The population of Norway is ethnically homogenous. Apart from several
thousand Saami and people of Finnish origin in North Norway, the
country has no other significant minority groups, although small
numbers of Danes, Swedes, Britons, Pakistanis, Americans, and Iranians
live in Norway.
Two forms of the Norwegian language are officially recognized as
equal. The older form, Bokmål, is used by about 80 percent of children
in schools; 20 percent use Nynorsk (Neo-Norwegian). Saami is spoken
by the Saami people in the north. See Norwegian Language.
About 89 percent of the population belongs to the Evangelical Lutheran
Church of Norway, though many are nonpracticing members. The church
is supported by the state, and the clergy is nominated by the king.
Complete religious freedom is guaranteed, however, and other churches,
mostly Pentecostal and other Protestant congregations and Roman
Catholic, represent most of the non-Lutheran population. Religious
preferences tend to be nominal.