southern and western parts of Norway experience more
precipitation and have milder winters than the
southeastern part. The lowlands around Oslo have the
warmest and sunniest summers but also cold weather and
snow in wintertime (especially inland).
Germanic Norwegian language has two official written
forms, Bokmål and Nynorsk. Both of them are recognized
as official languages, in that they are both used in
public administration, in schools, churches, and media,
but Bokmål is used by the vast majority, about 85–90%.
Around 95% of the population speak Norwegian as their
The Norwegian krone is the official
currency for Norway. The krone has been growing stronger
for some time, reaching record highs in 2002 against the
euro and US dollar. In the beginning of 2002, 1 US
dollar was worth approximately 9 Norwegian kroner. On
July 1 USD was worth 7.3 kroner. Interest rates, as well
as ever increasing crude oil prices have had an impact
on the appreciation of the Norwegian krone.
The population of Norway in 2003 was
estimated by the United Nations at 4,533,000, which
placed it as number 114 in population among the 193
nations of the world. In that year approximately 15% of
the population was over 65 years of age, with another
20% of the population under 15 years of age.
Oslo is a municipality, as well as the
capital and most populous city in Norway.