Random facts about Norway

Urnes Stave Church in Luster, beside the Sognefjord, is the only stave church in the world to be included on UNESCO's World Heritage List. Photo: www.visitnorway.com.

     By Eli Havn / Royal Norwegian Embassy

  1. There are more Norwegian descendants living in the United States than there are Norwegian people in Norway (6 mill. vs. 4,8 mill.)
  2. Norway is nicknamed ”The Land of the Midnight Sun.” 
  3. All of the surviving stave churches, (medieval wooden churches with a post and beam construction related to timber framing,) except one, are found in Norway.
  4. Hydropower accounts for 99 per cent of the electricity generated in Norway.
  5. In Norway, education is free, even college and university education. 
  6. Norwegian women and men spend more and more of their time on leisure activities, on average more than 6 hours a day.
  7. Norway has a native population called the Sami people.
  8. The plague called ”The Black Death” resulted in the death of more than half of Norway’s population in the mid 14th century.
  9. In real terms, Norway is one of the most expensive countries in the world.
  10. Norway was one of the first countries to establish a Ministry for the Environment (1972).
  11. Women in Norway have the right to 44 weeks of fully paid maternity leave and men 6 weeks of fully paid paternity leave.
  12. The name Norway is thought to mean “path to the North.”
  13. Norway is one of the world’s richest countries per capita.
  14. The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in Oslo, Norway’s capital, every year.
  15. The all-time high temperature in Norway is 96.08ºF and was measured in Nesbyen, Buskerud in 1970.
  16. Norway is one of the world’s largest oil and natural gas exporter.
  17. One of Norway’s most important strategic priority area is the Arctic, where Norway works to protect the environment, maintain settlement patterns, promote business development and further develop cooperation with Russia and other partners.
  18. The First United Nations Secretary-General, Trygve Halvdan Lie, was Norwegian.
  19. Since the early 1990s, Norway has been playing an important role as facilitator in a number of peace and reconciliation processes.
  20. Food stores are not allowed to stay open on Sundays, but petrol stations and kiosks selling groceries are.
  21. In Norway, wine and liquor is only sold in a monopoly store called “Vinmonopolet”, which translates to “The Wine Monopoly”.
  22. In the period 1860 to 1910, the percentage of the Norwegian population emigrating to America was second only to the percentage of the Irish.
  23. In size, Norway is comparable to Montana, and it is the 6th largest country in Europe.
  24. Norway is one of very few European countries not to be a member of the European Union, after twice rejecting membership after having a referendum (1972 and 1994.)
  25. Norway is a constitutional monarchy.
  26. The Norwegian Constitution dates back to 1814 and is celebrated with children’s parades, speeches and other festivities on May 17 every year.
  27. In Norway there’s a saying that ”There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.”
  28. Since the 1990s, Norwegian films have become very popular with Norwegian audiences and have also gotten more attention from abroad; several Norwegian films have been exported and received international awards.
  29. Norway’s representative, Kurt Nilsen, won World Idol, the one-off international version of the television show Pop Idol, with the U.S. pop idol Kelly Clarkson as the runner-up.
  30. Fossils of the marine reptile ”Predator X” that patrolled the Jurassic oceans 147 million years ago, was excavated on the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, Norway.
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