Kingdom of Norway

Enige og tro inntil Dovre faller  (Bokmål)
Einige og tru inntil Dovre fell  (Nynorsk)
"United and loyal until Dovre falls"
Europe-Norway (orthographic projection).svg
Location of the Kingdom of Norway (green)

in Europe (green and dark grey)

Location of the Kingdom of Norway and its integral overseas areas and dependencies: Svalbard, Jan Mayen, Bouvet Island, Peter I Island, and Queen Maud Land
and largest city
59°56′N 10°41′E / 59°56′N 10°41′E / 59.933; 10.683
Official languages
Official minority languages
Writing systemLatin
Ethnic groups

Indigenous status:

Minority status:[4]

GovernmentUnitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
• Monarch
Harald V
Erna Solberg
Tone W. Trøen
Toril Marie Øie
 L Sámediggi
• Old Kingdom of Norway (Peak extent)
25 February 1814
17 May 1814
4 November 1814
7 June 1905
• Total
385,207 km2 (148,729 sq mi)[6] (67tha)
• Water (%)
• 2019 estimate
Increase 5,328,212[7] (120th)
• Density
13.8/km2 (35.7/sq mi) (213th)
GDP (PPP)2018 estimate
• Total
$397 billion[8] (46th)
• Per capita
$74,065[8] (4th)
GDP (nominal)2018 estimate
• Total
$443 billion[8] (22nd)
• Per capita
$82,711[8] (3rd)
Gini (2017)Negative increase 26.1[9]
low · 1st
HDI (2017)Increase 0.953[10]
very high · 1st
CurrencyNorwegian krone (NOK)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
• Summer (DST)
Driving sideright
Calling code+47
ISO 3166 codeNO
Internet TLD.noc
  1. Does not include Svalbard and Jan Mayen. (With the territories, it is the 67th largest country at 385,207[6] square kilometers)
  2. This percentage is for the mainland, Svalbard, and Jan Mayen. This percentage counts glaciers as "land". It's calculated as 19,940.14/(365,246.17+19,940.14).[citation needed]
  3. Two more TLDs have been assigned, but are not used: .sj for Svalbard and Jan Mayen; .bv for Bouvet Island.

Norway (Norwegian: About this soundNorge (Bokmål) or About this soundNoreg (Nynorsk); Northern Sami: Norga; Southern Sami: Nöörje; Lule Sami: Vuodna), officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic country in Northern Europe whose territory comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula; the remote island of Jan Mayen and the archipelago of Svalbard are also part of the Kingdom of Norway.[note 1] The Antarctic Peter I Island and the sub-Antarctic Bouvet Island are dependent territories and thus 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 385,207 square kilometres (148,729 sq mi)[6] and a population of 5,312,300 (as of August 2018).[12] The country shares a long eastern border with Sweden (1,619 km or 1,006 mi long). Norway is bordered by Finland and Russia to the north-east, and the Skagerrak strait to the south, with Denmark on the other side. Norway has an extensive coastline, facing the North Atlantic Ocean and the Barents Sea. The maritime influence also dominates Norway's climate with mild lowland temperatures on the sea coasts, whereas the interior, while colder, also is a lot milder than areas elsewhere in the world on such northerly latitudes. Even during polar night in the north, temperatures above freezing are commonplace on the coastline. The maritime influence brings high rainfall and snowfall to some areas of the country.

Harald V of the House of Glücksburg is the current King of Norway. Erna Solberg has been prime minister since 2013 when she replaced Jens Stoltenberg. A unitary sovereign state with a constitutional monarchy, Norway divides state power between the parliament, the cabinet and the supreme court, as determined by the 1814 constitution. The kingdom was established in 872 as a merger of a large number of petty kingdoms and has existed continuously for 1,147 years. From 1537 to 1814, Norway was a part of the Kingdom of Denmark-Norway, and from 1814 to 1905, it was in a personal union with the Kingdom of Sweden. Norway was neutral during the First World War. Norway remained neutral until April 1940 when the country was invaded and occupied by Germany until the end of Second World War.

Norway has both administrative and political subdivisions on two levels: counties and municipalities. The Sámi people have a certain amount of self-determination and influence over traditional territories through the Sámi Parliament and the Finnmark Act. Norway maintains close ties with both the European Union and the United States. Norway is a founding member of the United Nations, NATO, the European Free Trade Association, the Council of Europe, the Antarctic Treaty, and the Nordic Council; a member of the European Economic Area, the WTO, and the OECD; and a part of the Schengen Area. In addition, the Norwegian languages share mutual intelligibility with Danish and Swedish.

Norway maintains the Nordic welfare model with universal health care and a comprehensive social security system, and its values are rooted in egalitarian ideals.[13] The Norwegian state has large ownership positions in key industrial sectors, having extensive reserves of petroleum, natural gas, minerals, lumber, seafood, and fresh water. The petroleum industry accounts for around a quarter of the country's gross domestic product (GDP).[14] On a per-capita basis, Norway is the world's largest producer of oil and natural gas outside of the Middle East.[15][16]

The country has the fourth-highest per capita income in the world on the World Bank and IMF lists.[17] On the CIA's GDP (PPP) per capita list (2015 estimate) which includes autonomous territories and regions, Norway ranks as number eleven.[18] It has the world's largest sovereign wealth fund, with a value of US$1 trillion.[19] Norway has had the highest Human Development Index ranking in the world since 2009, a position also held previously between 2001 and 2006.[20] It also had the highest inequality-adjusted ranking[21][22][23] until 2018 when Iceland moved to the top of the list.[24] Norway ranked first on the World Happiness Report for 2017[25] and currently ranks first on the OECD Better Life Index, the Index of Public Integrity, and the Democracy Index.[26] Norway has one of the lowest crime rates in the world.[27]


Opening of Ohthere's Old English account, translated: "Ohthere told his lord Ælfrede king that he lived northmost of all Norwegians…"

Norway has two official names: Norge in Bokmål and Noreg in Nynorsk. The English name Norway comes from the Old English word Norþweg mentioned in 880, meaning "northern way" or "way leading to the north", which is how the Anglo-Saxons referred to the coastline of Atlantic Norway[28][29] similar to scientific consensus about the origin of the Norwegian language name.[30] The Anglo-Saxons of Britain also referred to the kingdom of Norway in 880 as Norðmanna land.[28][29]

There is some disagreement about whether the native name of Norway originally had the same etymology as the English form. According to the traditional dominant view, the first component was originally norðr, a cognate of English north, so the full name was Norðr vegr, "the way northwards", referring to the sailing route along the Norwegian coast, and contrasting with suðrvegar "southern way" (from Old Norse suðr) for (Germany), and austrvegr "eastern way" (from austr) for the Baltic. In the translation of Orosius for Alfred, the name is Norðweg, while in younger Old English sources the ð is gone.[31] In the 10th century many Norsemen settled in Northern France, according to the sagas, in the area that was later called Normandy from norðmann (Norseman or Scandinavian[32][33]), although not a Norwegian possession.[34] In France normanni or northmanni referred to people of Norway, Sweden or Denmark.[35] Until around 1800 inhabitants of Western Norway were referred to as nordmenn (northmen) while inhabitants of Eastern Norway were referred to as austmenn (eastmen).[36]

According to another theory, the first component was a word nór, meaning "narrow" (Old English nearu) or "northern", referring to the inner-archipelago sailing route through the land ("narrow way"). The interpretation as "northern", as reflected in the English and Latin forms of the name, would then have been due to later folk etymology. This latter view originated with philologist Niels Halvorsen Trønnes in 1847; since 2016 it as also advocated by language student and activist Klaus Johan Myrvoll and was adopted by philology professor Michael Schulte.[28][29] The form Nore is still used in placenames such as the village of Nore and lake Norefjorden in Buskerud county, and still has the same meaning.[28][29] Among other arguments in favour of the theory, it is pointed out that the word has a long vowel in Skaldic poetry and is not attested with <ð> in any native Norse texts or inscriptions (the earliest runic attestations have the spellings nuruiak and nuriki). This resurrected theory has received some pushback by other scholars on various grounds, e. g. the uncontroversial presence of the element norðr in the ethnonym norðrmaðr "Norseman, Norwegian person" (modern Norwegian nordmann), and the adjective norrǿnn "northern, Norse, Norwegian", as well as the very early attestations of the Latin and Anglo-Saxon forms with <th>.[31][29]

In a Latin manuscript of 849, the name Northuagia is mentioned, while a French chronicle of c. 900 uses the names Northwegia and Norwegia.[37] When Ohthere of Hålogaland visited King Alfred the Great in England in the end of the ninth century, the land was called Norðwegr (lit. "Northway") and norðmanna land (lit. "Northmen's land").[37] According to Ohthere, Norðmanna lived along the Atlantic coast, the Danes around Skagerrak og Kattegat, while the Sámi people (the "Fins") had a nomadic lifestyle in the wide interior.[38][39] Ohthere told Alfred that he was "the most northern of all Norwegians", presumably at Senja island or closer to Tromsø. He also said that beyond the wide wilderness in Norway's southern part was the land of the Swedes, "Svealand".[40][41]

The adjective Norwegian, recorded from c. 1600, is derived from the latinisation of the name as Norwegia; in the adjective Norwegian, the Old English spelling '-weg' has survived.[42]

After Norway had become Christian, Noregr and Noregi had become the most common forms, but during the 15th century, the newer forms Noreg(h) and Norg(h)e, found in medieval Icelandic manuscripts, took over and have survived until the modern day.[citation needed]