Home>>Country Information>>   

Display this page in a new window                                 Bookmark this page
   
 

Svalbard
(territory of Norway)

 
Flag of Svalbard
Click to enlarge
 

Coordinates:
78.00 N  20.00 E

 
 
Introduction  Geography  People  Government  Economy
 
Communications  Transportation  Military  Transnational Issues

Map of Svalbard

Click to see on Google Maps

 

Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Svalbard Top of Page
Background:
Definition Field Listing
First discovered by the Norwegians in the 12th century, the islands served as an international whaling base during the 17th and 18th centuries. Norway's sovereignty was recognized in 1920; five years later it officially took over the territory.
   Geography    Svalbard Top of Page
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Northern Europe, islands between the Arctic Ocean, Barents Sea, Greenland Sea, and Norwegian Sea, north of Norway
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
78 00 N, 20 00 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Arctic Region
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 62,049 sq km
land: 62,049 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: includes Spitsbergen and Bjornoya (Bear Island)
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly smaller than West Virginia
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
0 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
3,587 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 4 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm unilaterally claimed by Norway but not recognized by Russia
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
arctic, tempered by warm North Atlantic Current; cool summers, cold winters; North Atlantic Current flows along west and north coasts of Spitsbergen, keeping water open and navigable most of the year
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
wild, rugged mountains; much of high land ice covered; west coast clear of ice about one-half of the year; fjords along west and north coasts
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Arctic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Newtontoppen 1,717 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
coal, iron ore, copper, zinc, phosphate, wildlife, fish
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (no trees, and the only bushes are crowberry and cloudberry) (2005)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
ice floes often block the entrance to Bellsund (a transit point for coal export) on the west coast and occasionally make parts of the northeastern coast inaccessible to maritime traffic
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
northernmost part of the Kingdom of Norway; consists of nine main islands; glaciers and snowfields cover 60% of the total area; site of future seed repository under construction by the Global Crop Diversity Trust and the Norwegian Government
   People    Svalbard Top of Page
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2,701 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: NA
15-64 years: NA
65 years and over: NA (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
-0.02% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA births/1,000 population
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA deaths/1,000 population
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
NA migrant(s)/1,000 population
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: NA
male: NA
female: NA
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: NA
male: NA
female: NA
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0% (2001)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 (2001)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 (2001)
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Norwegian 55.4%, Russian and Ukrainian 44.3%, other 0.3% (1998)
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
Norwegian, Russian
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
NA
   Government    Svalbard Top of Page
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Svalbard (sometimes referred to as Spitzbergen)
Dependency status:
Definition Field Listing
territory of Norway; administered by the Polar Department of the Ministry of Justice, through a governor (sysselmann) residing in Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen; by treaty (9 February 1920) sovereignty was awarded to Norway
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Longyearbyen
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
none (territory of Norway)
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: King HARALD V of Norway (since 17 January 1991)
head of government: Governor Odd Olsen INGERO (since 8 June 2001) and Assistant Governor Rune Baard HANSEN (since NA)
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; governor and assistant governor responsible to the Polar Department of the Ministry of Justice
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
none
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
the flag of Norway is used
   Economy    Svalbard Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Coal mining is the major economic activity on Svalbard. The treaty of 9 February 1920 gives the 41 signatories equal rights to exploit mineral deposits, subject to Norwegian regulation. Although US, UK, Dutch, and Swedish coal companies have mined in the past, the only companies still mining are Norwegian and Russian. The settlements on Svalbard are essentially company towns. The Norwegian state-owned coal company employs nearly 60% of the Norwegian population on the island, runs many of the local services, and provides most of the local infrastructure. There is also some hunting of seal, reindeer, and fox.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$NA
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA%
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $11.5 million
expenditures: $11.5 million; including capital expenditures of $NA (1998 est.)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$NA
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$NA
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$8.2 million from Norway (1998)
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing
Norwegian krone (NOK)
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Norwegian kroner per US dollar - 6.4425 (2005), 6.7408 (2004), 7.0802 (2003), 7.9838 (2002), 8.9917 (2001)
   Communications    Svalbard Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: probably adequate
domestic: local telephone service
international: country code - 47-790; satellite earth station - 1 of unknown type (for communication with Norwegian mainland only)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 1, FM 1 (plus 2 repeaters), shortwave 0 (1998)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.sj
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
   Transportation    Svalbard Top of Page
Airports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2005)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 2
under 914 m: 2 (2005)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing
Barentsburg, Longyearbyen, Ny-Alesund, Pyramiden
   Military    Svalbard Top of Page
Military - note:
Definition Field Listing
demilitarized by treaty on 9 February 1920
   Transnational Issues    Svalbard Top of Page
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
despite recent discussions, Russia and Norway dispute their maritime limits in the Barents Sea and Russia's fishing rights beyond Svalbard's territorial limits within the Svalbard Treaty zone

This page was last updated on 20 July, 2006


Source: CIA Factbook