The Norwegian capital is both a municipality and a county. Falling within Oslo’s city limits are 40 islands, 343 lakes and the Oslomarka forest making Oslo one of Europe’s greenest cities.
Nicknames for Oslo include the “City of Tigers” based on an author’s perception of the city as a cold and dangerous place and, more recently, the “City of Beggars” due to the prevalence of homelessness.
Oslo hosts the Nobel Peace Prize’s annual award ceremony fulfilling wishes dictated in Alfred Nobel’s will. In addition, the Nobel Peace Center is located beside Oslo’s city hall.
Research website numbeo ranks Oslo in the top third compared to the 250 cities evaluated on its overall quality of life index at June 2020. Oslo scored relatively well on index factors such as pollution (lowest 14%), health care (top 20%), traffic commute time (lowest 36%) and safety (top 37%). On the negative side, Oslo places in the top 2% for highest cost of living.
Oslo was recognized by the Guinness World Records as the site where the biggest floor lamp was created, measuring 30 feet (9.16 meters). Another record was set when the world’s tallest curtains were created and displayed on a hotel in Oslo, 213.25 feet and 3 inches (65 meters) high.
From an international trade perspective, Norway exported US$102.8 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2019. Its most valuable exports are crude oil (28% of Norway’s global total), petroleum gas (20.9%), fish (10.3%), refined petroleum oils (6%), unwrought aluminum (2.7%) then unwrought nickel (1.2%) according to the International Trade Centre.
Capital Facts for Oslo, Norway: Quick Reference
Capital landmarks: Fram Polar Ship Museum, The Royal Palace, Akershus Castle and Fortress, Oslo City Hall and the Vigeland Museum
Below, you will find 10 of the most famous people born in Oslo, Norway.
- Alisha Boe, actress (born Mar. 6, 1997)
- Mats Zuccarello, professional hockey player (born Sep. 1, 1987)
- Harald V of Norway, King of Norway (born Feb. 21, 1937)
- Jens Stoltenberg, former prime minister (born Mar. 16, 1959)
- Mathis Bolly, soccer player/footballer (born Nov. 14, 1990)
- Mix Diskerud, soccer player/footballer (born Oct. 2, 1990)
- Maria Mena, pop singer (born Feb. 19, 1986)
- Nora Mork, handball player (born Apr. 5, 1991)
- Mariella Frostrup, journalist (born Nov. 12, 1962)
- John Fredriksen, oil tanker/shipping magnate (born May 10, 1944)
Note: Data for our Famous People tab was sourced from Google searches mostly targeting published Wikipedia articles specific to each person’s name.
Demonym for an Oslo resident: Oslovian
Population: 1,041,377 (Oslo built-up urban area)
Density: 4,268 people per square mile (1,645 per square kilometer)
Population: 5,423,874 (Norway) at July 22, 2020
Density: 38 people per square mile (15 per square kilometer)
Median age for all Norway: 39.8 years old
GDP: US$410.7 billion for 2019 (Norway)
GDP per person: $76,684
Note: The above country-level GDP metrics are on a Purchasing Power Parity basis and are in U.S. dollars. Credible city GDP statistics for Oslo were unavailable.
Official currency used in Oslo: Norwegian krone
Brookings Institution, Global Metro Monitor Report (includes GDP data).
Central Intelligence Agency, World Factbook, Field Listing: Major Urban Areas.
CityMetric, Where are largest cities in the world? 2015 edition.
Demographia, World Urban Area, 12th Annual Edition.
Guinness World Records, Largest floor lamp.
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Databases.
International Trade Centre, Trade Map.
Numbeo, Quality of Life Index by City.
Official Government Website, Oslo Municipality.
Vigeland museet og parken, The Vigeland Park.
Wikimedia Commons, City Flags.
Note: Some city flags were unavailable. If so, attribution belongs to Wikimedia Commons for pertinent country flags.
Wikipedia, Capital Districts and Territories.
Wikipedia, Greater Oslo Region.
WorldOMeter, Norway Population.
Each May 17, Norwegians celebrate Constitution Day as their country’s official national holiday.
Oslo’s urbanized territory includes 15 boroughs enlarging its total land area to 244 square miles (633 square kilometers), with a population of 1 million people at July 22, 2020.
At the country level, Norway’s land area covers 141,031 square miles (365,268 square kilometers). The nation’s population count was 5.4 million inhabitants as of July 2020.
Oslo’s population density is 4,268 dwellers per square mile (1,645 per square kilometer).
Zooming out to Norway’s overall land boundaries, population density dilutes to an average 38 residents per square mile (15 per square kilometer).