infrastructure edit

Møre og Romsdal is served by nine airports, of which only the four airports located near the four largest centres have regular domestic flights. The largest airport in the county is Ålesund Airport, Vigra, which offers the only scheduled international routes from any airport in Møre og Romsdal. Ålesund Airport had 732,614 passengers in 2006. Kristiansund Airport, Kvernberget, had 364,350 passengers in 2007, while Molde Airport, Årø, had 401,292, down from 444,677 in 2006. Ørsta–Volda Airport, Hovden, had 49,842 passengers in 2006. None of the airports in Møre og Romsdal offer regular flights to each other.[14]

In 2007, Møre og Romsdal had 6,339 kilometres (3,939 mi) of public roads, an increase of 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) since the previous year, as well as 4,258 kilometres (2,646 mi) of private roads, 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) more than in 2006.[15]

There is one railway, the Rauma Line, which starts at Åndalsnes and connects to the main railway network of Norway. Public buses and ferries are operated by the county, using the brand name FRAM.[16]

Economy of the county administration (fylkeskommune) edit

As of 2024, the economy of the county administration (fylkeskommune) is in a troublesome situation; According to the media, no other county administration has as much of a troublesome situation.[17] It is responsible for upper secondary schools, dental care, public transport, county roads, culture, cultural heritage management, land use planning and business development.[18]

History edit

Historical population
Source: Statistics Norway[1].[19]

The county (with its current borders) was established in 1671 - but after just four years (in 1675) it was divided into two amts (counties): Romsdal (which included Nordmøre) and Sunnmøre (which included Nordfjord). In 1680 (only 5 years later), Sunnmøre (including Nordfjord) was merged into Bergenhus amt. Then in 1689 (another 9 years later), the three regions of Romsdal, Sunnmøre, and Nordmøre were again merged into one amt/county: Romsdalen. Then in 1701 (another 11 years later) Romsdalen amt was split and divided between Trondhjems amt (which got Romsdal and Nordmøre) and Bergenhus amt (which got Sunnmøre). In 1704 (a mere 4 years later), the three regions of Romsdal, Sunnmøre, and Nordmøre were again merged into one county. The borders of the county have not been changed much since 1704. The annex parish of Vinje within the larger Hemne parish was transferred from Romsdalens amt to Søndre Trondhjems amt in 1838 (according to the 1838 Formannskapsdistrikt law, a parish could no longer be divided between two counties, so Vinje had to be in the same county as the rest of the parish).

Edøy Church

On 1 January 2019, the municipality of Rindal was transferred from Møre og Romsdal county to the neighboring Trøndelag county. On 1 January 2020, the municipality of Halsa became part of the new municipality of Heim in Trøndelag county.

In 2019, archaeologists from the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research, using large-scale high-resolution radar technology, determined that a 17-meter-long Viking ship was buried on the island of Edøya near Edøy Church. They estimate the ship's age as over 1,000 years: from the Merovingian or Viking period; the group planned to conduct additional searches in the area. A similar burial was found previously by a NIKU team in 2018, in Gjellestad.[20]

Parishes edit

Villages edit

Former Municipalities edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Navn på steder og personer: Innbyggjarnamn" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet.
  2. ^ "Forskrift om målvedtak i kommunar og fylkeskommunar" (in Norwegian). Lovdata.no.
  3. ^ Bolstad, Erik; Thorsnæs, Geir, eds. (26 January 2023). "Kommunenummer". Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian). Kunnskapsforlaget.
  4. ^ Norske stedsnavn/stadnamn. Oslo: Grøndahl. 1975. p. 72. ISBN 8250401042.
  5. ^ Norsk allkunnebok. Oslo: Fonna. 1959.
  6. ^ Norske stedsnavn/stadnamn. Oslo: Grøndahl. 1975. p. 71. ISBN 8250401042.
  7. ^ "Civic heraldry of Norway - Norske Kommunevåpen". Heraldry of the World. Archived from the original on 6 February 2023. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  8. ^ "Population in densely and sparsely populated areas. County. 1. January" (in Norwegian). Statistics Norway. 2018. Archived from the original on 14 May 2020. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  9. ^ Statistisk sentralbyrå (1 January 2022). "Urban settlements. Population and area, by municipality". Archived from the original on 14 May 2020. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  10. ^ List of Norwegian municipality numbers
  11. ^ moderniseringsdepartementet, Kommunal-og (27 October 2017). "Nye kommune- og fylkesnummer fra 2020". Regjeringen.no (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 21 January 2022. Retrieved 21 January 2022.
  12. ^ "Statistics Norway - Church of Norway". Archived from the original on 16 July 2012.
  13. ^ "Statistics Norway - Members of religious and life stance communities outside the Church of Norway, by religion/life stance. County. 2006-2010". Archived from the original on 2 November 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2011.
  14. ^ "Avinor.no". Archived from the original on 11 March 2008. Retrieved 10 June 2008.
  15. ^ "Statistikkbanken" (in Norwegian). Statistics Norway. 2007. Archived from the original on 23 February 2013. Retrieved 11 June 2008.
  16. ^ "FRAM - FRAM". frammr.no. Archived from the original on 23 April 2024. Retrieved 23 April 2024.
  17. ^ https://www.nrk.no/mr/more-og-romsdal-fylkeskommune-har-store-okonomiske-utfordringar-og-kan-hamne-pa-robek-lista-1.16822935. NRK.no. Retrieved 2024-04-03
  18. ^ Lov om kommuner og fylkeskommuner
  19. ^ "Statistikkbanken". archive.ph. 26 May 2012. Archived from the original on 26 May 2012. Retrieved 21 January 2022.
  20. ^ "Ancient Viking ship discovered buried next to the church using breakthrough georadar technology". The Independent. 27 November 2019. Archived from the original on 18 June 2022. Retrieved 27 November 2019. This will certainly be of great historical significance, archaeologists say

External links edit