Open main menu

Norway Portal
Norge Portal

Flag Norway
Location of Norway within Europe

Norway (Norwegian: About this soundNorge (Bokmål) or About this soundNoreg (Nynorsk)), officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Scandinavian unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and the subantarctic Bouvet Island. The Spitsbergen Treaty (also known as the Svalbard Treaty) of February 9, 1920, recognizes the full and absolute sovereignty of Norway over the arctic archipelago of Spitsbergen (now called Svalbard). Peter I Island is dependent territory (Norwegian: biland) of Norway but is not considered part of the Kingdom. Norway also lays claim to a section of Antarctica known as Queen Maud Land. Norway has a total area of 385,252 square kilometres (148,747 sq mi) and a population of about 5 million. It is the second least densely populated country in Europe. The majority of the country shares a border to the east with Sweden; its northernmost region is bordered by Finland to the south and Russia to the east; in its south Norway borders the Skagerrak Strait across from Denmark. The capital city of Norway is Oslo. Norway's extensive coastline, facing the North Atlantic Ocean and the Barents Sea, is home to its famous fjords.

Two centuries of Viking raids tapered off following the adoption of Christianity by King Olav Tryggvason in 994. A period of civil war ended in the 13th century when Norway expanded its control overseas to parts of Britain, Ireland, Iceland, and Greenland. Norwegian territorial power peaked in 1265, but competition from the Hanseatic League and the spread of the Black Death weakened the country. In 1380, Norway was absorbed into a union with Denmark that lasted more than four centuries. In 1814, Norwegians resisted the cession of their country to Sweden and adopted a new constitution. Sweden then invaded Norway but agreed to let Norway keep its constitution in return for accepting the union under a Swedish king. Rising nationalism throughout the 19th century led to a 1905 referendum granting Norway independence. Although Norway remained neutral in World War I, it suffered heavy losses to its shipping. Norway proclaimed its neutrality at the outset of World War II, but was nonetheless occupied for five years by the Third Reich. In 1949, neutrality was abandoned and Norway became a founding member of NATO. Discovery of oil and gas in adjacent waters in the late 1960s boosted Norway's economic fortunes. In referenda held in 1972 and 1994, Norway rejected joining the EU. Key domestic issues include immigration and integration of ethnic minorities, maintaining the country's extensive social safety net with an aging population, and preserving economic competitiveness.

Norway is a unitary parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy, with King Harald V as its head of state and Erna Solberg as its prime minister. It is a unitary state with administrative subdivisions on two levels known as counties (fylke) and municipalities (kommuner). The Sámi people have a certain amount of self-determination and influence over traditional territories through the Sámi Parliament and the Finnmark Act. Although having rejected European Union membership in two referenda, Norway maintains close ties with the union and its member countries, as well as with the United States. Norway remains one of the biggest financial contributors to the United Nations, and participates with UN forces in international missions, notably in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Sudan and Libya. Norway is a founding member of the United Nations, NATO, the Council of Europe, and the Nordic Council; a member of the European Economic Area, the WTO, and the OECD; and is also a part of Schengen Area.

Norway has extensive reserves of petroleum, natural gas, minerals, lumber, seafood, fresh water, and hydropower. The country has the fourth-highest per capita income in the world. On a per-capita basis, it is the world's largest producer of oil and natural gas outside the Middle East, and the petroleum industry accounts for around a quarter of the country's gross domestic product. The country maintains a Nordic social benefit model with universal health care, subsidized higher education, and a comprehensive social security system. From 2001 to 2006, and then again from 2009 through 2011, Norway has had the highest human development index ranking in the world. In 2011, Norway also ranked the highest on the Democracy Index.

More about Norway...

Selected article

Cross section of the M1884
The Norwegian Jarmann M1884 was among the first bolt action repeating rifles to be adopted in the Western world. Its adoption, and subsequent modifications, turned the Norwegian Army from a fighting force armed with single-shot black powder weapons into a force armed with modern repeating weapons firing smokeless ammunition. Several thousand were manufactured to equip both Norwegian and Swedish forces in the 1880s. The design is unique, and was the brainchild of Norwegian engineer Jacob Smith Jarmann. After the design had been phased out of the Norwegian Army, a number of the weapons were rebuilt as harpoon guns.

Selected picture

NASA Landsat satellite image of Svalbard
Credit: NASA's World Wind

Svalbard is an archipelago lying in the Arctic Ocean north of mainland Europe, about midway between Norway and the North Pole. It consists of a group of islands ranging from 74° to 81° North, and 10° to 35° East. The archipelago is the northernmost part of the Kingdom of Norway.

In this month

Gro Harlem Brundtland

Selected biography

Christian IV of Denmark
Christian IV (April 12, 1577 – February 28, 1648) was the king of Denmark and Norway from 1588 until his death. He is sometimes referred to as Christian Firtal in Denmark and Christian Kvart or Quart in Norway. The son of Frederick II, king of Denmark and Norway, and Sofie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, he was born at Frederiksborg castle in 1577, and succeeded to the throne on the death of his father (April 4, 1588), attaining his majority on August 17, 1596. On November 30, 1597 he married Anne Catherine of Brandenburg, a daughter of Joachim Friedrich, margrave of Brandenburg and duke of Prussia. The queen died fourteen years later, after bearing Christian six children. Four years after her death the king privately wedded a handsome young gentlewoman, Kirsten Munk, by whom he had twelve children — a connection which was to be disastrous to Denmark. It is believed that he, counting both legitimate and illegitimate, had at least 26 children, quite possibly more. He descended, through his mother's side, from king Hans of Denmark, thus uniting the senior branch' descent to the crown. He is frequently remembered as one of the most remarkable Danish kings, having initiated many reforms and projects, and ruling for just under sixty years.

Did you know...

Skytterdalen.

Selected quote

Andreas Heldal-Lund
Yesterday, on the 17th of May, we Norwegians celebrated our constitution day to mark the signing of Norway's constitution in 1814. Maybe it is because we are a small country: In Norway this is an important day. All over Norway children have paraded in their best clothes to the music of thousands of marching bands, and countless speeches have been made to remind each others, as fellow Norwegians, that freedom should never be taken for granted.
Andreas Heldal-Lund, Leipzig Human Rights Award acceptance speech (2003)

Categories

WikiProjects

Selected panorama

Bodø
Credit: Lars Røed Hansen

Bodø is a city and municipality in the county of Nordland, Norway. Located just north of the Arctic Circle, Bodø is the largest city in Nordland, and the second largest in North Norway.

Featured and Good content

Featured article star.png

Featured articles

Featured lists

Good articles

Featured topics

Good topics

Featured pictures


Main topics

Norway
Norway in winter

Counties: AkershusAust-AgderBuskerudFinnmarkHedmarkHordalandMøre og RomsdalNordlandNord-TrøndelagOpplandOsloØstfoldRogalandSogn og FjordaneSør-TrøndelagTelemarkTromsVest-AgderVestfold

Culture: BunadConstitution DayCuisineFarm cultureJulLiteratureMusic

History: Ancient Norwegian property lawsNordic Stone AgeNordic Bronze AgeKomsaFosna-Hensbacka cultureFunnelbeaker cultureHamburg cultureNøstvet and Lihult culturesMaglemosian cultureViking AgeHarald I of NorwayOlav IV of NorwayHaakon I of NorwayOlaf I of NorwayOlaf II of NorwayBattle of StiklestadCanute the GreatMagnus I of NorwayHarald III of NorwayBattle of Stamford BridgeMagnus III of NorwaySigurd I of NorwayMagnus V of NorwaySverre of NorwayHaakon IV of NorwayMagnus VI of NorwayEric II of NorwayKalmar UnionDenmark–NorwayUnion between Sweden and NorwayDissolution of the union between Norway and Sweden in 1905Haakon VII of NorwayOlav V of NorwayHarald V of NorwayOccupation of Norway by Nazi GermanyNorwegian CampaignNorwegian resistance movementLegal purge in Norway after World War IIForeign relations of NorwayMilitary of NorwayNorway and the European Union

Language: ÅÆØBokmålDet Norske Akademi for Sprog og LitteraturDifferences between Norwegian Bokmål and Standard DanishHøgnorskNordic CouncilNordic Language ConventionNoregs MållagNorsk OrdbokNorth Germanic languagesNorwegian alphabetNorwegian dialectsNorwegian Language CouncilNorwegian language conflictNorwegian phonologyNynorskOld NorseRiksmålsforbundetRussenorsk

Politics: ConstitutionCounties (Fylker)ElectionsEuropean Union relationsForeign relationsGovernmentMonarchyMunicipalities (Kommuner)Political partiesPrime MinisterRomantic nationalismSámi ParliamentStorting

Things you can do

Related portals

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:

Wikibooks
Books

Commons
Media

Wikinews 
News

Wikiquote 
Quotations

Wikisource 
Texts

Wikiversity
Learning resources

Wikivoyage 
Travel guides

Wiktionary 
Definitions

Wikidata 
Database