Norway

Introduction Two centuries of Viking raids into Europe tapered off following the adoption of Christianity by King Olav TRYGGVASON in 994. Conversion of the Norwegian kingdom occurred over the next several decades. In 1397, 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 Nazi Germany (1940-45). 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.
History

Archaeological findings indicate that Norway was inhabited at least since early 10th millennium BC. Most historians agree that the core of the populations colonizing Scandinavia came from the present-day Germany. In the first centuries AD, Norway consisted of a number of petty kingdoms. According to tradition, Harald Fairhair unified them into one, in 872 AD after the Battle of Hafrsfjord, thus becaming the first king of a united Norway.

The Viking age, 8-11th centuries AD, was characterized by expansion and immigration. Many Norwegians left the country to live in Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and parts of Britain and Ireland. The modern-day Irish cities of Limerick, Dublin, and Waterford were founded by Norwegian settlers. Norse traditions were slowly replaced by Christianity in the 9th and 10th centuries, and this is largely attributed to the missionary kings Olav Tryggvasson and St. Olav. Haakon the Good was Norway's first Christian king, in the mid tenth century, though his attempt to introduce the religion was rejected.

In 1349, the Black Death killed between 40% and 50% of the population, resulting in a period of decline, both socially and economically. Ostensibly, royal politics at the time resulted in several personal unions between the Nordic countries, eventually bringing the thrones of Norway, Denmark, and Sweden under the control of Queen Margrethe I of Denmark when the country entered into the Kalmar Union. Although Sweden broke out of the union in 1523, Norway remained till 1814, a total of 434 years. The National romanticism of the 19th century, the centralization of the kingdom's royal, intellectual, and administrative powers in Copenhagen, Denmark, the dissolution of the archbishopric in Trondheim with the introduction of Protestantism in 1537, as well as the distribution of the church's incomes to the court in Copenhagen meant that Norway lost the steady stream of pilgrims to the relics of St. Olav at the Nidaros shrine, and with them, much of the contact with cultural and economic life in the rest of Europe. The steady decline was high lightened by the loss of the provinces Båhuslen, Jemtland, and Herjedalen to Sweden, as a result of the wars.

After Denmark–Norway was attacked by Great Britain, it entered into an alliance with Napoleon, with the war leading to dire conditions and mass starvation in 1812. As the kingdom found itself on the losing side in 1814 it was forced to cede Norway to the kingdom of Sweden, while the old Norwegian provinces of Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands remained with the Danish crown. Norway took this opportunity to declare independence, adopted a constitution based on American and French models, and elected the Danish crown prince Christian Fredrik as king on May 17, 1814. This caused the Norwegian-Swedish War to break out between Sweden and Norway but as Sweden's military was not strong enough to defeat the Norwegian forces outright, Norway agreed to enter a personal union with Sweden. Under this arrangement, Norway kept its liberal constitution and independent institutions, except for the foreign service.

This period also saw the rise of the Norwegian romantic nationalism cultural movement, as Norwegians sought to define and express a distinct national character. The movement covered all branches of culture, including literature (Henrik Wergeland, Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, Jørgen Moe, Henrik Ibsen), painting (Hans Gude, Adolph Tidemand), music (Edvard Grieg), and even language policy, where attempts to define a native written language for Norway led to today's two official written forms for Norwegian: Bokmål and Nynorsk.

Christian Michelsen, a Norwegian shipping magnate and statesman, Prime Minister of Norway from 1905 to 1907 played a central role in the peaceful separation of Norway from Sweden on June 7, 1905. After a national referendum confirmed the people's preference for a monarchy over a republic, the Norwegian government offered the throne of Norway to the Danish Prince Carl and Parliament unanimously elected him king. He took the name of Haakon VII, after the medieval kings of independent Norway. In 1898, all men were granted universal suffrage, followed by all women in 1913.

During both World wars Norway claimed neutrality but during World War II it was invaded by German forces on April 9, 1940 while the allies also had plans in mind for an invasion of the country. In April 1940, the British fleet mined Norwegian territorial waters. Norway was unprepared for the German surprise attack, but military resistance continued for two months. During the Norwegian Campaign, the Kriegsmarine lost many ships including the cruiser Blücher. The battles of Vinjesvingen and Hegra eventually became the last strongholds of Norwegian resistance in southern Norway in May, while the armed forces in the north launched an offensive against the German forces in the Battles of Narvik, until they were forced to surrender on June 10. On the day of the invasion, the collaborative leader of the small National-Socialist party Nasjonal Samling — Vidkun Quisling — tried to seize power, but was forced by the German occupiers to step aside. Real power was wielded by the leader of the German occupation authority, Reichskommissar Josef Terboven. Quisling, as minister president, later formed a collaborationist government under German control.[16] At the time of the invasion, Norway had the fourth largest merchant marine in the world led by the shipping company Nortraship, which under the Allies took part in every war operation from the evacuation of Dunkirk to the Normandy landings.

Following the war, the Social Democrats came to power and ruled the country for much of the cold war. Norway joined NATO in 1949, and became a close ally of the United States. Two plebiscites to join the European Union failed by narrow margins in 1972 and 1994. Large reserves of petroleum and natural gas were discovered in the 1960s, which led to a continuing boom in the economy.

Geography 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
Area: total: 323,802 sq km
land: 307,442 sq km
water: 16,360 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly larger than New Mexico
Land boundaries: total: 2,542 km
border countries: Finland 727 km, Sweden 1,619 km, Russia 196 km
Coastline: 25,148 km (includes mainland 2,650 km, as well as long fjords, numerous small islands, and minor indentations 22,498 km; length of island coastlines 58,133 km)
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 10 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm
Climate: temperate along coast, modified by North Atlantic Current; colder interior with increased precipitation and colder summers; 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: Galdhopiggen 2,469 m
Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, titanium, pyrites, nickel, fish, timber, hydropower
Land use: arable land: 2.7%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 97.3% (2005)
Irrigated land: 1,270 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources: 381.4 cu km (2005)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural): total: 2.4 cu km/yr (23%/67%/10%)
per capita: 519 cu m/yr (1996)
Natural hazards: rockslides, avalanches
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-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
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 the world
Politics

Norway is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government. The Royal House is a branch of the princely family of Glücksburg, originally from Schleswig-Holstein in Germany. As it stands, the functions of the King, Harald V, are mainly ceremonial, but he has influence as the symbol of national unity. Although the constitution of 1814 grants important executive powers to the King, these are always exercised by the Council of State in the name of the King (King's Council or cabinet). The reserve powers vested in the Monarch by the constitution have in the 20th century in reality been symbolic, but has on a few occasions been important such as in World War II, when the Monarch said he would step down if the government should accept the German demand. The Council of State consists of a Prime Minister and other ministers, formally appointed by the King. Parliamentarism has evolved since 1884 and entails that the cabinet must not have the parliament against it, and that the appointment by the King is a formality when there is a clear majority in Parliament for a party or a coalition of parties. But after elections resulting in no clear majority to any party or coalition, the leader of the party most likely to be able to form a government is appointed Prime Minister by the King. Norway has often been ruled by minority governments. The King has government meetings every Friday at the Royal Palace (Council of State), but the government decisions are decided in advance in government conferences, headed by the Prime Minister, every Tuesday and Thursday. The King opens the Parliament every October, he receives ambassadors to the Norwegian court, and he is the symbolically Supreme Commander of the Norwegian Defence Force and the Head of the Church of Norway.

The Norwegian parliament, Stortinget, currently has 169 members (increased from 165, effective from the elections of 12 September, 2005). The members are elected from the nineteen counties for four-year terms according to a system of proportional representation. In addition, 19 seats, the socalled "levelling seats" are allocated on a nationwide basis to make the representation in parliament correspond better with the popular vote. There is a 4% election threshold to gain levelling seats. When voting on legislation, the Storting – until the 2009 election – divides itself into two chambers, the Odelsting and the Lagting. Laws are in most cases proposed by the government through a Member of the Council of State, or in some cases by a member of the Odelsting in case of repeated disagreement in the joint Storting. Nowadays, however, the Lagting rarely disagrees, effectively rubber-stamping the Odelsting's decisions. A constitutional amendment of February 20, 2007 will repeal the division after the 2009 general election.

Impeachment cases are very rare (the last being in 1927, when Prime Minister Abraham Berge was acquitted) and may be brought against Members of the Council of State, of the Supreme Court (Høyesterett), or of the Storting for criminal offenses which they may have committed in their official capacity.

Prior to an amendment to the Norwegian Constitution on February 20, 2007 indictments were raised by the Odelsting and judged by the Lagting and the Supreme Court justices as part of the High Court of the Realm. In the new system impeachment cases will be heard by the five highest ranking Supreme Court justices and six lay members in one of the Supreme Court courtrooms (previously cases were heard in the Lagting chamber). Storting representatives may not perform as lay judges. Indictments will be raised by the Storting in a plenary session.

The Storting otherwise functions as a unicameral parliament and after the 2009 general election the division into Odelsting and Lagting for passing legislation will be abolished. Legislation will then have to go through two – three in case of dissent – readings before being passed and sent to the King for assent.

The judiciary consists of the Supreme Court (eighteen permanent judges and a chief justice), courts of appeal, city and district courts, and conciliation councils. Judges attached to regular courts are appointed by the King in council.

In order to form a government, more than half the membership of the Council of State is required to belong to the Church of Norway. Currently, this means at least ten out of nineteen members.

In December each year, Norway gives a Christmas tree to the United Kingdom, in thanks for the UK's assistance during World War II. A ceremony takes place to erect the tree in Trafalgar Square.

In its 2007 Worldwide Press Freedom Index, Reporters Without Borders ranked Norway at a shared 1st place (with Iceland) out of 169 countries.

Corporal punishment of children has been illegal in Norway since 1983.

People Population: 4,644,457 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 18.8% (male 446,146/female 426,166)
15-64 years: 66.2% (male 1,559,750/female 1,516,217)
65 years and over: 15% (male 297,175/female 399,003) (2008 est.)
Median age: total: 39 years
male: 38.2 years
female: 39.9 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.35% (2008 est.)
Birth rate: 11.12 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate: 9.33 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate: 1.71 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.74 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 3.61 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 3.96 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.24 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 79.81 years
male: 77.16 years
female: 82.6 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.78 children born/woman (2008 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 2,100 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: less than 100 (2003 est.)
Nationality: noun: Norwegian(s)
adjective: Norwegian
Ethnic groups: Norwegian, Sami 20,000
Religions: Church of Norway 85.7%, Pentecostal 1%, Roman Catholic 1%, other Christian 2.4%, Muslim 1.8%, other 8.1% (2004)
Languages: Bokmal Norwegian (official), Nynorsk Norwegian (official), small Sami- and Finnish-speaking minorities; note - Sami is official in six municipalities
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 100%
male: 100%
female: 100%
Government Country name: conventional long form: Kingdom of Norway
conventional short form: Norway
local long form: Kongeriket Norge
local short form: Norge
Government type: constitutional monarchy
Capital: name: Oslo
geographic coordinates: 59 55 N, 10 45 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions: 19 counties (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; amended many times
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 October 2005)
cabinet: State Council appointed by the monarch with the approval of parliament
elections: the monarch is hereditary; following parliamentary elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the monarch with the approval of the parliament
Legislative branch: modified unicameral Parliament or Storting (169 seats; members are elected by popular vote by proportional representation to serve four-year terms); note - in 2009 the number of seats will change to 165
elections: last held 12 September 2005 (next to be held in September 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - Labor Party 32.7%, Progress Party 22.1%, Conservative Party 14.1%, Socialist Left Party 8.8%, Christian People's Party 6.8%, Center Party 6.5%, Liberal Party 5.9%, other 3.1%; seats by party - Labor Party 61, Progress Party 38, Conservative Party 23, Socialist Left Party 15, Christian People's Party 11, Center Party 11, Liberal Party 10
note: for certain purposes, the parliament divides itself into two chambers and elects one-fourth of its membership in the Lagting and three-fourths of its membership in the Odelsting
Judicial branch: Supreme Court or Hoyesterett (justices appointed by the monarch)
Political parties and leaders: Center Party [Aslaug Marie HAGA]; Christian People's Party [Dagfinn HOYBRATEN]; Conservative Party [Erna SOLBERG]; Labor Party [Jens STOLTENBERG]; Liberal Party [Lars SPONHEIM]; Progress Party [Siv JENSEN]; Socialist Left Party [Kristin HALVORSEN]
Political pressure groups and leaders: NA
International organization participation: ADB (nonregional members), AfDB, Arctic Council, Australia Group, BIS, CBSS, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EFTA, ESA, FAO, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM (guest), NATO, NC, NEA, NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMEE, UNMIS, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WEU (associate), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Wegger C. STROMMEN
chancery: 2720 34th Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 333-6000
FAX: [1] (202) 337-0870
consulate(s) general: Houston, Minneapolis, New York, San Francisco
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Benson K. WHITNEY
embassy: Henrik Ibsens gate 48, 0244 Oslo; note - the embassy will move to Huseby in the near future
mailing address: PSC 69, Box 1000, APO AE 09707
telephone: [47] (22) 44 85 50
FAX: [47] (22) 44 33 63, 56 27 51
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)
Culture

The history of Norwegian literature starts with the pagan Eddaic poems and skaldic verse of the 9th and 10th centuries with poets such as Bragi Boddason and Eyvindr Skáldaspillir. The arrival of Christianity around the year 1000 brought Norway into contact with European medieval learning, hagiography and history writing. Merged with native oral tradition and Icelandic influence this was to flower into an active period of literature production in the late 12th and early 13th centuries. Major works of that period include Historia Norwegie, Thidreks saga and Konungs skuggsjá.

Little Norwegian literature came out of the period of the Scandinavian Union and the subsequent Dano-Norwegian union (1387—1814), with some notable exceptions such as Petter Dass and Ludvig Holberg. In his play Peer Gynt, Ibsen characterized this period as "Twice two hundred years of darkness/brooded o'er the race of monkeys", although the latter line is not as frequently quoted as the former. During the union with Denmark, written Norwegian was replaced by Danish.

Two major events precipitated a major resurgence in Norwegian literature. In 1811 a Norwegian university was established in Christiania Seized by the spirit of revolution following the American and French Revolutions, the Norwegians signed their first constitution in 1814. Soon, the cultural backwater that was Norway brought forth a series of strong authors recognized first in Scandinavia, and then worldwide; among them were Henrik Wergeland, Peter Asbjørnsen, Jørgen Moe and Camilla Collett.

By the late 19th century, in the Golden Age of Norwegian literature, the so-called Great Four emerged: Henrik Ibsen, Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, Alexander Kielland, and Jonas Lie. Bjørnson's "peasant novels", such as "En glad gutt" (A Happy Boy) and "Synnøve Solbakken" are typical of the national romanticism of their day, whereas Kielland's novels and short stories are mostly realistic. Although an important contributor to early Norwegian romanticism (especially the ironic Peer Gynt), Henrik Ibsen's fame rests primarily on his pioneering realistic dramas such The Wild Duck and A Doll's House, many of which caused moral uproar because of their candid portrayals of the middle classes.

In the twentieth century three Norwegian novelists were awarded the Nobel prize in literature: Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson in 1903, Knut Hamsun for the book "Markens grøde" ("Growth of the Soil") in 1920, and Sigrid Undset in 1928. In the 20th century writers like Dag Solstad, Jostein Gaarder, Erik Fosnes Hansen, Jens Bjørneboe, Kjartan Fløgstad, Lars Saabye Christensen, Johan Borgen, Herbjørg Wassmo, Jan Erik Vold, Rolf Jacobsen, Olaf Bull, Jan Kjærstad, Georg Johannesen, Tarjei Vesaas, Sigurd Hoel, Arnulf Øverland and Johan Falkberget have made important contributions to Norwegian literature.

Economy 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. 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, with oil and gas accounting for one-third of exports. Only Saudi Arabia and Russia export more oil than Norway. Norway opted to stay out of the EU during a referendum in November 1994; nonetheless, as a member of the European Economic Area, it contributes sizably to the EU budget. The government has moved ahead with privatization. Although Norwegian oil production peaked in 2000, natural gas production is still rising. Norwegians realize that once their gas production peaks they will eventually face declining oil and gas revenues; accordingly, Norway has been saving its oil-and-gas-boosted budget surpluses in a Government Petroleum Fund, which is invested abroad and now is valued at more than $250 billion. After lackluster growth of less than 1% in 2002-03, GDP growth picked up to 3-5% in 2004-07, partly due to higher oil prices. Norway's economy remains buoyant. Domestic economic activity is, and will continue to be, the main driver of growth, supported by high consumer confidence and strong investment spending in the offshore oil and gas sector. Norway's record high budget surplus and upswing in the labor market in 2007 highlight the strength of its economic position going into 2008.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $257.4 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $369.3 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 4.9% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $55,600 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 2.4%
industry: 42.9%
services: 54.7% (2007 est.)
Labor force: 2.5 million (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 4%
industry: 22%
services: 74% (1995)
Unemployment rate: 2.4% (2007 est.)
Population below poverty line: NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 3.9%
highest 10%: 23.4% (2000)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 28 (2005)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 0.4% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed): 19.2% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget: revenues: $232.3 billion
expenditures: $158.4 billion (2007 est.)
Public debt: 39.1% of GDP (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products: barley, wheat, potatoes; pork, beef, veal, milk; fish
Industries: petroleum and gas, food processing, shipbuilding, pulp and paper products, metals, chemicals, timber, mining, textiles, fishing
Industrial production growth rate: 1% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production: 135.8 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 0.4%
hydro: 99.3%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0.4% (2001)
Electricity - consumption: 113.9 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports: 15.7 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports: 3.652 billion kWh (2005)
Oil - production: 2.978 million bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption: 228,400 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - exports: 3.018 million bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports: 91,930 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves: 7.705 billion bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas - production: 83.44 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 5.342 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 78.1 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 2.288 trillion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance: $55.82 billion (2007 est.)
Exports: $136.1 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities: petroleum and petroleum products, machinery and equipment, metals, chemicals, ships, fish
Exports - partners: UK 26.8%, Germany 12.3%, Netherlands 10.3%, France 8.2%, Sweden 6.4%, US 5.7% (2006)
Imports: $75.98 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, chemicals, metals, foodstuffs
Imports - partners: Sweden 15%, Germany 13.5%, Denmark 6.9%, UK 6.4%, China 5.7%, US 5.3%, Netherlands 4.1% (2006)
Economic aid - donor: ODA, $2.954 billion (2006)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $56.84 billion (2006 est.)
Debt - external: $469.1 billion; note - Norway is a net external creditor (30 June 2007)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $56.7 billion (2006 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $104.7 billion (2006 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $191 billion (2005)
Currency (code): Norwegian krone (NOK)
Currency code: NOK
Exchange rates: Norwegian kroner per US dollar - 5.8396 (2007), 6.4117 (2006), 6.4425 (2005), 6.7408 (2004), 7.0802 (2003)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Communications Telephones - main lines in use: 2.055 million (2006)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 5.041 million (2006)
Telephone system: general assessment: modern in all respects; one of the most advanced telecommunications networks in Europe
domestic: Norway has a domestic satellite system; moreover, the prevalence of rural areas encourages the wide use of cellular-mobile systems instead of fixed-wire systems
international: country code - 47; 2 buried coaxial cable systems; submarine cables provide links to other Nordic countries and Europe; 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) (1999)
Radio broadcast stations: AM 5, FM at least 650, shortwave 1 (1998)
Radios: 4.03 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 360 (plus 2,729 repeaters) (1995)
Televisions: 2.03 million (1997)
Internet country code: .no
Internet hosts: 2.084 million (2007)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 13 (2000)
Internet users: 4.074 million (2006)
Transportation Airports: 98 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 67
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 12
1,524 to 2,437 m: 12
914 to 1,523 m: 13
under 914 m: 29 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 31
914 to 1,523 m: 6
under 914 m: 25 (2007)
Heliports: 1 (2007)
Pipelines: condensate 508 km; gas 6,529 km; oil 2,444 km; oil/gas/water 457 km (2007)
Railways: total: 4,043 km
standard gauge: 4,043 km 1.435-m gauge (2,509 km electrified) (2006)
Roadways: total: 92,513 km
paved: 71,832 km (includes 664 km of expressways)
unpaved: 20,681 km (2005)
Waterways: 1,577 km (2007)
Merchant marine: total: 715 ships (1000 GRT or over) 16,511,659 GRT/22,299,832 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 49, cargo 151, carrier 1, chemical tanker 146, combination ore/oil 12, container 5, liquefied gas 72, passenger/cargo 122, petroleum tanker 79, refrigerated cargo 12, roll on/roll off 16, specialized tanker 1, vehicle carrier 49
foreign-owned: 174 (China 47, Cyprus 2, Denmark 26, Estonia 1, Finland 1, France 3, Germany 2, Greece 6, Hong Kong 5, Iceland 3, Italy 4, Japan 1, Lithuania 1, Monaco 5, Netherlands 1, Poland 3, Saudi Arabia 3, Singapore 1, Sweden 31, UAE 1, UK 9, US 18)
registered in other countries: 872 (Antigua and Barbuda 7, Australia 1, Bahamas 232, Barbados 35, Belize 3, Bermuda 5, Brazil 1, Canada 1, Cayman Islands 2, China 1, Comoros 1, Cook Islands 1, Cyprus 17, Denmark 1, Dominica 1, Estonia 2, Faroe Islands 4, Finland 1, France 17, Gibraltar 27, Hong Kong 30, Isle of Man 33, Liberia 42, Libya 1, Malta 71, Marshall Islands 62, Mexico 1, Netherlands 9, Netherlands Antilles 5, Nigeria 1, Panama 60, Philippines 2, Portugal 3, Singapore 125, Spain 6, St Vincent and The Grenadines 19, Sweden 5, UK 33, US 4, unknown 2) (2007)
Ports and terminals: Bergen, Borg Havn, Haugesund, Maaloy, Mongstad, Narvik, Oslo, Sture
Military Military branches: Norwegian Army (Haeren), Royal Norwegian Navy (Kongelige Norske Sjoeforsvaret, RNoN; includes Coastal Rangers and Coast Guard (Kystvakt)), Royal Norwegian Air Force (Kongelige Norske Luftforsvaret, RNoAF), Home Guard (Heimevernet, HV) (2007)
Military service age and obligation: 18-44 years of age for male compulsory military service; 16 years of age in wartime; 17 years of age for male volunteers; 18 years of age for women; 12-month service obligation, in practice shortened to 8 to 9 months; although all males between ages of 18 and 44 are liable for service, in practice they are seldom called to duty after age 30; reserve obligation to age 35-60; 16 years of age for volunteers to the Home Guard, who serve 6-month duty tours (2006)
Manpower available for military service: males age 16-49: 1,078,181
females age 16-49: 1,046,550 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 16-49: 888,101
females age 16-49: 862,159 (2008 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually: males age 16-49: 32,185
females age 16-49: 30,683 (2008 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 1.9% (2005 est.)
Transnational Issues Disputes - international: Norway asserts a territorial claim in Antarctica (Queen Maud Land and its continental shelf); despite dialogue, Russia and Norway continue to dispute their maritime limits in the Barents Sea and Russia's fishing rights beyond Svalbard's territorial limits within the Svalbard Treaty zone