Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a constitutional monarchy in Northern Europe. Norway comprises the western part of Scandinavia in Northern Europe. The rugged coastline, broken by huge fjords and thousands of islands, stretches over 2,500 km and over 83,000 km including the fjords and islands. Norway shares a 2,542 km land border with Sweden, Finland, and a short border line to Russia at the east. To the west and south, Norway is bordered by the Norwegian Sea, the North Sea, and Skagerak. The Barents Sea washes on Norway's northern coasts.
At 385,252 km² (including Svalbard and Jan Mayen), Norway is slightly larger than Germany, but, unlike Germany, much of the country is dominated by mountainous or high terrain, with a great variety of natural features caused by prehistoric glaciers and varied topography. The most noticeable of these are the fjords: deep grooves cut into the land flooded by the sea following the end of the Ice Age. The longest is Sognefjorden. Norway also contains many glaciers and waterfalls.
Since World War II Norway has experienced rapid economic growth, and is now amongst the wealthiest countries in the world. Norway is the world's fourth largest oil exporter and the petroleum industry accounts for around a quarter of GDP. Norway was ranked highest of all countries in human development from 2001 to 2006, and shares first place with Iceland from 2007 to 2008. It was also rated the most peaceful country in the world in a 2007 survey by Global Peace Index. It is a founding member of NATO and member of the EEA.
Politics and government
Norway is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government. Oslo is the capital city. The Royal Family of Norway is a branch of the princely family of House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, originally from Schleswig-Holstein in Germany. Since 1991 the king has been Harald V.
The Constitution of Norway was adopted in 1814. It grants important executive powers to the King, but these are effectively always exercised by the Norwegian Council of State (the cabinet) in the name of the King. The king does act as ceremonial head of state and a symbol of national unity and retains some reserve powers.
The Council of State consists of a Prime Minister (the head of government) 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. 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 Norwegian parliament is the Storting (Stortinget). It currently has 169 members. The members are elected from the 19 counties for four-year terms according to a system of proportional representation.
The North Germanic Norwegian language has two official written forms, Bokmål and Nynorsk. They have officially equal status, i.e. they are both used in public administration, in schools, churches, radio and television, but Bokmål is used by the vast majority, about 85-90%. Around 95% of the population speak Norwegian as their native tongue, although many speak dialects that may differ significantly from the written language. In general Norwegian dialects are inter-intelligible, though some may require significant effort. Norwegian is highly similar to the other languages in Scandinavia, Swedish and Danish. All three languages are mutually intelligible and can be – and commonly are – employed in communication between inhabitants of the Scandinavian countries.
The main foreign language taught in Norwegian elementary school is English. The majority of the population is fluent in English, especially those born after World War II. German, French and Spanish are also commonly taught as a second or, more often, third language.
The currency in Norway is Norwegian “kroner”.
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|Time zone:||Greenwich Mean
|Population:||4 801 100
(as of 1
|Female: 82.5 years,
male: 77.7 years