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You might not know it, but Norway is one of the most progressive countries in the world.
From its thriving economy to its commitment to gender equality, this Scandinavian country is a leader in many areas. Here are ten facts about Norway you may not have known that illustrate how amazing this country really is!
1) Norway has some of the highest living standards in the world- and they’re getting even higher!
Norway is a country that has been ranked among the top in various classifications of living standards, including education, economic stability, and social progress.
Norway is also one of the best countries to live in for gender equality.
The Norwegian government’s goal is to make Norway one of the leading countries on this front by 2030. For example, women hold 47% of parliamentary seats, making them the most highly represented Europe.
It’s not just about politics either- there are many other ways that Norway strives for gender equality, such as their generous parental leave policy (where both parents get twelve months).
In fact, they’ve had a law since 1974 stating that men and women should receive equal pay for equal work outside the home; Norway is also one of the few countries with a government ministry dedicated to women’s rights.
These policies ensure that Norway is ranked as one of the best places in the world for gender equality.
2)They’re working hard towards reducing their dependency on oil.
Norway was built on its abundant natural resources, especially oil. In fact, they were the first country to develop their oil industry when it was discovered in the late 1960s.
This has provided a tremendous amount of revenue for Norway and is why so many Norwegians live such high living standards today.
They have recently begun to focus on sustainability and reducing their dependency on oil as a source of revenue. In fact, in 2011, Norway’s parliament voted unanimously to use only renewable energy sources by 2050!
As part of this goal, they created green technology programs for locals to pursue. We love it so much that every year, we take part in the study abroad program there!
3) They have a fantastic art museum.
Norway’s National Museum is one of the best museums in Europe.
It was initially created to be a museum for Norwegian culture and history- something significant to us as Norways- but it has grown to contain over 20 million items over the years.
Some of these include the famous Gokstad ship, Viking-era animal carvings, and a copy of the now destroyed Rosetta Stone.
The National Museum is located in Oslo and was established in 1839; ever since then, they have continued to add new pieces from throughout Norway’s history.
4) Norway has some of the best ski instructors in the world.
Norway is one of the most popular winter sports destinations in Europe and caters to every type of skier or snowboarder. Most notably, they are known for their ski instructors who train at places like Norsk Skiskole.
Over here at Study Abroad 365, we have the opportunity to take part in one of their ski courses during our semester abroad program.
The instructors are world-class and create a personal relationship with students; it’s both fun and rewarding!
5) Norway has a rich literary history.
Norway is one of the most literate countries in Europe and has been home to some of the greatest writers ever, including Nobel-prize winners Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson and Sigrid Undset.
They also have their own version of National Poetry Day, which takes place every year on May 17th.
Norway is also home to the world’s most prominent writer’s festival, which takes place every year in August and draws participants from all over the globe.
6) They are a true winter wonderland.
Norway, as we said before, is best known for its winters! We’ve mentioned that they’re a popular ski destination, but this is only part of the story.
Norway’s winters are pure magic: there is snow everywhere, including cars and roads; their fjords (quiet in summer but beautiful in winter) freeze over, and locals can cross from one side to another on foot!
There are also festivals, games, and a general party atmosphere during the cold months. In short, Norway is a winter-wonderland that tourists (and locals!) love to visit.
7) They have very advanced technology.
Norway is fast becoming one of the most prominent countries globally thanks to its cutting-edge technology companies.
We’re referring specifically to Oslo, which has become known as ‘Silicon Valley North’ because of all the attention it’s getting from large corporations and investors.
Of course, Norway isn’t the only country with this type of infrastructure; they’re just leading the way for other nations that rely on technology.
8) They have some of the best hiking in the world.
You might be surprised by this one, but there are many reasons why Norway is a global leader in hiking and skiing destinations.
For example, they have some of the most beautiful natural scenery around, and many of their routes go deep into mountain ranges where it’s just you and nature.
We love to participate in this activity whenever we get a chance, and there are many reasons why- hiking in Norway is such a unique experience!
9) They’re known as the most environmentally friendly country in Europe.
Norway has some of the most environmentally conscious people globally, and it’s not difficult to see why.
They have started cutting out the use of fossil fuels and have even begun to convert some of their vehicles to run on hydrogen, an emission-free energy source.
This change has not happened overnight, but it is happening because they are determined to be a green country.
It’s hard not to admire Norway when you see how much effort they’ve put into achieving this goal; it’s a true testament to what all other nations can do if they just put their minds to it.
10) They’re recognized as one of the happiest countries in the world.
It’s no surprise that studies have shown Norway to be one of the happiest nations on Earth.
They spend their summers frolicking around and participating in all types of recreational activities; they also enjoy a rather long vacation period throughout summer but save some time for even more fun during winters!
Norway is also known for its liberal social policies, which allow them to live their lives in whichever way they choose; happiness comes more easily when you have a high quality of life.
11) They’re truly a wonderful country.
Norway is often called ‘the great little big country’ because it tended to surprise people with new and exciting things they didn’t know about before!
The most common example is that Norway has a monarchy but isn’t a monarchy. In a sense, we usually understand it (for example, their monarch actually has little to no political power).
As you can see, there’s a lot about Norway that might surprise you (and make you fall in love with it!).
12) It’s one of the best countries for road trips.
Norway has a lot to offer when it comes to driving. There are some very long stretches of deserted highway, but if you come across another driver.
At the same time, you’re likely to have a good conversation with them on the road because most locals enjoy talking about their country.
You might want to watch out for road trip tips in the future because we think Norway will be at the top of many people’s list of favorite countries to visit!
13) They have the best meatballs.
When we heard that Norway had the absolute best meatballs in all the world, we were very intrigued and set out on a quest to find some for ourselves whenever possible!
It’s no surprise that they’re so good because meat is an integral part of their diet; you won’t be surprised by this information if you’re a fan of Norwegian cuisine!
14) They have the best education system in the world.
Education is essential to all of us, but it’s an incredibly crucial aspect of Norway because they need to make sure that their children can generate new ideas to power their country more efficiently when they grow up!
This doesn’t mean that everyone is expected to go on to higher education; they work with each child and ensure that they have the specific skills and training to help them succeed in their futures!
15) they’re a country of peace.
You might guess this if you’ve ever been out on some roads at night or during a holiday, but Norway is very safe and peaceful.
They have a long tradition of working things out by talking because they believe that nothing will ever be resolved if you go around fighting all the time.
It’s nice to know that such an environmentally conscious nation is also so serene; it really makes us want to visit Norway soon!
16) They’ve got over 50% of the world’s total renewable energy!
As you can see, Norway has a solid focus on green power, and they’ve been able to generate so much renewable energy that they’re able to sell their excess off to other countries for profit!
They’ve also made it possible through better conservation efforts; all of this will help their country become more economically powerful in the future, so we expect to see more and more of this in the decades to come!
17) They’ve got the most generous parental leave plan around.
Equality is important to Norway, and this is why they’ve made sure that everyone can have the amount of time off that they need after a baby is born; you might be surprised to learn that both parents are guaranteed more than 45 days of paid leave!
They want to make sure that all families get the support and care that they need.
18) Their country is very safe.
When you think about Norway, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?
It will be related to being remarkably safe and secure; crime rates are low, and there aren’t any major wars or terrorist threats in their country.
We’re glad that everything in Norway seems to work out so well, from their renewable energy to their government agencies!
19) They’ve got the most connections to Denmark of any other country.
You might think that Denmark and Norway are a lot alike, but you would be wrong! However, they have some things in common; Norwegians speak more Danish than Swedish (4 million people can talk to Danish while only 3 million can speak Swedish).
Norway’s historical connection to Denmark has helped them to keep their relationship strong today.
20) They’re the following hot country for ex-pats and tourists!
It isn’t hard to see why people want to move to Norway; they’ve got a fantastic climate, an excellent economy, unparalleled beauty, and safety.
It’s no wonder that Norway is quickly becoming one of the most popular countries for ex-pats and tourists alike!
They’ve got a lot to offer so don’t be surprised if you find yourself planning your own trip there sometime soon.
21) Their capital is also home to more than 3 million people in the metropolitan area!
You might not have known this, but Oslo (the capital) has more than 3 million residents in the metropolitan area; this is one of the largest cities that you’ll find in all of Europe.
It isn’t hard to understand why so many people want to live here!
22) They’ve known for their incredible cuisine as well as their wines.
Norway indeed has a lot to offer when it comes to beautiful landscapes, but what you might not know is that their food and wine are also world-class!
Norway is considered the third-largest exporter of seafood in Europe, so we can understand why people from other countries want to spend time there.
23) They have the biggest bank in Europe.
How did you know that Norway had a lot of money? You’ve probably heard about how wealthy they are as well as their incredible exports, and now you can learn more about the various ways that this wealth has been utilized throughout the years!
24) They were the first country to ban commercial whaling.
You probably knew that Norway is one of the most environmentally conscious countries globally, but what you might not know is that they were actually the first country to ban commercial whaling!
This shows just how dedicated they are to their preservation efforts.
25) They have a lower infant mortality rate than any other country in Europe.
You would think that Norway’s infant mortality rate would also be higher; they can sometimes have harsh weather, and many people live in rural areas.
We’re glad to see that the quality of healthcare is so good!
26) They have a pretty interesting solution for their highway traffic jams.
Everyone knows that you can get stuck in long traffic lines, but what you might not have learned is that they actually take this into consideration when designing the roads and highways!
They plan their streets to allow them to widen the road if traffic jams get too bad.
27) They’ve got a unique flag.
You might not have known that Norway actually has a unique flag design; it makes sense, though, when you think about how strong their Viking heritage is for them!
It’s nice to see that they decided to modernize something as crucial as their flag but still keep the same idea in mind.
28) They’ve got a fantastic vacation program for the whole family.
You probably don’t think very much about Norway when you’re planning your vacations.
Still, they’ve actually come up with a vacation program that allows you to explore the great outdoors in many different ways!
Not only will it be enjoyable for all ages, but it’s also good money if you know how to market it right!
29) Their national sport is a winter sport that we’ve never seen before.
You might not know it, but ski jumping is actually Norway’s national sport!
That’s right, they’re so good at skiing that they even invented their own unique style of skiing.
Hey, if it works, then why not?
30) Houses in Norway are red. Not white. Red.
You probably didn’t know that a lot of the houses in Norway are painted red!
You might have thought that it was just an aesthetic choice, but apparently, this is actually a significant color to them and their culture! It makes sense when you think about how much of a focus they put on folk traditions.
31) The world’s northernmost vineyard is also in Norway.
This was planted in 2005 near the town of Lillehammer and has produced a few batches of wine ever since. No one knows how this happened because the temperature is usually below freezing, even in summer.
32) While there are no roads that go all the way to Nordkapp, there are ferries that take you there from three different places:
Trondheim (the world’s northernmost UNESCO World Heritage Site), Tromsø (Norway’s most populous city outside of the Oslo area), and the small fishing village of Honningsvåg.
The journey takes about 2 days, including a stop in Tromsø, to refuel before continuing towards Nordkapp.
It used to take much longer, but these days it is possible for car ferries to travel all the way there, even though the winter months when ice usually blocks other vessels.
33) There are more than 200,000 islands off the coast of Norway, and about 200 of them are uninhabited.
The largest island is Spitsbergen (it’s also a group of islands), and it’s located in the north Atlantic Ocean as part of Svalbard (an archipelago and the northernmost).
Both Spitsbergen and Svalbard are territories of Norway, and the archipelago is sometimes called ‘Svalbard & Jan Mayen’ because it includes a third territory: Jan Mayen).
34) The Tro Adeler
The oldest known cave paintings in the world were discovered on a site called ‘The Tro Adeler’ in southern Norway, not far from the town of Flakstad and not too far away from the Lofote Islands either.
They are estimated to be at least 32 000 years old (and possibly as much as 40 000 years!), with some of them thought to have previously been covered by ice sheets until about 13 000 years ago.
The site was first discovered in the year 2004 by a team of archeologists.
36) Norway is famous for its mountains, but it actually has some pretty flat areas.
The Flakstad Beach in Lofoten is one such example: it gets submerged underwater every day at about 3 pm, meaning you can walk on the beach at low tide and swim in the sea at high tide.
37) Lofoten Islands
The Lofoten Islands are home to the tallest mountain in Northern Europe: Slogen (Svolværgeita), 1243m high.
It’s not too difficult to scale, but just climbing it wouldn’t do it justice. It would be way more relaxed if you were to hike up all the mountains in this region (like Slogen, Reinebringen, and Kvalvika) because they are nestled right next to each other.
38) The Trollstigen road
The Trollstigen road is also part of the Lofoten Islands, located further inland than the previously mentioned mountains.
The road is unique because it’s surrounded by steep mountain walls, and the fact that only one side of each hairpin turn is very accessible makes driving exciting (but also risky).
During World War II, this was one route used to transport supplies from Andøya Airport to Rypefjord.
39) Active boats in Norway
There are approximately 15 000 active boats in Norway, which isn’t that many, but it’s a lot more than the number of people living there! If you exclude recreational boats, the number increases to about 30 000 vessels.
40) Between June and August, Norway experiences its midnight sun.
Between June and August, Norway experiences its midnight sun. It is not uncommon for it to be light outside 24 hours a day, which makes it really easy to see both the sunrise and sunset at once.
If you choose to visit Norway during this time, you might want to check out the famous Trollstigen road that we previously mentioned.
However, even if you don’t go there in the summer, it is still worth going there because in winter (or night-time), it gets as dark here as it does at 3 am during a witch’s ritual – seriously!
41) There are two species of fish that are native to Norwegian waters.
One of them is the cod, which has been considered a national symbol for quite some time now because it’s an integral part of Norway’s economy.
The other species is called the Arctic charr, and it gets pretty big (although not as large as the most giant cod ever caught).
42) Norvegian Language
Language-wise, Norway has three official languages: Bokmål, Nynorsk, and Samisk – but a quarter of the Norwegian population actually speak another language (usually English) as their mother tongue.
43) The name of the national currency in Norway is called krone.
This was decided because the country’s main exports included butter, cheese, fish, and wood (called Krona) back in the day!
We hope this article was able to give you some insight into the awesomeness that is in Norway.
If you want to go there, then make sure that you’re well prepared for the trip ahead of time. That’s it from us here at LoveForTraveling, and we’ll see you again soon!