Official Country Name
territory of Norway

Svalbard Overview
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.

Svalbard Economy
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.

Svalbard Location
Svalbard is located in Northern Europe, islands between the Arctic Ocean, Barents Sea, Greenland Sea, and Norwegian Sea, north of Norway

Svalbard is located in Arctic Ocean

Svalbard Population
Svalbard has population of 2,701 (July 2006 est.)

Svalbard Climate
Svalbard has 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

Svalbard Terrain
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

Svalbard Natural Resources
coal, iron ore, copper, zinc, phosphate, wildlife, fish

Ethnic Groups in Svalbard
Svalbard has the following ethnic groups - Norwegian 55.4%, Russian and Ukrainian 44.3%, other 0.3% (1998)

Svalbard Religions

Svalbard Languages
Norwegian, Russian

Svalbard Capital
Svalbard capital is Longyearbyen

Svalbard Currency
Svalbard currency is Norwegian krone

Map of Svalbard