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Øksnes kommune
View of Alsvåg in Øksnes
View of Alsvåg in Øksnes
Coat of arms of Øksnes kommune
Coat of arms
Official logo of Øksnes kommune
Nordland within
Øksnes within Nordland
Øksnes within Nordland
Coordinates: 68°53′18″N 15°11′00″E / 68.88833°N 15.18333°E / 68.88833; 15.18333Coordinates: 68°53′18″N 15°11′00″E / 68.88833°N 15.18333°E / 68.88833; 15.18333
Established1 Jan 1838
Administrative centreMyre
 • Mayor (2015)Karianne Bråthen (Ap)
 • Total319.51 km2 (123.36 sq mi)
 • Land310.63 km2 (119.93 sq mi)
 • Water8.88 km2 (3.43 sq mi)  2.8%
Area rank#266 in Norway
 • Total4,541
 • Rank#217 in Norway
 • Density14.6/km2 (38/sq mi)
 • Change (10 years)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
ISO 3166 codeNO-1868
Official language formNeutral

Øksnes is a municipality in Nordland county, Norway. It is located on the northwestern part of the large island of Langøya, which is a part of the traditional region of Vesterålen. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Myre. Other villages in Øksnes include Alsvåg, Barkestad, Breidstrand, Nyksund, Strengelvåg, and Stø.[2]

The 320-square-kilometre (120 sq mi) municipality is the 266th largest by area out of the 422 municipalities in Norway. Øksnes is the 217th most populous municipality in Norway with a population of 4,541. The municipality's population density is 14.6 inhabitants per square kilometre (38/sq mi) and its population has increased by 2.6% over the last decade.[3][4]

General information[edit]

Part of the road to Nyksund.
Auenfjorden, Øksnes
View of Øksnes Church on Skogsøya island

The municipality of Øksnes was established on 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). On 1 January 1866, a small area of southern Øksnes (population: 40) was transferred to the neighboring Bø Municipality. On 1 July 1919, the northeastern part of Øksnes along the Gavlfjorden (population: 1,085) was separated to form the new Langenes Municipality. This left Øksnes with 2,296 residents.

During the 1960s, there were many municipal mergers across Norway due to the work of the Schei Committee. On 1 January 1964, the Krakberget area and the part of Øksnes on the peninsula north of Krakberget (population: 271) was transferred to the neighboring municipality of . On the same date the municipality of Langenes was merged with Øksnes. Prior to the merger, Øksnes had 3,112 residents and Langenes had 2,037 residents.[5]


The municipality (originally the parish) is named after the old Øksnes farm (Old Norse: Yxnes), since the first Øksnes Church was built there. The first element is probably an old name of Skogsøya island (Old Norse: Yxn) and the last element is nes which means "headland". The old name of the island is identical with the word yxn (plural form of uxi which means "ox"). The mountains of the island have maybe been compared with a group of oxen.[6]

Coat of arms[edit]

The coat of arms is from modern times; they were granted on 22 August 1986. The arms show two black fishing hooks on a gold background, appropriate symbols for a municipality which is dependent on fishing and sailing.[7]


The Church of Norway has one parish (sokn) within the municipality of Øksnes. It is part of the Vesterålen prosti (deanery) in the Diocese of Sør-Hålogaland.

Churches in Øksnes
Parish (sokn) Church Name Location of the Church Year Built
Øksnes Alsvåg Church Alsvåg 1923
Langenes Church Stø 1500s
Myre Church Myre 1979
Øksnes Church Skogsøya 1703


View of Strengelvag

Øksnes municipality encompasses the northwestern part of the island of Langøya in the Vesterålen archipelago. It also includes many small islands around there including the islands of Anden, Dyrøya, Nærøya, Skogsøya, and Tindsøya. The Gavlfjorden flows along the northeastern part of the boundary with Andøy Municipality on the other side. The southeastern part of Øksnes borders Sortland Municipality and the southwestern part borders Bø Municipality (both municipalities are also located on Langøya island). The rest of the municipality borders the Norwegian Sea.

The municipality is quite rugged with the exception of the area east of Myre which is very flat and marshy. The large lake Alsvågvatnet lies near this flat area, just east of the village of Alsvåg. This flat area lies just to the north of the large mountain Snøkolla. The Anda Lighthouse is located on the tiny island of Anden.


Climate data for Myre, Øksnes
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Daily mean °C (°F) −2.0
Average precipitation mm (inches) 130
Source: Norwegian Meteorological Institute[8]


All municipalities in Norway, including Øksnes, are responsible for primary education (through 10th grade), outpatient health services, senior citizen services, unemployment and other social services, zoning, economic development, and municipal roads. The municipality is governed by a municipal council of elected representatives, which in turn elect a mayor.[9] The municipality falls under the Vesterålen District Court and the Hålogaland Court of Appeal.

Municipal council[edit]

The municipal council (Kommunestyre) of Øksnes is made up of 21 representatives that are elected to four year terms. Currently, the party breakdown is as follows:[10]

Øksnes Kommunestyre 2015–2019
Party Name Name in Norwegian Number of
 Labour PartyArbeiderpartiet6
 Progress PartyFremskrittspartiet2
 Conservative PartyHøyre2
 Christian Democratic PartyKristelig Folkeparti1
 Centre PartySenterpartiet4
 Socialist Left PartySosialistisk Venstreparti2
 Local ListsLokale lister4
Total number of members:21


  1. ^ "Navn på steder og personer: Innbyggjarnamn" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet. Retrieved 2015-12-01.
  2. ^ Store norske leksikon. "Øksnes" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2012-08-03.
  3. ^ Statistisk sentralbyrå (2018). "Table: 06913: Population 1 January and population changes during the calendar year (M)" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2018-12-30.
  4. ^ Statistisk sentralbyrå. "09280: Area of land and fresh water (km²) (M)" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2018-12-30.
  5. ^ Jukvam, Dag (1999). "Historisk oversikt over endringer i kommune- og fylkesinndelingen" (PDF) (in Norwegian). Statistisk sentralbyrå.
  6. ^ Rygh, Oluf (1905). Norske gaardnavne: Nordlands amt (in Norwegian) (16 ed.). Kristiania, Norge: W. C. Fabritius & sønners bogtrikkeri. pp. 382, 387.
  7. ^ "Civic heraldry of Norway - Norske Kommunevåpen". Heraldry of the World. Retrieved 2018-12-30.
  8. ^ "eKlima Web Portal". Norwegian Meteorological Institute. Archived from the original on 2004-06-14.
  9. ^ Hansen, Tore, ed. (2016-05-12). "kommunestyre". Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian). Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 2018-12-18.
  10. ^ "Table: 04813: Members of the local councils, by party/electoral list at the Municipal Council election (M)" (in Norwegian). Statistics Norway.

External links[edit]