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Aust-Agder fylke
Vegår in 2001
Vegår in 2001
Coat of arms of Aust-Agder fylke
Coat of arms
Aust-Agder within Norway
Aust-Agder within Norway
Country Norway
County Aust-Agder
Region Sørlandet
County ID NO-09
Administrative centre Arendal
 • Governor Øystein Djupedal
  Sosialistisk Venstreparti
 • County mayor Laila Øygarden
 • Total 9,158.15 km2 (3,535.98 sq mi)
 • Land 8,353.31 km2 (3,225.23 sq mi)
 • Water 804.54 km2 (310.63 sq mi)
Area rank #14 in Norway, 2.73% of Norway's land area
Population (2014)
 • Total 113,518
 • Rank 18 (2.26% of country)
 • Density 12/km2 (30/sq mi)
 • Change (10 years) 4.3 %
Demonym(s) Austegde
Time zone CET (UTC+01)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+02)
Official language form Neutral
Income (per capita) 135,700 NOK
GDP (per capita) 208,275 NOK (2001)
GDP national rank 18 (1.40% of country)
Data from Statistics Norway

Aust-Agder [²æʉstˌɑɡdər]  ( listen) (East Agder) is a county (fylke) in Norway, bordering Telemark, Rogaland, and Vest-Agder. In 2002, there were 102,945 inhabitants, which is 2.2% of the total population in Norway. Its area is 9,212 square kilometres (3,557 sq mi). The administrative center of the county is in Arendal.

The county, which is located at the Skagerrak coast, extends from Gjernestangen at Risør to Kvåsefjorden at Lillesand. The inner parts of the area includes Setesdalsheiene and Austheiene. The majority of the population live near the coast; about 78% of the county's inhabitants live in the five coastal municipalities Arendal, Grimstad, Lillesand, Tvedestrand and Risør. The rest of the county is sparsely populated. Tourism is important, as Arendal and the other coastal towns are popular attractions.

The county includes the islands of Tromøy, Justøya, and Sandøya. The interior of the county encompasses the traditional district of Setesdal, through which the Otra river flows to the coast.


The meaning of the name is "(the) eastern (part of) Agder", since the word aust is the nynorsk form of "east". (see also: the name of Vest-Agder county).

Until 1919, the name of the county was Nedenes amt. The amt was named after the old Nedenes farm (Norse Niðarnes), since this was the seat of the amtmann (County Governor). The first element is the genitive case of the river name Nið (now called Nidelva) and the last element is nes which means "headland". The meaning of the river name is unknown.[1]


The coat-of-arms is from modern times. They were granted in 1958. It shows two golden bars on a red background. They symbolize the lumber trade and the recovery of iron ore that was important for Aust-Agder's growth.[2]


The system of municipalities, or kommuner, was established in Norway in 1837, based on previously existing parishes. Norway had been ceded to Sweden by Denmark in 1814, at which it promptly rebelled and won the right of self-rule, though nominally part of Sweden. In 1905, Norway declared total independence. Meanwhile, the kommuner did not remain the same, but new ones were formed, old ones broken up, and land was passed between kommuner.

Aust-Agder is divided into 15 municipalities:

Rank Name Inhabitants Area km² Map
Municipalities of Aust-Agder
1 Arendal kommune Arendal 41,655 256
2 Grimstad kommune Grimstad 20,497 273
3 Lillesand kommune Lillesand 9,465 180
4 Risør kommune Risør 6,894 179
5 Tvedestrand kommune Tvedestrand 5,939 204
6 Froland kommune Froland 5,002 605
7 Birkenes kommune Birkenes 4,689 633
8 Evje og Hornnes kommune Evje og Hornnes 3,397 521
9 Gjerstad kommune Gjerstad 2,478 308
10 Vegårshei kommune Vegårshei 1,886 322
11 Åmli kommune Åmli 1,861 1,068
12 Valle kommune Valle 1,289 1,135
13 Iveland kommune Iveland 1,254 250
14 Bygland kommune Bygland 1,223 1,156
15 Bylke kommune Bykle 970 1,256
Total Aust-Agder fylke Aust-Agder 108,499 9,158


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1951 75,811 —    
1961 77,066 +1.7%
1971 80,839 +4.9%
1981 90,629 +12.1%
1991 97,314 +7.4%
2001 102,714 +5.5%
2011 110,048 +7.1%
2021? 126,092 +14.6%
2031? 139,982 +11.0%
Source: Statistics Norway.[3]
Religion in Aust-Agder[4][5]
religion percent

Since the census of 1769, Aust-Agder has experienced a steady population growth: from 29,633 to 79,927 in 1900, and to 102,848 in 2001. There was significant emigration to the United States in the 19th century and early 20th century.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 58°34′00″N 08°34′00″E / 58.56667°N 8.56667°E / 58.56667; 8.56667