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Demographics of Norway

Ethnically, Norwegians are predominantly Germanic, although in the far north there are communities of Sami who came to the area more than 10,000 years ago, probably from central Asia. In recent years, Norway has become home to increasing numbers of immigrants, foreign workers, and asylum-seekers from various parts of the world. Immigrants now total nearly 300,000; some have obtained Norwegian citizenship.

Although the Lutheran Church of Norway is the state church, Norway has complete religious freedom. Education is free through the university level and is compulsory from ages 6 to 16. At least 12 months of military service and training are required of every eligible male. Norway's health system includes free hospital care, physician's compensation, cash benefits during illness and pregnancy, and other medical and dental plans. There is a public pension system.

Norway is in the top rank of nations in the number of books printed per capita. Famous Norwegian writers are the dramatist Henrik Ibsen, Ludvig Holberg, Knut Hamsun and Sigrid Undset. Artists Edvard Munch and Christian Krogh were Ibsen's contemporaries. Munch drew part of his inspiration from Europe and in turn exercised a strong influence on later European expressionists. Sculptor Gustav Vigeland has a permanent exhibition in the Vigeland Sculpture Park in Frognerparken in Oslo. Musical development in Norway since Edvard Grieg has followed either native folk themes or, more recently, international trends.

Population: 4,525,116 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 20% (male 464,789; female 439,117)
15-64 years: 65% (male 1,491,720; female 1,451,450)
65 years and over: 15% (male 281,551; female 396,489) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.47% (2002 est.)

Birth rate: 12.39 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate: 9.78 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate: 2.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 3.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 78.94 years
male: 76.01 years
female: 82.07 years (2002 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.8 children born/woman (2002 est.)

noun: Norwegian(s)
adjective: Norwegian

Ethnic groups: Norwegian (Nordic, Alpine, Baltic), Saami 20,000

Religions: Lutheran 86% (state church), other Protestant and Roman Catholic 3%, other 1%, none and unknown 10% (1997)

Languages: Norwegian (official)
note: small Saami- and Finnish-speaking minorities

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 100%
male: NA%
female: NA%

See also : Norway