Norway, officially known as the “Kingdom of Norway”, is a sovereign state and a unitary monarchy. The country has an extensive coastline facing the North Atlantic Ocean. The country lies in Northern Europe in Scandinavia above the Arctic Circle. With these facts about Norway, let us learn more about its history, geography, culture, people, economy and many other interesting things.
About people and history
1. Harald V is the present King of Norway. He represents the country and plays a ceremonial role.
2. More than 30% of the country has received higher education. Norwegian universities and state university colleges do not charge a tuition fee for international students.
3. Norway introduced Salmon Sushi to Japan in the 80s.
4. In 2017, Norway is ranked no. 1 in prosperity index while it stood second on the list in 2016.
5. Odd and Even are popular names for males in the country.
6. The late King Olav V used public transport and always paid the ticket. He might have done this to encourage people to make use of public transport instead of private vehicles to cut pollution and minimize traffic.
7. Norway was originally called “Nordweg” meaning the “Northern Way.”
8. The first ever ski jumper was a Norwegian. The Vefsn Nordland ski, found in Norway is dated to 5100 BC. Skiing could be by far one of the oldest sports in existence, if not the oldest.
9. Norway topped the list of Human Development Index (a statistical tool used to measure a country’s overall achievement in its social and economic dimensions) 9 times between 2001 and 2011. It stood on the second spot behind Iceland in 2007 and 2008. Lifespan, education level and GDP per capita are the three dimensions based on which the HDI is calculated.
10. Norway, Sweden, and Denmark all have one of the lowest income inequality in the world.
12. Norway was ranked fifth out of 168 countries in Transparency International’s 2015 Corruption Perceptions Index. It is one of the world’s least corrupt countries.
13. The country has more English speakers than Canada. 76% of the Canadian population speaks English while 86% of the Norwegians make use of the English language for communication.
14. The country does not have any official religion.
15. Since 2008, same-sex marriage is allowed in Norway.
Flag of Norway
16. In Norway, life expectancy rates are one of the highest in the world.
17. Norway has won more winter Olympics than any other country in the world.
18. Vikings originated in Norway.
19. Norwegians enjoy a four week holiday during the summers, thus they have plenty of time to hunt fish and have rest.
20. Sami people are living in the northern region of the country for more than 10,000 years now.
21. Football is the favorite sport in the country.
22. “Allemannsretten” is a term which says that every man and woman in Norway has the right of public access.
23. Between 1380 and 1418, Norway and Denmark were a union. And between 1814 and 1905, Norway and Sweden formed an alliance.
24. Norwegians are avid readers. They spend more time reading than any other country in the world.
About geography and landscape
25. The country is famous for some of its greatest waterfalls.
26. The country is visitor friendly between December and April.
27. Daylight in Norway varies greatly during the year.
28. The world’s sixth tallest and Europes highest waterfalls – Vinnufossen which is 860 m in height is located in Norway.
29. Norway is least likely to be affected by climate change while Chad is most vulnerable to it.
Map of Norway
30. It is a very long country. The total length of its land boundaries is 2566 km (Finland 709 km, Sweden 1,666 km, Russia 191 km. ) Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger, Trondheim, Tromso are its five major cities.
31. The country is popular for fjords. It is one of the three Scandinavian countries. The other two being Denmark and Sweden.
32. One interesting fact about Norway is that the biggest population (4,642,526) of Norwegians outside Norway is in the U.S. Now, they account for 1.5% of the U.S. population.
33. The regions, Rjukan (Norway) and Viganella (Italy) are situated in deep valleys. In these areas, the mountains block sun rays for almost 6 months. And the residents use giant mirrors to reflect the sunlight down.
34. Norway has one of the longest coastlines in the world. Here are the top ten countries with the longest coastlines. 1. Canada – 202,080 km, 2. Indonesia – 54,716 km, 3. Greenland – 44,087 km, 4. Russia – 37,653 km, 5. Philippines – 36,289 km, 6. Japan – 29,751 km, 7. Australia – 25,760 km, 8. Norway – 25,148 km, 9. United States – 19,924 km, 10. Antarctica – 17,968 km.
35. The country also has the largest glacier in mainland Europe – Jostedalsbreen, at 487 square kilometer.
36. Hornindalsvatnet in Central Norway is Norway’s and Europe’s deepest lake – 514 m. Its surface is 53 m above sea level and its bottom is 461 m below sea level.
37. The longest road tunnel in the world is the Laerdal tunnel. It is 24.5 km long and it takes on an average 20 minutes to pass through the tunnel. It succeeds the Swiss Gotthard Road Tunnel which is 16.9 km in length.
38. Eiksund is the deepest undersea tunnel in Norway. It is a 7776 m long subsea tunnel on the north-west coast of Norway.
39. In area, Norway is little less than Sweden.
40. Norway and Svalbard islands have 1190 fjords collectively.
41. The country enjoys four seasons.
42. Sognefjorden is the world’s deepest fjord – 1308 m.
43. During the winter season in Northern Norway, the sun never rises and they have polar nights. While during the summer season in the same region, the sun never sets.
44. There are 25 national parks on Norway mainland.
45. Some of the famous churches of Norway include – Heddal, Borgund, Notodden.
46. Norway has the greatest length of any European country 1752 km (nne – ssw) and its maximum width is 430 km.
47. Only Norway, Austria and Liechtenstein have won more medals in winter Olympics than at summer Olympics.
48. Warm Gulf Stream keeps the climate of the country milder than what one would expect.
49. Norway is famous for reindeers, polar bears, whale meat, waffles, trolls, fish, Vikings etc.
50. More than 2/3rd of Norway is mountainous. There are almost 300 mountain peaks that are above 2,000 meters.
51. Norway shares the Scandinavian peninsula with Sweden and Finland.
52. Nearly 70% of the country is uninhabited.
53. Almost five million Norwegian Americans live in the U.S.
54. Beerenberg – 7,470 feet, is the only active volcano in the country. It last erupted in 1985. It is also the world’s northernmost volcano above sea level.
55. More Norwegians live in Minnesota than in any other U.S. state.
56. Norway has more than 50,000 islands.
About economy and trade
57. Norway is a member of OECD, NATO (since 1949), WTO, Nordic Council and some more organizations. However, Norway is not a member of the European Union.
58. Norway has extensive reserves of natural gas, oil, hydropower, lumber, seafood, minerals, fresh water etc. After China, Norway is the world’s second-largest exporter of seafood, but it leads the world in the production of seafood.
59. Petroleum sector accounts for 37% of the country’s exports. The value of exports and imports taken together equals 69 percent of GDP. The United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, France, and Sweden are the top export destinations of Norway. In 2016, it was the 30th largest export economy in the world.
60. Norway has a butter crisis since 2011. The cost of 250 gms of butter in the country is around $50.
61. The country also has one of the highest gasoline prices in the world at $1.89 a liter.
62. Norway is the world’s largest producer of Salmon.
63. The first well was drilled in Norway in the summer of 1966, but it was dry. In late 1960, offshore oil and gas were discovered in Norway. Production from the field started on 15 June 1971.
64. The country also has the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund valued at almost $1 trillion as of September 2017.
65. If you would like to know about the income of any person or company in Norway, you could easily find this out by looking at their tax return. Because everyone’s tax returns are easily available to inspection to anyone in the country. In Norway, the top personal income tax rate is 47.8 percent, and the corporate tax rate has been cut to 25 percent.
66. Taxis are cheaper than personal cars for the same distance driven. This is done to encourage the use of public transport.
67. Taxes are abundant in Norway, they have TV tax, fuel tax, plastic bottle tax, sugar tax etc.
68. Homeownership rates in Norway are among the highest in the world.
69. It is also the fifth largest oil exporter and the third largest gas exporter.
70. Norway has the fourth highest per capita income in the world.
71. Svalbard has more bears than the people living in the region. It lies between mainland Norway and the North Pole.
About science, arts, inventions
72. Roald Amundsen is the first person to reach the South Pole in the Antarctic on 14th December 1911.
73. In 2017, Norway became the first country in the world to turn off FM radio and switch to digital. However, the transition affects only national radio channels. Most local stations continue to broadcast in FM.
74. It is inspiring to learn the fact that half of all the new cars sold in Norway are hybrid or electric. This fact again emphasizes the attention of the country towards making use of clean and renewable sources of energy.
75. Norwegian passports display Aurora Borealis under UV lights. Here are some other cool passports that you may want to check.
76. 98-99% of the country’s electricity comes from hydroelectric power.
77. The cheese slicer was also invented in Norway in 1925 by Thor Bjørklund. Irritated with the problems of cutting nice slices of the cheese with a regular knife, he invented the slicer.
78. The Aerosol spray can was invented by a Norwegian – Eric Rotheim in 1920. He was from Oslo.
79. Sondre Norheim (10 June 1825 – 9 March 1897) is a famous ski designer from Norway. And Sondre Norheim is known as the father of Telemark skiing.
80. Since 1947, Norway is sending the Trafalgar Christmas tree to the UK.
81. Roros is the coldest place in Norway with a minus 50 Celsius temperature.
About government and law
82. Norway is also one of the few countries in the world to have established the ministry of environment.
83. Displaying advertisement to children 12 years old or younger is illegal in the country. The same rule also applies in Sweden.
84. Between 1978 and 1989 skateboards were banned in the country.
85. Since World War II, only 10 police officers have been killed in Norway. This statistic indicates how safe the country is. And on the other hand, not a single person has been killed by the Norwegian police since 2006. However, in the U.S. the police kill at least 1,000 people every year. In 2007, Norwegian police fired no shots whatsoever.
86. Norway abolished life imprisonment in 1971. Now the longest term in jail they have is of 21 years.
87. In 1993, Norway became the first country to grant paternity leave. The total benefit period for parental benefit in the case of a birth is 49 weeks at 100 percent coverage, and 59 weeks at 80 percent coverage.
88. The country has low crime and murder rate.
89. Norway has been ranked as the best functioning democracy in the world.
90. May 17th is celebrated as children’s day in the country.
91. The unemployment rate in Norway of low, it is near about 2%.
92. Norwegian children do not begin schooling until they are age 6.
About food and cuisine
93. The country is also famous for its Grandiosa Frozen Pizza. It is the most sold pizza brand in Norway. According to some estimate, twenty-four million units of Grandiosa are produced each year in Norway.
94. The country has strict regulations on Alcohol. They do not sell alcohol everywhere but have designated shops that sell the liquor.
95. Norwegians eat a lot of Tacos.
96. Wine in the country is only sold through some special shops that are called “Vinmonopolet” – wine monopoly shops.96. The consequence of drunken driving is a jail term of 30 days.
97. Coffee plays a significant role in the Norwegian culture. Coffee and cakes are likes by a majority of the people.
98. Ferris is a mineral water which is produced in Larvik.
99. After Finland, Norwegians drink more coffee per person than any other country.
Miscellaneous facts about Norway
100. The Nobel peace prize is annually awarded in Oslo since 1901.
101. The country has one of the lowest crime rates in the world and it was voted as the best country to live in by the UN.
102. Internet access is made available to prisoners in their cells.
103. Whenever a book is published in Norway, the government buys 1000 copies of it and it distributes it to the libraries in the country so that people may have access to it without having to pay.
104. There is a town called “Hell” in Norway.
105. In 2008, Norway donated $1 Billion to help save the Amazon rainforest.
106. A high-security prison in Norway has flatscreen TVs.
107. Elk is the national animal of Norway. It is one of the largest species within the deer family, Cervidae, in the world.
108. Easter and Christmas are among the major holidays in the country.
Norway – country at a glance
|Independence||June 07, 1905|
|Total area||323,802 sq km|
|Population||5,320,045 (July 2017 est.)|
|Borders||Sweden, Finland, Russia, Denmark|
|Currency||Norwegian krone (NOK)|
|Suffrage||18 years of age; universal|
|Religion||Church of Norway|
|Life expectancy||81.9 Years (2017)|
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.
|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|
|National anthem||"Ja, vi elsker dette landet" (Yes, We Love This Country)|
|Government type||parliamentary constitutional monarchy|
|Monarch||Harald V Glücksburg|
|Prime Minister||Erna Solberg|
|National colors||red, white, blue|
|Natural resources||petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, titanium, pyrites, nickel, fish, timber, hydropower|
|Birth rate||12.2 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)|
|Death rate||8.1 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)|
|Sex ratio||1.06 male(s)/female|
|Industries||petroleum and gas, shipping, fishing, aquaculture, food processing, shipbuilding, pulp and paper products, metals, chemicals, timber, mining, textiles|
|Exports||$88.88 billion (2016 est.)|
petroleum and petroleum products, machinery and equipment, metals, chemicals, ships, fish
|Imports||$73.62 billion (2016 est.)|
machinery and equipment, chemicals, metals, foodstuffs
|GDP - per capita (PPP)||$69,400 (2016 est.)|
|Time Zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|Internet country code||.no|
|Drives on the||Right|
|Data sources||CIA, Wikipedia|
|Table last updated||December 29, 2017|