Norway Country Facts

Norway Noreg
Capital city Oslo
Surface 385,252 km²
Population 5,137,000
Road network length 92,946 km
Length of highway network 577 km
First highway 1964
Motorway name Engine safety
Traffic drives Right
License plate code N

Norway (Norwegian bokmål: Norge, Nynorsk: Noreg) is a large country in Northern Europe, located on the western part of the Scandinavian Peninsula. The country has 5.1 million inhabitants and the capital is Oslo. The country has an area of ​​385,155 km² and is almost 10 times the size of the Netherlands.


Norway is located in Northern Europe and part of Scandinavia. It forms the western part of the Scandinavian peninsula. Norway is located on the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea and the Barents Sea. It has a long land border with Sweden in the south and center, and with Finland in the north. The extreme northeast borders Russia. Norway measures about 1,700 kilometers as the crow flies from north to south and a maximum of about 450 kilometers from east to west. By road, however, the distances are significantly greater than that.

Norway also includes the archipelago of Spitsbergen (Svalbard) and the island of Jan Mayen. Spitsbergen is almost 700 kilometers north of the North Cape and Jan Mayen is closer to Greenland than Norway itself. The British Shetland Islands are located just 300 kilometers west of Norway. The southern tip of Norway is only 500 kilometers north of Groningen as the crow flies.


The fylkesvei 7 along the Hardangerfjord.

Norway is largely dominated by the Scandinavian highlands, which has an extensive fjord area on the west coast. Almost the entire Norwegian coast consists of fjords that sometimes extend more than 150 kilometers inland. Well-known fjords are the Sognefjord and the Hardangerfjord. The interior of Norway is generally mountainous. The highest mountain is the 2,469 meter high Galdhøpiggen. Because Norway is very northerly, the mountain ranges look much more alpine than the Alps at comparable heights. Glaciers can already be found above 1,400 meters in southern Norway. Hardangervidda is located in the south of Norway, the largest plateau in Europe, with an average height of about 1,200 meters. The Hardangervidda is above the tree line. The largest glacier in Europe is the Jostedalsbreen.

Southeastern Norway is the only larger region where the landscape is cultivated with pastures and agriculture. This area is relatively flat, with only low hills and less dense forest. Elsewhere in Norway, the valleys are heavily forested, but the treeline is low, about 900 meters in southern Norway and almost sea level in Finnmark. The largest river in Norway is the Glomma in the southeast of the country. Elsewhere, the rivers are short and often raging. Norway has many lakes, of which Mjøsa is the largest.


City Population (2017)
Oslo 667,000
To put away 279,000
Trondheim 190,000
Stavanger 133,000

Norway has a number of larger cities, with the capital Oslo being the largest, followed by Bergen on the west coast. Other larger towns are predominantly in Southern Norway, such as Trondheim, Stavanger, Haugesund, Fredrikstad, Lillehammer and Hamar. In Northern Norway there are only small towns, such as Bodø, Tromsø and Hammerfest.


Norway is one of the most prosperous countries in the world. An important part of the prosperity comes from the offshore oil and gas industry. Agriculture plays a limited role, but fishing is an important sector. Apart from supplying activities for the offshore industry, Norway has little (heavy) industry. Tourism is essential. Unemployment is low and wages in Norway are the highest in Europe. In 2016, the average salary was more than € 4,700 gross per month.


Norway has a highly variable climate, the west side of the country has an oceanic climate with quite a lot of precipitation, the city of Bergen is known as the city with the most rain in Europe. However, the eastern side of Norway is in the rain shadow, over short distances there are large differences in the amount of precipitation, in some valleys east of the highlands less than 500 mm of precipitation falls per year. Skjåk in Oppland averages only 278 mm of precipitation per year, almost a desert climate. In Bergen there is approximately 2,400 mm of rainfall per year.

There are relatively small differences in climate from north to south, the entire coast is influenced by the Gulf Stream and coastal towns in Northern Norway have the mildest climate of any place at these latitudes. Here too, large differences can occur over small distances, for example the average maximum temperature in January in Tromsø is at -1°C, but Kautokeino, which is a little further inland, is at -10°C and temperatures down to -40°C are no exception. Summers around Oslo are often pleasantly warm, as are parts of the south coast that are in the rain shadow. In winter it gets quite cold around Oslo, the sea has less influence here than in the cities on the west coast.

Snow falls in the mountains from September and can last until June. Many mountain passes are only accessible from June. In the places on the west coast there is much less snow than the latitude suggests, in Bergen snow often does not last more than a day. Snow and wind are major obstacles to traffic in autumn and winter, especially at the transitions between Western Norway and Eastern Norway.

The view from fylkesvei 53 across the Tyin to Jotunheimen.


Norway is divided into regions, called a fylke in Norwegian. They are sometimes translated as county, but more often as county in English. There are 22 fylker, numbered 1 to 23, but number 13 does not exist. Numbers 21 to 23 are outside mainland Norway (such as Svalbard, Jan Mayen and the continental shelf).

Fylker in Norway
Agder • Innlandet • Møre og Romsdal • Nordland • Oslo • Rogaland • Svalbard • Troms og Finnmark • Trøndelag • Vestfold og Telemark • Vestland • Viken

In addition to the mainland, a number of more distant islands belong to Norway. The largest of these is Svalbard, which is more than 650 kilometers north of the North Cape. 900 kilometers northwest of the Lofoten is the island of Jan Mayen, which has no permanent inhabitants. It is closer to Greenland than to Norway.

In the south of the Atlantic Ocean is Bouvet Island (Bouvetøya), an uninhabited Arctic island 1,700 kilometers from Antarctica and 2,500 kilometers from South Africa. Closer to Antarctica is Peter I Island, an uninhabited island of 154 km². In addition, Norway claims Queen Maud Land, 2,700,000 km² of Antarctica. Queen Maud Land is 7 times the size of Norway itself.


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