10 Interesting Facts About Norway
Quick facts about Norway:
- Capital: Oslo
- Population: Approximately 5.5 million
- Official Language: Norwegian
- Monarchy: Constitutional monarchy with King Harald V as the reigning monarch.
- Currency: Norwegian Krone (NOK)
- Land of Fjords: Norway is renowned for its breathtaking fjords, including the iconic Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord.
- Northern Lights: Visitors flock to Norway for a chance to witness the mesmerizing Northern Lights, especially in the Arctic regions.
1 Fact: Norway has a very long coastline
Norway possesses one of the world’s longest coastlines, measuring over 83,000 kilometers. This extensive coastal stretch, largely formed by the intricate fjords, places Norway among the top countries globally in terms of coastline length. The breathtaking landscapes along its shores, shaped by the meeting of land and sea, contribute to Norway’s distinction as a coastal marvel.
2 Fact: Norwegians love outdoor activities
Norwegians have a deep appreciation for outdoor activities and hiking, thanks to their awe-inspiring natural surroundings. With majestic fjords, towering mountains, cascading waterfalls, and stunning landscapes, Norway’s abundant and beautiful nature provides a perfect backdrop for the country’s love of outdoor pursuits.
3 Fact: Norway was one of the poorest countries in Europe, but now it’s one of the richest
Norway’s economic turnaround is exemplified by its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita, which has surged from a relatively modest level in the mid-20th century to one of the highest in the world today. As of recent data, Norway’s GDP per capita exceeds $80,000, placing it among the top nations globally in terms of wealth and economic well-being. This impressive growth is significantly linked to the nation’s strategic management of natural resources, particularly its oil and gas reserves.
4 Fact: Also Norwegians think about the future
Norwegians demonstrate forward-thinking by managing the Government Pension Fund Global, overseen by Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM). As of the beginning of 2024, this sovereign wealth fund exceeded an impressive $1.5 trillion in assets. That’s over $280,000 for every Norwegian citizen! Strategically invested in some of the world’s leading companies, the fund continues to multiply, ensuring financial security for future generations in Norway.
5 Fact: Norway has the longest car tunnel in the world
Norway is home to the world’s longest road tunnel, the Lærdal Tunnel. Stretching over 24.5 kilometers, this engineering marvel connects the cities of Lærdal and Aurland, providing a crucial transportation link through the scenic Norwegian landscape.
Note: If you plan to visit the country, find out if you need an International Driver’s License in Norway to drive.
6 Fact: A substantial area of the country lies above the Arctic Circle
A significant portion of Norway extends above the Arctic Circle, leading to unique natural phenomena. In areas like Tromsø and Svalbard, during the summer months, the sun doesn’t set for an extended period, resulting in the mesmerizing Midnight Sun phenomenon. Conversely, in winter, these regions experience the Polar Night, where the sun remains below the horizon for an extended period. This contrast adds to Norway’s distinctive and captivating Arctic experiences.
7 Fact: Norway has taught Japan to eat sushi with salmon
Norway played a pivotal role in introducing salmon to Japanese sushi, overcoming initial reservations about the fish due to concerns about parasites. Norway’s successful establishment of industrial-scale salmon production, ensuring the fish’s safety, led to the widespread acceptance of salmon in Japanese cuisine.
8 Fact: The Norwegians were in America before Columbus
Recent research suggests that the first Europeans to arrive in the Americas might have been Norwegians, challenging the traditional narrative that credits Christopher Columbus. The Viking explorer Leif Erikson is believed to have reached North America around the year 1000, centuries before Columbus. This discovery underscores Norway’s historical contributions to exploration and challenges conventional views of early transatlantic contact.
9 Fact: The legendary Vikings are the Norwegians
The Vikings, iconic seafarers from Norway, flourished during the Viking Age from the late 8th to early 11th century. Their maritime prowess is evidenced by the vast territories they explored and settled, reaching as far as North America. While precise numbers are challenging to ascertain, their impact is quantifiable through archaeological evidence, with Viking artifacts discovered across Europe and beyond, showcasing their widespread influence during this dynamic historical era.
10 Fact: Norwegians are the best in winter sports
Norway stands as one of the most successful nations in winter sports, particularly in disciplines like cross-country skiing and biathlon. At the Winter Olympics, Norway consistently ranks among the top nations in the medal count. For instance, in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, Norway secured a total of 39 medals, including 14 golds. In cross-country skiing, Norwegian athletes such as Marit Bjørgen and Johannes Høsflot Klæbo have dominated the world stage, accumulating numerous Olympic and World Championship medals. This numeric and exemplary success underscores Norway’s unparalleled achievements in winter sports.