|• Governor||Anne Enger
|• County mayor||Ole Haabeth
|• Total||4,182 km2 (1,615 sq mi)|
|• Land||3,887 km2 (1,501 sq mi)|
|Area rank||#17 in Norway, 1.28% of Norway's land area|
|• Rank||6 (5.61% of country)|
|• Density||66/km2 (170/sq mi)|
|• Change (10 years)||7.5 %|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+01)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+02)|
|Official language form||Bokmål|
|Income (per capita)||138,600 NOK|
|GDP (per capita)||200,084 NOK (2001)|
|GDP national rank||8 (3.30% of country)|
|Source: Statistics Norway.|
Østfold ( listen (help·info)) is a county in southeastern Norway, bordering Akershus and southwestern Sweden (Västra Götaland County and Värmland), while Buskerud and Vestfold is on the other side of the bay. The county's administrative seat is Sarpsborg, and Fredrikstad is the largest city.
Many manufacturing facilities are situated here, such as the world's most advanced biorefinery, Borregaard in Sarpsborg. Moss (Moss Verft) and Fredrikstad have shipyards. There are granite mines in Østfold and granite stone from these was used by Gustav Vigeland.
The county slogan is "The heartland of Scandinavia". The local dialect is characterized by the geographical proximity to Sweden.
The old name of the Oslofjord was Fold; Østfold means 'the region east of the Fold' (see also Vestfold). The name was first recorded in 1543; in the Middle Ages the name of the county was Borgarsysla 'the county/sýsla of the city Borg (now Sarpsborg)'. Later, when Norway was under Danish rule, the Danish king divided the area into many baronies. These were merged into one county (amt) in 1662 - and it was then named Smaalenenes Amt 'the amt consisting of small len'. The name was changed back to Østfold in 1919.
Østfold is among the nation's oldest inhabited regions, with petroglyphs (rock drawings) and burial mounds throughout the area.
Later, when Norway was under Danish rule, the Danish king divided the area into many baronies. The barony of Heggen og Frøland, consisting of the municipalities Askim, Eidsberg and Trøgstad, originally belonged to Akershus - but it was transferred to Østfold in 1768.
Østfold sits between the Oslo Fjord and Sweden. It is dominated by a hilly landscape with a lot of woodland in the north and along the Swedish border, a major lake system in the central part, and densely populated lowland area along the coast, with a relatively large archipelago.
Most of the county's population is located in the coastal area. The cities of Moss, Sarpsborg, Fredrikstad and Halden are situated here, along with some relatively highly populated rural municipalities. Including these coastal cities, Østfold also has another two cities, Askim and Mysen.
Transport and infrastructure
Østfold is located strategically between Oslo and Sweden. The main highway E6 between Oslo and Gothenburg runs as a motorway through the county from the southern border with Sweden and the border with Akershus county. The main highway E18 between Oslo and Stockholm goes through the county from the Swedish border in a southeast-northwest direction. The railway from Oslo to Gothenburg is running more or less parallelly with E6, and there is also a railway between Ski and Sarpsborg that covers the inner part. Moss Airport in Rygge - is the only public airport in the county. Ryanair is the main company supplying this airport with international flights. The airport serves as an addition to Oslo Airport, Gardermoen, with a population of more than 2 million people within two hours distance.
Østfold has a total of 18 Municipalities:
Coat of arms
The coat of arms is from modern times (1958). The lines represent sunrays at sunrise in the east. (See above under the name.) They also represent the worship of the Sun in the Bronze Age (depicted in several rock carvings found in the county).
- Roald Amundsen (1872–1928) - Explorer of polar regions
- Berit Ås - Politician, professor and feminist.
- Thea Foss (1857–1927) - founder of Foss Maritime
- Egil Olsen - Norwegian Football coach.
- Karl Ouren (1882–1943) - Norwegian-American artist
- Petter Solberg - Rally driver
- Nils Otto Tank (1800–1864) - Moravian Church religious leader
- Harald Zwart - Movie director and producer
- Østfold fylke website (in Norwegian and English)
- Statistics and basic interpretation regarding Østfold (in Norwegian)
- Excavation of longhouse from the Roman Iron Age