List of towns and cities in Norway

Last updated

Map of Norway with important cities No-map.png
Map of Norway with important cities

Below is a list of towns and cities in Norway. The Norwegian word for town or city is by. Cities were formerly categorized as kjøpstad (market town) or ladested (small seaport), [1] each with special rights. The special trading rights for cities were abolished in 1857, and the classification was entirely rescinded in 1952 and replaced by the simple classification by.



From 1 January 1965 the focus was moved from the individual cities to their corresponding municipalities. Norwegian municipalities were classified as bykommune (urban municipality) or herredskommune (rural municipality). The distinction was rescinded by The Local Government Act of 1992. The municipalities were ordered by so-called municipality numbers, four-digit codes based on ISO 3166-2:NO which in 1946 were assigned to each municipality. Urban municipalities got a municipality number in which the third digit was a zero. [1]

Between 1960 and 1965 many Norwegian municipalities were merged. For instance when the urban municipality Brevik merged with the urban municipality Porsgrunn and the rural municipality Eidanger, the new municipality was called Porsgrunn and retained its municipality number. As a result, Brevik was no longer considered an urban municipality/town. On another note, when the urban municipality Hønefoss was merged with the rural municipalities Hole, Norderhov, Tyristrand and Ådal to form the new municipality Ringerike, Ringerike retained the old municipality number of Hønefoss. [2] The same thing happened to Egersund and Florø.

Before 1996, the city status was awarded by the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development. Now the issue is decided by each municipality council and is formally accepted by the state. Since 1997 a municipality must have a minimum of 5,000 inhabitants in order to declare city status for one of its settlements. In 1999 the municipality council of Bardu declared city status for Setermoen, only to be rejected because the municipality fell short of the population limit. One exception is Honningsvåg in Nordkapp, where the municipality actually has less than 5,000 inhabitants but declared city status before the limit was implemented by law in 1997. [3]

Because of the new laws, Norway witnessed a rapid rise in the number of cities after 1996. A number of relatively small settlements are now called by, such as Brekstad with 1,828 inhabitants and Kolvereid with 1,448 inhabitants. [lower-alpha 1] Among the cities of today which got this status before 1996, Tvedestrand with 1,983 [lower-alpha 1] inhabitants is the smallest. On another note, the laws of 1996 allowed some settlements which lost their city status in the 1960s to regain it.

Oslo, founded in 1000[ citation needed ], is the largest city and the capital of Norway.

Cities and towns in Norway

Note that in most cases the population listed here is that of the municipality, including other villages, not just the urban centre.

In 2017 the 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, to be implemented from 2020. [4]

City or town status since before 1996

Oslo, the capital of Norway and among the fastest growing cities in Europe Oslo newer montage 2013.png
Oslo, the capital of Norway and among the fastest growing cities in Europe
Bergen, The capital of Hordaland, Norway BergenComposite.jpg
Bergen, The capital of Hordaland, Norway
Trondheim, The largest city in Trondelag, Norway Overview of Trondheim 2008 03.jpg
Trondheim, The largest city in Trøndelag, Norway
Stavanger, The oil capital and capital of Rogaland Stavangercollage2.png
Stavanger, The oil capital and capital of Rogaland
Kristiansand, The biggest city in Vest-Agder Kristiansand set fra havnen.jpg
Kristiansand, The biggest city in Vest-Agder
Fredrikstad, The biggest city in Ostfold, and one of the top 20 biggest cities in Norway Fredrikstad bryggepromenade fra Krakeroybroa.JPG
Fredrikstad, The biggest city in Østfold, and one of the top 20 biggest cities in Norway
Tromso, The capital of Troms Morketidettermiddag.JPG
Tromsø, The capital of Troms
Sandnes, The second largest city in Rogaland after Stavanger Sandnes edit.JPG
Sandnes, The second largest city in Rogaland after Stavanger
Drammen, The largest city and capital of Buskerud Drammen from east.png
Drammen, The largest city and capital of Buskerud
Skien Skien - town centre (east-west).jpg
Bodo Bodo 2006.jpg
Alesund Vista de Alesund desde Aksla, Noruega, 2019-09-01, DD 16.jpg
City/townMunicipalityCountyCity/town statusPopulation
Arendal Arendal Agder 172339,826
Bergen Bergen Vestland [lower-alpha 2] 1070278,121
Bodø Bodø Nordland 181646,049
Drammen Drammen Viken 181164,597
Egersund Eigersund Rogaland 179813,418
Farsund Farsund Agder 17959,392
Flekkefjord Flekkefjord Agder 18428,918
Florø Flora Vestland 18608,296
Fredrikstad Fredrikstad Viken 156780,977
Gjøvik Gjøvik Innlandet 186127,500
Grimstad Grimstad Agder 181619,809
Halden [lower-alpha 3] Halden Viken 166531 037
Hamar Hamar Innlandet 124831,593
Hammerfest Hammerfest Troms og Finnmark 17899,261
Harstad Harstad Troms og Finnmark 190423,242
Haugesund Haugesund Rogaland 185431,738
Holmestrand Holmestrand Vestfold og Telemark 17529,515
Horten Horten Vestfold og Telemark 185824,671
Hønefoss Ringerike Viken 185213,930
Kongsberg Kongsberg Viken 162423,997
Kongsvinger Kongsvinger Innlandet 185417,380
Kristiansand Kristiansand Agder 164190,562
Kristiansund (town) Kristiansund Møre og Romsdal 174222,661
Larvik Larvik Vestfold og Telemark 167141,221
Lillehammer Lillehammer Innlandet 184225,070
Mandal Mandal Agder 192113,840
Molde Molde Møre og Romsdal 174224,421
Moss Moss Viken 172028,800
Namsos Namsos Trøndelag 184512,426
Narvik Narvik Nordland 190218,512
Notodden Notodden Vestfold og Telemark 191312,359
Oslo Oslo Oslo 1000634,463
Porsgrunn Porsgrunn Vestfold og Telemark 184233,550
Risør Risør Agder 16306,938
Sandefjord Sandefjord Vestfold og Telemark 184542,333
Sandnes Sandnes Rogaland 186078,624
Sarpsborg Sarpsborg Viken 101650,115
Skien Skien Vestfold og Telemark 100072,537
Stavanger Stavanger Rogaland 1125130,754
Steinkjer Steinkjer Trøndelag 185720,672
Svolvær Vågan Nordland 1918 [lower-alpha 4] 4,720
Tromsø Tromsø Troms og Finnmark 179472,681
Trondheim Trondheim Trøndelag 997190,464
Tønsberg Tønsberg Vestfold og Telemark 90038,914
Vadsø Vadsø Troms og Finnmark 18336,187
Vardø Vardø Troms og Finnmark 17892,396
Ålesund Ålesund Møre og Romsdal 184841,385

City status since after 1996

CityMunicipalityCountyTown statusPopulation
Alta Alta Troms og Finnmark 199915,094
Askim Askim Viken 199614,703
Brekstad Ørland Trøndelag 20051,865
Brevik Porsgrunn Vestfold og Telemark 1845–1963
later regained
Brumunddal Ringsaker Innlandet 20108,890
Bryne Time Rogaland 20019,627
Brønnøysund Brønnøy Nordland 1923–1963
regained 2000
Drøbak Frogn Viken 1842–1961
regained 2006
Elverum Elverum Innlandet 199618,992
Fauske Fauske Nordland 19986,304
Fagernes Nord-Aurdal Innlandet 20071,762
Finnsnes Lenvik Troms og Finnmark 20004,658
Fosnavåg Herøy Møre og Romsdal 20003,598
Førde Førde Vestland 19979,248
Hokksund Øvre Eiker Viken 20029,207
Honningsvåg Nordkapp Troms og Finnmark 19962,575
Jessheim Ullensaker Viken 201217,319
Jørpeland Strand Rogaland 19986,168
Kirkenes Sør-Varanger Troms og Finnmark 19983,529
Kolvereid Nærøy Trøndelag 20021,448
Kopervik Karmøy Rogaland 1866–1964
regained 1996
Kragerø Kragerø Vestfold og Telemark 1666–1959
later regained
Langesund Bamble Vestfold og Telemark 1765–1963
regained 1997
Leirvik Stord Vestland 199714,171
Leknes Vestvågøy Nordland 20023,556
Levanger Levanger Trøndelag 1836–1961
later regained
Lillesand Lillesand Agder 1830–1961
later regained
Lillestrøm Skedsmo Viken 199712,500
Lyngdal Lyngdal Agder 20017,216
Mo i Rana Rana Nordland 1923–1963
later regained
Mosjøen Vefsn Nordland 1875–1961
later regained
Mysen Eidsberg Viken 19966,084
Måløy Vågsøy Vestland 20043,003
Odda Odda Vestland 20047,468
Orkanger Orkdal Trøndelag 20147,812
Otta Sel Innlandet 20002,750
Rjukan Tinn Vestfold og Telemark 19963,386
Rørvik Nærøysund Trøndelag 20203,326
Sandnessjøen Alstahaug Nordland 19995,716
Sandvika Bærum Viken 2003108,144
Sauda Sauda Rogaland 19994,878
Ski Ski Viken 200426,588
Skudeneshavn Karmøy Rogaland 1857–1964
later regained
Sortland Sortland Nordland 19979,509
Stathelle Bamble Vestfold og Telemark 1774–1963
regained 1997
Stavern [lower-alpha 5] Larvik Vestfold og Telemark 1946–1988
regained 1999
Stjørdalshalsen Stjørdal Trøndelag 199710,779
Tvedestrand Tvedestrand Agder 19971,983
Ulsteinvik Ulstein Møre og Romsdal 20005,156
Verdalsøra Verdal Trøndelag 19987,396
Vinstra Nord-Fron Innlandet 20132,553
Åkrehamn Karmøy Rogaland 20027,736
Åndalsnes Rauma Møre og Romsdal 19962,403

Former towns

CityMunicipalityCountyTown status
Holmsbu Hurum Viken 1847–1964
Hvitsten Vestby Viken 1837–1964
Hølen Vestby Viken 1837–1943
Røros [lower-alpha 6] Røros Trøndelag 1683–
Setermoen Bardu Troms og Finnmark 1999
(later rejected)
Sogndal Sokndal Rogaland 1798–1944
Son Vestby Viken 1604–1963
Åsgårdstrand Horten Vestfold og Telemark 1650–1964

See also


  1. 1 2 Population count applies to the tettsted (urban settlement), which is a continuous built-up area with less than 50 metres between the houses. Statistics Norway (2007). "Urban settlements. Population and area, by municipality. 1 January 2007". Archived from the original on 7 November 2007.{{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. Bergen was a separate county until 1 January 1972.
  3. Previously known as Fredrikshald
  4. Lost its status in 1964, regained in 1996.
  5. Previously known as Fredriksvern
  6. Røros chose to be referred to as bergstad (mining town).

Related Research Articles


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Buskerud Former county (fylke) of Norway

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Austevoll Municipality in Vestland, Norway

Austevoll is a municipality and an archipelago in Vestland county, Norway. It is located in the traditional district of Midthordland in Western Norway. The administrative centre is the village of Storebø on the island of Huftarøy. Other villages include Årland, Austevollshella, Bakkasund, Bekkjarvik, Birkeland, Haukanes, Husavik, Kolbeinsvik, Otterå, Våge, and Vinnes.

Ringerike (municipality) Municipality in Viken, Norway

Ringerike is a municipality in the traditional and electoral district Buskerud in Viken county, Norway. It is part of the traditional region of Ringerike. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Hønefoss.

Namsos Municipality in Trøndelag, Norway

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Florø Town in Vestland, Norway

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Sund, Norway Former municipality in Hordaland, Norway

Sund is a former municipality in the old Hordaland county in Norway. The municipality existed from 1838 until its dissolution in 2020 when it joined Øygarden Municipality. It was located in the traditional district of Midhordland. The administrative centre of the municipality was the village of Skogsvåg. Other larger villages in Sund included Klokkarvik, Tælavåg, Kausland, and Hammarsland.

Hammerfest Municipality in Troms og Finnmark, Norway

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Hønefoss Unincorporated city in Buskerud, Norway

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Grenland is a traditional district in the county of Vestfold og Telemark, in the south of Norway. Located in the southeastern part of the county, Grenland is composed of the municipalities Skien, Porsgrunn, Bamble, and Siljan. Sometimes the municipalities Kragerø and Drangedal of the smaller Vestmar region are also considered to be part of the area. The region encompasses 1,794 km2 and has 122,978 inhabitants (2004), which translates as 12% of the area and 64% of the population of Telemark.

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Norderhov is a former municipality located within Ringerike in Buskerud county, Norway.

Borre, Norway

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Hønefoss Airport, Eggemoen

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Vestfold og Telemark County of Norway

Vestfold og Telemark, lit. Vestfold and Telemark in English, is the southernmost county in Eastern Norway that consists of two distinct and separate traditional regions, the former counties of Telemark and most of Vestfold. The capital is Skien, which is also the county's largest city. While Skien is the capital of the county municipality, the seat of the County Governor is Tønsberg. It borders the counties of Viken, Vestland, Rogaland and Agder.


  1. 1 2 Statistics Norway (2003). "About the statistics: Population changes in municipalities 1951–1999".{{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. Dag Jukvam / Statistics Norway (1999). "Historisk oversikt over endringer i kommune- og fylkesinndelingen" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2003-03-10.{{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. Kommunal Rapport (23 June 2005). "Byer i Norge". Archived from the original on 15 February 2006.{{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. "Dette er Norges nye regioner". Archived from the original on 9 March 2018. Retrieved 28 April 2018.