List of towns and cities in Norway

List of towns and cities in Norway
Map of Norway with important cities

This is a list of towns and cities in Norway.

The Norwegian word for town or city is by. Cities were formerly categorized as kjøpstad (market town) or ladested (small seaport),[1] each with special rights. The special trading rights for cities were abolished in 1857, and the classification was entirely rescinded in 1952 and replaced by the simple classification by.

From 1 January 1965 the focus were moved from the individual cities to their corresponding municipalities. Norwegian municipalities were classified as bykommune (urban municipality) or herredskommune (rural municipality). The distinction was rescinded by The Local Government Act of 1992. The municipalities were ordered by so-called municipality numbers, four-digit codes based on ISO 3166-2:NO which in 1946 were assigned to each municipality. Urban municipalities got a municipality number in which the third digit was a zero.[1]

Between 1960 and 1965 many Norwegian municipalities were merged. For instance when the urban municipality Brevik merged with the urban municipality Porsgrunn and the rural municipality Eidanger, the new municipality was called Porsgrunn and retained its municipality number. As a result, Brevik was considered an urban municipality/town no longer. On another note, when the urban municipality Hønefoss was merged with the rural municipalities Hole, Norderhov, Tyristrand and Ådal to form the new municipality Ringerike, Ringerike retained the old municipality number of Hønefoss.[2] The same thing happened to Egersund and Florø.

Before 1996 city status was awarded by the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development. Now the issue is decided by each municipality council and formally accepted by the state. Since 1997 a municipality must have a minimum of 5,000 inhabitants in order to declare city status for one of its settlements. In 1999 the municipality council of Bardu declared city status for Setermoen, only to be rejected because the municipality fell short of the population limit. One exception is Honningsvåg in Nordkapp, where the municipality actually has less than 5,000 inhabitants but declared city status before the limit was implemented by law in 1997.[3]

Because of the new laws, Norway witnessed a rapid rise in the number of cities after 1996. Interestingly, a number of relatively small settlements are now called by, such as Brekstad with 1,828 inhabitants and Kolvereid with 1,448 inhabitants.[4] Among the cities of today which got this status before 1996, Tvedestrand with 1,983[4] inhabitants is the smallest. On another note, the laws of 1996 allowed some settlements which lost their city status in the 1960s to regain it.

Oslo, founded in year 1000, is the largest city in Norway as well as the capital.


Cities and towns in Norway

Note that in most cases the population listed here is that of the municipality, including other villages, not just the urban centre.

City or town status since before 1996

Oslo, Capital of Norway
City/town Municipality County City/town status Population
Arendal Arendal Aust-Agder 1723 39,826
Bergen Bergen Hordaland[5] 1070 252,051
Bodø Bodø Nordland 1816 46,049
Drammen Drammen Buskerud 1811 60,145
Egersund Eigersund Rogaland 1798 13,418
Farsund Farsund Vest-Agder 1795 9,392
Flekkefjord Flekkefjord Vest-Agder 1842 8,918
Florø Flora Sogn og Fjordane 1860 8,296
Fredrikstad Fredrikstad Østfold 1567 71,976
Gjøvik Gjøvik Oppland 1861 27,500
Grimstad Grimstad Aust-Agder 1816 19,809
Halden[6] Halden Østfold 1665 28,063
Hamar Hamar Hedmark 1248 31,593
Hammerfest Hammerfest Finnmark 1789 9,261
Harstad Harstad Troms 1904 23,242
Haugesund Haugesund Rogaland 1854 31,738
Holmestrand Holmestrand Vestfold 1752 9,515
Horten Horten Vestfold 1858 24,671
Hønefoss Ringerike Buskerud 1852 13,930
Kongsberg Kongsberg Buskerud 1624 23,997
Kongsvinger Kongsvinger Hedmark 1854 17,380
Kristiansand Kristiansand Vest-Agder 1641 80,000
Kristiansund Kristiansund Møre og Romsdal 1742 22,661
Larvik Larvik Vestfold 1671 41,221
Lillehammer Lillehammer Oppland 1842 25,070
Mandal Mandal Vest-Agder 1921 13,840
Molde Molde Møre og Romsdal 1742 24,421
Moss Moss Østfold 1720 28,800
Namsos Namsos Nord-Trøndelag 1845 12,426
Narvik Narvik Nordland 1902 18,512
Notodden Notodden Telemark 1913 12,359
Oslo Oslo Oslo 1000 584,292
Porsgrunn Porsgrunn Telemark 1842 33,550
Risør Risør Aust-Agder 1630 6,938
Sandefjord Sandefjord Vestfold 1845 42,333
Sandnes Sandnes Rogaland 1860 63,032
Sarpsborg Sarpsborg Østfold 1839 (1016) 50,115
Skien Skien Telemark 1000 50,595
Stavanger Stavanger Rogaland 1125 121,610
Steinkjer Steinkjer Nord-Trøndelag 1857 20,672
Tromsø Tromsø Troms 1794 64,782
Trondheim Trondheim Sør-Trøndelag 997 168,257
Tønsberg Tønsberg Vestfold 871 38,914
Vadsø Vadsø Finnmark 1833 6,187
Vardø Vardø Finnmark 1789 2,396
Ålesund Ålesund Møre og Romsdal 1848 41,385

City status since after 1996

City Municipality County Town status Population
Alta Alta Finnmark 1999 17,440
Askim Askim Østfold 1996 14,703
Brekstad Ørland Sør-Trøndelag 2005 1,865
Brevik Porsgrunn Telemark 1845-1963
later regained
Brumunddal Ringsaker Hedmark 2010 8,890
Bryne Time Rogaland 2001 9,627
Brønnøysund Brønnøy Nordland 1923-1963
regained 2000
Drøbak Frogn Akershus 1842-1961
regained 2006
Elverum Elverum Hedmark 1996 18,992
Fauske Fauske Nordland 1998 6,000
Fagernes Nord-Aurdal Oppland 2007 1,762
Finnsnes Lenvik Troms 2000 5,500
Fosnavåg Herøy Møre og Romsdal 2000 3,598
Førde Førde Sogn og Fjordane 1997 9,248
Hokksund Øvre Eiker Buskerud 2002 8,000
Honningsvåg Nordkapp Finnmark 1996 2,575
Jørpeland Strand Rogaland 1998 6,168
Kirkenes Sør-Varanger Finnmark 1998 6,000
Kolvereid Nærøy Nord-Trøndelag 2002 1,448
Kopervik Karmøy Rogaland 1866-1964
regained 1996
Kragerø Kragerø Telemark 1666-1959
later regained
Langesund Bamble Telemark 1765-1963
regained 1997
Leirvik Stord Hordaland 1997 11,342
Leknes Vestvågøy Nordland 2002 10,764
Levanger Levanger Nord-Trøndelag 1836-1961
later regained
Lillesand Lillesand Aust-Agder 1830-1961
later regained
Lillestrøm Skedsmo Akershus 1997 14,000
Lyngdal Lyngdal Vest-Agder 2001 7,216
Mo i Rana Rana Nordland 1923-1963
later regained
Mosjøen Vefsn Nordland 1875-1961
later regained
Mysen Eidsberg Østfold 1996 6,084
Måløy Vågsøy Sogn og Fjordane 2004 3,003
Odda Odda Hordaland 2004 7,468
Otta Sel Oppland 2000 2,750
Rjukan Tinn Telemark 1996 3,386
Sandnessjøen Alstahaug Nordland 1999 5,716
Sandvika Bærum Akershus 2003 108,144
Sauda Sauda Rogaland 1999 4,878
Ski Ski Akershus 2004 26,588
Skudeneshavn Karmøy Rogaland 1857-1964
later regained
Sortland Sortland Nordland 1997 9,509
Stathelle Bamble Telemark 1774-1963
regained 1997
Stavern[7] Larvik Vestfold 1946-1988
regained 1999
Tananger[8] Sola Rogaland 2009 5,000
Ulsteinvik Ulstein Møre og Romsdal 2000 5,156
Verdalsøra Verdal Nord-Trøndelag 1998 7,396
Åkrehamn Karmøy Rogaland 2002 10,070
Åndalsnes Rauma Møre og Romsdal 1996 3,000

Former towns

City Municipality County Town status
Holmsbu Hurum Buskerud 1847–1964
Hvitsten Vestby Akershus 1837–1964
Hølen Vestby Akershus 1837–1943
Røros[9] Røros Sør-Trøndelag 1683-
Setermoen Bardu Troms 1999
(later rejected)
Sogndal Sokndal Rogaland 1798–1944
Son Vestby Akershus 1604-1963
Åsgårdstrand Horten Vestfold 1650-1964

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b Statistics Norway (2003). About the statistics: Population changes in municipalities 1951-1999. 
  2. ^ Dag Jukvam / Statistics Norway (1999). Historisk oversikt over endringer i kommune- og fylkesinndelingen. 
  3. ^ Kommunal Rapport (23 June 2005). Byer i Norge. 
  4. ^ a b Population count applies to the tettsted (urban settlement), which is a continuous built-up area with less than 50 metres between the houses. Statistics Norway (2007). Urban settlements. Population and area, by municipality. 1 January 2007. 
  5. ^ Bergen was a separate county until 1 January 1972.
  6. ^ Previously known as Fredrikshald
  7. ^ Previously known as Fredriksvern
  8. ^ Previously known as Krim Jacobs Hamn
  9. ^ Røros chose to be referred to as bergstad (mining town).

External links

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