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People and Society






Two centuries of Viking raids into Europe tapered off following the adoption of Christianity by King Olav TRYGGVASON in 994. Conversion of the Norwegian kingdom occurred over the next several decades. In 1397, Norway was absorbed into a union with Denmark that lasted more than four centuries. In 1814, Norwegians resisted the cession of their country to Sweden and adopted a new constitution. Sweden then invaded Norway but agreed to let Norway keep its constitution in return for accepting the union under a Swedish king. Rising nationalism throughout the 19th century led to a 1905 referendum granting Norway independence. Although Norway remained neutral in World War I, it suffered heavy losses to its shipping. Norway proclaimed its neutrality at the outset of World War II, but was nonetheless occupied for five years by Nazi Germany (1940-45). In 1949, neutrality was abandoned and Norway became a member of NATO. Discovery of oil and gas in adjacent waters in the late 1960s boosted Norway's economic fortunes. In referenda held in 1972 and 1994, Norway rejected joining the EU. Key domestic issues include immigration and integration of ethnic minorities, maintaining the country's extensive social safety net with an aging population, and preserving economic competitiveness.


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People And Society

Noun Norwegian(s)
Adjective Norwegian

Ethnic groups
Norwegian 94.4% (includes Sami, about 60,000), other European 3.6%, other 2% (2007 estimate)

Bokmal Norwegian (official), Nynorsk Norwegian (official), small Sami- and Finnish-speaking minorities
Sami is official in six municipalities

Church of Norway (Evangelical Lutheran - official) 85.7%, Pentecostal 1%, Roman Catholic 1%, other Christian 2.4%, Muslim 1.8%, other 8.1% (2004)

Population World Ranking: 120
4,707,270 (July 2012 est.)

Age structure
0-14 years
18% (male 431,111/female 412,864)
15-64 years
66% (male 1,568,729/female 1,529,799)
65 years and over
16% (male 326,711/female 422,635) (2011 est.)

Median age
Total 40.3 years
Male 39.4 years
Female 41.1 years (2012 est.)

Population growth rate World Ranking: 165
0.327% (2012 est.)

Birth rate World Ranking: 175
10.8 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Death rate World Ranking: 62
9.22 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)

Net migration rate World Ranking: 42
1.69 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Urban population 79% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization
1.2% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major cities - population
OSLO (capital) 875,000 (2009)

Sex ratio
At birth 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over 0.78 male(s)/female
Total population
0.98 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal mortality rate World Ranking: 168
7 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)

Infant mortality rate World Ranking: 209
Total 3.5 deaths/1,000 live births
Male 3.82 deaths/1,000 live births
3.15 deaths/1,000 live births (2012 est.)

Life expectancy at birth World Ranking: 27
Total population 80.32 years
Male 77.65 years
Female 83.14 years (2012 est.)

Total fertility rate World Ranking: 159
1.77 children born/woman (2012 est.)

Health expenditures World Ranking: 31
9.7% of GDP (2009)

Physicians density
4.076 physicians/1,000 population (2008)

Hospital bed density
3.52 beds/1,000 population (2008)

Hiv/aids - adult prevalence rate World Ranking: 144
0.1% (2009 est.)

Hiv/aids - people living with hiv/aids World Ranking: 121
4,000 (2009 est.)

Hiv/aids - deaths World Ranking: 126
Fewer than 100 (2009 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate World Ranking: 55
10% (2009)

Education expenditures World Ranking: 17
6.8% of GDP (2007)

Age 15 and over can read and write
Total population 100%
Male 100%
Female 100%

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
Total 17 years
Male 17 years
Female 18 years (2008)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 World Ranking: 107
Total 9.2%
Male 10.3%
Female 8% (2009)


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  Norway (Oslo):

  GPS points from Norway (Oslo)

Fuglafjell Hordaland Fylke

Raudholmane Rogaland Fylke

Sorli Troms Fylke

Gardsluvatnet Troms Fylke

Askjom Vestfold Fylke

Gaukvaeroy Flakket Nordland Fylke

Litlormoya Nord-trondelag Fylke

Botnen Finnmark Fylke
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