Os, Hordaland

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Os kommune
Coat of arms of Os kommune
Coat of arms
Official logo of Os kommune
Hordaland within
Os within Hordaland
Os within Hordaland
Coordinates: 60°13′37″N 5°28′33″E / 60.22694°N 5.47583°E / 60.22694; 5.47583Coordinates: 60°13′37″N 5°28′33″E / 60.22694°N 5.47583°E / 60.22694; 5.47583
Country Norway
County Hordaland
District Midhordland
Administrative centre Osøyro
 • Mayor (2005) Terje Søviknes (Frp)
 • Total 140 km2 (50 sq mi)
 • Land 134 km2 (52 sq mi)
Area rank 364 in Norway
Population (2008)
 • Total 16,055
 • Rank 65 in Norway
 • Density 111.5/km2 (289/sq mi)
 • Change (10 years) 12.0 %
Demonym Osing[1]
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code NO-1243
Official language form Nynorsk
Website www.os.hordaland.no
Data from Statistics Norway
Historical population
Year Pop.   ±%  
1951 5,580 —    
1961 6,742 +20.8%
1971 8,162 +21.1%
1981 10,874 +33.2%
1991 12,781 +17.5%
2001 13,972 +9.3%
2011 17,210 +23.2%
2021? 21,508 +25.0%
2031? 25,107 +16.7%
Source: Statistics Norway.[2][3]

Os is a municipality in the county of Hordaland, Norway. Due to its proximity to Bergen, Os is experiencing strong population growth.[4]


Os was established as a formannskapsdistrikt, the predecessor of today's municipalities, on 1 January 1838. Fusa was separated from Os in 1856. Samnanger was separated from Os on 1 January 1907. The municipality is named after the farm of Os, where the first church was built. The name is identical with the Old Norse word "óss" which means "mouth of a river"; referring to the Oselva River.

The coat of arms is quite modern, having been adopted in 1949 after a local competition.[5] The lower part of it shows an Oselvar, a boat design traditionally associated with the village.[6]

The famous violinist Ole Bull built his summerhouse in Os, on an island named Lysøen. The special building was inspired by his travels, especially his travels to the Middle East. Lysøen was originally owned by Lyse Abbey, the ruins of which still stand and are frequently visited.


In 1999, the Progress Party won the local election, and Terje Søviknes the first Progressive Party politician to hold the position of mayor in Os.

Before World War II, the municipality was mayored by Nils Tveit from 1916 to 1940. He also held the position briefly after the German occupation of Norway had ended.


Osøyro is the administrative and commercial centre of Os, where the municipality administration is located.


As of 1 January 2008, Os has a population of 16,055. The population density is 111.5 per km², compared to a county average of 29.5 per km² and a country average of 14.5 per km². 80% of the population lived in urban settlements. 1.9% of the population were registered as unemployed; the county and national average is 2.6%. 26% of the workforce were employed in public administration. 2% were employed in the primary sector of economic activity, 28.2 in the secondary sector, and 69.3% in the tertiary sector.[7] In the period from 29 October to 4 November 2001, 45.7% of the workforce of Os commuted out of the municipality, mainly to Bergen. In the same period, Os received a daily average of 753 commuters from other municipalities, 15.8% of those employed in Os.[8] In 2006, Os had a daily out-commuting of 3,001 people.[7]


Halhjem 01

Os has a tradition of small boat building. The Oselvar is the traditional boat of Os. This small wooden boat was named after its major important building site during the 18th century, at the mouth of the Oselva River. In the early 1800s, boat building was an important industry in Os. These boats have traditionally been used for everyday work and for traveling to church. These boats were either sail or row boats. They still build these boats the traditional way in Os, and tourists are able to visit and watch them work.[9] The Oselvar is now the official boat of Norway. With its traditions the boat became a symbol of the nation.

Hagavik, a village in Os municipality, also has a modern boat building company, Askeladden Boats AS. Askeladden is Norway’s largest manufacturer of leisure boats.


Road E39 has been projected to run on a bridge (to be constructed) over Bjørnafjord.[10] The one end of the bridge will be in Os.[10]


Oseana kunst- og kultursenter

The 2011 winner of the Building of the Year Award (Årets Bygg) in Norway, was kulturhuset Oseana.[11]


  1. ^ "Personnemningar til stadnamn i Noreg" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet. 
  2. ^ Projected population - Statistics Norway
  3. ^ Per 1 January 1964, 28 persons were transferred from 1241 Fusa to 1243 Os.
  4. ^ Os kommune i Hordaland (Os municipality)
  5. ^ Norske Kommunevåpen (1990). "Nye kommunevåbener i Norden". Retrieved 21 September 2008. 
  6. ^ "Oselvar Boats". 
  7. ^ a b "Figures on Os Municipality". Statistics Norway. 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-31.  (Norwegian)
  8. ^ "Commuting. Population and housing Census 2001". Statistics Norway. 2002. Retrieved 2008-05-31.  (Norwegian)
  9. ^ Oselvaren (Os kommune)
  10. ^ a b Gir ikkje opp brumotstanden
  11. ^ Oseana i pengetrøbbel

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