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The Geographic Roots of Norway’s Economic Success

Norway’s economic success is unrivalled, both in Scandinavia as well as compared to other countries with oil resources.  In the early 20th century, Norway was relatively poor; they had limited agricultural lands and relied heavily on ocean resources and their merchant marine fleet to fuel their economy.  The hydroelectric resources were a part of their growth that put them back on par with their European neighbors.

The 1969 discovering of oil in the North Sea was the obvious answer to their economic growth.  The overlooked aspect is the low levels of corruption, sound public policy for future economic success, and democratic institutions that were already deeply entrenched in Norway.  Many oil-rich countries have squandered the wealth being incentivized for short-term spending at best, with politicians siphoning off the money at worse.  Timing can matter tremendously; Norway was developed first, THEN discovered oil in 1969.  That means that the already solid institutions were the ones to shepherd in their enormous success. 

TAGS: Norway.

25 Photos That Will Make You Fall in Love With Norway

“So how gorgeous is Norway? From its majestic wildlife, captivating Northern Lights shows, and snowy mountains, to its vivid landscapes, and mystifying fjords, Norway is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves the outdoors. Plus, opportunities for hiking, kayaking, glacier climbing, fishing, and skiing are endless! If Noway wasn’t already on your travel bucket list, I bet it is now!”


My wife lived in Norway for 18 months, and her love for this country is infectious.  The stunning physical geography leads to some equally magnificent cultural landscapes that were forged in a very rugged, inhospitable environment for early human settlers.   


Tags: Norway, place, tourismphysical, Arctic, geo-inspiration, images, artlandscape.

Thousands Leave Norwegian Church as Online Registration Backfires

“15,035 people have ‘unsubscribed’ from the church since Monday.”


Europe, the most developed region in the world, is also the most secular region today.  During colonial times, Europeans were spreading Christianity across the globe, but now Christianity is becoming more a part of Europe’s historical landscape.  Secularization can be seen as either the cause or the effect of several other European trends such as declining fertility rates.  Today Europeans have stopped attending mass en masse, and many cathedrals sit empty.  This example for Norway has an amusing twist, but it is rooted in a powerful cultural shift. 


Questions to Ponder: What are other signs of secularization on the cultural landscape?  What would you do with a former sacred site (and an architectural treasure) that is can’t be maintained?


Tags: culturepopular culture, religion, ChristianityNorway, Europe.

These cities will be very rich in 10 years

Forget New York, London or Hong Kong. Here are seven cities that are racing up the rankings of the world’s richest, and will be among the top 10 by 2025, according to researchers from McKinsey.


  1. Doha, Qatar
  2. Bergen, Norway
  3. Trondheim, Norway
  4. Hwaseong, South Korea
  5. Asan, South Korea
  6. Rhine Ruhr, Germany
  7. Macau, China

Tagsurbandevelopment, economic, planninglaborglobalization, technology.

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