The fund invests in developed financial markets outside Norway. Between and , Norwegian companies drilled oil wells, mostly in the North Sea. Norway is also the world's second-largest exporter of fish in value, after China. The most valuable minerals are calcium carbonate limestone , building stone, nepheline syenite , olivine , iron, titanium , and nickel.
It is the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world. As the stock markets tumbled in September , the fund was able to buy more shares at low prices. In this way, the losses incurred by the market turmoil was recuperated by November Other nations with economies based on natural resources, such as Russia, are trying to learn from Norway by establishing similar funds.
The investment choices of the Norwegian fund are directed by ethical guidelines ; for example, the fund is not allowed to invest in companies that produce parts for nuclear weapons. Norway's highly transparent investment scheme  is lauded by the international community. In , the government sold one-third of the state-owned oil company Statoil in an IPO. The next year, the main telecom supplier, Telenor , was listed on Oslo Stock Exchange. Since , economic growth has been rapid, pushing unemployment down to levels not seen since the early s unemployment in 1.
The international financial crisis has primarily affected the industrial sector, but unemployment has remained low, and was at 3.
In contrast to Norway, Sweden had substantially higher actual and projected unemployment numbers as a result of the recession. Thousands of mainly young Swedes migrated to Norway for work during these years, which is easy, as the labour market and social security systems overlap in the Nordic Countries. In the first quarter of , the GNP of Norway surpassed Sweden's for the first time in history, although its population is half the size.
Due to the low population density, narrow shape and long coastlines of Norway, its public transport is less developed than in many European countries, especially outside the major cities. The country has long-standing water transport traditions, but the Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communications has in recent years implemented rail, road, and air transport through numerous subsidiaries to develop the country's infrastructure. The railways transported 56,, passengers 2, million passenger-kilometres and 24,, tonnes of cargo 3, million tonne-kilometres. The most important national routes are part of the European route scheme.
The two most prominent are the E6 going north-south through the entire country, and the E39 , which follows the West Coast. National and county roads are managed by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration. Norway has the world's largest registered stock of plug-in electric vehicles per capita. Of the 98 airports in Norway,  52 are public,  and 46 are operated by the state-owned Avinor. The central gateway to Norway by air is Oslo Airport, Gardermoen. Norway's population was 5,, people in October Norwegians are an ethnic North Germanic people.
Since the late 20th century, Norway has attracted immigrants from southern and central Europe, the Mideast, Africa, Asia and beyond. The total fertility rate TFR in was estimated at 1. In , of the total , with immigrant background, , had Norwegian citizenship Immigrants have settled in all Norwegian municipalities. Another national minority are the Kven people , descendants of Finnish-speaking people who migrated to northern Norway from the 18th up to the 20th century.
Particularly in the 19th century, when economic conditions were difficult in Norway, tens of thousands of people migrated to the United States and Canada, where they could work and buy land in frontier areas. Many went to the Midwest and Pacific Northwest. In , according to the US Census Bureau, almost 4. On 1 January [update] , the number of immigrants or children of two immigrants residing in Norway was ,, or Yearly immigration has increased since While yearly net immigration in — was on average 13,, it increased to 37, between and , and in net immigration reached 47, In , the immigrant community which includes immigrants and children born in Norway of immigrant parents grew by 55,, a record high.
Pakistani Norwegians are the largest non-European minority group in Norway. Most of their 32, members live in and around Oslo. The Iraqi and Somali immigrant populations have increased significantly in recent years. The fastest growing immigrant groups in in absolute numbers were from Poland, Lithuania and Sweden. Separation of church and state happened significantly later in Norway than in most of Europe and is not yet complete.
In , the Norwegian parliament voted to grant the Church of Norway greater autonomy,  a decision which was confirmed in a constitutional amendment on 21 May Until parliamentary officials were required to be members of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Norway, and at least half of all government ministers had to be a member of the state church. As state church, the Church of Norway's clergy were viewed as state employees, and the central and regional church administrations were part of the state administration.
Members of the Royal family are required to be members of the Lutheran church. On 1 January , Norway made the church independent of the state, but retained the Church's status as the "people's church". Most Norwegians are registered at baptism as members of the Church of Norway , which has been Norway's state church since its establishment. In recent years the church has been granted increasing internal autonomy, but it retains its special constitutional status and other special ties to the state, and the constitution requires that the reigning monarch must be a member and states that the country's values are based on its Christian and humanist heritage.
Many remain in the church to participate in the community and practices such as baptism , confirmation , marriage and burial rites. About In , about In the early s, studies estimated that between 4. The Swedish, Finnish and Icelandic Lutheran congregations in Norway have about 27, members in total. Among non-Christian religions, Islam is the largest, with , registered members , and probably fewer than , in total. Sikhs first came to Norway in the early s. The troubles in Punjab after Operation Blue Star and riots committed against Sikhs in India after the assassination of Indira Gandhi led to an increase in Sikh refugees moving to Norway.
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Drammen also has a sizeable population of Sikhs; the largest gurdwara in north Europe was built in Lier. There are eleven Buddhist organisations, grouped under the Buddhistforbundet organisation, with slightly over 14, members,  which make up 0. The Baha'i religion has slightly more than 1, adherents. It is associated with the huge immigration from Eritrea and Ethiopia , and to a lesser extent from Central and Eastern European and Middle Eastern countries. Other fast-growing religions were Roman Catholicism As in other Scandinavian countries, the ancient Norse followed a form of native Germanic paganism known as Norse paganism.
By the end of the 11th century, when Norway had been Christianised , the indigenous Norse religion and practices were prohibited. Remnants of the native religion and beliefs of Norway survive today in the form of names, referential names of cities and locations, the days of the week, and other parts of everyday language. Foreningen Forn Sed was formed in and has been recognised by the Norwegian government.ariaofpuglia.com
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Five percent gave no response. From the s, improvements in public health occurred as a result of development in several areas such as social and living conditions , changes in disease and medical outbreaks, establishment of the health care system, and emphasis on public health matters. Vaccination and increased treatment opportunities with antibiotics resulted in great improvements within the Norwegian population. Improved hygiene and better nutrition were factors that contributed to improved health.
The disease pattern in Norway changed from communicable diseases to non-communicable diseases and chronic diseases as cardiovascular disease. Inequalities and social differences are still present in public health in Norway today. In the infant mortality rate was 2. For girls it was 2.
Higher education in Norway is offered by a range of seven universities , five specialised colleges, 25 university colleges as well as a range of private colleges.
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Public education is virtually free, regardless of nationality. The ultimate responsibility for the education lies with the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research. Both are used in public administration, schools, churches, and media.
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All Norwegian dialects are mutually intelligible, although listeners with limited exposure to dialects other than their own may struggle to understand certain phrases and pronunciations in some other dialects. Today the majority of ethnic Kven have little or no knowledge of the language.
According to the Kainun institutti , "The typical modern Kven is a Norwegian-speaking Norwegian who knows his genealogy. Some supporters have also advocated making Norwegian Sign Language an official language of the country. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the Norwegian language was subject to strong political and cultural controversies.
This led to the development of Nynorsk in the 19th century and to the formation of alternative spelling standards in the 20th century. Norwegian is similar to the other languages in Scandinavia: Swedish and Danish. All three languages are to a degree mutually intelligible and can be, and commonly are, employed in communication among inhabitants of the Scandinavian countries.
As a result of the co-operation within the Nordic Council , inhabitants of all Nordic countries, including Iceland and Finland , have the right to communicate with Norwegian authorities in their own language.