Norway

Norway

Browse Human Planet Explorer video and audio from past BBC programmes that were filmed or recorded in Norway.


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Introduction

Norway Norway

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About Norway

Norway (i/ˈnɔːrw/ NAWR-way; Norwegian:  Norge (Bokmål) or  Noreg (Nynorsk); Sami: Norgga), officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a sovereign and unitary monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula plus the island Jan Mayen and the archipelago of Svalbard.[note 1] The Antarctic Peter I Island and the sub-Antarctic Bouvet Island are dependent territories and thus not considered part of the Kingdom. Norway also lays claim to a section of Antarctica known as Queen Maud Land. Until 1814, the Kingdom included the Faroe Islands (since 1035), Greenland (1261), and Iceland (1262). It also included Isle of Man until 1266, Shetland and Orkney until 1468, and the following provinces, now in Sweden: Jämtland, Härjedalen and Bohuslän.

Norway has a total area of 385,252 square kilometres (148,747 sq mi) and a population of 5,213,985 (May 2016). The country shares a long eastern border with Sweden (1,619 km or 1,006 mi long). Norway is bordered by Finland and Russia to the north-east, and the Skagerrak Strait to the south, with Denmark on the other side. Norway has an extensive coastline, facing the North Atlantic Ocean and the Barents Sea.

King Harald V of the Dano-German House of Glücksburg is the current King of Norway. Erna Solberg became Prime Minister in 2013, replacing Jens Stoltenberg. A constitutional monarchy, Norway divides state power between the Parliament, the Cabinet, and the Supreme Court, as determined by the 1814 Constitution. The Kingdom is established as a merger of several petty kingdoms. By the traditional count from the year 872 the Kingdom has existed continuously for 1,144 years, and the list of Norwegian monarchs includes over sixty kings and earls.

Norway has both administrative and political subdivisions on two levels: counties and municipalities. The Sámi people have a certain amount of self-determination and influence over traditional territories through the Sámi Parliament and the Finnmark Act. Norway maintains close ties with the European Union and the United States. Norway is a founding member of the United Nations, NATO, the Council of Europe, the Antarctic Treaty and the Nordic Council; a member of the European Economic Area, the WTO and the OECD; and is also a part of the Schengen Area.

The country maintains a combination of market economy and a Nordic welfare model with universal health care and a comprehensive social security system. Norway has extensive reserves of petroleum, natural gas, minerals, lumber, seafood, fresh water, and hydropower. The petroleum industry accounts for around a quarter of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). On a per-capita basis, Norway is the world's largest producer of oil and natural gas outside the Middle East.

The country has the fourth-highest per capita income in the world on the World Bank and IMF lists. On the CIA's GDP (PPP) per capita list (2015 estimate) which includes territories and some regions, Norway ranks as number eleven. From 2001 to 2006, and then again from 2009 to 2015, Norway had the highest Human Development Index ranking in the world. Norway has topped the Legatum Prosperity Index for seven years in a row as of 2015[update]. Norway also ranks first on the OECD Better Life Index, the Index of Public Integrity, and the Democracy Index.

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