Some facts about Norway

Norway is a beautiful country but unfortunately too often unsung.
So here is a list of facts, sometimes interesting, sometimes funny, about Norway.
1-Oslo is the capital city.
2-There are 5 110 000 inhabitants in Norway (January 2014).
3-There are more than 4.5 million people with Norwegian ancestry in the U.S. today. 
4-Norway is a constitutional monarchy.
5-The actual Royal family is quite young, as the actual King (Harald V) is the grand son of Haakon VII, prince of Denmark, who was elected King of Norway in 1905. The country had no king of it’s own since the death of Haakon V in 1319.
6-The Viking age with its raids took place from 793 until 1030.
7-Norway has been under the control of Denmark then Sweden from 1380 until 1905.
8-The national day is the 17th of May and celebrates the Constitution of Independence signed in 1814. In contrast to many other countries (including France), celebrations are held by children parading in the streets and not soldiers.
9-Norway was one of the first countries in the world to give the right to vote to women in 1913.
10-The separation between the Protestant Lutheran Church and the State was only voted in May 2012.
11-The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in Oslo on the 10 December each year.
12-Norway rejected EU membership twice in referendums.
13-The daylight varies greatly during the year. From no night during the summer (Midnight sun) to no day during the winter (Polar night) north of the Artic Circle.
14-The distance from Oslo to Hammerfest is as far as Oslo to Athens.
15-The mainland is only 1 580 m large at it’s narrowest point, between Elvenes and the Russian border.
16-Norway shares 2515 km of borders with Sweden, Finland and Russia.
17-Norway is the westernmost, northernmost and easternmost of the three Scandinavian countries.
18-The lowest temperature ever measured is -51,4 °C at Karasjok on January 1st 1886 whereas the highest recorded is 35,6 °C at Nesbyen, on June 20th 1970.
19-Norway in the country of trolls and many places are called after them: Trollstigen (the Troll’s Path), Trolltunga (the Troll’s Tongue), Trollkirkka (The Troll’s Church)…
20-“Fjord” is a Norwegian name referring to a long, narrow inletwith steep sides or cliffs, created by glacial erosion.
21-Roald Admundsen was the first explorer to reach the South Pole on 14 December 1911. He’s also the first non disputed explorer to have reached the North Pole on 12 May 1926, as American explorer Cook and British Perry were unable to produce convincing proofs of their claim.
22-Morgedal in Norway is the cradle of ski.
23-The cheese slicer (“ostehøvel”) was invented by a Norwegian carpenter in 1925.
24-Alcohol can only be bought in special outlets called Vinmonopolet. Only beer with 4,5% alcohol and less can be bought in shops.
25-In general the speed limit for cars outside urban areas is 80 km/h. There are only 400 km of motorway where the speed limit can reach until 100 km/h.
26-Drink or drive. The legal limit is 0.2 ‰ blood alcohol concentration, which is less than 1 glass of wine. If you’re caught over, you’ll have to pay a heavy fine and you can even go to jail.
27-Norway is one of the countries with the highest petrol price, despite being one of the biggest oil exporter in the world.
28-Norway is among the richest countries in the world thanks to oil and gas reserves.
29-Norway has the wealthiest sovereign fund in the world.
30-Incomes, wealth and taxes of each resident can be viewed online.
31-Many Norwegians take a daily mouthful of cod liver oil for heath reasons.
32-In December 2011, Norway encountered a butter crisis, which was the combination of a bad summer and protectionist laws. A single 250 g pack of imported butter cost NOK 300 (€39; £32; $50).
33-Norway is one of the countries where people drink the most coffee every day.
34-Norway is the best country in the world to have a baby regarding maternity and paternity leaves (until 49 weeks at 100% or 59 at 80%).
35-Norway is the country which won the most medals during the Winter Olympic Games with a total of 329 (118 gold / 111 silver / 100 bronze).
36-Many families own a cabin in the mountains, not to far from the city where they spend their weekends and holidays.
37-Famous Norwegians: Henrik Ibsen, Jo Nesbø, Edvard Grieg, A-ha band members, Edvard Munch, Liv Ullmann, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Ole Gunnar Bjørndalen…                                                                                 
Famous persons with Norwegian ancestry: Roald Dahl, Renée Zellweger Jennifer Connelly, Melanie Griffith, Marylin Monroe, Iggy Pop, Conrad Hilton, Matt Groening…
38-In Svalbard, there is a vault where duplicate seeds from around the world are stored in order to provide insurance against both incremental and catastrophic loss of crop diversity.
39-IKEA names beds, wardrobes and hall furniture after places in Norway.

Don’t hesitate to add other facts in comment!

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