Norway Economy in the 1970’s

By | December 17, 2021

The economic and social progress achieved by the Norwegian people from the beginning of the century to today is undeniable, so much so that it is now possible to say that the Norway has transformed itself from a poor and agricultural nation to an industrial country with a high standard of living, almost equal to that of the richest European states (Federal Republic of Germany, Switzerland, Sweden).

From an agricultural point of view, Norway has very little arable land (2.5% of the territorial surface, equal to 806,000 ha) and has allocated it to cereals, which are better adapted to the cold climate (oats: 103,000 ha and 2,590 ha). 000 q in 1975; barley: 170,000 ha and 4,450,000 q), followed by the potato (8.5 million q), the main component of the local food, wheat, rye, while the diffusion of vegetables and fruit; typical is the production of blueberries, which feed a decent canning industry. Also as regards the forest heritage, it should be noted that the Norway, due to its position which exposes it in particular to winds of marine origin, is, among the Nordic countries, the least endowed with forests. However, from its forests, with a predominance of fir trees (covering about 8 million ha), Norway3 of timber, which is the basis of a thriving industrial activity (mechanical pulp, chemical pulp, cellulose and paper industries). For Norway 1998, please check

Livestock farming constitutes the resource of rural populations in the interior of the country (cattle 963,000, sheep 1,648,000, goats 72,000, pigs 764,000, and over 6,000,000 poultry) and increases an albeit modest sector of the food industry.. In the northernmost regions, reindeer (161,000 heads) and fur animals (269,000 foxes and 2,380,000 minks) are typical.

Fishing still remains the great resource of the Norwegians who have a fishing fleet of 36,201 boats, with a total tonnage approaching 400,000 t. At the height of the season, it can employ up to 100,000 people, but the number of permanent fishermen is constantly and significantly decreasing (in 1971 they amounted to about 35,000 units), while the quantity of fish caught is increasing, which is around 2.5 million tonnes, with a clear prevalence of herring and cod.

Among the herring, the most common is harengula prattus, a small herring from the sea around Stavanger which, when canned, is known as anchovy or Norwegian sardine. On the other hand, the region richest in cod is the area of ​​the Lofoti Islands, in whose famous center of Svolvær the cod, hung on wooden trestles to dry, are part of the city landscape. The fish processing and preservation industry has its main center in Bergen, followed by Trondheim and Stavanger.

Fishing activities include seal and whale hunting: the whaling ports par excellence are Tønsberg and Sanderfjord, but whaling, once a Norwegian monopoly, is now a precarious and marginal activity. The whaling fleet, while continuing to employ large tonnage boats – up to 25,000 t – and adequately equipped for the complete cycle of fish processing, is gradually dwindling and in 1971-1972 33 whales were captured which produced 1421 q of oil. To sea fishing is added that of salmon and trout of lakes and rivers.

Mineral resources and industries. – Rather poor in minerals at present, Norway relies heavily on the promising oil discoveries of the North Sea submarine fields (Ekofisk, Eldfisk, Tor, Cod) whose exploitation, started in 1971, allowed in 1976 a production of over 13.7 million tonnes of crude oil (1.7 million tonnes in 1974), destined to further increase in the next few years.

The most important deposits in the country are today those of the pyrites (Løkken, Sulitjelma, Ballangen and Lillebø), which supply over 700,000 tons of ore per year, and those of iron (Fossdalen, Mo j Rana, Rausand, Sydvaranger), which have produced in 1976 2,550,600 t of iron: followed at a distance by coal from Svalbard (432,000 t), vanadium, titanium, lead, zinc.

Norway’s industrialization process began with the organized exploitation of the resources that still occupy a very important position in the context of its economic development. Among them, electricity stands out, which can be said to have made the fortune of the country, giving considerable impetus to most of the industrial activities. In 1974 the installed power was 16,158,000 kW almost entirely water and the production of 76,646 million kWh.

A 20,000 kW nuclear reactor is in operation at the Halden center. The abundant water resources have also favored other industrial sectors, such as the electrometallurgical one (in 1976: 1,476,000 t of cast iron and ferroalloys and 900,000 t of steel), which has its main production centers in Stavanger, Arendal, Mo j Rana, and that of aluminum (for which Norway imports bauxite entirely) which reaches an annual production of 650,000 t and developed in Eydehamn, Vigeland, Tyssedal, Høyngaer, Ardal and Sunndalsøre. The chemical industry has also benefited from the presence of water: in the factories of Rjukan, Notadden, Odda and in the other minor plants, always located along the coast or near the rivers, 402,000 t of sulfuric acid were produced in 1976 and 70,000 tons of caustic soda,

In the oil sector, the Norwegian refineries of Sola-Stavanger and Slagen-Valloy had a refining capacity of 8,650,000 tonnes of oil in 1974.

Less developed are the textile industry (Bergen) and those of beer, tobacco and cement. The food industries, on the other hand, are more popular, especially those in the canning sector linked to fishing. Another traditional sector of the Norwegian industry is that of shipyards, which, moreover, given their marked specialization (whalers – supertankers) are in a slight crisis, both due to the decline suffered in recent years by whaling, and due to strong competition. of other shipbuilding industries (Japan) and the tendency towards autonomy of the crude oil producing countries that will build the oil tankers in their own yards.

Since Norway is forced to import a large variety of food products and large quantities of raw materials necessary for its industry, foreign trade is of fundamental importance in the Norwegian economy. The trade is almost exclusively maritime due to the obstacles represented in the land connections by the uneven morphology. The railways, in fact, cover only 4241 km, more than half electrified, and the roads are developed for 76,085 km, with only 81 km of motorways. Fewer than 1 million cars circulate throughout the Norway The merchant fleet, on the other hand, is powerful and includes (1975) 2706 ships (total tonnage 26,153,682 t) which are often chartered by other states, which contributes, together with the tourism in the summer months,

Norway Economy in the 1970's