Norway Country Profile

Passport Ranking
Passport Score
Visa-free Countries
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Capital City

Largest City
Norwegian krone

Norwegian, Sami languages
5.5 million

Life Expectancy
82.6 years
GDP (nominal)
$504.7 billion

Cost of Living
English Proficiency
Extreme (7/7)
Average (3/5)
Very Safe (2/7)
Very clean (1/5)
High (2/5)

Taxation Type: Residence-based

Sovereign Research's take:

Norway is part of the European Economic Area (EEA), allowing its citizens to live and work in any other EEA country, plus Switzerland. (The EEA consists of 27 European Union countries plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.)
Over the years, Norway topped many “Happiest Places on Earth” rankings.

We may have an explanation as to why. 

Everyone in Norway has more or less the same status. Aspirations of achievement are limited, as are rags-to-riches stories. Norway makes it nearly impossible to pull ahead of your peers, as it ranks as the country with the highest income equality.

So, it makes sense that most people there are equally ‘happy’.

At the same time, there are some concrete reasons why Norwegians consider themselves happy.

The country’s tiny population sits on Europe's largest (after Russia) oil reserves, and benefits from it enormously.

The country’s GDP per capita is among the highest in the world. The unemployment rate is consistently low (perhaps also because the average work week there lasts only 33 hours).

However, when it comes to taxation, Norway’s taxes are some of the highest in Europe (though over the years, the tax rates have been going down slightly).

All that said, Norway probably wouldn’t be our first choice for a number of reasons. The country is very expensive. Paying the equivalent of $300 for a simple dinner for four is a bit too much, in our opinion. 

We are also not the biggest fans of Norway’s nearly arctic climate and its long, gloomy winters.

There will come a day — and that day may be 100 years from now — when the world won't need Norway's oil anymore. The clock's ticking, and they're going to have to build a real economy, not dependent on their natural resources.

In the meantime, there is one category of people for whom Norway may make a lot of sense, and that is students.

Despite the expensive lifestyle, universities in Norway are generally tuition-free, even for foreign students, and the quality of the education received there is excellent. Why not use this oil-revenue-sponsored education system of great quality to your advantage?

The bottomline – if you're a student, you may want to put Norway on your radar. .

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