Independence Year : 1905
Population : 4478500
Life Expectancy : 78.7
Capital : 2807
GNP : 145895.00
GNP Old : 153370.00
Local Name : Norge
Government Form : Constitutional Monarchy
Location : Northern Europe
Terrain : Rugged with high plateaus, steep fjords, mountains, and fertile valleys
Climate : Temperate along the coast, colder inland.
Ethnic Group : Norwegian, Sami 20 000; foreign nationals (315 000) from Nordic and other countries.
Religions : Evangelical Lutheran, 86%; other Christian, 4%; Muslim.
Official Website : www.kongehuset.no
Genral Information - Norway
The Viking period (9th to 11th centuries) was one of national unification and expansion. The Norwegian royal line died out in 1387, and the country entered a period of union with Denmark. By 1586, Norway had become part of the Danish Kingdom.
In 1814, as a result of the Napoleonic wars, Norway was separated from Denmark and combined with Sweden. The union persisted until 1905, when Sweden recognized Norwegian independence.
The Norwegian Government offered the throne of Norway to Danish Prince Carl in 1905. After a plebiscite approving the establishment of a monarchy, the parliament unanimously elected him king. He took the name of Haakon VII, after the kings of independent Norway.
Norway was a nonbelligerent during World War I, but as a result of the German invasion and occupation during World War II, Norwegians generally became skeptical of the concept of neutrality and turned instead to collective security.
Norway was one of the signers of the North Atlantic Treaty in 1949 and was a founding member of the United Nations. The first UN General Secretary, Trygve Lie, was a Norwegian. Under the terms of the will of Alfred Nobel, the Storting (Parliament) elects the five members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee who award the Nobel Peace Prize to champions of peace.
Discovery of oil and gas in adjacent waters in the late 1960s boosted Norway's economic fortunes. The current focus is on containing spending on the extensive welfare system and planning for the time when petroleum reserves are depleted.
In referenda held in 1972 and 1994, Norway rejected joining the EU.
(Source: various sources)