The World Factbook (1990)/Norway



World Factbook (1990) Norway.jpg

See regional map V and XI


Total area: 324,220 km²; land area: 307,860 km²

Comparative area: slightly larger than New Mexico

Land boundaries: 2,582 km total; Finland 729 km, Sweden 1,657, USSR 196 km

Coastline: 21,925 km (3,419 km mainland; 2,413 km large islands; 16,093 km long fjords, numerous small islands, and minor indentations)

Maritime claims:

Contiguous zone: 10 nm
Continental shelf: 200 meters or to depth of exploitation
Extended economic zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 4 nm

Disputes: maritime boundary dispute with USSR; territorial claim in Antarctica (Queen Maud Land); Denmark has challenged Norway's maritime claims between Greenland and Jan Mayen

Climate: temperate along coast, modified by North Atlantic Current; colder interior; 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

Natural resources: crude oil, copper, natural gas, pyrites, nickel, iron ore, zinc, lead, fish, timber, hydropower

Land use: 3% arable land; 0% permanent crops; NEGL% meadows and pastures; 27% forest and woodland; 70% other; includes NEGL% irrigated

Environment: air and water pollution; acid rain

Note: strategic location adjacent to sea lanes and air routes in North Atlantic; one of most rugged and longest coastlines in world; Norway and Turkey only NATO members having a land boundary with the USSR


Population: 4,252,806 (July 1990), growth rate 0.5% (1990)

Birth rate: 14 births/1,000 population (1990)

Death rate: 11 deaths/1,000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: 2 migrants/1,000 population (1990)

Infant mortality rate: 7 deaths/1,000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 73 years male, 81 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 1.8 children born/woman (1990)

Nationality: noun—Norwegian(s); adjective—Norwegian

Ethnic divisions: Germanic (Nordic, Alpine, Baltic) and racial-cultural minority of 20,000 Lapps

Religion: 94% Evangelical Lutheran (state church), 4% other Protestant and Roman Catholic, 2% other

Language: Norwegian (official); small Lapp- and Finnish-speaking minorities

Literacy: 100%

Labor force: 2,164,000; 33.6% services, 17.4% commerce, 16.6% mining and manufacturing, 8.4% transportation, 7.8% construction, 6.8% banking and financial services, 6.5% agriculture, forestry, and fishing (1986)

Organized labor: 66% of labor force (1985)


Long-form name: Kingdom of Norway

Type: constitutional monarchy

Capital: Oslo

Administrative divisions: 19 provinces (fylker, singular—fylke); Akershus, Aust-Agder, Buskerud, Finnmark, Hedmark, Hordaland, Møre og Romsdal, Nordland, Nord-Trøndelag, Oppland, Oslo, Østfold, Rogaland, Sogn og Fjordane, Sør-Trøndelag, Telemark, Troms, Vest-Agder, Vestfold

Independence: 26 October 1905 (from Sweden)

Constitution: 17 May 1814, modified in 1884

Dependent areas: Bouvet Island, Jan Mayen, Svalbard

Legal system: mixture of customary law, civil law system, and common law traditions; Supreme Court renders advisory opinions to legislature when asked; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

National holiday: Constitution Day, 17 May (1814)

Executive branch: monarch, prime minister, State Council (cabinet)

Legislative branch: unicameral Parliament (Storting or Stortinget) with an Upper Chamber (Lagting) and a Lower Chamber (Odelsting)

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (Hoiesterett)

Leaders: Chief of State—King OLAV V (since 21 September 1957); Heir Apparent Crown Prince HARALD (born 21 February 1937);

Head of Government—Prime Minister Jan P. SYSE (since 16 October 1989)

Political parties and leaders: Labor, Gro Harlem Brundtland; Conservative, Jan P. Syse; Center, Johan J. Jakobsen; Christian People's, Kjell Magne Bondevik; Socialist Left, Eric Solheim; Norwegian Communist, Hans I. Kleven; Progress, Carl I. Hagen; Liberal, Arne Fjortoft; Finnmark List, leader NA

Suffrage: universal at age 18

Elections: Parliament—last held on 11 September 1989 (next to be held 6 September 1993); results—Labor 34.3%, Conservative 22.2%, Progress 13.0%, Socialist Left 10.1%, Christian People's 8.5%, Center 6.6%, Finnmark List 0.3%, others 5%; seats—(165 total) Labor 63, Conservative 37, Progress 22, Socialist Left 17, Christian People's 14, Center 11, Finnmark List 1

Communists: 15,500 est.; 5,500 Norwegian Communist Party (NKP); 10,000 Workers Communist Party Marxist-Leninist (AKP-ML, pro-Chinese)

Member of: ADB, CCC, Council of Europe, DAC, EFTA, ESA, FAO, GATT, IAEA, IBRD, ICAC, ICAO, ICES, ICO, IDA, IEA (associate member), IFAD, IFC, IHO, ILO, ILZSG, IMF, IMO, INTELSAT, INTERPOL, IPU, ITU, IWC—International Whaling Commission, IWC—International Wheat Council, NATO, Nordic Council, OECD, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WSG

Diplomatic representation: Ambassador Kjeld VIBE; Chancery at 2720 34th Street NW, Washington DC 20008; telephone (202) 333-6000; there are Norwegian Consulates General in Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, and San Francisco, and Consulates in Miami and New Orleans; US—Ambassador Loret Miller RUPPE; Embassy at Drammensveien 18, Oslo 2 (mailing address is APO New York 09085); telephone p47(2) 44-85-50

Flag: red with a blue cross outlined in white that extends to the edges of the flag; the vertical part of the cross is shifted to the hoist side in the style of the Dannebrog (Danish flag)


Overview: Norway is a prosperous capitalist nation with the resources to finance extensive welfare measures. Since 1975 exploitation of large crude oil and natural gas reserves has helped achieve an average annual growth of roughly 4%, the third-highest among OECD countries. Growth slackened in 1987-88 because of the sharp drop in world oil prices and a slowdown in consumer spending, but picked up again in 1989. Future economic issues involve the aging of the population, the increased economic integration of Europe, and the balance between private and public influence in economic decisions.

GDP: $75.8 billion, per capita $17,900; real growth rate 5.7% (1989 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 4.5% (1989)

Unemployment rate: 3.9% (1989 est., excluding people in job-training programs)

Budget: revenues $40.6 billion; expenditures $41.3 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1989)

Exports: $22.2 billion (f.o.b., 1989); commodities—petroleum and petroleum products 25%, natural gas 11%, fish 7%, aluminum 6%, ships 3.5%, pulp and paper; partners—UK 26%, EFTA 16.3%, less developed countries 14%, Sweden 12%, FRG 12%, US 6%, Denmark 5% (1988)

Imports: $18.7 billion (c.i.f., 1989); commodities—machinery, fuels and lubricants, transportation equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs, clothing, ships; partners—Sweden 18%, less developed countries 18%, FRG 14%, Denmark 8%, UK 7%, US 7%, Japan 5% (1988)

External debt: $18.3 billion (December 1989)

Industrial production: growth rate 15.8% (1989)

Electricity: 26,735,000 kW capacity; 121,685 million kWh produced, 28,950 kWh per capita (1989)

Industries: petroleum and gas, food processing, shipbuilding, pulp and paper products, metals, chemicals, timber, mining, textiles, fishing

Agriculture: accounts for 3.1% of GNP and 6.5% of labor force; among world's top 10 fishing nations; livestock output exceeds value of crops; over half of food needs imported; fish catch of 1.9 million metric tons in 1987

Aid: donor—ODA and OOF commitments (1970-87), $3.7 billion

Currency: Norwegian krone (plural—kroner); 1 Norwegian krone (NKr) = 100 øre

Exchange rates: Norwegian kroner (NKr) per US$1—6.5405 (January 1990), 6.9045 (1989), 6.5170 (1988), 6.7375 (1987), 7.3947 (1986), 8.5972 (1985)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Railroads: 4,223 km 1.435-meter standard gauge; Norwegian State Railways (NSB) operates 4,219 km (2,450 km electrified and 96 km double track); 4 km other

Highways: 79,540 km total; 18,600 km concrete, bituminous, stone block; 19,980 km bituminous treated; 40,960 km gravel, crushed stone, and earth

Inland waterways: 1,577 km along west coast; 1.5-2.4 m draft vessels maximum

Pipelines: refined products, 53 km

Ports: Oslo, Bergen, Fredrikstad, Kristiansand, Stavanger, Trondheim

Merchant marine: 660 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 16,702,254 GRT/28,722,304 DWT; includes 11 passenger, 19 short-sea passenger, 104 cargo, 3 passenger-cargo, 19 refrigerated cargo, 6 container, 40 roll-on/roll-off cargo, 6 vehicle carrier, 1 railcar carrier, 128 petroleum, oils, and lubricants (POL) tanker, 86 chemical tanker, 62 liquefied gas, 26 combination ore/oil, 142 bulk, 7 combination bulk; note—the government has created a captive register, the Norwegian International Ship Register (NIS), as a subset of the Norwegian register; ships on the NIS enjoy many benefits of flags of convenience and do not have to be crewed by Norwegians; the majority of ships under the Norwegian flag are now registered with the NIS

Civil air: 76 major transport aircraft

Airports: 104 total, 104 usable; 64 with permanent-surface runways; none with runways over 3,659 m; 12 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 16 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: high-quality domestic and international telephone, telegraph, and telex services; 3,102,000 telephones; stations—8 AM, 46 (1,400 relays) FM, 55 (2,100 relays) TV; 4 coaxial submarine cables; communications satellite earth stations operating in the EUTELSAT, INTELSAT (1 Atlantic Ocean), MARISAT, and domestic systems

Defense Forces

Branches: Royal Norwegian Army, Royal Norwegian Navy, Royal Norwegian Air Force

Military manpower: males 15-49, 1,115,620; 937,555 fit for military service; 32,748 reach military age (20) annually

Defense expenditures: 3.3% of GDP, or $2.5 billion (1989 est.)