|Counties of Norway|
Norges fylker (Bokmål)
Noregs fylke (Nynorsk)
Norway is divided into 11 administrative regions, called counties (singular Norwegian : fylke, plural Bokmål : fylker; Nynorsk : fylke from Old Norse: fylki from the word "folk", Northern Sami : fylka, Southern Sami : fylhke, Lule Sami : fylkka, Kven : fylkki) which until 1918 were known as amter . The counties form the first-level administrative divisions of Norway and are further subdivided into 356 municipalities (kommune, pl. kommuner / kommunar). The island territories of Svalbard and Jan Mayen are outside the county division and ruled directly at the national level. The capital Oslo is both a county and a municipality.
In 2017, the Solberg government decided to abolish some of the counties and to merge them with other counties to form larger ones, reducing the number of counties from 19 to 11, which was implemented on 1 January 2020. This sparked popular opposition, with some calling for the reform to be reversed. The Storting voted to partly undo the reform on 14 June 2022, with Norway to have 15 counties from 1 January 2024. Three of the newly merged counties, namely Vestfold og Telemark, Viken and Troms og Finnmark, will be dissolved and the old counties they were created from will reemerge. The to-be-reestablished counties will see some minor border changes compared to when they were abolished, as some municipalities were merged across former county borders during the 2020 local government reform (no).
Below is a list of the Norwegian counties, with their current administrative centres. The counties are administered both by appointees of the national government and to a lesser extent by their own elected bodies. The county numbers are from the official numbering system ISO 3166-2:NO, which originally was set up to follow the coastline from the Swedish border in the southeast to the Russian border in the northeast, but with the numbering has changed with county mergers.
The island territories of Svalbard and Jan Mayen lie outside of the county system of Norway. Svalbard is administered by the Governor of Svalbard, and Jan Mayen is administered by the County Governor of Nordland (but not part of Nordland).
|County||ISO-code||Administrative centre(s)||Largest municipality||Governor||Mayor||Area (km2)||Pop.||Official language form|
|Oslo||NO-03||City of Oslo||Raymond Johansen||Marianne Borgen (SV)||454.12||700,000||Neutral|
|Rogaland||NO-11||Stavanger||Bent Høie||Marianne Chesak (Ap)||9,377.10||475,000||Neutral|
|Møre og Romsdal||NO-15||Molde||Ålesund||Else-May Norderhus||Jon Aasen (Ap)||14,355.62||270,000||Nynorsk|
|Nordland||NO-18||Bodø||Tom Cato Karlsen||Kari Anne Bøkestad Andreassen (Sp)||38,154.62||239,000||Neutral|
|Bærum||Valgerd Svarstad Haugland||Roger Ryberg (Ap)||24,592.59||1,236,000||Neutral|
|Innlandet||NO-34||Hamar||Ringsaker||Knut Storberget||Even Aleksander Hagen (Ap)||52,072.44||375,000||Neutral|
|Vestfold og Telemark||NO-38||Skien||Sandefjord||Fred-Ivar Syrstad (acting)||Terje Riis-Johansen (Sp)||17,465.92||425,000||Neutral|
|Agder||NO-42||Kristiansand||Gina Lund||Arne Thomassen (H)||16,434.12||299,000||Neutral|
|Vestland||NO-46||Bergen||Liv Signe Navarsete||Jon Askeland (Sp)||33,870.99||632,000||Nynorsk|
| Trøndelag |
|NO-50||Steinkjer||Trondheim||Frank Jenssen||Tore O. Sandvik (Ap)||42,201.59||465,000||Neutral|
| Troms og Finnmark |
Romsa ja Finnmárku
Tromssa ja Finmarkku
|NO-54||Tromsø||Elisabeth Aspaker||Ivar B. Prestbakmo (Sp)||74,829.68||248,000||Neutral|
Every county has two main organisations, both with underlying organisations.
From the consolidation to a single kingdom, Norway was divided into a number of geographic regions that each had its own legislative assembly or Thing, such as Gulating (Western Norway) and Frostating (Trøndelag). The second-order subdivision of these regions was into fylker, such as Egdafylke and Hordafylke . In 1914, the historical term fylke was brought into use again to replace the term amt introduced during the union with Denmark. Current day counties (fylker) often, but not necessarily, correspond to the historical areas.
Counties (folkland) under the Borgarting, located in Viken with the seat at Sarpsborg:
Counties (first three fylke, last two bilandskap ) under the Eidsivating, located in Oplandene with the seat at Eidsvoll:
Counties under the Gulating, located in Vestlandet with the seat at Gulen:
Counties under the Frostating, located in Trøndelag with the seat at Frosta:
Counties not attached to a thing :
Finnmark (including northern Troms), the Faroe Islands, the Orkney Islands, Shetland (the Shetland Islands), the Hebrides, the Isle of Man, Iceland and Greenland were Norwegian skattland ("taxed countries"), and did not belong to any known counties or assembly areas.
From the end of the 12th century, Norway was divided into several syssel. The head of the syssel was the syslemann, who represented the king locally. The following shows a reconstruction of the different syssel in Norway c. 1300, including sub-syssel where these seem established.
From 1308, the term len (plural len) in Norway signified an administrative region roughly equivalent to today's counties. The historic len was an important administrative entity during the period of Dano-Norwegian unification after their amalgamation as one state, which lasted for the period 1536–1814.
At the beginning of the 16th century the political divisions were variable, but consistently included four main len and approximately 30 smaller sub-regions with varying connections to a main len. Up to 1660 the four principal len were headquartered at the major fortresses Bohus Fortress, Akershus Fortress, Bergenhus Fortress and the fortified city of Trondheim. The sub-regions corresponded to the church districts for the Lutheran church in Norway.
These four principal len were in the 1530s divided into approximately 30 smaller regions. From that point forward through the beginning of the 17th century the number of subsidiary len was reduced, while the composition of the principal len became more stable.[ citation needed ]
From 1660 Norway had nine principal len comprising 17 subsidiary len:
Len written as län continues to be used as the administrative equivalent of county in Sweden to this day. Each len was governed by a lenman.
With the royal decree of 19 February 1662, each len was designated an amt (plural amt) and the lenmann was titled amtmann , from German Amt (office), reflecting the bias of the Danish court of that period.[ citation needed ]
After 1671 Norway was divided into four principal amt or stiftsamt and there were nine subordinate amt:
From 1730 Norway had the following amt:
At this time there were also two counties (grevskap) controlled by actual counts, together forming what is now Vestfold county:
In 1760 Norway had the following stiftamt and amt:
From 1919 each amt was renamed a fylke (plural fylke(r)) (county) and the amtmann was now titled fylkesmann (county governor).
The county numbers are from the official numbering system ISO 3166-2:NO, which originally was set up to follow the coastline from the Swedish border in the southeast to the Russian border in the northeast, but the numbering has changed with county mergers. The number 13, 16 and 17 were dropped, and the number 50 was added to account for changes over the years. The lack of a county number 13 is due to the city of Bergen no longer being its own county, and is unrelated to fear of the number 13.
In 2018, Sør-Trøndelag was merged with Nord-Trøndelag into the new county of Trøndelag, and several followed.
|ISO-code||County||Administrative centre||Area (km2)||Pop. (2016)||County after|
1 January 2020
1 January 2024
|03||Oslo||City of Oslo||454.07||660,987||Oslo|
|07||Vestfold||Tønsberg||2,225.08||245,160||Vestfold og Telemark||Vestfold|
|13||Not in use from 1972 onwards|
|14||Sogn og Fjordane||Hermansverk||18,623.41||109,623|
|15||Møre og Romsdal||Molde||15,101.39||265,181||Møre og Romsdal|
|16||Not in use from 2018 onwards|
|17||Not in use from 2018 onwards|
|19||Troms||Tromsø||25,862.91||164,613||Troms og Finnmark||Troms|
In 2017 the Norwegian government announced the merge of the existing 19 fylker into 11 new fylker by 2020. As a result, several government responsibilities were transferred to the new regions.
Norwegian Postal Codes are four-digit codes, known in Norwegian as postnummer. Posten, the Norwegian postal service, makes small modifications to the postal code system each year. In 1999 Posten made considerable changes to the postal codes in Norway.
The Norwegian Football Federation is the governing body of football in Norway. It was formed in 1902 and organises the men's and women's national teams, as well as the league systems for men and women. The current president of NFF is Lise Klaveness. By 1 January 2004, there were 1,814 clubs organized in Norway and 373,532 registered players. It is the largest sports federation in Norway.
Norwegian dialects (dialekter) are commonly divided into four main groups, 'Northern Norwegian', 'Central Norwegian' (trøndersk), 'Western Norwegian' (vestlandsk), and 'Eastern Norwegian'. Sometimes 'Midland Norwegian' and/or 'South Norwegian' are considered fifth or sixth groups.
The Norwegian Christian Student and School Association, is a Christian youth organization in Norway. Members refer to NKSS as "The team".
Most of the Norwegian counties and municipalities have their own flag. They are based on the respective coat of arms of the subdivision. However they are seldom used. Most public buildings and private homes use the National flag. Note: As of 2020, many municipalities and counties have been merged. Because of this many of the new regions do not have a current flag and instead the coat of arms will be used for the new regions until a flag is made.
The following are lists of county governors of the various counties of Norway. The Norwegian counties are under the supervision of county governors, appointed by the Norwegian government. Historically, there were larger diocesan counties that supervised smaller subordinate counties as well. This distinction was abolished on 1 January 1919. On 1 January 2020, there was a major reorganization and reduction of counties in Norway.
The court of appeal is the second level of courts of justice in Norway, reviewing criminal and civil cases appealed from the district courts. There are six courts of appeal, each covering a jurisdiction and based in a city. Each court is led by a senior judge president (førstelagmann) and several appellate judges (lagdommer). The courts are administered by the Norwegian National Courts Administration. Decisions from civil and criminal matters, except the question of guilt, can be appealed from the courts of appeal to the Supreme Court.
Norway is commonly divided into five major geographical regions. These regions are purely geographical, and have no administrative purpose. However, in 2017 the government decided to abolish the current counties of Norway and to replace them with fewer, larger administrative regions. The first of these new areas came into existence on 1 January 2018, when Nord-Trøndelag and Sør-Trøndelag merged to form Trøndelag.
As a member of EFTA, Norway (NO) is not included in the Classification of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS), but in a similar classification used for coding statistical regions of countries that are not part of the EU but are candidate countries, potential candidates or EFTA countries. The three levels are:
Nationwide local elections for seats in municipality and county councils were held throughout Norway on 12 September 2011. Several municipalities also opened the polling booths on 11 September. For polling stations this meant that two elections, the municipal elections and the county elections ran concurrently. In addition, an advisory referendum was held in Aust-Agder to determine whether to merge the county with Vest-Agder.
The Norwegian Correctional Service is a government agency responsible for the implementation of detention and punishment in a way that is reassuring for the society and for preventing crimes. The agency is governed by the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Public Security.
Most shooting ranges in Norway are available to the public through membership in shooting clubs. There are over 3000 shooting ranges in Norway, where over 1000 of them are currently in use.
Vestfold og Telemark is a county under disestablishment in Norway. The county is the southernmost one of Eastern Norway and consists of two distinct and separate traditional regions: the former counties of Telemark and Vestfold. The capital is located at the town of Skien, which is also the county's largest city. While Skien is the seat of the county municipality, the seat of the County Governor is Tønsberg. It borders the counties of Viken, Vestland, Rogaland and Agder.
Local elections were held in Norway on 9 September 2019. Voters elected representatives to municipal and county councils, which are responsible for education, public transport, health, and elderly care, and for the levy of certain taxes.
The District Football Associations are the local governing bodies of association football in Norway. District FAs exist to govern all aspects of local football in their defined areas, providing grassroots support to the Norwegian Football Federation by promoting and administering football, futsal and beach soccer in their respective districts.