|POPULATION:4.75Million||TIME ZONE:UTC+1||AREA CODE:+47|
The Kingdom of Norway is a Scandinavian unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory has a total area of 385,252 square km and a population of about 5 million. It is the second least densely populated countries in Europe. The country shares a long eastern border with Sweden, which is located on the Sandinavian Mountains. Besides Sweden, Norway's neighbours are Finland and Russia in the northeast and it shares maritime borders with Denmark in south, Russia at the Barents Seas, Greenland, the Faroe Islands and Iceland at the Norwegian Sea and the United Kingdom at the North Sea. Norway's extensive coastline, facing the North Atlantic Ocean and the Barents Sea, is laced with fjords, a renowned part of its landscape. The capital city Oslo is the largest, with a population of nearly 1 million.
Two centuries of Viking raids to southern and western areas tapered off following the adoption of Christianity by King Olav Tryggvason in AD 994. A period of civil war ended in the 13th century, when Norway expanded its control overseas to parts of Britain, Ireland, Iceland and Greenland. Norwegian territorial power peaked in 1265, but competition from the Hanseatic League and the spread of the Black Death weakened the country. In 1380, Norway was absorbed into a union with Denmark that lasted more than four centuries. In 1814, Norwegians resisted the cession of their country to Sweden and adopted a new constitution. Sweden went to war with Norway but agreed to let Norway keep its constitution in return for accepting the union under a Swedish king.
Norway has extensive reserves of petroleum, natural gas, minerals, lumber, seafood, fresh water, and hydropower. The country maintains a welfare model with universal health care, subsidised higher education, and a comprehensive social security system. It is considered to be one of the wealthiest countries in the world.