Norway Economy

Norway Economy


The relatively sparsely populated country bases its prosperity primarily on natural resources (oil and gas, fish, wood and hydropower). Rapid industrialization took place in the post-war decades. However, the share of industrial workers has fallen sharply as the economy is increasingly based on the tertiary sector. With a gross national income (GNI) per resident of (2017) US $ 75,990, Norway is one of the countries in the world with the highest material prosperity. When Human Development Index is Norway 2001-2006 and again since 2009, first on the court.

Because of its high income from the oil sector, as a country beginning with letter N listed on countryaah, Norway was able to partially decouple itself from the global economic recessions of the 20th and 21st centuries. This means that the country’s economic development is also largely tied to price developments for oil and gas, over which Norway has no influence. After years of moderate growth, the gross domestic product fell in 2009(GDP) by 1.7%, but increased again in the following year by 0.3% and in 2011 by 1.4% (2017: 1.5%). A large part of the proceeds from the state oil industry is invested as a reserve in a foreign fund, which is intended to serve economic stability after the oil reserves have been exhausted. With an unemployment rate of (2017) 4.0%, Norway has reached full employment.

Foreign trade: More than three decades of the oil boom have determined economic development and have contributed greatly to further integrating Norway into the international division of labor. The post-war period in Norway was characterized by a predominance of imports over exports. The deficits were offset by income from merchant shipping. Thanks to oil, exports have exceeded imports since 1989 (2016: import value US $ 72.8 billion; export value US $ 89.6 billion). In terms of exports, fuels (2016: 48.6% of exports) are far behind metals (especially aluminum), then fish and fish products as well as machines. Norway has strong economic ties with the EU: 66.5% of imports come from these countries, 70.6% of exports go there.

Energy industry

With 23,403 kWh per resident, Norway has the second highest electricity consumption in the world after Iceland. Around 95% of it is covered by hydropower. The prerequisites for this are the large relief energy and the high rainfall in the country. There are currently 1,476 hydropower plants in operation. As the resistance to the construction of further hydropower plants grows, the limit of hydropower use is likely to have been reached. Norway has no nuclear power plants. The use of the large wind power potential is only just beginning.


Due to the lack of coal, Norway did not begin to industrialize until 1900, when the first hydroelectric power stations were built. Employment in industry is falling sharply. In the manufacturing sector including mining (2016) around 21% of all gainfully employed people, the share of the gross domestic product (GDP) is 31.7%. Typical of the industry (in addition to some large companies) is the predominance of small businesses with fewer than ten employees each. Most of the industry is located in the west of the country, preferably at the inner end of the fjords (easy landings of raw materials and abundant supply of hydroelectricity), and in south-eastern Norway. In addition to the processing of domestic raw materials (crude oil, wood, fish, iron ore), industries increasingly emerged in the post-war period, who use imported raw materials, e.g. B. aluminum and nickel production, and almost all of their products are exported again. For the metal industry, in which iron alloys, zinc, copper and silicon compounds are also produced, and for the chemical industry, which primarily produces artificial fertilizers and industrial chemicals, inexpensive energy from hydropower is a decisive location factor. Thanks to its close ties to the oil industry and the switch to the construction of platforms, shipbuilding has been able to decouple itself from the decline of this industry in Europe. With the exception of oil production, Norway is turning more and more away from raw material processing towards highly specialized processing (mechanical engineering, electrotechnical and electronic industry).

Service sector

The tertiary sector has a share of the GDP of 65.8% (2016) and around 77% of the workforce is employed in it. The greater Oslo area is by far the most important service region. This is due to the dominance of scientific, cultural and economic institutions, which is also reflected in the private service occupation.

Tourism: Because of its impressive natural beauty, Norway is a popular holiday destination, with tourism being expanded, particularly in the structurally weak, peripheral regions. However, it is not a country with mass tourism, even if the number of (2014) 20.4 million overnight stays suggests this; 6% of all gainfully employed people are employed in this branch. The fjords on the west coast and the north with the midnight sun and the North Cape are particularly attractive in summer. In winter, the winter sports centers (e.g. Geilo in Hallingdal or Lillehammer in Gudbrandsdal) are the main attractions.

Norway Economy

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