Norwegians
Overview
 
Norwegians constitute both a nation and an ethnic group
Ethnic group
An ethnic group is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy...

 native to Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

. They share a common culture and speak the Norwegian language
Norwegian language
Norwegian is a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Norway, where it is the official language. Together with Swedish and Danish, Norwegian forms a continuum of more or less mutually intelligible local and regional variants .These Scandinavian languages together with the Faroese language...

. Norwegian people and their descendants
Norwegian diaspora
The Norwegian diaspora consists of Norwegian emigrants and their descendants, especially those that maintain some of the customs of their Norwegian culture...

 are found in migrant communities worldwide, notably in United States
Norwegian American
Norwegian Americans are Americans of Norwegian descent. Norwegian immigrants went to the United States primarily in the later half of the 19th century and the first few decades of the 20th century. There are more than 4.5 million Norwegian Americans according to the most recent U.S. census, and...

, Canada
Norwegian Canadian
Norwegian Canadians are Canadians of Norwegian descent.There are approximately 1.2 million Canadians of Scandinavian descent living in Canada, representing around 3.9% of Canada’s population. In the Canada 2006 Census 432,515 Canadian residents claimed Norwegian ancestry, making up 1.4% of the...

 and Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

.
Towards the end of the 3rd millennium BC, Proto-Indo-European speaking
Proto-Indo-European language
The Proto-Indo-European language is the reconstructed common ancestor of the Indo-European languages, spoken by the Proto-Indo-Europeans...

 Battle-Axe peoples migrated to Norway bringing domesticated horses
Horse
The horse is one of two extant subspecies of Equus ferus, or the wild horse. It is a single-hooved mammal belonging to the taxonomic family Equidae. The horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small multi-toed creature into the large, single-toed animal of today...

, agriculture
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

, cattle
Cattle
Cattle are the most common type of large domesticated ungulates. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae, are the most widespread species of the genus Bos, and are most commonly classified collectively as Bos primigenius...

 and wheel technology
Wheel
A wheel is a device that allows heavy objects to be moved easily through rotating on an axle through its center, facilitating movement or transportation while supporting a load, or performing labor in machines. Common examples found in transport applications. A wheel, together with an axle,...

 to the region.

During the Viking age
Viking Age
Viking Age is the term for the period in European history, especially Northern European and Scandinavian history, spanning the late 8th to 11th centuries. Scandinavian Vikings explored Europe by its oceans and rivers through trade and warfare. The Vikings also reached Iceland, Greenland,...

, Harald Fairhair
Harald I of Norway
Harald Fairhair or Harald Finehair , , son of Halfdan the Black, was the first king of Norway.-Background:Little is known of the historical Harald...

 unified
Unification of Norway
The unification of Norway into a single kingdom took place in 872 AD, during the Viking Age.By the time of the first historical records of these events, about the 700s AD, Norway was divided into several petty kingdoms...

 the Norse
Norsemen
Norsemen is used to refer to the group of people as a whole who spoke what is now called the Old Norse language belonging to the North Germanic branch of Indo-European languages, especially Norwegian, Icelandic, Faroese, Swedish and Danish in their earlier forms.The meaning of Norseman was "people...

 petty kingdom
Petty kingdom
A petty kingdom is one of a number of small kingdoms, described as minor or "petty" by contrast to an empire or unified kingdom that either preceded or succeeded it...

s after being victorious at the The Battle of Hafrsfjord
Battle of Hafrsfjord
The Battle of Hafrsfjord has traditionally been regarded as the battle in which western Norway for the first time was unified under one monarch.The national monument of Haraldshaugen was raised in 1872, to commemorate the Battle of Hafrsfjord...

 in the 880s.
Encyclopedia
Norwegians constitute both a nation and an ethnic group
Ethnic group
An ethnic group is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy...

 native to Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

. They share a common culture and speak the Norwegian language
Norwegian language
Norwegian is a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Norway, where it is the official language. Together with Swedish and Danish, Norwegian forms a continuum of more or less mutually intelligible local and regional variants .These Scandinavian languages together with the Faroese language...

. Norwegian people and their descendants
Norwegian diaspora
The Norwegian diaspora consists of Norwegian emigrants and their descendants, especially those that maintain some of the customs of their Norwegian culture...

 are found in migrant communities worldwide, notably in United States
Norwegian American
Norwegian Americans are Americans of Norwegian descent. Norwegian immigrants went to the United States primarily in the later half of the 19th century and the first few decades of the 20th century. There are more than 4.5 million Norwegian Americans according to the most recent U.S. census, and...

, Canada
Norwegian Canadian
Norwegian Canadians are Canadians of Norwegian descent.There are approximately 1.2 million Canadians of Scandinavian descent living in Canada, representing around 3.9% of Canada’s population. In the Canada 2006 Census 432,515 Canadian residents claimed Norwegian ancestry, making up 1.4% of the...

 and Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

.

History

Towards the end of the 3rd millennium BC, Proto-Indo-European speaking
Proto-Indo-European language
The Proto-Indo-European language is the reconstructed common ancestor of the Indo-European languages, spoken by the Proto-Indo-Europeans...

 Battle-Axe peoples migrated to Norway bringing domesticated horses
Horse
The horse is one of two extant subspecies of Equus ferus, or the wild horse. It is a single-hooved mammal belonging to the taxonomic family Equidae. The horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small multi-toed creature into the large, single-toed animal of today...

, agriculture
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

, cattle
Cattle
Cattle are the most common type of large domesticated ungulates. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae, are the most widespread species of the genus Bos, and are most commonly classified collectively as Bos primigenius...

 and wheel technology
Wheel
A wheel is a device that allows heavy objects to be moved easily through rotating on an axle through its center, facilitating movement or transportation while supporting a load, or performing labor in machines. Common examples found in transport applications. A wheel, together with an axle,...

 to the region.

During the Viking age
Viking Age
Viking Age is the term for the period in European history, especially Northern European and Scandinavian history, spanning the late 8th to 11th centuries. Scandinavian Vikings explored Europe by its oceans and rivers through trade and warfare. The Vikings also reached Iceland, Greenland,...

, Harald Fairhair
Harald I of Norway
Harald Fairhair or Harald Finehair , , son of Halfdan the Black, was the first king of Norway.-Background:Little is known of the historical Harald...

 unified
Unification of Norway
The unification of Norway into a single kingdom took place in 872 AD, during the Viking Age.By the time of the first historical records of these events, about the 700s AD, Norway was divided into several petty kingdoms...

 the Norse
Norsemen
Norsemen is used to refer to the group of people as a whole who spoke what is now called the Old Norse language belonging to the North Germanic branch of Indo-European languages, especially Norwegian, Icelandic, Faroese, Swedish and Danish in their earlier forms.The meaning of Norseman was "people...

 petty kingdom
Petty kingdom
A petty kingdom is one of a number of small kingdoms, described as minor or "petty" by contrast to an empire or unified kingdom that either preceded or succeeded it...

s after being victorious at the The Battle of Hafrsfjord
Battle of Hafrsfjord
The Battle of Hafrsfjord has traditionally been regarded as the battle in which western Norway for the first time was unified under one monarch.The national monument of Haraldshaugen was raised in 1872, to commemorate the Battle of Hafrsfjord...

 in the 880s. Two centuries of Viking expansion
Viking expansion
The Vikings sailed most of the North Atlantic, reaching south to North Africa and east to Russia, Constantinople and the Middle East, as looters, traders, colonists, and mercenaries...

 tapered off following the decline of Norse paganism
Norse paganism
Norse paganism is the religious traditions of the Norsemen, a Germanic people living in the Nordic countries. Norse paganism is therefore a subset of Germanic paganism, which was practiced in the lands inhabited by the Germanic tribes across most of Northern and Central Europe in the Viking Age...

 with the adoption of Christianity
Christianization of Scandinavia
The Christianization of Scandinavia took place between the 8th and the 12th century. The realms of Scandinavia proper, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, established their own Archdioceses, responsible directly to the Pope, in 1104, 1154 and 1164, respectively...

 in the 11th century. During The Black Death
Black Death
The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350. Of several competing theories, the dominant explanation for the Black Death is the plague theory, which attributes the outbreak to the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Thought to have...

, approximately 60% of the population died and in 1397 Norway entered a union
Denmark–Norway
Denmark–Norway is the historiographical name for a former political entity consisting of the kingdoms of Denmark and Norway, including the originally Norwegian dependencies of Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands...

 with Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

.

In 1814, following Denmark-Norway's defeat in the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

, Norway entered a union
Union between Sweden and Norway
The Union between Sweden and Norway , officially the United Kingdoms of Sweden and Norway, consisted of present-day Sweden and Norway between 1814 and 1905, when they were united under one monarch in a personal union....

 with Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 and adopted a new constitution
Constitution of Norway
The Constitution of Norway was first adopted on May 16, 1814 by the Norwegian Constituent Assembly at Eidsvoll , then signed and dated May 17...

. Rising nationalism
Norwegian romantic nationalism
Norwegian romantic nationalism was a movement in Norway between 1840 and 1867 in art, literature, and popular culture that emphasized the aesthetics of Norwegian nature and the uniqueness of the Norwegian national identity...

 throughout the 19th century led to a 1905 referendum granting Norway independence. Although Norway remained officially neutral in World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, the country was unofficially allied
The Neutral Ally
Norway is at times referred to as "The Neutral Ally". During World War I, while theoretically a neutral country, British pressure and anti-German sentiment in the population enabled the government to highly favour Britain in matters concerning the large Norwegian shipping fleet and vast fish supplies...

 with the Entente powers. In World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 Norway proclaimed it's neutrality, but was nonetheless occupied for five years
Occupation of Norway by Nazi Germany
The occupation of Norway by Nazi Germany started with the German invasion of Norway on April 9, 1940, and ended on May 8, 1945, after the capitulation of German forces in Europe. Throughout this period, Norway was continuously occupied by the Wehrmacht...

 by Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 (1940–45). In 1949, neutrality was abandoned and Norway became a member of NATO. Discovery of oil and gas
Energy in Norway
Since the discovery of North Sea oil in Norwegian waters during the late 1960s, exports of oil and gas have become very important elements of the economy of Norway...

 in adjacent waters in the late 1960s boosted Norway's economic fortunes
Economy of Norway
The economy of Norway is a developed mixed economy with heavy state-ownership in strategic areas of the economy. Although sensitive to global business cycles, the economy of Norway has shown robust growth since the start of the industrial era...

 but in referenda held in 1972 and 1994, Norway rejected joining the EU. Key domestic issues include integration of a fast growing immigrant population
Immigration to Norway
The number of immigrants in Norway is currently approximately 601,000, which corresponds to 12.2 percent of the total population . In addition to these, 213,486 are born in Norway with one immigrant parent, 31,540 are born abroad with one Norwegian parent, and 37,056 are born abroad to Norwegian...

, maintaining the country's generous social safety net with an aging population, and preserving economic competitiveness.

Geographic distribution

As with many of the people from European countries, Norwegians are spread throughout the world. There are more than 100,000 Norwegian citizens living abroad permanently, mostly in the U.S.A., U.K., and other Scandinavian countries.

Once one forgoes his or her Norwegian citizenship, he or she ceases to be Norwegian. Despite this, some people choose to continue see themselves as having ethnic or cultural ties to Norway; as such, they may include the word "Norwegian" in their description for themselves (for example, in the United States, Norwegian-Americans).

Viking Age

Norwegian Vikings travelled north and west and founded vibrant communities in the Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands are an island group situated between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, approximately halfway between Scotland and Iceland. The Faroe Islands are a self-governing territory within the Kingdom of Denmark, along with Denmark proper and Greenland...

, Shetland, Orkney, Iceland
Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

, Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

, Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

, and northern England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. They conducted extensive raids in Ireland and founded the cities of Cork
Cork (city)
Cork is the second largest city in the Republic of Ireland and the island of Ireland's third most populous city. It is the principal city and administrative centre of County Cork and the largest city in the province of Munster. Cork has a population of 119,418, while the addition of the suburban...

, Dublin, and Limerick
Limerick
Limerick is the third largest city in the Republic of Ireland, and the principal city of County Limerick and Ireland's Mid-West Region. It is the fifth most populous city in all of Ireland. When taking the extra-municipal suburbs into account, Limerick is the third largest conurbation in the...

. In 947, a new wave of Norwegian Vikings appeared in England when Erik Bloodaxe captured York
York
York is a walled city, situated at the confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Foss in North Yorkshire, England. The city has a rich heritage and has provided the backdrop to major political events throughout much of its two millennia of existence...

.

Apart from Britain and Ireland, Norwegian Vikings established settlements in largely uninhabited regions. The first known permanent Norwegian settler in Iceland was Ingólfur Arnarson
Ingólfur Arnarson
Ingólfr Arnarson is recognized as the first permanent Nordic settler of Iceland. According to Landnáma he built his homestead in Reykjavík in 874...

. In the year 874 he settled in Reykjavík
Reykjavík
Reykjavík is the capital and largest city in Iceland.Its latitude at 64°08' N makes it the world's northernmost capital of a sovereign state. It is located in southwestern Iceland, on the southern shore of Faxaflói Bay...

.

After his expulsion from Iceland Erik the Red
Erik the Red
Erik Thorvaldsson , known as Erik the Red , is remembered in medieval and Icelandic saga sources as having founded the first Nordic settlement in Greenland. The Icelandic tradition indicates that he was born in the Jæren district of Rogaland, Norway, as the son of Thorvald Asvaldsson, he therefore...

 discovered Greenland, a name he chose in hope of attracting Icelandic settlers. Viking settlements were established in the sheltered fjords of the southern and western coast. Erik's relative Leif Eriksson later discovered North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

.

The Netherlands

During the 17th and 18th centuries, many Norwegians emigrated to the Netherlands, particularly Amsterdam. This emigration is regarded as the second of the waves of emigration from Norway (the first being the trek to the England, Atlantic islands, Normandy, etc. during the Viking age, and the third was to North America, not counting the Gothic emigrations to Continental Europe in the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D.). Loosely estimated, some 10% of the population may have emigrated, in a period when the entire Norwegian population consisted of some 800,000 people.

The Norwegians left with the Dutch trade ships that when in Norway traded for timber, hides, herring and stockfish
Stockfish
Stockfish is unsalted fish, especially cod, dried by cold air and wind on wooden racks on the foreshore, called "hjell". The drying of food is the world's oldest known preservation method, and dried fish has a storage life of several years...

 (dried codfish). Young women took employment as maids in Amsterdam. Young men took employment as sailors. Large parts of the Dutch merchant fleet and navy came to consist of Norwegians and Danes. They took Dutch names, so no trace of Norwegian names can be found in the Dutch population of today. One well-known illustration is that of Admiral Kruys. He was hired in Amsterdam by Peter I to develop the Russian navy, but was originally from Stavanger
Stavanger
Stavanger is a city and municipality in the county of Rogaland, Norway.Stavanger municipality has a population of 126,469. There are 197,852 people living in the Stavanger conurbation, making Stavanger the fourth largest city, but the third largest urban area, in Norway...

, Norway (Kruys means "cross", and the Russian maritime flag is today also a blue cross on white background).

The emigration to the Netherlands was so devastating to the homelands that the Danish-Norwegian king issued penalties of death for emigration, but repeatedly had to issue amnesties for those willing to return, announced by posters in the streets of Amsterdam. Increasingly, Dutchmen who search their genealogical roots turn to Norway. Many Norwegians who emigrated to the Netherlands, and often were employed in the Dutch merchant fleet, emigrated further to the many Dutch colonies such as New Amsterdam (New York).

United States

Many Norwegians emigrated to the U.S.A. between the 1850s and the 1920s. Today, the descendants of these people are known as Norwegian Americans. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, three million Americans consider Norwegian to be their sole or primary ancestry. It is estimated that as many as a further 1.5 million more are of partial Norwegian ancestry.
Travelling to and through Canada and Canadian ports were of choice for Norwegian settlers immigrating to the United States. In 1850, the year after Great Britain repealed its restrictive Navigation Acts in Canada, more and more emigrating Norwegians sailed the shorter route to the Ville de Québec (Quebec City) in Canada, to make their way on to USA cities like Chicago, Milwaukee, and Green Bay by steamer. For example, in the 1850s, 28,640 arrived at Quebec, Canada, en route to the USA, and 8,351 at New York directly.

Norwegian Americans represent 2-3% of the non-Hispanic Euro-American
European American
A European American is a citizen or resident of the United States who has origins in any of the original peoples of Europe...

 population in the U.S. They mostly live in both the Upper Midwest
Upper Midwest
The Upper Midwest is a region in the northern portion of the U.S. Census Bureau's Midwestern United States. It is largely a sub-region of the midwest. Although there are no uniformly agreed-upon boundaries, the region is most commonly used to refer to the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and...

 and Pacific Northwest
Pacific Northwest
The Pacific Northwest is a region in northwestern North America, bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west and, loosely, by the Rocky Mountains on the east. Definitions of the region vary and there is no commonly agreed upon boundary, even among Pacific Northwesterners. A common concept of the...

.

Canada

As early as 1814, a party of Norwegians was brought to Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 to build a winter road from York Factory on Hudson Bay in northern Canada to the infant Red River settlement at the site of present-day Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Norway House is one of the oldest trading posts and Native-Canadian missions in the Canadian West. Willard Ferdinand Wentzel served the North West Company of Canada in the Athabasca and Mackenzie regions and accompanied Sir John Franklin on his overland expedition in 1819–20 to the Canadian Arctic.

Norwegians immigrated to Canada in search of the Canadian Dream. This immigration lasted from the mid-1880s until 1930, although Norwegians were already working in Canada as early as 1814. It can be divided into three periods of roughly fifteen years each. In the first, to about 1900, thousands of Norwegians homesteaded on the Canadian prairies. In the second, from 1900 to 1914, there was a further heavy influx of Norwegians immigrating to Canada from the United States because of poor economic conditions in the USA, and 18,790 from Norway. In the third, from 1919 to 1930, 21,874 people came directly from Norway, with the peak year in 1927, when 5,103 Norwegians arrived, spurred by severe depression at home. They came with limited means, many leaving dole queues.

From 1825 to 1900 some 500,000 Norwegians landed at Ville du Quebec in Canada (and other Canadian ports) for travelling through Canada was the shortest corridor to the USA's central states. In spite of efforts by the Government of Canada to retain these immigrants for Canada, very few remained because of Canada's somewhat restrictive land policies at that time and negative stories being told about Canada from U.S. land agents deterring Norwegians from going to Canada. Not until the 1880s did Norwegians accept Canada as a land of opportunity. This was also true of the many Americans of Norwegian heritage who immigrated to Canada from the USA with "Canada Fever" seeking homesteads and new economic opportunities. By 1921 one-third of all Norwegians in Canada had been born in the USA.

These new Canadians became British subjects in Canada, and part of the British Empire. Canadian citizenship, as a status distinct from that of a British subject, was created on 1 January 1947, with Canada being the first Commonwealth country to create their own citizenship. Prior to that date, Canadians were British subjects and Canada's nationality law closely mirrored that of the United Kingdom. On 1 January 1947, Canadian citizenship was conferred on most British subjects connected with Canada. Unlike in the USA, Canada was part of the British Empire and most Norwegians would have become Canadians and British subjects at the same time.

According to the 2006 Canadian census, 432,515 Canadians reported Norwegian ancestry (Norwegian-Canadians). Norwegians make up 2% of the White Canadian population. However, the actual figure may be higher. It is important to note that because so many Norwegian women married men of other nationalities, and thus by census rules are not counted as having children of this ethnic origin, this tends to reduce the number in the statistics.

Australia

An organized European immigration to Australia
Immigration to Australia
Immigration to Australia is estimated to have begun around 51,000 years ago when the ancestors of Australian Aborigines arrived on the continent via the islands of the Malay Archipelago and New Guinea. Europeans first landed in the 17th and 18th Centuries, but colonisation only started in 1788. The...

 was initiated in 1788. And most of the early emigrants were deported from the Britain
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

.

There were people from the British Isles
British Isles
The British Isles are a group of islands off the northwest coast of continental Europe that include the islands of Great Britain and Ireland and over six thousand smaller isles. There are two sovereign states located on the islands: the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and...

 as completely dominated when emigration to Australia changed character from being deported, to be virtually voluntary. In David Copperfield Charles Dickens allows Mr. Micawber go to Australia as a result of economic problems, and it was a piece on the way representative. From the 1830s used by the British authorities planned export of surplus population, and over the years up to 1897 was 600,000 persons exported in whole or in part at public expense.

But when the gold rush
Gold rush
A gold rush is a period of feverish migration of workers to an area that has had a dramatic discovery of gold. Major gold rushes took place in the 19th century in Australia, Brazil, Canada, South Africa, and the United States, while smaller gold rushes took place elsewhere.In the 19th and early...

  began in Australia in 1851 flocked to the volunteers, and it has been said that as many as 5000 Norwegian-born was in the periods. Around 1860 there shall have been around 2500 Norwegians there. A good number of these had previously tried luck that gold miners in California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, and many went also return to America. Gullgravere guess almost by definition, fortune seekers, and thus prepared to move around depending on your luck might smile, and there was little stability there.

Russia

In the 19th century a community known as the Kola Norwegians
Kola Norwegians
The Kola Norwegians were Norwegian settlers along the coastline of the Kola Peninsula in Russia.-History:In 1860 the Russian Tsar Alexander II granted permission for Norwegian settlements on the Kola. Around 1870, scores of families from Finnmark in northern Norway departed for the Kola coast,...

 settled in the environs of the Russian city of Murmansk
Murmansk
Murmansk is a city and the administrative center of Murmansk Oblast, Russia. It serves as a seaport and is located in the extreme northwest part of Russia, on the Kola Bay, from the Barents Sea on the northern shore of the Kola Peninsula, not far from Russia's borders with Norway and Finland...

. They have suffered persecution under Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

 and after 1990 were offered a chance to get back to Norway. There are very few of them left there today.

Other

Genetics

According to recent genetic analysis, both mtDNA and Y chromosome polymorphisms showed a noticeable genetic affinity between the Norwegian population and other ethnic groups in Northern
Northern Europe
Northern Europe is the northern part or region of Europe. Northern Europe typically refers to the seven countries in the northern part of the European subcontinent which includes Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Finland and Sweden...

 and Central Europe
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

, particularly with the Germans. This is due to a history of at least a thousand years of large-scale migration both in and out of Norway.

The Norwegian population is typical of the Northern European population with Haplogroup I1
Haplogroup I1 (Y-DNA)
In human genetics, Haplogroup I1 is a Y chromosome haplogroup occurring at greatest frequency in Scandinavia, associated with the mutations identified as M253, M307, P30, and P40. These are known as single nucleotide polymorphisms . It is a subclade of Haplogroup I. Before a reclassification in...

 being most common. Norwegians also show the characteristic R1a genes of the paternal ancestorship at 17.9% to 30.8%. Such large frequencies of R1a have been found only in East Europe and India. R1b gene showing paternal descent is also widespread at 25.9%. to 30.8%

Language

Norwegian
Norwegian language
Norwegian is a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Norway, where it is the official language. Together with Swedish and Danish, Norwegian forms a continuum of more or less mutually intelligible local and regional variants .These Scandinavian languages together with the Faroese language...

 is a North Germanic language with approximately 5 million speakers, of whom most are located in Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

. There are also some speakers of Norwegian in Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

, Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, Britain
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, where the largest community of speakers exists, with 55,311 speakers as of 2000; approximately half of the speakers live in Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

 (8,060), California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 (5,865), Washington (5,460), New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

 (4,200), and Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

 (3,520).

As of 2006, in Canada, there are 7,710 Norwegian speakers
Norwegian language
Norwegian is a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Norway, where it is the official language. Together with Swedish and Danish, Norwegian forms a continuum of more or less mutually intelligible local and regional variants .These Scandinavian languages together with the Faroese language...

, of whom 3,420 reside in British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

, 1,360 in Alberta
Alberta
Alberta is a province of Canada. It had an estimated population of 3.7 million in 2010 making it the most populous of Canada's three prairie provinces...

, and 1,145 in Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

.

Culture

Norwegian culture is closely linked to the country's history
History of Norway
The history of human settlement in what is present day Norway goes back at least 11,000 years, to the late Paleolithic. Archaeological finds in the county of Møre og Romsdal have been dated to 9,200 BC and are probably the remains of settlers from Doggerland, an area now submerged in the North Sea,...

 and geography
Geography of Norway
Norway is a country located in Northern Europe on the western and northern part of the Scandinavian Peninsula, bordering the North Sea in southwest and the Skagerrak inlet to the south, the North Atlantic Ocean in the west and the Barents Sea to the northeast...

. The unique Norwegian farm culture
Norwegian farm culture
The Norwegian farm culture was a rural movement unique in values and practices which assumed a form in Viking Age Norway, and continued with little change into the age of firearms - and in many respects even to the early 20th century...

, sustained to this day, has resulted not only from scarce resources and a harsh climate but also from ancient property laws
Ancient Norwegian property laws
Two Norwegian property laws, which are so ancient that the time of their enactment is lost, govern Norwegian property. These are the Åsetesrett , and the Odelsrett ....

. In the 18th century, it brought about a strong romantic nationalistic
Norwegian romantic nationalism
Norwegian romantic nationalism was a movement in Norway between 1840 and 1867 in art, literature, and popular culture that emphasized the aesthetics of Norwegian nature and the uniqueness of the Norwegian national identity...

 movement, which is still visible in the Norwegian language
Norwegian language
Norwegian is a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Norway, where it is the official language. Together with Swedish and Danish, Norwegian forms a continuum of more or less mutually intelligible local and regional variants .These Scandinavian languages together with the Faroese language...

 and media. In the 19th century, Norwegian culture blossomed as efforts continued to achieve an independent identity in the areas of literature, art and music.

Cuisine

Norway's culinary traditions show the influence of long seafaring and farming traditions with salmon
Salmon
Salmon is the common name for several species of fish in the family Salmonidae. Several other fish in the same family are called trout; the difference is often said to be that salmon migrate and trout are resident, but this distinction does not strictly hold true...

 (fresh and cured), herring
Herring
Herring is an oily fish of the genus Clupea, found in the shallow, temperate waters of the North Pacific and the North Atlantic oceans, including the Baltic Sea. Three species of Clupea are recognized. The main taxa, the Atlantic herring and the Pacific herring may each be divided into subspecies...

 (pickled or marinated), trout
Trout
Trout is the name for a number of species of freshwater and saltwater fish belonging to the Salmoninae subfamily of the family Salmonidae. Salmon belong to the same family as trout. Most salmon species spend almost all their lives in salt water...

, cod
Cod
Cod is the common name for genus Gadus, belonging to the family Gadidae, and is also used in the common name for various other fishes. Cod is a popular food with a mild flavor, low fat content and a dense, flaky white flesh. Cod livers are processed to make cod liver oil, an important source of...

fish and other seafood balanced by cheeses, dairy products and excellent breads (predominantly dark/darker). Lefse
Lefse
Lefse is a traditional soft, Norwegian flatbread. Lefse is made out of potato, milk or cream and flour, and cooked on a griddle. Special tools are available for lefse baking, including long wooden turning sticks and special rolling pins with deep grooves.-Flavoring:There are many ways of...

 is a common Norwegian potato flatbread, common around Christmas. For renowned Norwegian dishes, see lutefisk
Lutefisk
Lutefisk or Lutfisk is a traditional dish of the Nordic countries and parts of the Midwest United States. It is made from aged stockfish or dried/salted whitefish and lye . It is gelatinous in texture, and has an extremely strong, pungent odor...

, smalahove
Smalahove
Smalahove is a Western Norwegian traditional dish made from a sheep's head, originally eaten before Christmas. The name of the dish comes from the combination of the Norwegian words hove and smale. Hove is a dialectal form of hovud, meaning head, and smale is one word for sheep...

, pinnekjøtt
Pinnekjøtt
In Norway, Pinnekjøtt is a main course dinner dish of lamb or mutton. Pinnekjøtt is a festive dish typical to Western- and Northern Norway, served with puréed rutabaga and potatoes, beer and akevitt. This dish is largely associated with the celebration of Christmas, and is rapidly gaining...

, Krotekaker
Krotekaker
Krotekaker is a traditional flatbread from the Hardanger region of Norway. Outside of the region it is often known as hardangerkaker. The dried krotekaker can be made in quantity and stored without refrigeration for extended periods of time. Krotekake is a kind of lefse thin pastry...

 and fårikål
Fårikål
Fårikål is a traditional Norwegian dish, consisting of pieces of mutton with bone, cabbage, whole black pepper and a little wheat flour, cooked for several hours in a casserole, traditionally served with potatoes boiled in their jackets...

.

Music

Along with the classical music of romantic
Romanticism
Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution...

 composer
Composer
A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...

 Edvard Grieg
Edvard Grieg
Edvard Hagerup Grieg was a Norwegian composer and pianist. He is best known for his Piano Concerto in A minor, for his incidental music to Henrik Ibsen's play Peer Gynt , and for his collection of piano miniatures Lyric Pieces.-Biography:Edvard Hagerup Grieg was born in...

 and the modern music of Arne Nordheim
Arne Nordheim
Arne Nordheim was a Norwegian composer who had since 1982 been living in the Norwegian State's honorary residence, Grotten, next to the Royal Palace in Oslo. Nordheim received numerous prizes for his compositions, and was elected an honorary member of the International Society for Contemporary...

, Norwegian black metal has become something of an export article in recent years.

Norway's classical performers include Leif Ove Andsnes
Leif Ove Andsnes
Leif Ove Andsnes is a Norwegian pianist and an ardent champion of the works of Edvard Grieg.-Biography:He studied with Jiří Hlinka at the Bergen Music Conservatory and made his debut in Oslo in 1987, in Britain at the Edinburgh Festival with the Oslo Philharmonic in 1989, and in the United States...

, one of the world's more famous pianists, and Truls Mørk
Truls Mørk
Truls Olaf Otterbech Mørk is a Norwegian cellist.Mørk was born in Bergen, Norway, the son of two professional musicians, his father a cellist and his mother a pianist. His mother began teaching him the piano when he was seven...

, an outstanding cellist.

The jazz scene in Norway is also thriving. Jan Garbarek
Jan Garbarek
Jan Garbarek is a Norwegian tenor and soprano saxophonist, active in the jazz, classical, and world music genres. Garbarek was born in Mysen, Norway, the only child of a former Polish prisoner of war Czesław Garbarek and a Norwegian farmer's daughter...

, Mari Boine
Mari Boine
Mari Boine, previously known as Mari Boine Persen, is a Norwegian Sami musician known for having added jazz and rock to the yoiks of her native people...

, Arild Andersen
Arild Andersen
Arild Andersen is a Norwegian bass player.Born in Lillestrøm, Norway, he started out as a member of the Jan Garbarek Quartet , with Terje Rypdal and Jon Christensen...

, and Bugge Wesseltoft
Bugge Wesseltoft
Jens Christian Bugge Wesseltoft is a Norwegian jazz musician, pianist, composer and producer. He has his own label named Jazzland Records. In the 1990s, Bugge has made a transition from Nordic jazz traditions exemplified by the ECM record label to a style sometimes referred to as "future jazz" or...

 are internationally recognised while Paal Nilssen-Love
Paal Nilssen-Love
Paal Nilssen-Love is a Norwegian drummer active in the jazz and free jazz genres.Nilssen-Love was raised at a jazz club in Stavanger, run by his mother, and his father, who was also a drummer...

, Supersilent
Supersilent
Supersilent is a Norwegian avant-garde/improvisational music group formed in Bergen in 1997 and signed on Rune Grammofon. They are known for making only improvised music and for the distinctive uniformity of their album covers....

, Jaga Jazzist
Jaga Jazzist
Jaga Jazzist is an experimental jazz band from Norway that rose to prominence when the BBC named their first album, A Livingroom Hush , the best jazz album of 2002. The core of the band are brothers and main songwriters Lars and Martin Horntveth...

 and Wibutee
Wibutee
Wibutee is a jazz band from Norway, mixing influences from electronic music and improvisation.Members are:*Håkon Kornstad...

 are becoming world-class artists of the younger generation.

Norway has a strong folk music
Folk music
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....

 tradition which remains popular to this day. Among the most prominent folk musicians are Hardanger fiddlers
Hardingfele
A Hardanger fiddle is a traditional stringed instrument used originally to play the music of Norway. In modern designs, the instruments are very similar to the violin, though with eight or nine strings and thinner wood...

 Andrea Een
Andrea Een
Andrea Een is a violist/violinist and Associate Professor of Music at St Olaf College. She is a founding member of the Hardanger Fiddle Association of America and, in 2002, was awarded the St. Olav's Medal by H.M. Harald V of Norway for helping to reintroduce the Norwegian Hardanger fiddle...

, Olav Jørgen Hegge
Olav Jørgen Hegge
Olav Jørgen Hegge was a Norwegian Hardanger fiddler and folk dancer with American ties.He was raised in Øystre Slidre, Valdres, Norway. Many members of his family included fiddlers and dancers. Considered a leading tradition bearer of the Hardanger fiddle and the dance style from his home...

, Vidar Lande and Annbjørg Lien
Annbjørg Lien
Annbjørg Lien is a Norwegian musician. She plays the hardingfele , violin, and nyckelharpa....

, violinist Susanne Lundeng, and vocalists Agnes Buen Garnås
Agnes Buen Garnås
Agnes Buen Garnås is a Norwegian folk singer from the county of Telemark. She comes from a famous musical family from the town of Jondalen, and is known particularly for her singing of ancient unaccompanied Norwegian ballads, as well as her updated arrangements of these songs in collaboration with...

, Kirsten Bråten Berg
Kirsten Bråten Berg
Kirsten Marie Bråten Berg is a Norwegian folk singer and silversmith currently living in Valle in the Setesdal area of southern Norway. She trained as a silversmith at the Torleiv H. Bjørgums Vocational College Kirsten Marie Bråten Berg (born 7 January 1950 in Arendal, Norway) is a Norwegian folk...

 and Odd Nordstoga
Odd Nordstoga
Odd Nordstoga is a musician, actor and editor from Vinje in Telemark, Norway. In 2004, he went from relative obscurity to becoming the country's biggest selling recording artist, with the phenomenal success of his first solo album proper, "Luring"...

.

Celebrations

Norwegians celebrate their national day on May 17, dedicated to the Constitution of Norway
Constitution of Norway
The Constitution of Norway was first adopted on May 16, 1814 by the Norwegian Constituent Assembly at Eidsvoll , then signed and dated May 17...

. Many people wear bunad
Bunad
Bunad is an umbrella term encompassing, in its broadest sense, a range of both traditional rural garments as well modern 20th century folk costumes. In its narrow sense the word Bunad does only refer to garments constructed in the early 20th century very loosely based on tradition...

(traditional costumes) and most participate in or watch the Norwegian Constitution Day
Norwegian Constitution Day
Norwegian Constitution Day is the National Day of Norway and is an official national holiday observed on May 17 each year. Among Norwegians, the day is referred to simply as syttende mai or syttande mai , Nasjonaldagen or Grunnlovsdagen , although the latter is less frequent.- Historical...


parade that day, consisting mostly of children, through the cities and towns. The national romanticist
Norwegian romantic nationalism
Norwegian romantic nationalism was a movement in Norway between 1840 and 1867 in art, literature, and popular culture that emphasized the aesthetics of Norwegian nature and the uniqueness of the Norwegian national identity...

 author Henrik Wergeland
Henrik Wergeland
Henrik Arnold Thaulow Wergeland was a Norwegian writer, most celebrated for his poetry but also a prolific playwright, polemicist, historian, and linguist...

 was the founder of the 17 May parade.
Common Christian
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 holidays are also celebrated, the most important being Christmas
Christmas
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

 (called Jul
Yule
Yule or Yuletide is a winter festival that was initially celebrated by the historical Germanic people as a pagan religious festival, though it was later absorbed into, and equated with, the Christian festival of Christmas. The festival was originally celebrated from late December to early January...

in Norway after the pagan and early Viking
Viking
The term Viking is customarily used to refer to the Norse explorers, warriors, merchants, and pirates who raided, traded, explored and settled in wide areas of Europe, Asia and the North Atlantic islands from the late 8th to the mid-11th century.These Norsemen used their famed longships to...

 winter solstice) and Easter
Easter
Easter is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to the Canonical gospels, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Day or Easter Sunday...

 (Påske). In Norway, the Santa (called Nissen
Nissen
Nissen may refer to:* a creature in Norse mythology, see Tomte* a Danish patronymic surname meaning "son of Nis"...

) comes at Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve refers to the evening or entire day preceding Christmas Day, a widely celebrated festival commemorating the birth of Jesus of Nazareth that takes place on December 25...

, the 24th of December, with the presents, not the morning after as in many English speaking countries. He usually comes late in the evening, after the Christmas dinner many children consider long, boring and unnecessary.

Jonsok (St. John
John the Baptist
John the Baptist was an itinerant preacher and a major religious figure mentioned in the Canonical gospels. He is described in the Gospel of Luke as a relative of Jesus, who led a movement of baptism at the Jordan River...

's Passing), or St. Hans (St. John
John the Baptist
John the Baptist was an itinerant preacher and a major religious figure mentioned in the Canonical gospels. He is described in the Gospel of Luke as a relative of Jesus, who led a movement of baptism at the Jordan River...

's Day), i.e. 24 June, is also a commonly revered holiday. It marks midsummer
Midsummer
Midsummer may simply refer to the period of time centered upon the summer solstice, but more often refers to specific European celebrations that accompany the actual solstice, or that take place on a day between June 21 and June 24, and the preceding evening. The exact dates vary between different...

 and the beginning of summer vacation, and is often celebrated by lighting bonfire
Bonfire
A bonfire is a controlled outdoor fire used for informal disposal of burnable waste material or as part of a celebration. Celebratory bonfires are typically designed to burn quickly and may be very large...

s the evening before. In Northern areas of Norway, this day has 24 hours of light, while southern areas have only 17.5 hours.

Religion

The conversion of Norway to Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 from Norse paganism
Norse paganism
Norse paganism is the religious traditions of the Norsemen, a Germanic people living in the Nordic countries. Norse paganism is therefore a subset of Germanic paganism, which was practiced in the lands inhabited by the Germanic tribes across most of Northern and Central Europe in the Viking Age...

 began in 1000 AD. By the middle of the 11th century, Christianity had become well-established in Norway and had become dominant by the middle of the 12th century. The Norwegians were Catholics until the Danish
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

 king Christian III of Denmark
Christian III of Denmark
Christian III reigned as king of Denmark and Norway. He was the eldest son of King Frederick I and Anna of Brandenburg.-Childhood:...

 forced them to convert to Lutheranism
Lutheranism
Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

 and established a state-governed church. The church undertook a program to convert the Sámi
Sami people
The Sami people, also spelled Sámi, or Saami, are the arctic indigenous people inhabiting Sápmi, which today encompasses parts of far northern Sweden, Norway, Finland, the Kola Peninsula of Russia, and the border area between south and middle Sweden and Norway. The Sámi are Europe’s northernmost...

 in the 16th and 17th century, with the program being largely successful.

In the 19th century, emigration from Norway for political and religious motives began and Lutheranism spread to the United States. As a result of this, many of the Norwegians remaining in Norway were religiously moderate; subsequently, church attendance declined throughout the 20th century, as reflected by 78% of the population stating that religious is unimportant in a Gallup poll and low weekly church attendance, at 2%, particularly when compared to that of North Dakota
North Dakota
North Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States of America, along the Canadian border. The state is bordered by Canada to the north, Minnesota to the east, South Dakota to the south and Montana to the west. North Dakota is the 19th-largest state by area in the U.S....

, the state in which Norwegians constitute approximately 30.4% of the population. Of all U.S. states, North Dakota has the lowest percentage of non-religious people and the largest number of churches per capita. It weekly church attendance is at 43%.

In Norway the Church of Norway
Church of Norway
The Church of Norway is the state church of Norway, established after the Lutheran reformation in Denmark-Norway in 1536-1537 broke the ties to the Holy See. The church confesses the Lutheran Christian faith...

 and state are not separated. When baptised, children are registered in the Church of Norway
Church of Norway
The Church of Norway is the state church of Norway, established after the Lutheran reformation in Denmark-Norway in 1536-1537 broke the ties to the Holy See. The church confesses the Lutheran Christian faith...

's member register, leading to a large membership, although many people do not remain observant as adults. A majority of both ethnic Norwegians and Sámi are nominally Christian, but not necessarily observant.

Famous Norwegians

This list only includes people of some notable Norwegian ancestry.
  • Dominic Purcell, Australian actor famous from the popular TV-Series Prison Break
    Prison Break
    Prison Break is an American television serial drama created by Paul Scheuring, that was broadcast on the Fox Broadcasting Company for four seasons, from 2005 until 2009. The series revolves around two brothers; one has been sentenced to death for a crime he did not commit, and the other devises an...

    .
  • Eliot Ness
    Eliot Ness
    Eliot Ness was an American Prohibition agent, famous for his efforts to enforce Prohibition in Chicago, Illinois, and the leader of a legendary team of law enforcement agents nicknamed The Untouchables.- Early life :...

    , legendary American Prohibition Agent, notable for being the man who brought down gangster Al Capone
    Al Capone
    Alphonse Gabriel "Al" Capone was an American gangster who led a Prohibition-era crime syndicate. The Chicago Outfit, which subsequently became known as the "Capones", was dedicated to smuggling and bootlegging liquor, and other illegal activities such as prostitution, in Chicago from the early...

    .
  • Geir Haarde
    Geir Haarde
    Geir Hilmar Haarde was Prime Minister of Iceland from 15 June 2006 to 1 February 2009 and Chairman of the Icelandic Independence Party from 2005 to 2009. Geir initially led a coalition between his party and the Progressive Party...

    , former prime minister of Iceland.
  • Iggy Pop
    Iggy Pop
    Iggy Pop is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and actor. Though considered an innovator of punk rock, Pop's music has encompassed a number of styles over the years, including pop, metal, jazz and blues...

    , American musician.
  • John Ashcroft
    John Ashcroft
    John David Ashcroft is a United States politician who served as the 79th United States Attorney General, from 2001 until 2005, appointed by President George W. Bush. Ashcroft previously served as the 50th Governor of Missouri and a U.S...

    , US Attorney General.
  • Joni Mitchell
    Joni Mitchell
    Joni Mitchell, CC is a Canadian musician, singer songwriter, and painter. Mitchell began singing in small nightclubs in her native Saskatchewan and Western Canada and then busking in the streets and dives of Toronto...

    , Canadian singer.
  • Josh Groban
    Josh Groban
    Joshua Winslow "Josh" Groban is an American singer-songwriter, musician, actor, and record producer. His four solo albums have been certified at least multi-platinum, and in 2007, he was charted as the number-one best selling artist in the United States with over 21 million records in that country...

    , American singer.
  • Kjell Laugerud García, former dictator of Guatemala.
  • Kristanna Loken
    Kristanna Loken
    Kristanna Sommer Loken is an American actress known for her work in both film and television, and as a fashion model.-Early life:Loken was born in Ghent, New York, the daughter of Rande , a model, and Merlin "Chris" Loken, a writer and apple farmer. All four of her grandparents were born in Norway...

    , American actress.
  • Marilyn Monroe
    Marilyn Monroe
    Marilyn Monroe was an American actress, singer, model and showgirl who became a major sex symbol, starring in a number of commercially successful motion pictures during the 1950s....

    , legendary American actress, model and singer.
  • Matt Groening
    Matt Groening
    Matthew Abram "Matt" Groening is an American cartoonist, screenwriter, and producer. He is the creator of the comic strip Life in Hell as well as two successful television series, The Simpsons and Futurama....

    , creator of world famous TV-cartoon The Simpsons
    The Simpsons
    The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical parody of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its family of the same name, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie...

    .
  • Melyssa Ford
    Melyssa Ford
    Melyssa Savannah Ford is a Canadian model and actress. She attended York University and studied in the field of forensic psychology. Ford's father is Afro-Barbadian and her mother is Russian and Norwegian...

    , Canadian supermodel of Norwegian, Russian and Caribbean descent.
  • Paris Hilton
    Paris Hilton
    Paris Whitney Hilton is an American businesswoman, heiress, and socialite. She is a great-granddaughter of Conrad Hilton . Hilton is known for her controversial participation in a sex tape in 2003, and appearance on the television series The Simple Life alongside fellow socialite and childhood...

    , American media personality, model, singer, and actress. Heiress of Hilton Hotels
    Hilton Hotels
    Hilton Hotels & Resorts is an international chain of full-service hotels and resorts founded by Conrad Hilton and now owned by Hilton Worldwide. Hilton hotels are either owned by, managed by, or franchised to independent operators by Hilton Worldwide. Hilton Hotels became the first coast-to-coast...

    .
  • Tom Waits
    Tom Waits
    Thomas Alan "Tom" Waits is an American singer-songwriter, composer, and actor. Waits has a distinctive voice, described by critic Daniel Durchholz as sounding "like it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car."...

    , American singer.
  • Russel Crowe, a New Zealand
    New Zealand
    New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

     born Australia
    Australia
    Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

    n actor.
  • Walter Mondale
    Walter Mondale
    Walter Frederick "Fritz" Mondale is an American Democratic Party politician, who served as the 42nd Vice President of the United States , under President Jimmy Carter, and as a United States Senator for Minnesota...

    , former US Vice President and Senator.
  • A-ha
    A-ha
    A-ha were a Norwegian pop band formed in Oslo in 1982. The band was founded by Morten Harket , Magne Furuholmen , and Pål Waaktaar...

    , Norwegian pop group

Other terms used

The Norwegians are and have been referred to by other terms as well.
Some of them include:
  • Nordmenn: A term used by Scandinavians to denote Norwegians. It translates as "Northmen". (Singular: Nordmann)
  • Northmen: Old term used by other European peoples to denote the peoples originating in the northern regions of Europe.
  • Norsemen
    Norsemen
    Norsemen is used to refer to the group of people as a whole who spoke what is now called the Old Norse language belonging to the North Germanic branch of Indo-European languages, especially Norwegian, Icelandic, Faroese, Swedish and Danish in their earlier forms.The meaning of Norseman was "people...

    or Norse: Viking Age
    Viking Age
    Viking Age is the term for the period in European history, especially Northern European and Scandinavian history, spanning the late 8th to 11th centuries. Scandinavian Vikings explored Europe by its oceans and rivers through trade and warfare. The Vikings also reached Iceland, Greenland,...

     peoples of Nordic
    Nordic countries
    The Nordic countries make up a region in Northern Europe and the North Atlantic which consists of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden and their associated territories, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland...

     origin.
  • Vikings: Used in the Nordic countries to denote people who went raiding, pillaging or slave catching during the Viking Age. Used in a similar way by other peoples but can also mean Scandinavians
    Scandinavians
    Scandinavians are a group of Germanic peoples, inhabiting Scandinavia and to a lesser extent countries associated with Scandinavia, and speaking Scandinavian languages. The group includes Danes, Norwegians and Swedes, and additionally the descendants of Scandinavian settlers such as the Icelandic...

     in general.
  • Minnewegian: Colloquial term for a Norwegian Minnesotan
    Norwegian Minnesotan
    A Norwegian Minnesotan is a Norwegian American in the U. S. State of Minnesota. As of 2009, 868,361 Minnesotans claim Norwegian ancestry, 16.5% of Minnesota's population, or 18.7% of the total Norwegian American population....

    .
  • Norrbagge: A Swedish derogatory term for Norwegians (first attested use in 1257), based on the root bagge meaning sheep's testicles.
  • Norski: Common name for Northern American Norwegians.

See also


  • List of Norwegians
  • Norway
    Norway
    Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

  • Scandinavians
    Scandinavians
    Scandinavians are a group of Germanic peoples, inhabiting Scandinavia and to a lesser extent countries associated with Scandinavia, and speaking Scandinavian languages. The group includes Danes, Norwegians and Swedes, and additionally the descendants of Scandinavian settlers such as the Icelandic...

  • Norsemen
    Norsemen
    Norsemen is used to refer to the group of people as a whole who spoke what is now called the Old Norse language belonging to the North Germanic branch of Indo-European languages, especially Norwegian, Icelandic, Faroese, Swedish and Danish in their earlier forms.The meaning of Norseman was "people...

  • Scandinavia
    Scandinavia
    Scandinavia is a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, characterized by their common ethno-cultural heritage and language. Modern Norway and Sweden proper are situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula,...

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