Norway Overview

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A strategic goal of Norway is to secure economic growth for the time after the oil and gas era. Research and innovation are to be given greater weight. A comprehensive network for research and higher education has been created in the university sector. Relations between Germany and Norway in the fields of research and education are good and intensive.

norway population - fertility rate

Population / geography

Country name Kongeriket Norge Kingdom of Norway

Short form: Norge / Norway

Capital Oslo
Land area 385,186 km²
Population 5,320,045 (July 2017 estimate)
Life expectancy Men: 79.8 yearsWomen: 84 years

(2017 estimate)

Age structure 0-14 years: 18%15-64 years: 65.30%

65 and older: 16.71%

(2017 estimate)

Growth of population 1.01%(2017 estimate)
Population groups 83.4% Norwegians and indigenous peoples (Finns and Sami)16.8% of non-Norwegian origin

(As of 2017)

Languages Norwegian (2 written languages: bokmål and nynorsk) and Sami (equivalent to Norwegian in some municipalities in the administrative districts of Troms, Finnmark, Nordland and Nord-Trøndelag)
Religions Norwegian Church (Evangelical Lutheran): 71.5%Roman Catholic Church: 2.8%

Other Christians 3.9%

Islam: 2.8%

Other: 7.2%

(As of 2017)

National day May 17 (the Constitution was passed on May 17, 1814)
Time zone CET (UTC + 1);March to October: CET + 1 (UTC + 2).
Currency 1 Norwegian krone NOK / 100 ØreCurrent exchange rate at – Currency converter (see links below)
Prefix +47



Politics / Administration

Country name Kongeriket NorgeKingdom of Norway

Short form: Norge / Norway

Capital Oslo
Form of government Parliamentary monarchy
Head of state SM King Harald V.from Schleswig-Holstein Sonderburg-Glücksburg

since January 17, 1991

Head of government Erna SolbergPrime Minister

since October 16, 2013

Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide(since October 20, 2017)
Minister of Education Henrik Asheim(Minister for Research and Higher Education),

Gury Melby

(Minister for Education and Integration)

since March 13, 2020

Houses of Parliament One-chamber parliament, Stortinget / Storting
Ruling parties Government with 61 out of 169 mandates, consisting of:

  • Høyre / Conservative Party: 45 seats;
  • Venstre / Liberal Party: 8 seats;
  • Kristelig Folkeparti / Christian Democratic Party: 8 seats

Result of the elections for Storting on September 11, 2017

Opposition parties
  • Workers’ party: 49 seats;
  • Fremskrittspartiet / Progressive Party: 27 seats;
  • Senterpartiet / Center Party: 19 seats;
  • Sosialistisk Venstreparti / Socialist Left Party: 11 seats;
  • Miljøpartiet De Grønne / The Greens: 1 seat;
  • Rødt / Red Party: 1 seat
Administrative structure Division into 19 administrative districts (Fylke)

  • Akershus
  • Aust-Agder
  • Buskerud
  • Finnmark
  • Hedmark
  • Hordaland
  • More and Romsdal
  • North country
  • North Trondelag
  • Oppland
  • Oslo
  • Ostfold
  • Rogaland
  • Sogn and Fjordane
  • Sor-Trondelag
  • Telemark
  • Troms
  • Vest-Agder
  • Vestfold
Independence since 1905 own kingdom (after dissolution of the union with Sweden)

State building and current political developments

Norway is a constitutional monarchy according to its constitution of May 17, 1814, which was amended several times. The highest executive body is formally the “King in the Council of State”, ie the king, advised by the members of the government, which consists of the Prime Minister (” Statsminister “) and currently 19 ministers (” Statsråd” / “Minister “). The King appoints the Council of State (government), but Parliament (Storting) can withdraw its trust. The king has a very limited right to object to legislative decisions made by parliament. He is the commander in chief of the armed forces.

The storting consists of 169 members. They are elected by direct and secret proportional representation. The electoral term is 4 years. Parliament cannot be dissolved early. This has contributed to the development of a tradition of consensus-oriented, pragmatic parliamentary cooperation (also with changing majorities), which enables minority governments willing to compromise to remain in office for a longer period of time. The result is a power shift in favor of Parliament.

The country is divided into 19 regions (Fylke) and 426 municipalities. The municipalities are self-governing bodies with their own competencies, including in the school, health and social services. The regions are both instruments of decentralized state administration with state-appointed governors (” Fylkesmann “) and self-governing bodies with competencies, particularly in the field of secondary education. Municipalities and Fylke have directly elected parliaments (local elections of two years subject to staggered parliamentary elections) and have next government transfer payments also have their own tax revenues. In the course of a comprehensive local and regional reform, the number of FylkeReduce to 11 by 2020 and the number of municipalities to 354.

The domestic political agenda is determined by the current challenges Norway has to face: education and health, research and development, infrastructure policy, internal security, refugee and asylum policy and demography. In the medium and long term, the overriding goal remains to significantly reduce dependency on the oil and gas economy by strengthening, above all, competitive “green” industries.

Norwegian domestic policy is essentially determined by the following fundamental factors:

  • the clear differences in the socio-cultural character of the various parts of the country
  • the high priority of the “district policy”, which aims to maintain settlement even in remote parts of the country and to maintain approximately equal living conditions
  • the pronounced Norwegian national consciousness as a result of the late founding of the nation state in 1905
  • the tension between the Norwegian welfare state model and the egalitarian character of society on the one hand and the effects of the offshore economy and globalization on the other

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