Norway has a long coastline, forest and mountain areas, and a population of four million people . Norway became independent in 1814. Fisheries, shipping, water energy, extracting industries and (from the 1970s) oil have been main economic sectors. After WW2, Norway became part of NATO, and the country was dominated by social democracy, with an aim of creating a welfare state, and (from the 1980s) a high proportion of women in politics. A slight majority of Norwegians voted 'no' to EU membership in 1972 and again in 1994. Since the late 1980s, Norwegian politics and economy have increasingly been marked by globalization, privatization and restructuring.

Last Modified: 21.01.2002