Norway is one
of the Nordic countries, occupying the western part of the Scandinavian peninsula,
with a total area of 323 878 sq km. It is bordered by the North Sea, the Norwegian
Sea and Barents Sea in the west, Russia, Finland and Sweden in the east, and
the Skagerrak (an arm of the North Sea) in the south. Most of the country
consists of mountains and plateaus. Forests are found almost as far north
as Nordkapp (the North Cape). Norway's temperate climate is the result of
the warming Gulf Stream. Summers are remarkably mild for the latitude, while
winters are long and very cold, often with plenty of snow. Rainfall is very
heavy in the west.
Norway is a country of socio-economic equality with a high standard of living and a homogeneous population. Apart from Oslo and adjacent suburbs, there are no metropolitan cities in Norway. Norwegians usually live in small communities with well developed road, air and ferry communication. Many communities are built up around one major business or industrial enterprise. The sea along the coast is rich in natural resources like oil and fish.