Facts and Statistics
Location: Northern Europe, bordering Finland 729 km, Sweden 1,619 km, Russia 196 km
Population: 4,574,560 (July 2004 est.)
Ethnic Make-up: Norwegian, Sami 20,000
Religions: Evangelical Lutheran 86% (state church), other Protestant and Roman Catholic 3%, other 1%, none and unknown 10%
The Norwegian Language
Over 99% of the 4.3m population of Norway speak the official language, Norwegian. Norwegian has 2 written forms, "Bokmal" (Book Norwegian) and "Nynorsk" (New Norwegian) and they enjoy the same legal recognition, although "Bokmal" is increasingly more common. Minority languages include Finnish, spoken by 0.2% of the population, mainly in the northern region of Finnmark, as well as "Sami", a language closely related to Finnish, spoken by 0.9% of the Norwegian population.
Norwegian Society & Culture
- Many families consist mainly of the nuclear family.
- Marriage is not a prerequisite to starting a family.
- Many couples live together without legalizing the arrangement with marriage. Therefore, it is best not to make presumptions about people's marital status.
- Women are highly respected in business and generally receive equal pay and have access to senior positions.
- Norwegian women expect to be treated with respect in the office.
- Businesswomen are direct and can be skilled negotiators.
- Women may take up to one year's maternity leave at 80% pay or 10 months at 100% pay.
- If a woman decides to stay home with pre-school children she receives a monthly stipend from the government.
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