Norway Geography - History

Norway Geography - History

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NORWAY

Norway is located in Northern Europe, bordering the North Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Sweden.

The terrain of Norway is glaciated; mostly high plateaus and rugged mountains broken by fertile valleys; small, scattered plains; coastline deeply indented by fjords; arctic tundra in north.

Climate: Norway is temperate along coast, modified by North Atlantic Current; colder interior; rainy year-round on west coast
COUNTRY MAP


History of Norway

The history of Norway has been influenced to an extraordinary degree by the terrain and the climate of the region. About 10,000 BC, following the retreat of the great inland ice sheets, the earliest inhabitants migrated north into the territory which is now Norway. They traveled steadily northwards along the coastal areas, warmed by the Gulf Stream, where life was more bearable. To survive they fished and hunted reindeer (and other prey). Between 5,000 BC and 4,000 BC the earliest agricultural settlements appeared around the Oslofjord. Gradually, between 1500 BC and 500 BC, these agricultural settlements spread into the southern areas of Norway – whilst the inhabitants of the northern regions continued to hunt and fish.

The Neolithic period started in 4000 BC. The Migration Period caused the first chieftains to take control and the first defenses to be made. From the last decades of the 8th century Norwegians started expanding across the seas to the British Isles and later Iceland and Greenland. The Viking Age also saw the unification of the country. Christianization took place during the 11th century and Nidaros became an archdiocese. The population expanded quickly until 1349 (Oslo: 3,000 Bergen: 7,000 Trondheim: 4,000) [ citation needed ] when it was halved by the Black Death and successive plagues. Bergen became the main trading port, controlled by the Hanseatic League. Norway entered the Kalmar Union with Denmark and Sweden in 1397.

After Sweden left the union in 1523, Norway became the junior partner in Denmark–Norway. The Reformation was introduced in 1537 and absolute monarchy imposed in 1661. In 1814, after being on the losing side of the Napoleonic Wars with Denmark, Norway was ceded to the king of Sweden by the Treaty of Kiel. Norway declared its independence and adopted a constitution. However, no foreign powers recognized the Norwegian independence but supported the Swedish demand for Norway to comply with the treaty of Kiel. After a short war with Sweden, the countries concluded the Convention of Moss, in which Norway accepted a personal union with Sweden, keeping its Constitution, Storting and separate institutions, except for the foreign service. The union was formally established after the extraordinary Storting adopted the necessary amendments to the Constitution and elected Charles XIII of Sweden as king of Norway on 4 November 1814.

Industrialization started in the 1840s and from the 1860s large-scale emigration to North America took place. In 1884 the king appointed Johan Sverdrup as prime minister, thus establishing parliamentarism. The union with Sweden was dissolved in 1905. From the 1880s to the 1920s, Norwegians such as Roald Amundsen and Fridtjof Nansen carried out a series of important polar expeditions.

Shipping and hydroelectricity were important sources of income for the country. The following decades saw a fluctuating economy and the rise of the labor movement. Germany occupied Norway between 1940 and 1945 during the Second World War, after which Norway joined NATO and underwent a period of reconstruction under public planning. Oil was discovered in 1969 and by 1995 Norway was the world's second-largest exporter. This resulted in a large increase of wealth. From the 1980s Norway started deregulation in many sectors and experienced a banking crisis.

By the 21st century, Norway became one of the world's most prosperous countries with oil and gas production accounting for 20 percent of its economy. [1] By reinvesting its oil revenues, Norway had the world's largest sovereign wealth fund in 2017. [2]


1. The world's longest road tunnel is in Norway

At an astonishing 15 miles (24.5 km) long, the Lærdal Tunnel is the world’s longest. Costing 1 billion Norwegian kroner to build (that's about USD $110 million) the tunnel connects the small communities of Lærdal and Aurland.

Inside the Lærdal tunnel. Photo by Svein-Magne Tunli (CC 3.0)

Its design is admired all around the world, as it incorporates features to help manage the mental strain on drivers. Every 6km there is a cave to separate sections of road. The lighting varies throughout the tunnel and caves to break routine and provide a varied view.

Having driven through the tunnel myself, I can attest to the importance of the design. It's a tiring drive, and the lighting makes a massive difference. At each end, cameras count the number of cars entering and exiting. This helps ensure a swift response in the event of accident or breakdown.

If you drive through the tunnel, consider taking the ‘snow road' back. It's one of Norway's national scenic routes and a spectacular drive, albeit closed for half of the year.


The total population of Norway on 1 January 2021 was 5,391,369. [3] Statistics Norway estimated that the 5,000,000 milestone was reached on 19 March 2012. [4]

Population growth rate in 2020 Edit

Total fertility rate from 1850 to 1899 Edit

The total fertility rate is the number of children born per woman. It is based on fairly good data for the entire period. Sources: Our World In Data and Gapminder Foundation. [5]

Years 1800 1801 1802 1803 1804 1805 1806 1807 1808 1809 1810 [5]
Total Fertility Rate in Norway 4.32 4.07 3.91 4.2 3.94 4.33 4.39 4.27 4 3.21 3.87
Years 1811 1812 1813 1814 1815 1816 1817 1818 1819 1820 [5]
Total Fertility Rate in Norway 3.99 4.26 3.76 3.53 4.4 5.05 4.67 4.43 4.59 4.79
Years 1821 1822 1823 1824 1825 1826 1827 1828 1829 1830 [5]
Total Fertility Rate in Norway 5 4.74 4.88 4.67 4.94 5.01 4.61 4.58 4.84 4.65
Years 1831 1832 1833 1834 1835 1836 1837 1838 1839 1840 [5]
Total Fertility Rate in Norway 4.46 4.3 4.42 4.56 4.7 4.23 4.13 4.36 3.84 4.01
Years 1841 1842 1843 1844 1845 1846 1847 1848 1849 1850 [5]
Total Fertility Rate in Norway 4.29 4.42 4.34 4.31 4.49 4.4 4.43 4.28 4.61 4.45
Years 1851 1852 1853 1854 1855 1856 1857 1858 1859 1860 [5]
Total Fertility Rate in Norway 4.6 4.46 4.6 4.93 4.61 4.42 4.54 4.62 4.82 4.63
Years 1861 1862 1863 1864 1865 1866 1867 1868 1869 1870 [5]
Total Fertility Rate in Norway 4.3 4.52 4.69 4.55 4.6 4.61 4.38 4.3 4.22 4.26
Years 1871 1872 1873 1874 1875 1876 1877 1878 1879 1880 [5]
Total Fertility Rate in Norway 4.29 4.4 4.41 4.59 4.67 4.68 4.69 4.64 4.71 4.53
Years 1881 1882 1883 1884 1885 1886 1887 1888 1889 1890 [5]
Total Fertility Rate in Norway 4.4 4.47 4.51 4.59 4.56 4.48 4.56 4.42 4.31 4.43
Years 1891 1892 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899 [5]
Total Fertility Rate in Norway 4.51 4.35 4.47 4.38 4.52 4.47 4.48 4.53 4.47

Data according to Statistics Norway, which collects the official statistics for Norway. [6]

Average population Live births Deaths Natural change Crude birth rate (per 1000) Crude death rate (per 1000) Natural change (per 1000) Total fertility rates [fn 1] [5] [7]
1900 2,231,000 66,229 35,345 30,884 29.7 15.8 13.8 4.40
1901 2,255,000 67,303 33,821 33,482 29.8 15.0 14.8 4.37
1902 2,276,000 66,494 31,670 34,824 29.2 13.9 15.3 4.26
1903 2,288,000 65,470 33,847 31,623 28.6 14.8 13.8 4.16
1904 2,298,000 64,143 32,895 31,248 27.9 14.3 13.6 4.07
1905 2,309,000 62,601 34,050 28,551 27.1 14.7 12.4 3.95
1906 2,319,000 62,091 31,668 30,423 26.8 13.7 13.1 3.92
1907 2,329,000 61,302 33,345 27,957 26.3 14.3 12.0 3.87
1908 2,346,000 61,686 33,366 28,320 26.3 14.2 12.1 3.87
1909 2,368,000 63,324 32,111 31,213 26.7 13.6 13.2 3.96
1910 2,384,000 61,486 32,207 29,279 25.8 13.5 12.3 3.82
1911 2,401,000 61,727 31,691 30,036 25.7 13.2 12.5 3.80
1912 2,423,000 61,409 32,663 28,746 25.3 13.5 11.9 3.72
1913 2,447,000 61,294 32,442 28,852 25.0 13.3 11.8 3.64
1914 2,472,000 62,111 33,280 28,831 25.1 13.5 11.7 3.62
1915 2,498,000 58,975 33,425 25,550 23.6 13.4 10.2 3.37
1916 2,522,000 61,120 34,910 26,210 24.2 13.8 10.4 3.43
1917 2,551,000 63,969 34,699 29,270 25.1 13.6 11.5 3.53
1918 2,578,000 63,468 44,218 19,250 24.6 17.2 7.5 3.44
1919 2,603,000 59,486 35,821 23,665 22.9 13.8 9.1 3.17
1920 2,635,000 69,326 33,634 35,692 26.3 12.8 13.5 3.61
1921 2,668,000 64,610 30,698 33,912 24.2 11.5 12.7 3.31
1922 2,695,000 62,908 32,484 30,424 23.3 12.1 11.3 3.18
1923 2,713,000 61,731 31,543 30,188 22.8 11.6 11.1 3.09
1924 2,729,000 58,021 30,850 27,171 21.3 11.3 10.0 2.85
1925 2,747,000 54,066 30,481 23,585 19.7 11.1 8.6 2.61
1926 2,763,000 54,163 29,933 24,230 19.6 10.8 8.8 2.59
1927 2,775,000 50,175 31,141 19,034 18.1 11.2 6.9 2.38
1928 2,785,000 49,881 30,301 19,580 17.9 10.9 7.0 2.34
1929 2,795,000 48,372 32,023 16,349 17.3 11.5 5.8 2.23
1930 2,807,000 47,844 29,616 18,228 17.0 10.5 6.5 2.19
1931 2,824,000 45,989 30,674 15,315 16.3 10.9 5.4 2.07
1932 2,842,000 45,451 30,102 15,349 16.0 10.6 5.4 2.04
1933 2,858,000 42,114 28,943 13,171 14.7 10.1 4.6 1.86
1934 2,874,000 41,833 28,340 13,493 14.6 9.9 4.7 1.82
1935 2,889,000 41,321 29,747 11,574 14.3 10.3 4.0 1.78
1936 2,904,000 42,240 30,100 12,140 14.5 10.4 4.2 1.84
1937 2,919,000 43,808 30,217 13,591 15.0 10.4 4.7 1.84
1938 2,936,000 45,319 29,211 16,108 15.4 9.9 5.5 1.88
1939 2,954,000 46,603 29,870 16,733 15.8 10.1 5.7 2.00
1940 2,973,000 47,943 32,045 15,898 16.1 10.8 5.3 1.95
1941 2,990,000 45,773 32,209 13,564 15.3 10.8 4.5 1.83
1942 3,009,000 53,225 32,062 21,163 17.7 10.7 7.0 2.11
1943 3,032,000 57,281 31,623 25,658 18.9 10.4 8.5 2.26
1944 3,060,000 62,241 32,652 29,589 20.3 10.7 9.7 2.45
1945 3,091,000 61,814 30,030 31,784 20.0 9.7 10.3 2.43
1946 3,127,000 70,727 29,220 41,507 22.6 9.3 13.3 2.77
1947 3,165,000 67,625 29,894 37,731 21.4 9.4 11.9 2.66
1948 3,201,000 65,618 28,375 37,243 20.5 8.9 11.6 2.62
1949 3,234,000 63,052 29,082 33,970 19.5 9.0 10.5 2.52
1950 3,265,000 62,410 29,699 32,711 19.1 9.1 10.0 2.46
1951 3,296,000 60,571 27,736 32,835 18.4 8.4 10.0 2.47
1952 3,328,000 62,543 28,417 34,126 18.8 8.5 10.3 2.58
1953 3,361,000 62,985 28,412 34,573 18.7 8.5 10.3 2.64
1954 3,394,000 62,739 29,158 33,581 18.5 8.6 9.9 2.67
1955 3,427,000 63,552 29,099 34,453 18.5 8.5 10.1 2.76
1956 3,460,000 64,171 29,981 34,190 18.5 8.7 9.9 2.83
1957 3,492,000 63,063 30,560 32,503 18.1 8.8 9.3 2.83
1958 3,523,000 62,985 31,645 31,340 17.9 9.0 8.9 2.86
1959 3,553,000 63,005 31,761 31,244 17.7 8.9 8.8 2.88
1960 3,581,000 61,880 32,543 29,337 17.3 9.1 8.2 2.85
1961 3,610,000 62,555 33,313 29,242 17.3 9.2 8.1 2.91
1962 3,639,000 62,254 34,318 27,936 17.1 9.4 7.7 2.89
1963 3,667,000 63,290 36,850 26,440 17.3 10.0 7.2 2.91
1964 3,694,000 65,570 35,171 30,399 17.8 9.5 8.2 2.95
1965 3,723,000 66,277 35,317 30,960 17.8 9.5 8.3 2.89
1966 3,753,000 67,061 36,010 31,051 17.9 9.6 8.3 2.86
1967 3,785,000 66,779 36,216 30,563 17.6 9.6 8.1 2.82
1968 3,819,000 67,350 37,668 29,682 17.6 9.9 7.8 2.76
1969 3,851,000 67,746 38,994 28,752 17.6 10.1 7.5 2.70
1970 3,877,000 64,551 38,723 25,828 16.6 10.0 6.7 2.61
1971 3,903,000 65,550 38,981 26,569 16.8 10.0 6.8 2.51
1972 3,933,000 64,260 39,375 24,885 16.3 10.0 6.3 2.37
1973 3,961,000 61,208 39,958 21,250 15.5 10.1 5.4 2.28
1974 3,985,000 59,603 39,464 20,139 15.0 9.9 5.1 2.15
1975 4,007,000 56,345 40,061 16,284 14.1 10.0 4.1 2.00
1976 4,026,000 53,474 40,216 13,258 13.3 10.0 3.3 1.88
1977 4,043,000 50,877 39,824 11,053 12.6 9.9 2.7 1.77
1978 4,059,000 51,749 40,682 11,067 12.7 10.0 2.7 1.79
1979 4,073,000 51,580 41,632 9,948 12.7 10.2 2.4 1.77
1980 4,086,000 51,039 41,340 9,699 12.5 10.1 2.4 1.74
1981 4,100,000 50,708 41,893 8,815 12.4 10.2 2.2 1.70
1982 4,115,000 51,245 41,454 9,791 12.5 10.1 2.4 1.71
1983 4,128,000 49,937 42,224 7,713 12.1 10.2 1.9 1.67
1984 4,140,000 50,274 42,581 7,693 12.1 10.3 1.9 1.66
1985 4,153,000 51,134 44,372 6,762 12.3 10.7 1.6 1.68
1986 4,167,000 52,514 43,560 8,954 12.6 10.5 2.1 1.71
1987 4,187,000 54,027 44,959 9,068 12.9 10.7 2.2 1.80
1988 4,209,000 57,526 45,354 12,172 13.7 10.8 2.9 1.84
1989 4,227,000 59,303 45,173 14,130 14.0 10.7 3.3 1.89
1990 4,241,000 60,939 46,021 14,918 14.4 10.9 3.5 1.93
1991 4,262,000 60,808 44,923 15,885 14.3 10.5 3.7 1.92
1992 4,286,000 60,109 44,731 15,378 14.0 10.4 3.6 1.88
1993 4,312,000 59,678 46,597 13,081 13.8 10.8 3.0 1.86
1994 4,325,000 60,092 44,071 16,021 13.7 10.2 3.5 1.87
1995 4,359,000 60,292 45,190 15,102 13.8 10.4 3.5 1.87
1996 4,381,000 60,927 43,860 17,067 13.9 10.0 3.9 1.89
1997 4,405,000 59,801 44,595 15,206 13.6 10.1 3.5 1.87
1998 4,431,000 58,352 44,112 14,240 13.1 9.9 3.2 1.81
1999 4,462,000 59,298 45,170 14,128 13.3 10.1 3.1 1.85
2000 4,491,000 59,234 44,002 15,232 13.2 9.8 3.3 1.85
2001 4,514,000 56,696 43,981 12,715 12.6 9.8 2.8 1.78
2002 4,538,000 55,434 44,465 10,969 12.2 9.9 2.4 1.75
2003 4,565,000 56,458 42,478 13,980 12.4 9.4 3.0 1.80
2004 4,592,000 56,951 41,200 15,751 12.4 9.1 3.3 1.83
2005 4,623,000 56,756 41,232 15,524 12.3 8.9 3.4 1.84
2006 4,661,000 58,545 41,253 17,292 12.6 8.8 3.7 1.90
2007 4,709,000 58,459 41,954 16,505 12.4 8.9 3.5 1.90
2008 4,768,000 60,497 41,712 18,785 12.7 8.7 3.9 1.96
2009 4,829,000 61,807 41,449 20,358 12.8 8.6 4.2 1.98
2010 4,889,000 61,442 41,499 19,943 12.6 8.5 4.1 1.95
2011 4,953,000 60,220 41,393 18,827 12.1 8.3 3.8 1.88
2012 5,019,000 60,255 41,992 18,263 12.0 8.4 3.6 1.85
2013 5,079,000 58,995 41,282 17,713 11.7 8.1 3.6 1.78
2014 5,137,000 59,084 40,394 18,690 11.5 7.9 3.6 1.76
2015 5,165,000 59,058 40,727 18,331 11.4 7.9 3.5 1.73
2016 5,213,000 58,890 40,726 18,164 11.3 7.8 3.5 1.71
2017 5,258,000 56,633 40,774 15,859 10.8 7.8 3.0 1.62
2018 5,296,000 55,120 40,840 14,280 10.4 7.7 2.8 1.56
2019 5,328,000 54,495 40,684 13,811 10.2 7.6 2.6 1.53
2020 5,367,580 52,979 40,611 12,368 9.9 7.5 2.4 1.48
2021 5,391,369

Current natural increase Edit

  • Births from January–March 2020 = 13,036
  • Births from January–March 2021 = 13,726
  • Deaths from January–March 2020 = 10,837
  • Deaths from January–March 2021 = 10,096
  • Natural increase from January–March 2020 = 2,199
  • Natural increase from January–March 2021 = 3,630

Total fertility rate Edit

Life expectancy at birth from 1846 to 2015 Edit

Years 1846 1847 1848 1849 1850 1851 1852 1853 1854 1855 1856 1857 1858 1859 1860 [8]
Life expectancy in Norway 48.0 44.8 45.0 48.0 49.5 49.7 48.5 47.9 51.6 50.4 50.4 50.2 51.6 49.9 50.0
Years 1861 1862 1863 1864 1865 1866 1867 1868 1869 1870 [8]
Life expectancy in Norway 45.8 44.7 46.7 48.8 50.4 49.9 47.9 47.2 49.3 50.9
Years 1871 1872 1873 1874 1875 1876 1877 1878 1879 1880 [8]
Life expectancy in Norway 49.7 50.0 49.7 47.8 47.6 46.8 49.7 51.8 53.1 51.9
Years 1881 1882 1883 1884 1885 1886 1887 1888 1889 1890 [8]
Life expectancy in Norway 50.4 47.4 49.6 50.8 51.0 51.7 51.7 50.4 49.1 48.6
Years 1891 1892 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899 1900 [8]
Life expectancy in Norway 49.8 49.7 51.4 50.6 52.8 53.8 53.7 54.0 51.6 53.5
Years 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909 1910 [8]
Life expectancy in Norway 54.6 56.5 55.0 56.1 55.1 56.9 56.5 56.3 57.5 58.0
Years 1911 1912 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919 1920 [8]
Life expectancy in Norway 58.0 57.7 58.3 57.8 58.2 57.3 57.7 50.3 56.8 58.9
Years 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929 1930 [8]
Life expectancy in Norway 61.6 60.8 61.8 62.1 62.5 63.3 62.9 63.4 62.5 64.1
Years 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 [8]
Life expectancy in Norway 64.1 64.6 65.5 66.2 65.8 65.8 66.0 67.1 67.4 65.9
Years 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 [8]
Life expectancy in Norway 65.8 65.7 66.1 65.8 68.2 69.5 70.0 71.1 71.5 71.6

Period Life expectancy in
Years
Period Life expectancy in
Years
1950–1955 72.8 1985–1990 76.3
1955–1960 73.5 1990–1995 77.3
1960–1965 73.5 1995–2000 78.3
1965–1970 73.9 2000–2005 79.3
1970–1975 74.4 2005–2010 80.6
1975–1980 75.3 2010–2015 81.6
1980–1985 76.0

Source: UN World Population Prospects [9]

Ethnically, the residents of Norway are predominantly Norwegians, a North Germanic ethnic group. In Northern Norway there is a population of Sami people, who claim descent from people who settled the area around 8,000 years ago, probably from continental Europe through the Norwegian coast and through Finland along the inland glaciers. As of 2020, an official government study shows that 75.2% of the total population are ethnic Norwegians (born in Norway with two parents also born in Norway). [10] The national minorities of Norway include: Scandinavian Romani, Roma, Jews, and Kvener, as well as a small Finnish community.

In the last decades, Norway has become home to increasing numbers of immigrants, foreign workers, and asylum-seekers from various parts of the world. Norway had a steady influx of immigrants from South Asia (mostly Pakistanis and Sri Lankans), East Asia (mainly Chinese), and Southeast Asia/Pacific Islands (e.g. Filipinos), Eastern Europe (e.g. Russians) and (Central Europe Poles), Southern Europe (Greeks, Albanians and people from former Yugoslavia etc.), and Middle East countries (especially Iraqis and Kurdish Iranians), as well as Somalis, Turks, Moroccans, and some Latin Americans. After ten Eastern European and Baltic countries joined the EU in 2004, there has also been a substantial influx of people from Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Immigrants constituted 14.7% of the population at the start of 2020, 3.5% were born in Norway to two immigrant parents, 5.2% to one foreign-born and one Norwegian-born parent and 75.2% born to two-Norwegian born parents. [11] The same year, 19% of births in Norway were to immigrant parents. [11] In 2006, non-Western immigrants constituted 75% of the total number of immigrants. They contribute much of the population growth. Among people of African descent in Oslo, almost 60% are younger than 30, compared to 20% of those of North American background. [12]

As of 2020, an official government study shows that more than 1,333,620 people (24.8%) living in Norway are either first-generation immigrants or have one or two foreign-born parents. [13]

Of these 979,254 immigrants and their descendants (born in Norway with two foreign born parents):

  • 401,407 (41%) [13] have a Western background (Australia, New Zealand, North America, elsewhere in Europe)
  • 577,847 (59%) [13] have a non-Western background.

In 2012, of the total 660 000 with immigrant background, 407,262 had Norwegian citizenship (62.2 percent). [14]

Immigrants were represented in all Norwegian municipalities. The cities or municipalities with the highest share of immigrants in 2012 was Oslo (26 percent) and Drammen (18 percent). [15] The share in Stavanger was 16%. [15] According to Reuters, Oslo is the "fastest growing city in Europe because of increased immigration". [16] In recent years, immigration has accounted for most of Norway's population growth. [12]

Rank Country of origin [17] Population (2021) [18]
1. Poland 117,331
2. Lithuania 48,564
3. Somalia 43,593
4. Pakistan 39,257
5. Sweden 39,031
6. Syria 37,581
7. Iraq 34,671
8. Eritrea 30,213
9. Germany 28,639
10. Philippines 26,337
11. Vietnam 23,811
12. Iran incl. Kurdistan province 23,765
13. Thailand 22,707
14. Russia 22,561
15. Afghanistan 22,361
16. Denmark 20,833
17. Turkey 20,679
18. India 19,282
19. Bosnia-Herzegovina 18,738
20. Romania 18,291

Y-chromosome DNA Edit

Y-Chromosome DNA (Y-DNA) represents the male lineage, The Norwegian Y-chromosome pool may be summarized as follows where haplogroups R1 & I comprise generally more than 85% of the total chromosomes. [19]

Mitochondrial DNA Edit

Mitochondrial DNA mtDNA represents the female lineage, Haplogroup H represent about 40% of the Norwegian mitochondrial DNA lineages [20]

As of January 1st, 2020, official data shows that the quotient of the total population that is either born outside Norway, or has one or two parents born abroad abroad is 1,333,620 to 5,367,580 (which equals 24.8%). [13]

About a half million of these, however, identify as ethnic Norwegians who may have, for example, Swedish or Danish ancestors. As of 2020, an official government study shows that 75.2% [13] of the total population are ethnic Norwegians and more than 1,333,620 individuals (24.8%) are migrants and their descendants (790,497 are first-generation immigrants i.e. foreign-born, 277,085 are Norwegian-born with one foreign-born parent and 188,757 are Norwegian-born with two foreign-born parents).

Of these 979,254 immigrants and their descendants (foreign-born or Norwegian-born with two foreign-born parents):

  • 401,407 (41%) have a Western background (Australia, New Zealand, United States, Canada, countries in the European Union, and EFTA states)
  • 577,847 (59%) have a non-Western background.

The following demographic statistics are from the World Population Review. [21]

  • One birth every 8 minutes
  • One death every 13 minutes
  • One net migrant every 19 minutes
  • Net gain of one person every 10 minutes

The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook, unless otherwise indicated. [7]

Population 5,372,191 (July 2018 est.) 3,570,554 (1960) 2,376,952 (1910) 1,583,525 (1860) Population – comparative

Slightly greater than British Columbia, but slightly less than Singapore and Eritrea.

Note: data is calculated based on actual age at first births (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 0.9% (2018 est.) Country comparison to the world: 117th 1.0% (2017 est.) Life expectancy at birth total population: 82 years. Country comparison to the world: 22nd male: 79.9 years female: 84.1 years (2018 est.) Infant mortality rate total: 2.5 deaths/1,000 live births Country comparison to the world: 221st male: 2.8 deaths/1,000 live births female: 2.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.) Ethnic groups

Norwegian 83.2% (includes about 60,000 Sami), other European 8.3%, other 8.5% (2017 est.)

Bokmål (official written only), Nynorsk (official written only), North Sami, Lule Sami, and South Sami

Note: There is no standardized spoken Norwegian. Sami is an official language in nine municipalities in Norway's three northernmost counties: Finnmark, Nordland, and Troms. There are also Finnish-speaking minorities.

Church of Norway (Evangelical Lutheran) 69.9%, Roman Catholic 3.0%, other Christians 3.8%, Muslim 3.3%, other religions 0.8%, unaffiliated and humanism 19.2% (2018) [22] [23] [24]

Dependency ratios total dependency ratio: 52.1 (2015 est.) youth dependency ratio: 27.3 elderly dependency ratio: 24.8 potential support ratio: 4

Note: data include Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands

Urbanization urban population: 82.2% of total population (2018) rate of urbanization: 1.4% annual rate of change (2015–20 est.)

Note: data include Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) total: 18 years male: 17 years female: 19 years (2016) Unemployment, youth ages 15–24 total: 10.4%. Country comparison to the world: 125th male: 11.7% female: 9% (2017 est.) Sex ratio at birth: 1.1 male(s)/female (2004 est.) under 15 years: 1.1 male(s)/female 15–64 years: 1.0 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female total population: 1.0 male(s)/female

The Lutheran Church of Norway is the former state church and the vast majority remain at least nominal members. Other religions do, however, enjoy religious freedom and have prospered with immigration in recent years, particularly Islam and Roman Catholicism. Saint Olaf is the patron saint of Norway. He is regarded by some as the eternal king and has a reputation and place in history unchallenged by any other Norwegian King for the last 1000 years.

Religion Members Percent As of 2020 [25]
Christianity 4,059,366 75.6%
The Church of Norway (Lutheran) 3,686,715 68.7%
Roman Catholicism 165,254 3.1%
Pentecostalism 40,725 0.8%
Eastern Orthodox Christianity 28,544 0.5%
The Free Lutheran Church 19,313 0.4%
The Swedish Church in Norway 13,108 0.2%
Jehovah's Witnesses 12,661 0.2%
The Mission Society 11,223 0.2%
Baptists 10,823 0.2%
Methodism 10,000 0.2%
Other Christianity 61,000 1.1%
Non-Christian religions 225,138 4.1%
Islam 182,826 3.4%
Buddhism 21,555 0.4%
Hinduism 12,153 0.2%
Sikhism 4,080 0.1%
Bahá'í Faith 1,091 0.0%
Judaism 794 0.0%
Other religions 2,639 0.0%
Non-religious and unknown 983,608 18.3%
Humanism 99,468 1.9%
Total 5,367,580 100.0%

Norwegian (the written standards Bokmål and Nynorsk).
Uralic languages – South Sami, Lule Sami, North Sami and Kven – are additional official languages of some municipalities.


Index

Geography

Norway is situated in the western part of the Scandinavian peninsula. It extends about 1,100 mi (1,770 km) from the North Sea along the Norwegian Sea to more than 300 mi (483 km) above the Arctic Circle, the farthest north of any European country. It is slightly larger than New Mexico. Nearly 70% of Norway is uninhabitable and covered by mountains, glaciers, moors, and rivers. The hundreds of deep fjords that cut into the coastline give Norway an overall oceanfront of more than 12,000 mi (19,312 km). Galdh Peak, at 8,100 ft (2,469 m), is Norway's highest point and the Glma (Glomma) is the principal river, at 372 mi (598 km) long.

Government
History

Norwegians, like the Danes and Swedes, are of Teutonic origin. The Norsemen, also known as Vikings, ravaged the coasts of northwest Europe from the 8th to the 11th century and were ruled by local chieftains. Olaf II Haraldsson became the first effective king of all Norway in 1015 and began converting the Norwegians to Christianity. After 1442, Norway was ruled by Danish kings until 1814, when it was united with Sweden?although retaining a degree of independence and receiving a new constitution?in an uneasy partnership. In 1905, the Norwegian parliament arranged a peaceful separation and invited a Danish prince to the Norwegian throne?King Haakon VII. A treaty with Sweden provided that all disputes be settled by arbitration and that no fortifications be erected on the common frontier.

The World Wars and 20th Century Norwegian Politics

When World War I broke out, Norway joined Sweden and Denmark in a decision to remain neutral and to cooperate in the joint interest of the three countries. In World War II, Norway was invaded by the Germans on April 9, 1940. It resisted for two months before the Nazis took complete control. King Haakon and his government fled to London, where they established a government-in-exile. Maj. Vidkun Quisling, who served as Norway's prime minister during the war, was the most notorious of the Nazi collaborators. The word for traitor, quisling, bears his name. He was executed by the Norwegians on Oct. 24, 1945. Despite severe losses in the war, Norway recovered quickly as its economy expanded. It joined NATO in 1949.

In the late 20th century, the Labor Party and the Conservative Party seesawed for control, each sometimes having to lead minority governments. An important debate was over Norway's membership in the European Union. In an advisory referendum held in Nov. 1994, voters rejected seeking membership for their nation in the EU. The country became the second-largest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia in 1995. Norway continued to experience rapid economic growth into the new millennium.

Politics In the 21st Century

In March 2000, Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik resigned after Parliament voted to build the country's first gas-fired power stations. Bondevik had objected to the project, asserting that the plants would emit too much carbon dioxide. Labor Party leader Jens Stoltenberg succeeded Bondevik. Stoltenberg and the Labor Party were defeated in Sept. 2001 elections, and no party emerged with a clear majority. After a month of talks, the Conservatives, the Christian People's Party, and the Liberals formed a coalition with Bondevik as prime minister. The governing coalition was backed by the far-right Progress Party. But in Sept. 2005 elections, the center-left Red-Green coalition gained a majority of seats, and Jens Stoltenberg of the Labor Party once again became prime minister.

In April 2008, government officials agreed to amend the 1814 Constitution to loosen the ties between church and state. The monarch must still be Lutheran, but citizens are no longer required to raise their children as Lutherans. In the future, the church will appoint bishops instead of the monarch, and equal financial backing for other faiths and atheist communities must be provided by the state.

In June 2008, Parliament voted 84?41 to pass a new marriage act, granting homosexual couples the same marriage and adoption rights as heterosexual couples.

2011 Terrorist Attacks

On Friday, July 22, 2011, Norway was hit with two related terrorist attacks. First, a bomb exploded in Regjeringskvartalet, the government quarter of Oslo. The explosion happened right outside the prime minister's office as well as other government buildings, killing eight people and wounding several others. Two hours later, a gunman disguised as a policeman opened fire on campers at a camp for young political activists on the island of Utoya in Tyrifjorden, Buskerud. The camp was organized by the youth organization of the Norwegian Labour Party. The gunman killed at least 68 campers, including personal friends of Prime Minister Stoltenberg. Police arrested Anders Behring Breivik who has been charged with both attacks. Breivik, a 32-year-old Norwegian and a right-wing fundamentalist Christian, has been linked to an anti-Islamic group and may be connected to other terrorist groups.

On July 24, Breivik admitted to "the facts" of the attacks. However, he did not admit criminal guilt and claimed that he was acting alone, which contrasted some of the statements given by witnesses. According to his lawyer, Breivik called the killings "atrocious", but "necessary". Authorities said Breivik was obsessed with the threat of Muslim immigration and multiculturalism to the cultural values of his country. Out of respect for the victims, stores in Norway removed certain war toys and computer games from shelves. Breivik was a talk forum regular for players of the online game, World of Warcraft. In the days following the attacks, Norway police were under scrutiny. It took SWAT units more than an hour to reach the camp. A police helicopter was unable to get off the ground. News crews arrived first, but could only watch Breivik's massacre. Police officers drove to the shore and used boats to get to the island.

2013 Parliamentary Elections Brings Shift in Leadership

On September 9, 2013, Norway held a parliamentary election. The right-of-center coalition won 96 seats, while the Red-Green incumbent government coalition kept 72 seats. The Green Party took one seat.

This was the fourth election for incumbent Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg. He was defeated in the 2001 parliamentary election, but won in 2005 and 2009. If Stoltenberg would've won in 2013, he would have been the first prime minister in Norway's history to be elected for three consecutive terms. However, he lost and Erna Solberg, the leader of the Conservative Party, was named prime minister. Solberg took office on October 16, 2013. Solberg became Norway's second female prime minister. Gro Harlem Brundtland was the first.


Contents

At least 60% of Norway's area is mountainous, lakes or bogs (non-arable land, some of it is used as pastures) 37% is forest of various kinds and only 3% arable land. It is estimated that between 1900 and 2003 areas more than 5 km from intense construction activity have decreased from 48% to 12% in Norway.

Until about one hundred years ago there was relatively little threat to ecosystems in Norway. The first initiatives to protect land were voiced in 1904, by Yngvar Nielsen, leader of the Norwegian Mountain Touring Association (DNT). The association continued to lobby cases in 1923 and 1938. The natural protection act of 1954 prepared a legal basis for establishing protection areas, and the two first national parks were established in 1962 and 1963. The act of 1954 also established Statens naturvernråd ("Governmental Natural protection council") as an advisory body for the government. The council presented a draft for further natural protecting in 1964, suggesting 16 national parks. These suggestions were approved by Stortinget. It took 25 years, until 1989, before 15 of their suggestions were fulfilled. The 16th suggestion became a naturreservat. The council presented another suggestion in 1986, [3] and this was approved by Stortinget in April 1993. Following this approval, a "second generation" of national parks, as well as expanding borders for the elder, were established from 2001.

The post-industrial era that started in the last 1960s saw areas being protected as national parks or other protected status as a means to regulate the construction of vacation homes, roads, fishing, hunting, and gathering plants. This trend has accelerated in the last 10 years. In addition to preserving rare plant and animal life, areas are protected to maintain reference points for environmental research, recreational resources for Norwegians, and as an inheritance for future generations. The Directorate for Nature Management maintains indicators for the health of nature in Norway, including such measures as biological diversity, erosion, signs of pollution.

For the most part, national parks are open to hiking, cross-country skiing and camping. Most have a limited number of overnight cabins.

In addition to national parks, the Norwegian government has designated larger areas for protection. Included in these areas are 153 landscapes covering 14071 km 2 1,701 nature reserves covering 3,418 km 2 24 national parks covering 21,650 km 2 102 natural memorials, and 98 smaller protected areas. This accounts for 12.1% of Norway's mainland area.

The Norwegian government's goal is to increase this area over time to at least 15%. They have signalled an interest in preserving marine ecosystems, including the fjords of the western parts of Norway, and the archipelago southwest from Oslo.

Image Name County(s) Est. Area Description Ref
Ånderdalen Troms 1970 134 km 2 (52 sq mi) [1]
Blåfjella–Skjækerfjella Nord-Trøndelag 2004 1,924 km 2 (743 sq mi) [1]
Breheimen Oppland, Sogn og Fjordane 2009 1,671 km 2 (645 sq mi)
Børgefjell Nord-Trøndelag, Nordland 1963 1,447 km 2 (559 sq mi) [1]
Dovre Oppland 2003 289 km 2 (112 sq mi) [1]
Dovrefjell–Sunndalsfjella Møre og Romsdal, Oppland, Sør-Trøndelag 1974 1,693 km 2 (654 sq mi) [1]
Færder Vestfold 2013 350 km 2 (140 sq mi) [1]
Femundsmarka Hedmark, Sør-Trøndelag 1971 573 km 2 (221 sq mi) [1]
Folgefonna Hordaland 2005 545 km 2 (210 sq mi) [1]
Forlandet Svalbard 1973 4,647 km 2 (1,794 sq mi) The park covers the uninhabited island of Prins Karls Forland and the surrounding waters. Forlandet is long and narrow with tall peaks, separated in two by the low Forlandsletta. It is the northernmost habitat of harbor seal and a nesting place for common guillemot. Wetland birds nest at Plankeholmane and Forlandsøyane, and the west coast is an overwintering site for seabirds. [2]
Forollhogna Sør-Trøndelag, Hedmark 2001 1,062 km 2 (410 sq mi) [1]
Fulufjellet Hedmark 2012 83 km 2 (32 sq mi) [4]
Gutulia Hedmark 1968 23 km 2 (8.9 sq mi) [1]
Hallingskarvet Buskerud, Hordaland 2006 450 km 2 (170 sq mi)
Hardangervidda Buskerud, Hordaland, Telemark 1981 3,422 km 2 (1,321 sq mi) [1]
Indre Wijdefjorden Svalbard 2005 1,127 km 2 (435 sq mi) Located in a steep fjord landscape in northern Spitsbergen, the park covers the inner part of Wijdefjorden—the longest fjord on Svalbard. On both sides of Wijdefjorden there is High Arctic steppe vegetation, dominated by grasses and extremely dry, basic earth. Along with vegetation found on nesting cliffs, it is the most exclusive flora in Svalbard. Of the larger fjords on Svalbard, Wijdefjorden is the least affected by humans. [2]
Jomfruland Telemark 2016 117 km 2 (45 sq mi)
Jostedalsbreen Sogn og Fjordane 1991 1,310 km 2 (510 sq mi) [1]
Jotunheimen Oppland, Sogn og Fjordane 1980 1,151 km 2 (444 sq mi) [1]
Junkerdal Nordland 2004 682 km 2 (263 sq mi) [1]
Làhku Nordland 2012 188 km 2 (73 sq mi)
Langsua Oppland 2011 537 km 2 (207 sq mi)
Lierne Nordland 2004 333 km 2 (129 sq mi) [1]
Lofotodden Nordland 2018 99 km 2 (38 sq mi)
Lomsdal–Visten Nordland 2009 682 km 2 (263 sq mi)
Møysalen Nordland 2003 51 km 2 (20 sq mi)
Nordenskiöld Land Svalbard 2003 1,362 km 2 (526 sq mi) The park covers the southern part of Nordenskiöld Land, on the north shore of Van Mijenfjorden. Reindalen is Svalbard's largest ice-free valley and features moraines, rock glaciers, pingos and avalanche features. The valley has lush vegetation and the lower part is a wetland. The area is important for reindeer, Arctic fox, waders, geese and ducks. [2]
Nordre Isfjorden Svalbard 2003 2,954 km 2 (1,141 sq mi) Protecting the northern shore of Isfjorden on Spitsbergen, the park consists of a long shoreline with lush vegetation serving as breeding grounds for birds. The landscape varies from the barren and lunar-like to sandy plains and several meter-thick layers of deposits. [2]
Nordvest-Spitsbergen Svalbard 1973 9,914 km 2 (3,828 sq mi) The northwestern part of Spitsbergen has the archipelago's most varied nature and features some of the most important cultural heritage sites from whaling and Arctic exploration, such as Smeerenburg and Virgohamna. The park is habitat for Arctic fox, reindeer and Arctic char. Moffen Nature Reserve and three bird sanctuaries (Guissezholmen, Moseøya and Skorpa) are important breeding grounds for birds, especially eider and geese. The warm springs of Bockfjorden give a unique local flora. [2]
Øvre Anárjohka Finnmark 1975 1,390 km 2 (540 sq mi) [1]
Øvre Dividal Troms 1971 750 km 2 (290 sq mi) [1]
Øvre Pasvik Finnmark 1970 119 km 2 (46 sq mi) Part of Pasvik–Inari Trilateral Park, the area is dominated by Siberian-like taiga consisting of old-growth Scots pine, shallow lakes and bog. The traditional Skolts area is still used for reindeer husbandry. The park located in Pasvikdalen and is a habitat for brown bear and moose. [5]
Raet Aust-Agder 2016 607 km 2 (234 sq mi)
Rago Nordland 1971 171 km 2 (66 sq mi) [1]
Reinheimen Oppland, Møre og Romsdal 2006 1,969 km 2 (760 sq mi)
Reisa Troms 1986 803 km 2 (310 sq mi) [1]
Rohkunborri Troms 2011 571 km 2 (220 sq mi)
Rondane Hedmark, Oppland 1962 963 km 2 (372 sq mi) [1]
Saltfjellet–Svartisen Nordland 1989 2,192 km 2 (846 sq mi) [1]
Sassen–Bünsow Land Svalbard 2003 1,230 km 2 (470 sq mi) The park covers Tempelfjorden, Bünsow Land and the vast fluvial plain of Sassendalen, located at the head of Isfjorden. Tempelfjorden is an important breeding ground for ringed seals, while Sassendalen and Gipsdalen are important breeding grounds for geese. Bünsow Land has the only European occurrence of polar mouse-ear (Cerastium regelii) and broad-sepal saxifrage (Saxifraga platysepala). [2]
Seiland Finnmark 2006 316 km 2 (122 sq mi)
Sjunkhatten Nordland 2010 417 km 2 (161 sq mi)
Skarvan and Roltdalen Nord-Trøndelag, Sør-Trøndelag 2004 441 km 2 (170 sq mi) [1]
Sør-Spitsbergen Svalbard 1973 13,286 km 2 (5,130 sq mi) Covering the southern part of Spitsbergen (Wedel Jarlsberg Land, Torell Land and Sørkapp Land), the western part has jagged mountains while the eastern part is more rounded. Hornsund is an important migration area for polar bears, while four bird sanctuaries (Olsholmen, Isøyane, Dunøyane and Sørkapp) are vital nesting grounds for migratory seabirds. [2]
Stabbursdalen Finnmark 1970 747 km 2 (288 sq mi) [1]
Varangerhalvøya Finnmark 2006 1,804 km 2 (697 sq mi)
Ytre Hvaler Østfold 2009 354 km 2 (137 sq mi)
Name County Established Disestablished Area
(land, km 2 )
Area
(land, sq mi)
Replaced by Ref
Gressåmoen Nord-Trøndelag 1970 2004 182 70 Blåfjella–Skjækerfjella
Ormtjernkampen Oppland 1968 2011 9 3 Langsua [1]

There are also several national park proposals by many different parties: Solværøyene, Storheia [14] Melkevatn–Hjertvatn–Børsvatn, Okstindan [15] Frafjordheiene [16] Oksøy-Ryvingen [17] Setesdal Vesthei, Trollheimen, Lyngsalpan. [18]

Storheia has since been covered in a wind farm and would no longer qualify for protection as a national park, and parts of Melkevatn–Hjertvatn–Børsvatn were protected as a nature reserve rather than a national park.

After being tasked by the Ministry of Climate and Environment in 2018 to find areas that should be protected, in 2019 the Environment Agency made a number of suggestions for new national parks as well as expansions of existing ones, after looking through suggestions from the county governors. [19] In 2021, after meetings with the affected municipalities, they made a final list of suggestions for national parks that should get further consideration. The proposed new protections are: Sunnmørsalpane, Hornelen, Masfjordfjella and Øystesefjella. Additionally, they proposed some protected areas to be changed to national park: Lyngsalpan, Sylan, Trollheimen and Innerdalen, Ålfotbreen, Oksøy-Ryvingen, and Flekkefjord and Listastrendene. Many other proposals were cancelled due to local opposition: Kvænangsvidda-Nabar, Treriksrøysa, Preikestolen, Kvitladalen-Bjordalen, Viglesdalen as well as some proposed changes of type of protection: Naustdal-Gjengedal and Setesdal Vesthei Ryfylkeheiane. [20]


Contents

Lillehammer Municipality is further subdivided into the following populated places (i.e.: neighborhoods, quarters, villages, localities, settlements, communities, hamlets, etc.):

The municipality (originally the parish) was named after the old Hamar (Norse Hamarr) farm, since the first church was built there. The name is identical with the word hamarr (rocky hill). To distinguish it from the nearby town and bishopric, both called Hamar, it began to be called "little Hamar": Lilþlæ Hamar and Litlihamarr, and finally Lillehammer. It is also mentioned in the Old Norse sagas as Litlikaupangr ("Little Trading Place"). [4] [5]

The coat-of-arms was granted in 1898 and shows a birkebeiner, carrying a spear and a shield, who is skiing down a mountainside. It symbolizes the historical importance of when the Birkebeiners carried the to-be-King Haakon from Lillehammer to Rena on skis. [6]

The area has been settled since the Norwegian Iron Age. It is also mentioned as a site for Thing assembly in 1390.

Lillehammer had a lively market by the 1800s and obtained rights as a market town on 7 August 1827. There were 50 registered residents within its boundaries then.

The town of Lillehammer was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838.

The rural municipality of Fåberg was merged into the municipality of Lillehammer on 1 January 1964.

In 1973, Mossad killed a Moroccan waiter, having mistaken him for Palestinian terrorist Ali Hassan Salameh, which became known as the Lillehammer affair.

Lillehammer is known as a typical venue for winter sporting events it was host city of the 1994 Winter Olympics, and the 2016 Winter Youth Olympics, and was part of a joint bid with applicant host city Oslo to host events part of the 2022 Winter Olympics until Oslo withdrew its bid on 1 October 2014.

Lillehammer is home to the largest literature festival in the Nordic countries, and in 2017 was designated as a UNESCO City of Literature.

A number of schools are located in Lillehammer including the Hammartun Primary and Lower Secondary School, Søre Ål Primary School and Kringsjå Primary and Lower Secondary School. Lillehammer Public High School consists of two branches, North and South, both situated near the city center. The private High school Norwegian College of Elite Sports, NTG, also has a branch in Lillehammer. The Lillehammer campus of Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences is situated just north of the town itself.

Lillehammer is also the home of the Nansen Academy - the Norwegian Humanistic Academy. The Nansen Academy is an educational institution for adult students with varied political, religious, and cultural backgrounds. The Academy was founded on the core principles of humanism and aims at strengthening the knowledge of these principles.

The 14th World Scout Jamboree was held from 29 July to 7 August 1975 and was hosted by Norway at Lillehammer.

Lillehammer is situated in the lower part of Gudbrandsdal, at the northern head of lake Mjøsa, and is located to the south of the municipality of Øyer, to the southeast of Gausdal, northeast of Nordre Land, and to the north of Gjøvik, all in Oppland county. To the southeast, it is bordered by Ringsaker municipality in Hedmark county. To the northwest is the mountain Spåtind.

Climate Edit

Lillehammer has a humid continental climate (Dfb), with the Scandinavian mountain chain to the west and north limiting oceanic influences however, for the latitude, the climate is still relatively mild. The record high of 34 °C was recorded in June 1970. The record low of -31 °C was recorded in December 1978 and January 1979, and the same low was recorded in January 1987. There has been no overnight air frost in August since 1978 (the record low for that month being -0.6 °C (30.9 °F), a sufficient temperature for air frost), and the coldest recorded temperature after 2000 is -26.2 °C in January 2010. The current weather station Lillehammer-Sætherengen became operational in 1982 extremes are also from two earlier weather stations in Lillehammer.

Climate data for Lillehammer (240 m average temperatures 2004 - 2015 extremes 1957 - 2018)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 10.4
(50.7)
12.5
(54.5)
16.0
(60.8)
23.4
(74.1)
28.5
(83.3)
34.0
(93.2)
32.4
(90.3)
33.0
(91.4)
26.4
(79.5)
19.5
(67.1)
16.2
(61.2)
11.3
(52.3)
34.0
(93.2)
Average high °C (°F) −3.5
(25.7)
−2.6
(27.3)
3.3
(37.9)
9.7
(49.5)
14.8
(58.6)
19.5
(67.1)
21.6
(70.9)
19.6
(67.3)
15.1
(59.2)
7.3
(45.1)
1.0
(33.8)
−2.3
(27.9)
8.6
(47.5)
Daily mean °C (°F) −5.5
(22.1)
−5.6
(21.9)
−0.9
(30.4)
4.8
(40.6)
9.6
(49.3)
14.0
(57.2)
16.7
(62.1)
15.3
(59.5)
10.7
(51.3)
4.6
(40.3)
−1.0
(30.2)
−4.5
(23.9)
4.9
(40.7)
Average low °C (°F) −7.6
(18.3)
−8.5
(16.7)
−5.1
(22.8)
0.1
(32.2)
4.4
(39.9)
8.6
(47.5)
11.7
(53.1)
10.9
(51.6)
6.3
(43.3)
1.9
(35.4)
−3.0
(26.6)
−6.7
(19.9)
1.1
(33.9)
Record low °C (°F) −31.0
(−23.8)
−29.5
(−21.1)
−24.1
(−11.4)
−14.0
(6.8)
−5.4
(22.3)
−2.2
(28.0)
0.5
(32.9)
−0.6
(30.9)
−5.8
(21.6)
−14.5
(5.9)
−22.5
(−8.5)
−31.0
(−23.8)
−31.0
(−23.8)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 39
(1.5)
31
(1.2)
36
(1.4)
32
(1.3)
50
(2.0)
66
(2.6)
76
(3.0)
77
(3.0)
74
(2.9)
75
(3.0)
59
(2.3)
45
(1.8)
660
(26)
Mean monthly sunshine hours 28 68 126 168 212 242 237 195 136 83 44 18 1,557
Source 1: [7]
Source 2: [8]

The basis for the city's commerce is its position as the northernmost point of the lake Mjøsa and as the gateway for the Gudbrandsdal region, through which the historical highway to Trondheim passes. The Mesna river has provided the basis for several small industries through the years, but Lillehammer is now all but industry-less.

One of the major Norwegian rail lines, the Dovre Line, runs from Hamar to the north through Lillehammer on its way up the Gudbrandsdal, to terminate in Trondheim.

European route E6 passes through Lillehammer.

In addition to the Olympic site, Lillehammer offers a number of other tourist attractions:

    , centrally located in Lillehammer, is the largest open-air museum in Norway, with 185 buildings, mostly from Lillehammer and the valley of Gudbrandsdalen. (built around 1150)
  • The Norwegian Olympic Museum is the only museum in Northern Europe that shows the whole Olympic history from the ancient times and up to today, including all Summer- and Wintergames. The museum also houses the Norwegian Sports Hall of Fame and a special section about the Lillehammer `94 Olympic Wintergames. The Museum is located in the indoor museum at Maihaugen. (Ski resort 15 km (9 mi) from Lillehammer, host of slalom and super-G in the Olympic games 1994) (Ski resort 55 km (34 mi) from Lillehammer, host of downhill in the Olympic games 1994)
  • The PS Skibladner is the world's oldest paddle steamer in scheduled service, launched in 1856. Summer sailings around lake Mjøsa: Lillehammer, Moelv, Gjøvik, Hamar, and Eidsvoll.
  • The ski jump at Lysgårdsbakkene. is a skiing destination with forest and mountain terrain only 20 kilometres (12 miles) away (east) from the centre of Lillehammer in the municipality of Ringsaker.
  • The Sambandets Utdanning og Kompetansesenter is an army unit located in the camp Jørstadmoen 3–4 km (2–2 miles) northwest of Lillehammer.
  • The rock carvings at Drotten, Fåberg, west of Gudbrandsdalslågen about 1.5 km (0.9 mi) above Brunlaug bridge.
  • The sculpture Mothership with Standing Matter by Antony Gormley in a pavilion by Snøhetta architects close to Lillehammer Station.

The official tourist information for the Lillehammer-region provides more information about activities and attractions in the region


Geography of Norway - Physical Geography

Scandinavian Mountains. The Scandinavian Mountains are the most defining feature of the country. Starting with Setesdalsheiene north of the southern Skagerrak coast, the mountains goes north, comprising large parts of the country, and intersected by the many fjords of Vestlandet. This part includes Hardangervidda, Jotunheimen (with Galdhøpiggen 2469 m), Sognefjell and Trollheimen in the north, with large glaciers, such as Jostedalsbreen, Folgefonna and Hardangerjøkulen. The mountain chain swings eastwards south of Trondheim, with ranges such as Dovrefjell and Rondane, and reaches to the border with Sweden, where they are mostly gently sloping plateaus. The mountains then follows the border in a northeasterly direction (known as Kjølen). The mountains are intersected by many fjords in Nordland and Troms, where they become more alpine and creates many islands as they meet the sea. The Scandinavian mountains forms the Lyngen Alps and reaches into northwestern Finnmark, gradually becoming lower from Altafjord towards Nordkapp (North Cape), where they finally ends at the shores of the Barents sea.

The Scandinavian Mountains have naturally divided the country in physical regions valleys radiate from the mountains in all directions. The following physical regions will only partially correspond to traditional regions and counties in Norway.

Southern coast. The southern Skagerrak and North Sea coast is the lowland south of the mountain range, from Stavanger in the west to the western reaches of the outer part of the Oslofjord in the east. In this part of the country, valleys tend to follow a north - south direction. This area is mostly a hilly area, but with some very flat areas such as Lista and Jæren.

Southeast. The land east of the mountains (corresponding to Østlandet, most of Telemark and Røros) is dominated by valleys going in a north - south direction in the eastern part, and a more northwest - southeast direction further west, and the valleys congregate on the Oslofjord. The longest valleys in the country are Østerdal and Gudbrandsdal. This part also contains larger areas of lowland surrounding the Oslofjord, as well as the Glomma river and lake Mjøsa.

Western fjords. The land west of the mountains (corresponding to Vestlandet north of Stavanger) is more dominated by the mountain chain, as the mountains goes all the way to the coast, albeit gradually becoming lower towards the coast. This part is dominated by large fjords, the largest are Sognefjord and Hardangerfjord. Geirangerfjord is often regarded as the ultimate fjord scenery. The coast is protected by a chain of skerries (the Skjærgård) arranged to parallel the coast and provide the beginning of a protected passage almost the entire 1,600 km route from Stavanger to Nordkapp. The fjords and most valleys generally goes in a west - east direction, and further north a more northwest - southeast direction. Trondheim region. The land north of Dovre (corresponding to Trøndelag except Røros) comprises a more gentle landscape with more rounded shapes and mountains, and with valleys congregating on the Trondheimsfjord, where they open up and forms a larger lowland area. Further north is the valley of Namdalen, opening up in the Namsos area. However, the Fosen peninsula, and the most northern coast (Leka) is more dominated by mountains and more narrow valleys.

Northern fjords. The land further north (corresponding to Nordland, Troms and northwestern Finnmark) is again more dominated by pointed mountains going all the way to the coast, and numerous fjords. The fjords and valleys generally lie in a west - east direction in the southern part of this area, and a more northwest - southeast direction further north. The Saltfjellet mountain range is an exception, as the valleys goes in a more north - south direction from these mountains. This long area comprises many large islands, including Lofoten, Vesterålen and Senja.

Far northeast. The interior and the coast east of Nordkapp (corresponding to Finnmarksvidda and eastern Finnmark) is less dominated by mountains, and is mostly below 400 m. The interior is dominated by the large Finnmarksvidda plateau. There are large, wide fjords going in a north - south direction. This coast lacks the small islands forming the skerries so typical of the Norwegian coast. Furthest to the east, the Varangerfjord goes in an east - west direction, and is the only large fjord in the country opening up towards the east.

Svalbard. Further north, in the Arctic ocean, lies the Svalbard archipelago, which is also dominated by mountains, but these mountains are mostly covered by large glaciers, especially the eastern part of the archipelago, where glaciers cover more than 90% Austfonna is the largest glacier in Europe. Unlike the mainland, these glaciers calves directly in the open ocean.

Jan Mayen. To the far northwest, halfway towards Greenland, is the island Jan Mayen, where Beerenberg is found, the only active volcano in Norway.

Bouvet Island. Located in the South Atlantic Ocean at 54°S and mostly covered by glaciers, this island is one of the most remote islands in the world, inhabited only by seals and birds.

Peter I Island. This island in the South Pacific Ocean at 69°S, 90°W is dominated by glaciers and a volcano. As with Bouvet Island, this island is regarded as an external dependency, and not part of the Kingdom.

Queen Maud Land is Norway's claim in Antarctica. This large, sectorial area stretches to the South Pole and are completely dominated by the world's largest ice sheet, but with some impressive nunataks penetrating above the ice. The Troll Research Station manned by Norway is located on a snow free mountain slope, the only station in Antarctica not to be located on the ice.

Read more about this topic: Geography Of Norway

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Norway: History

The history of Norway before the age of the Vikings is indistinct from that of the rest of Scandinavia. In the 9th cent. the country was still divided among the numerous petty kings of the fylker. Harold I, of the Yngling or Scilfing dynasty (which claimed descent from one of the old Norse gods), defeated the petty kings (c.900) and conquered the Shetlands and the Orkneys, but failed to establish permanent unity. Harold's campaigns drove many nobles and their followers to settle in Iceland and France. In the next two centuries Norsemen raided widely in W Europe and established the Norse duchy of Normandy. Harold himself concentrated on developing a dynasty before he died (c.935) the country was divided among his sons, but one of them, Haakon I, defeated (c.935) his brothers and temporarily reunited the kingdom.

Christianity, brought by English missionaries, gained a foothold under Olaf I and was established by Olaf II (reigned 1015–28). Olaf II was driven out of Norway by King Canute of England and Denmark, in league with discontented Norwegian nobles however, his son, Magnus I, was restored (1035) to the Norwegian throne. Both Magnus and his successor, Harold III, played a vital part in the complex events then taking place in England and Denmark. After Harold died while invading England (1066), Norway entered a period of decline and civil war, precipitated by conflicting claims to the throne.

Among the major events of 12th-century Norwegian history were the mission of Nicholas Breakspear (later Pope Adrian IV), who organized the Norwegian hierarchy, and the rule of Sverre, who created a new nobility grounded in commerce and, with the help of the popular party, the Birkebeiner, consolidated the royal power. His grandson, Haakon IV, was put on the throne by the Birkebeiner in 1217 under him and under Magnus VI (reigned 1263–80) medieval Norway reached its greatest flowering and enjoyed peace and prosperity. During this time Iceland and Greenland recognized Norwegian rule.

The separate development of Norway was halted by the accession (1319) of Magnus VII, who was also king of Sweden. He was unpopular in Norway, which he was compelled to surrender (1343) to his son, Haakon VI, husband of Margaret I of Denmark. Margaret subsequently united the rule of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark in her person and in 1397 had the Kalmar Union drawn up. Although the union was strictly a personal one, Norway virtually ceased to exist as a separate kingdom and was ruled by Danish governors for the following four centuries. Its power had greatly declined even before Margaret's accession, however, and its trade had been taken over by the Hanseatic League, which maintained its chief northern office at Bergen.

Norway's political history became essentially that of Denmark. Christian III of Denmark (1535–59) introduced Lutheranism as the state religion. Under Danish rule Norway lost territory to Sweden but developed economically. The fishing industry flourished (late 17th cent.), lumbering became an important industry (18th cent.), the merchant class grew, and Norway became a naval power. During the Napoleonic Wars, Norway was blockaded by the British. In 1814, Denmark, which had sided with France, was obliged to consent to the Treaty of Kiel, by which it ceded Norway to the Swedish crown in exchange for W Pomerania.

The Norwegians resisted union with Sweden and attempted to set up a separate kingdom, with a liberal constitution and a parliament, under Prince Christian (later King Christian VIII of Denmark). A Swedish army obliged Norway to accept Charles XIII of Sweden, but the act of union of 1814 recognized Norway as an independent kingdom, in personal union with Sweden, with its own constitution and parliament. Despite some Swedish concessions to growing Norwegian nationalism, Swedish-Norwegian relations were strained throughout the 19th cent. Johan Sverdrup, the Liberal leader, succeeded in making the ministry responsible to parliament despite royal opposition (1884), but other problems remained.

The Norwegian interest in obtaining greater participation in foreign policy came to a crisis in the late 19th cent. over the issue of a separate Norwegian consular service, justified by the spectacular growth of Norwegian shipping and commercial interests. Finally, in 1905, the Storting declared the dissolution of the union and the deposition of Oscar II. Sweden acquiesced after a plebiscite showed Norwegians nearly unanimously in favor of separation in a second vote Norway chose to become a monarchy, and parliament elected the second son of Frederick VIII of Denmark king of Norway as Haakon VII.

Two important features in Norwegian history of the late 19th and early 20th cent. were the large-scale emigration to the United States and the great arctic and antarctic explorations by such notable men as Fridtjof Nansen and Roald Amundsen. Three outstanding cultural figures of the period were Edvard Grieg, Henrik Ibsen, and Edvard Munch. In World War I, Norway remained neutral. The industrial development of Norway, spurred by the harnessing of water power, contributed to the rise of the Labor (socialist) party, which has predominated in Norwegian politics since 1927. In the 1930s much social welfare legislation was passed, including public health and housing measures, pensions, aid to the disabled, and unemployment insurance.

Norway attempted to remain neutral in World War II, but in Apr., 1940, German troops invaded, and in a short time nearly the whole country was in German hands. King Haakon and his cabinet set up a government in exile in London, and the Norwegian merchant fleet was of vital assistance to the Allies throughout the war. Despite the attempts of Vidkun Quisling to promote collaboration with the Germans, the people of Norway defied the occupation forces. German troops remained in Norway until the war ended in May, 1945. Although half of the Norwegian fleet was sunk during the war, Norway quickly recovered its commercial position. Postwar economic policy included a degree of socialism and measures such as price, interest, and dividend controls.

Norway was one of the original members of the United Nations (the Norwegian Trygve Lie was the first UN Secretary-General), and it became a member of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1949. King Olaf V succeeded to the throne in 1957. Norway joined the European Free Trade Association in 1959. Norwegian voters rejected membership in the European Community (now the European Union) in 1972, but trade agreements with the market were made the next year. Between 1965 and 1971 the Labor party was out of power for the first time since 1936.

The Labor party returned to power in 1971 under the leadership of Trygve Bratteli, whose government resigned but was restored to power in the 1973 elections. Bratteli was succeeded as prime minister by Odvar Nordli in 1976, who was quickly succeeded (1977) by Gro Harlem Brundtland, Norway's first woman prime minister. Brundtland was defeated by Conservative Kåre Willoch in the 1981 election, but she returned to the office of prime minster in 1986 and 1990. In 1991, Harold V succeeded his father Olaf V as king of Norway.

Norway sparked international controversy in 1992 when it refused to conform to the International Whaling Treaty (see whaling). During 1993, the Norwegian government facilitated secret negotiations between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, which led to agreements on Palestinian self-rule. Norwegian voters again rejected membership in the European Union (EU) in 1994. Bruntland resigned in 1996 and was replaced by Thorbjørn Jagland. Following elections in 1997, Jagland resigned and Christian Democrat Kjell Magne Bondevik became prime minister, heading a center-right coalition government that included the Center and Liberal parties.

In Mar., 2000, Bondevik resigned after losing a key vote in parliament, and Labor party leader Jens Stoltenberg formed a new government. In parliamentary elections in Sept., 2001, Labor suffered a significant setback, with nonsocialist opposition parties winning a bare majority of the seats. Bondevik again became prime minister, heading a center-right minority government consisting of the Christian Democrat, Conservative, and Liberal parties.

Parliamentary elections in Sept., 2005, brought Labor and its allies into office, and Stoltenberg became prime minister. The far-right Progress party, espousing a populist, anti-immigration platform, became the largest opposition party after the vote. The Labor-led coalition government remained in office after the Sept., 2009, parliamentary elections. In July, 2011, the country was stunned by the bombing of government offices in Oslo, which killed eight, and the killing of 68 people at a Labor party youth camp the attacks were by an extreme rightist who accused the government of allowing the Islamization of Norwegian society.

The Sept., 2013, parliamentary elections resulted in a victory for the conservative opposition, though Labor won a plurality. The Conservative party formed a minority coalition government with the populist Progress party, and Conservative leader Erna Solberg became prime minister. The government remained in power after the Sept., 2017, polls, which largely mirrored the 2013 results, and in Jan., 2018, the Liberals joined the minority government. Solberg formed a majority government a year later when the Christian Democrats joined her coalition, but the Progress party left the government in Jan., 2020.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Scandinavian Political Geography


Norway History

When World War I broke out, Norway joined Sweden and Denmark in a decision to remain neutral and to cooperate in the joint interest of the three countries. In World War II, Norway was invaded by the Germans on April 9, 1940. It resisted for two months before the Nazis took complete control. King Haakon and his government fled to London, where they established a government-in-exile. Maj. Vidkun Quisling, who served as Norway's prime minister during the war, was the most notorious of the Nazi collaborators. The word for traitor, quisling, bears his name. He was executed by the Norwegians on Oct. 24, 1945. Despite severe losses in the war, Norway recovered quickly as its economy expanded. It joined NATO in 1949.

In the late 20th century, the Labor Party and the Conservative Party seesawed for control, each sometimes having to lead minority governments. An important debate was over Norway's membership in the European Union. In an advisory referendum held in Nov. 1994, voters rejected seeking membership for their nation in the EU. The country became the second-largest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia in 1995. Norway continued to experience rapid economic growth into the new millennium.


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