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1UpTravel - Geography Info and Facts of Countries : . - Norway

Norway Geography and Facts

Location: Northern Europe, bordering the North Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Sweden

Geographic coordinates: 62 00 N, 10 00 E

Map references: Europe

total: 324,220 sq km
land: 307,860 sq km
water: 16,360 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly larger than New Mexico

Land boundaries:
total: 2,515 km
border countries: Finland 729 km, Sweden 1,619 km, Russia 167 km

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

Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 10 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 4 nm

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

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Norwegian Sea 0 m
highest point: Galdhopiggeh 2,469 m

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

Land use:
arable land: 3%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 0%
forests and woodland: 27%
other: 70% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 970 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: NA

Environment - current issues: water pollution; acid rain damaging forests and adversely affecting lakes, threatening fish stocks; air pollution from vehicle emissions

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol

Geography - note: about two-thirds mountains; some 50,000 islands off its much indented coastline; strategic location adjacent to sea lanes and air routes in North Atlantic; one of most rugged and longest coastlines in world; Norway is the only NATO member having a land boundary with Russia


Norway, officially Kingdom of Norway (Norwegian Kongeriket Norge), constitutional monarchy in northern Europe, occupying the western and northern portions of the Scandinavian Peninsula.

It is bounded on the north by the Barents Sea, an arm of the Arctic Ocean, on the northeast by Finland and Russia, on the east by Sweden, on the south by Skagerrak Strait and the North Sea, and on the west by the Norwegian Sea.

The Norwegian coastline extends about 2740 km (about 1700 mi); including all the fjords and offshore islands, the coastline totals about 21,930 km (about 13,620 mi). The islands, known locally as the skerry guard, form a protected waterway along the coast.

The country's name, meaning "northern way," reflects its importance in linking the many small fjord and valley communities that are otherwise separated by rugged mountains. Norway has a land area of 385,639 sq km (148,896 sq mi). Oslo is Norway's capital and largest city.


The warm waters of the North Atlantic Drift (an extension of the Gulf Stream) flow along the Atlantic coast of Norway and have a pronounced moderating effect on the climate. A maritime climate prevails over most of the coastal islands and lowlands. Winters are mild and summers are normally cool.

At Bergen the average temperature range in January is -1 to 3 C (31 to 38 F), and the average range in July is 12 to 19 C (54 to 66 F). Influenced by Atlantic weather disturbances, precipitation is frequent and heavy, although amounts decrease toward the north.

The average annual precipitation in Bergen is about 1930 mm (about 76 in). In the interior, a more continental climate prevails; winters are colder, and summers are warmer. At Oslo the average temperature range in January is -7 to -2 C (19 to 28 F); the average range in July is 13 to 22 C (55 to 72 F).

Precipitation is generally less here than on the coast, averaging about 730 mm (about 29 in) annually. In the highlands of North Norway the climate is subarctic. The coastal areas of this region, however, have a moderate maritime climate and most ports, even in the far north, are ice-free in winter.

Background: Norway gained its independence from Sweden in 1905.

As a separate realm, Norway stayed free of World War I but suffered German occupation in World War II. Discovery of oil and gas in adjacent waters in the late 1960s gave a strong boost to Norway's economic fortunes.

Norway is planning for the time when its oil and gas reserves are depleted and is focusing on containing spending on its extensive welfare system.

It has decided at this time not to join the European Union and the new euro currency regime.

Norway is a long, narrow country on the northwestern edge of the European continent. The northern third of Norway lies above the Arctic Circle and is called the Land of the Midnight Sun.

Because this region is so far north, it has long periods every summer when the sun shines 24 hours a day. Oslo, Norway's capital and largest city, is in the southern part of the country.

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