This article needs additional citations for verification .(April 2015)
|Regions with significant populations|
|United Kingdom [a] [b]||13,798 |
|Lutheranism (Church of Norway) Historically Norse paganism and Catholic Christianity.|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Other Germanic peoples |
(especially North Germanic peoples)
a. ^ Based on table of given countries above. Includes those of partial Norwegian ancestry but does not include people of Faroese, Icelandic, Orcadian or Shetland ancestry.
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Norwegians (Norwegian : nordmenn) are a North Germanic ethnic group native to Norway. They share a common culture and speak the Norwegian language. Norwegian people and their descendants are found in migrant communities worldwide, notably in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
Towards the end of the 3rd millennium BC, Proto-Indo-European speaking Battle-Axe peoples migrated to Norway bringing domesticated horses, agriculture, cattle and wheel technology to the region.
During the Viking Age, Harald Fairhair unified the Norse petty kingdoms after being victorious at the Battle of Hafrsfjord in the 880s. Two centuries of Viking expansion tapered off following the decline of Norse paganism with the adoption of Christianity in the 11th century. During The Black Death, approximately 60% of the population died and in 1397 Norway entered a union with Denmark.
In 1814, following Denmark-Norway's defeat in the Napoleonic Wars, Norway entered a union with Sweden and adopted a new constitution. Rising nationalism throughout the 19th century led to a 1905 referendum granting Norway independence. Although Norway remained officially neutral in World War I, the country was unofficially allied with the Entente powers. In World War II Norway proclaimed its neutrality, but was nonetheless occupied for five years by Nazi Germany (1940–45). In 1949, neutrality was abandoned and Norway became a member of NATO. Discovery of oil and gas in adjacent waters in the late 1960s boosted Norway's economic fortunes but in referendums held in 1972 and 1994, Norway rejected joining the EU. Key domestic issues include integration of a fast growing immigrant population, maintaining the country's generous social safety net with an aging population, and preserving economic competitiveness.
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. and other Scandinavian countries.[ citation needed ]
Norwegian or Norse Vikings [ citation needed ] They conducted extensive raids in Ireland and founded the cities of Cork, Dublin, and Limerick.[ citation needed ] In 947, a new wave of Norwegian Vikings appeared in England when Erik Bloodaxe captured York. In the 8th century and onwards, Norwegian and Danish Vikings also settled in Normandy, most famously those led by Rollo, and thus began the tradition of the Normans (also meaning 'men from the north'), who expanded to England, Sicily, and other Mediterranean islands.travelled north and west and founded vibrant communities in the Faroe Islands, Shetland, Orkney, Iceland, Ireland, Scotland, and northern England.
Apart from Britain and Ireland, Norwegian Vikings established settlements in largely uninhabited regions.[ citation needed ] The first known permanent Norwegian settler in Iceland was Ingólfur Arnarson. In the year 874 he settled in Reykjavík.
After his expulsion from Iceland Erik the Red discovered Greenland, a name he chose in hope of attracting Icelandic settlers.[ citation needed ] Viking settlements were established in the sheltered fjords of the southern and western coast.[ citation needed ] Erik's relative Leif Eriksson later discovered North America.
During the 17th and 18th centuries, many Norwegians emigrated to the Netherlands, particularly Amsterdam.The Netherlands was the second most popular destination for Norwegian emigrants after Denmark.
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 (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. Most took Dutch names, leaving no trace of Norwegian names 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, 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).[ citation needed ]
Many Norwegians emigrated to the U.S. 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 to US cities like Chicago, Milwaukee, and Green Bay by steamer. For example, in the 1850s, 28,640 arrived at Quebec, Canada, en route to the US, and 8,351 at New York directly.
Norwegian Americans represent 2–3% of the non-Hispanic Euro-American population in the U.S. They mostly live in both the Upper Midwest and Pacific Northwest.
As early as 1814, a party of Norwegians was brought to Canada to build a winter road from York Factory on Hudson Bay 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 US, 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 United States' 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 US with "Canada Fever" seeking homesteads and new economic opportunities. By 1921 one-third of all Norwegians in Canada had been born in the US.
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 the US, Canada was part of the British Empire and most Norwegians would have become Canadians and British subjects at the same time.
According to the 2011 Census, 452,705 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.
As of 2011, there were 3,710 Norwegian-born Australians, and 23,037 Norwegians of Australian descent.
In the 19th century a community known as the Kola Norwegians settled in the environs of the Russian city of Murmansk. They have suffered persecution under Joseph Stalin and after 1992 were offered a chance to get back to Norway. There are very few of them left there today.
According to recent genetic analysis, both mtDNA (mitochondrial DNA) and Y chromosome polymorphisms showed a noticeable genetic affinity between the Norwegian population and other ethnic groups in Northern and Central 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 being the most common Y-haplogroup, at about 37,3%.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%.
Norwegian genetic ancestry also exists in many locations where Norwegians immigrated. In particular, several northern states in the United States (Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana) show Scandinavian (which includes Norwegian) ancestry proportions among European descent (white) persons of 10 to 20%.Similarly, Norwegian ancestry has been found to account for about 25% of ancestry of the population of the Shetland Islands and Danish-Norwegian ancestry has been found to account for about 25% of ancestry of the population of Greenland.
Norwegian is a North Germanic language with approximately 5 million speakers, of whom most are located in Norway. There are also some speakers of Norwegian in Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Britain, Spain, Canada, and the United States, where the largest community of speakers exists, with 55,311 speakers as of 2000; approximately half of the speakers live in Minnesota (8,060), California (5,865), Washington (5,460), New York (4,200), and Wisconsin (3,520).
As of 2006, in Canada, there are 7,710 Norwegian speakers, of whom 3,420 reside in British Columbia, 1,360 in Alberta, and 1,145 in Ontario.
Norwegian culture is closely linked to the country's history and geography. The unique Norwegian farm culture, sustained to this day, has resulted not only from scarce resources and a harsh climate but also from ancient property laws. In the 18th century, it brought about a strong romantic nationalistic movement, which is still visible in the Norwegian 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.
Norway's culinary traditions show the influence of long seafaring and farming traditions with salmon (fresh and cured), herring (pickled or marinated), trout, codfish and other seafood balanced by cheeses, dairy products and excellent breads (predominantly dark/darker). Lefse is a common Norwegian potato flatbread, common around Christmas. For renowned Norwegian dishes, see lutefisk, smalahove, pinnekjøtt, Krotekake and fårikål.
Along with the classical music of romantic composer Edvard Grieg and the modern music of Arne Nordheim, Norwegian black metal has become something of an export article in recent years.
Norway's classical performers include Leif Ove Andsnes, one of the world's more famous pianists, and Truls Mørk, an outstanding cellist.
The jazz scene in Norway is also thriving. Jan Garbarek, Mari Boine, Arild Andersen, and Bugge Wesseltoft are internationally recognised while Paal Nilssen-Love, Supersilent, Jaga Jazzist and Wibutee are becoming world-class artists of the younger generation.
Norway has a strong folk music tradition which remains popular to this day.Among the most prominent folk musicians are Hardanger fiddlers Andrea Een, Olav Jørgen Hegge, Vidar Lande and Annbjørg Lien, violinist Susanne Lundeng, and vocalists Agnes Buen Garnås, Kirsten Bråten Berg and Odd Nordstoga.
Norwegians celebrate their national day on May 17, dedicated to the Constitution of Norway. Many people wear bunad (traditional costumes) and most participate in or watch the Norwegian Constitution Day parade that day, consisting mostly of children, through the cities and towns. The national romanticist author Henrik Wergeland was the founder of the 17 May parade. Common Christian holidays are also celebrated, the most important being Christmas (called Jul in Norway after the pagan and early Viking winter solstice) and Easter (Påske). In Norway, the Santa (called Nissen) comes at Christmas Eve, the 24 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's Passing), or St. Hans (St. John's Day), i.e. 24 June, is also a commonly revered holiday. It marks midsummer and the beginning of summer vacation, and is often celebrated by lighting bonfires the evening before. In Northern areas of Norway, this day has 24 hours of light, while southern areas have only 17.5 hours.
The conversion of Norway to Christianity from Norse paganism began in 1000. 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 king Christian III of Denmark forced them to convert to Lutheranism and established a state-governed church. The church undertook a program to convert the Sámi 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,[ citation needed ] 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 religion is unimportant in a Gallup poll and low weekly church attendance, at 2%, particularly when compared to that of North Dakota, 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 and state are not entirely separated. An act approved in 2016 created the Church of Norway as an independent legal entity, effective from 1 January 2017.The Church of Norway was previously the country's official religion, and its central administrative functions were carried out by the Royal Ministry of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs until 2017. The Evangelical Lutheran Church is still mentioned in the constitution, for example, the King is still required to profess an evangelical Lutheran faith. When baptised, children are registered in the Church of Norway'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. In Norway as of 2018, 70% of the population are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, though only 47.1% answered "Yes" to the question "Do you believe in God?" in a 2018 European Values Study.
The Norwegians are and have been referred to by other terms as well.
Some of them include:
Scandinavia is a subregion in Northern Europe, with strong historical, cultural, and linguistic ties.
The Viking Age was the period during the Middle Ages when Norsemen known as Vikings undertook large-scale raiding, colonizing, conquest, and trading throughout Europe, and reached North America. It followed the Migration Period and the Germanic Iron Age. The Viking Age applies not only to their homeland of Scandinavia, but to any place significantly settled by Scandinavians during the period. The Scandinavians of the Viking Age are often referred to as Vikings as well as Norsemen, although few of them were Vikings in the technical sense.
Vikings is the modern name given to seafaring Norse pirates from southern Scandinavia who from the late 8th to the late 11th centuries raided, pirated, traded and settled throughout parts of Europe. They also voyaged as far as the Mediterranean, North Africa, the Middle East, and North America. In some of the countries they raided and settled in, this period is popularly known as the Viking Age, and the term "Viking" also commonly includes the inhabitants of the Norse homelands as a collective whole. The Vikings had a profound impact on the Early medieval history of Scandinavia, the British Isles, France, Estonia, and Kievan Rus'.
The North Germanic languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages—a sub-family of the Indo-European languages—along with the West Germanic languages and the extinct East Germanic languages. The language group is also referred to as the "Nordic languages", a direct translation of the most common term used among Danish, Faroese, Icelandic, Norwegian, and Swedish scholars and laypeople.
The Norsemen were a North Germanic ethnolinguistic group of the Early Middle Ages, during which they spoke the Old Norse language. The language belongs to the North Germanic branch of the Indo-European languages and is the predecessor of the modern Germanic languages of Scandinavia. During the late eighth century, Scandinavians embarked on a large-scale expansion in all directions, giving rise to the Viking Age. In English-language scholarship since the 19th century, Norse seafaring traders, settlers and warriors have commonly been referred to as Vikings. Historians of Anglo-Saxon England distinguish between Norse Vikings (Norsemen) from Norway who mainly invaded and occupied the islands north and north-west of Britain, Ireland and western Britain, and Danish Vikings, who principally invaded and occupied eastern Britain.
The Swedes (probably from the PIE reflexive pronominal root *s e, "one's own [tribesmen/kinsmen]"; Old English: Swēon) were a North Germanic tribe who inhabited Svealand in central Sweden and one of the progenitor groups of modern Swedes, along with Geats and Gutes. They had their tribal centre in Gamla Uppsala.
Danes are a North Germanic ethnic group native to Denmark and a modern nation identified with the country of Denmark. This connection may be ancestral, legal, historical, or cultural.
The Danes were a North Germanic tribe inhabiting southern Scandinavia, including the area now comprising Denmark proper, and the Scanian provinces of modern-day southern Sweden, during the Nordic Iron Age and the Viking Age. They founded what became the Kingdom of Denmark. The name of their realm is believed to mean "Danish March", viz. "the march of the Danes", in Old Norse, referring to their southern border zone between the Eider and Schlei rivers, known as the Danevirke.
Old Norse Religion, also known as Norse Paganism, is the most common name for a branch of Germanic religion which developed during the Proto-Norse period, when the North Germanic peoples separated into a distinct branch of the Germanic peoples. It was replaced by Christianity and forgotten during the Christianization of Scandinavia. Scholars reconstruct aspects of North Germanic Religion by historical linguistics, archaeology, toponymy, and records left by North Germanic peoples, such as runic inscriptions in the Younger Futhark, a distinctly North Germanic extension of the runic alphabet. Numerous Old Norse works dated to the 13th century record Norse mythology, a component of North Germanic religion.
Icelanders are a North Germanic ethnic group and nation who are native to the island country of Iceland and speak Icelandic.
A thrall was a slave or serf in Scandinavian lands during the Viking Age. The corresponding term in Old English was þēow. The status of slave contrasts with that of the freeman and the nobleman. The Middle Latin rendition of the term in early Germanic law is servus.
Faroese people or Faroe Islanders are a North Germanic ethnic group and nation native to the Faroe Islands. The Faroese are of mixed Norse and Gaelic origins. About 21,000 Faroese live in neighbouring countries, particularly in Denmark, Iceland and Norway. Most Faroese are citizens of the Kingdom of Denmark, in which the Faroe Islands are a constituent nation. The Faroese language is one of the North Germanic languages and is closely related to Icelandic and to western Norwegian varieties.
Religion in Norway is dominated by Lutheran Christianity, with 68.7% of the population belonging to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Norway in 2019. The Catholic Church is the next largest Christian church at 3.1%. The unaffiliated make up 18.3% of the population. Islam is followed by 3.4% of the population.
The history of Scandinavia is the history of the geographical region of Scandinavia and its peoples. The region is in northern Europe, and consists of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Finland and Iceland are at times, especially in English-speaking contexts, considered part of Scandinavia.
Nordic and Scandinavian Americans are Americans of Scandinavian and/or Nordic ancestry, including Danish Americans, Finnish Americans, Icelandic Americans Norwegian Americans, and Swedish Americans. Also included are persons who reported 'Scandinavian' ancestry on their census. According to 2010 census data, there are approximately 10,931,991 people of Scandinavian ancestry in the United States.
Icelandic Americans are Americans of Icelandic descent or Iceland-born people who reside in the United States. Icelandic immigrants came to the United States primarily in the period 1873–1905 and after World War II. There are more than 40,000 Icelandic Americans according to the 2000 U.S. census, and most live in the Upper Midwest. The United States is home to the second largest Icelandic diaspora community in the world after Canada.
Norwegian Canadians refer to Canadian citizens who identify themselves as being of full or partial Norwegian ancestry, or people who emigrated from Norway and reside in Canada.
The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region in Northern Europe and the North Atlantic, where they are most commonly known as Norden. The region includes the sovereign states of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, as well as the autonomous countries of the Faroe Islands and Greenland, which are both part of the Kingdom of Denmark. The Åland Islands, an autonomous region of the Republic of Finland; Jan Mayen island and the archipelago of Svalbard, both unincorporated areas of Metropolitan Norway, are also included. Bouvet Island, a dependency of the Kingdom of Norway, is sometimes not considered a part of the Nordic countries due to its remote geographical location. Several regions in Europe such as Ireland, the Northern Isles of Scotland, and Estonia share cultural and ethnic ties with the Nordic nations, but are not considered to be part of the Nordic countries today. Scandinavians, who comprise over three quarters of the region's population, are the largest group, followed by Finns, who comprise the majority in Finland; other ethnic groups are the Greenlandic Inuit, the Sámi people, and recent immigrants and their descendants. The native languages Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Icelandic, and Faroese are all North Germanic languages rooted in Old Norse. Native non-Germanic languages are Finnish, Greenlandic languages and several Sámi languages. The main religion is Lutheran Christianity.
The Norwegian diaspora consists of Norwegian emigrants and their descendants, especially those that became Norwegian Americans. Emigrants also became Norwegian Canadians, Norwegian Australians, Norwegian New Zealanders, Norwegian Brazilians, Kola Norwegians and Norwegian South Africans.
North Germanic peoples, commonly called Scandinavians, Nordic peoples and in a medieval context Norsemen, are a Germanic ethnolinguistic group of the Nordic countries. They are identified by their cultural similarities, common ancestry and common use of the Proto-Norse language from around 200 AD, a language that around 800 AD became the Old Norse language, which in turn later became the North Germanic languages of today.
Norwegians are a Germanic people that reside primarily in Norway on the Scandinavian Peninsula
Some 86 percent of the people living in Norway today are ethnic Norwegians, a North Germanic people
Germanic nations:... Norwegians...
Danes, Icelanders, Norwegians, and Swedes are Germanic, descendants of peoples who first moved northward from the North European Plain some 10,000 years ago, when the ice sheets of the last glacial period retreated.
The English are ultimately of Germanic origin, as are the Flemish, Dutch, Frisians, Danes, Swedes, Norwegians, and Icelanders