Erna Solberg has been prime minister since 2013 when she replaced Jens Stoltenberg.
A unitary sovereign state with a constitutional monarchy, Norway divides state power between the parliament, the cabinet and the supreme court, as determined by the 1814 constitution.
After Norway had become Christian, Noregr and Noregi had become the most common forms, but during the 15th century, the newer forms Noreg(h) and Norg(h)e, found in medieval Icelandic manuscripts, took over and have survived until the modern day.
According to the traditional dominant view, the first component was originally norðr, a cognate of English north, so the full name was Norðr vegr, "the way northwards", referring to the sailing route along the Norwegian coast, and contrasting with suðrvegar "southern way" (from Old Norse suðr) for (Germany), and austrvegr "eastern way" (from austr) for the Baltic.
In the translation of Orosius for Alfred, the name is Norðweg, while in younger Old English sources the ð is gone.
The maritime influence also dominates Norway's climate with mild lowland temperatures on the sea coasts, whereas the interior, while colder, also is a lot milder than areas elsewhere in the world on such northerly latitudes.
Even during polar night in the north, temperatures above freezing are commonplace on the coastline.
More recent finds along the entire coast revealed to archaeologists that the difference between the two can simply be ascribed to different types of tools and not to different cultures.
Coastal fauna provided a means of livelihood for fishermen and hunters, who may have made their way along the southern coast about 10,000 BC when the interior was still covered with ice.
Norway is bordered by Finland and Russia to the north-east, and the Skagerrak strait to the south, with Denmark on the other side.
Norway has an extensive coastline, facing the North Atlantic Ocean and the Barents Sea.
Norway has both administrative and political subdivisions on two levels: counties and municipalities.
The Sámi people have a certain amount of self-determination and influence over traditional territories through the Sámi Parliament and the Finnmark Act.
The Norwegian state has large ownership positions in key industrial sectors, having extensive reserves of petroleum, natural gas, minerals, lumber, seafood, and fresh water.