Your guide to being an expatriate in Norway

Caffeinate Your Norway Expat Journey: Find Essential Info and Connect with Expatriates Today!

Norway is a Nordic country that is also a member of both the European Economic Area (EEA) and the Nordic Passport Union (NPU). Located in northern Europe, Norway offers expats a unique quality of life with its stunning fjords, mountains, and coastline. With a population of over 5 million, Norway boasts a high standard of living, a low crime rate, and a well-developed infrastructure. The official language is Bokmål or Nynorsk, but English is widely spoken, especially in the cities.


Expat destinations in Norway

Demographics of Norway:

Ethnic groups

Norway has a relatively homogenous population with about 90% being Norwegian. Sami (Lapps) make up approximately 1% of the population and live primarily in the north. Other ethnic groups account for less than 1%.


Bokmål and Nynorsk are the two official written forms of the Norwegian language. The vast majority of Norwegians speak Bokmål, while Nynorsk is spoken by approximately 15% of the population, mainly in western Norway.

Religion Overview

Norway is a predominantly Christian country, with Lutheranism as the largest religious denomination. The majority of the population report being Christian, but religious affiliation is declining. There is freedom of religion in Norway, and anyone is entitled to set up their religious community.

Major Religions


Norway has a cold, temperate climate, with long winters and short summers. Temperatures vary greatly between the coastal regions and the inland areas. The coastal areas have a milder climate, while inland areas can experience very cold winters and warm summers. Rainfall is distributed fairly evenly throughout the year, although in the summer months, it can be quite heavy.

Economy Overview

Norway's economy is primarily based on natural resources, including oil, gas, timber, fisheries, and hydroelectric power. Although oil has had a significant impact on the economy, Norway's economy is diversifying. The country has a high standard of living, a low unemployment rate, and a well-developed infrastructure.

Key Industries

  • Oil and gas
  • Shipping
  • Fisheries
  • Tourism
  • Manufacturing
  • Renewable energy

Major Companies

  • Equinor (formerly known as Statoil)
  • Yara International
  • DnB Bank
  • Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Minett
  • Myklette

Culture and Language Overview

Norway has a rich cultural heritage, with ancient runic carvings and Norwegian folk music representing some of the country's most distinctive cultural offerings. The country is also known for its impressive architecture and vibrant festivals celebrating the world's first-known Christmas play and the Fjord Norway Maritime festival.

Cultural Highlights

  • Akershus Fortress - a historic fortification overlooking Oslo Fjord
  • Norwegian National Opera and Ballet - a stunning opera house overlooking Oslo Fjord
  • Vikingskipshuset (Viking Ship Museum) - a museum featuring three Viking ships.
  • Constitution Day (Grunnlovsdagen) - a national holiday commemorating the adoption of Norway's constitution.
  • Midsommar Festival - a vibrant festival celebrating the summer solstice with bonfires, dancing, and traditional Norwegian dishes.
  • Fjord Norway Maritime Festival - a festival celebrating the country's maritime history, with shipbuilding competitions, sailing regattas, and ship tours of the fjords.

Geography and Landmarks Overview

Norway is renowned for its stunning landscapes, which include fjords, mountains, and glaciers. The country also has significant coastline and numerous islands, making it a paradise for nature lovers and photographers.

Notable Landmarks

  • Geirangerfjord - a UNESCO World Heritage Site characterized by its dramatic cliffs, waterfalls, and turquoise waters.
  • Lofoten Islands - a group of four islands known for their stunning scenery, from pristine beaches and exotic flora to colorful fishing villages and forests made up of evergreens, birches, and willows.
  • Jotunheimen National Park - a vast national park that features breathtaking scenery, including snow-capped mountains, glaciers, and crystal-clear lakes.
  • Aurland Fjord - Europe's deepest fjord, offering visitors stunning views of waterfalls, mountain scenery, and the Aurland Railway, which travels between Bergen and Oslo.
  • Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock) - a towering cliff in Rogaland that offers a stunning view of the Lysefjord.

National Holidays

  • New Year's Day (January 1)
  • Easter Sunday and Easter Monday
  • Annoc Christmas Eve (December 24)
  • Constitution Day (May 17)
  • Christmas Day (December 25)
  • Boxing Day (December 26)

Political Stability

Norway is a stable and prosperous country with a strong democratic tradition. The country's national parliament is the Storting, which consists of elected representatives from different political parties. The Prime Minister is the head of government, while the King is the head of state. Norway's political system is highly stable, with a low level of corruption and a functional legal system.

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