Location: Northern Europe, bordering the North Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Sweden.
About two-thirds mountains. Some 50,000 islands off its much indented coastline; one of most rugged and longest coastlines in the world. Norway is the only NATO member having a land boundary with Russia. The area is approximately 324,220 sq km (307,860 sq km land. 16,360 sq km water). Terrain is glaciated. Mostly high plateaus and rugged mountains broken by fertile valleys. There are small, scattered plains, but the coastline is deeply indented by fjords. To the north you will find arctic tundra. Natural hazards include rockslides and avalanches. Climate is temperate along coast, modified by the North Atlantic Current. Norway has a colder interior with increased precipitation, and colder summers causing glaciers to grow. Also, rainy year-round on west coast.
Population: About 4,546,123 people live in Norway.
The majority of residents are Norwegian (Nordic, Alpine, Baltic). Approximately 20,000 are of the Sami ethnic group. Main language spoken is Norwegian (official). Also, small Sami- and Finnish-speaking minorities.
Religious Denomination: Evangelical Lutheran (86%; state church), other Protestant and Roman Catholic (3%), other (1%), and none/unknown (10%).
Agriculture: Products include barley, other grains, potatoes, beef, milk, and fish.
Economy: The Norwegian economy is a prosperous bastion of welfare capitalism, featuring a combination of free market activity and government intervention. The government controls key areas, such as the vital petroleum sector (through large-scale state enterprises). The country is richly endowed with natural resources (petroleum, hydropower, fish, forests, and minerals) and is highly dependent on its oil production. Only Saudi Arabia exports more oil than Norway. Industries also include shipbuilding, food processing, pulp and paper products, textiles, and metals.
Currency: Norwegian krone (NOK).
*On 14 January 1814, Denmark ceded Norway to Sweden. Resisting Swedish domination, Norwegians adopted a new constitution four months later. On 14 August 1814 Norway was proclaimed independent, but in union with Sweden. However, on 7 June 1905 Norway declared the union with Sweden dissolved.