Norway is one of the three Scandinavian countries. It is ranked as one of the best countries to live in and it has one of the lowest crime rates in the world.
Norway is a long country located in Northern Europe (Scandinavia) with borders to Sweden, Finland and Russia on the east side, and an extensive coastline facing the North Atlantic Ocean on the west side – here the climate is wet and mild compared to the east and the north, where winters are colder and longer.
The major cities in Norway are located along the coastline: the capital Oslo is Norway’s largest city, with about 634.293 inhabitants. Other major cities are Bergen and Stavanger in Western Norway, Trondheim in the middle part and Tromsø in the North.
There are 5.258 million people living in Norway. About 32 percent of the population have higher education. Like Sweden and Denmark, Norway has grown to become a multicultural country. Today, 33 percent of the population in Oslo are immigrants or Norwegian-born to immigrant parents.
Norway is considered to be one of the most developed democracies and constitutional states in the world. The country is a parliamentary democracy. The Norwegian parliament is called Stortinget, for which members are elected every four years.
The Norwegian head of state since 1991 has been King Harald V. he has no political power, but performs ceremonial duties and is generally a beloved, down-to-earth representative of the Norwegian people.
Openness, equality and equal rights in general – such as economic, social and gender equality – are important values to most Norwegians. Homosexual relations, for instance, have been legal since 1972, and same sex couples have been able to adopt children and get married since 2009. Systematic efforts are made to ensure that women and men are equal when it comes to education and wages.
In Northern Norway during the summer the sun never sets – this is called the midnight sun and in the winter the sun never rises above the horizon – this makes the winters perfect to watch the northern lights.
Norwegian nature can be just as wild as it is beautiful. The weather may change quickly in the mountains – from bright sunshine to rain, dense fog and strong winds. In most places, an hour’s walk from the city center is all it takes to reach semi-wilderness.
Cultural heavyweights such as Edvard Munch and Henrik Ibsen are widely regarded as influential figures in the history of art and literature. Today, Norway is still a major exporter of culture …. ( and is actually the world’s biggest exporter of black metal music). Another global hit in recent years has been the so-called Nordic noir literary genre, led by the authors Jo Nesbø and Karin Fossum, among others.
A Norwegian proverb claims that ‘Norwegians are born with skies on their feet’ and Norway is undoubtedly a winter sports nation, with skiing and cross-country in particular as the two most beloved sports. In recent years extreme sports (or ‘adventurous sports’) like freeskiing, kiteboarding, downhill and mountain bike racing, rock climbing, rafting, parachuting, and BASE jumping are becoming increasingly popular, and are accessible for the average citizen.
Facts about Norway
- Norway has the highest concentration of fjords in the world. Two of these, the Geiranger Fjord and the Nærøy fjord, is feature on the Unesco World Heritage List.
- Norway and Europe’s northernmost point is the North cape.
- The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in Norway by a Norwegian committee.
- Norway is the world’s largest exporter of salmon.