Norway, formally the Kingdom of Norway, is a sovereign and unitary monarchy occupying the western half of the Scandinavian Peninsula, as well as the island of Jan Mayen and the Svalbard archipelago. Peter I Island in Antarctica and Bouvet Island in the subantarctic are dependent territories and are therefore not regarded to be part of the Kingdom. Norway also claims an area of Antarctica dubbed Queen Maud Land. The Kingdom was comprised of the Faroe Islands (from 1035), Greenland (1261), and Iceland until 1814. (1262). Until 1468, it also encompassed Shetland and Orkney.
Norway is 385,252 square kilometers (148,747 square miles) in size and has a population of 5,213,985 people (May 2016). The nation is bounded on the east by Sweden (1,619 km or 1,006 mi long). Norway is bounded on the north by Finland and Russia and on the south by the Skagerrak Strait and Denmark. Norway has a long coastline that runs parallel to the North Atlantic Ocean and the Barents Sea.
Norway is now ruled by King Harald V of the Dano-German House of Glücksburg. Erna Solberg succeeded Jens Stoltenberg as Prime Minister in 2013. Norway, a constitutional monarchy, distributes governmental authority according to the 1814 Constitution between the Parliament, the Cabinet, and the Supreme Court. The Kingdom is formed by the amalgamation of many minor kingdoms. The Kingdom has existed continuously for 1,144 years, according to the conventional count, beginning in the year 872, and the list of Norwegian rulers includes over sixty kings and earls.
Norway is divided into two administrative and political levels: counties and municipalities. Through the Sámi Parliament and the Finnmark Act, the Sámi people enjoy a measure of self-determination and control over traditional areas. Norway is a member of 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; it is a member of the European Economic Area, the World Trade Organization, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development; and it is also a member of the Schengen Zone.
The country maintains a market economy while still adhering to the Nordic welfare model, which includes universal health care and a robust social security system. Norway has significant petroleum, natural gas, mineral, timber, seafood, fresh water, and hydroelectric reserves. Around a quarter of the country’s gross domestic product is derived from the petroleum sector (GDP). Norway is the world’s biggest producer of oil and natural gas per capita outside the Middle East.
According to the World Bank and IMF, the nation has the fourth-highest per capita income in the world. Norway is ranked eleventh on the CIA’s GDP (PPP) per capita list (2015 estimate), which includes territories and certain regions. Norway earned the top Human Development Index rating in the world from 2001 to 2006, and then again from 2009 to 2015. As of 2015, Norway has led the Legatum Prosperity Index for seven consecutive years. Norway also tops the OECD’s Better Life Index, the Public Integrity Index, and the Democracy Index.