Norway–United States relations

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American-Norwegian relations
Map indicating locations of Norway and USA


United States
Diplomatic Mission
Norwegian Embassy, Washington, D.C. United States Embassy, Oslo
King Harald V of Norway, during a Full Honor Ceremony (FHC) on his behalf of his official visit to the United States celebrating 100 years of diplomatic relations between the Kingdom of Norway and the United States of America and to deliver relief supplies to assist in the Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts.
King Harald V of Norway and Queen Sonja of Norway, greeted by Laura and George W. Bush at the White House during the March 2005 state visit to the U.S.

Norway–United States relations are bilateral relations between Norway and the United States. The United States and Norway have a long tradition of positive relations.

The American Revolution of 1776 had a profound impact on Norway, and the democratic ideals of the U.S. Constitution served as a model for the authors of Norway's own Constitution of 1814. The close relationship between the two nations was reinforced by massive Norwegian emigration to the U.S. during the period 1825–1940, when more than 850,000 Norwegians made new homes in the United States and helped build the nation. During the post-war era, both the Marshall aid and the strong common commitment to NATO have contributed to the powerful bond between the two countries. The friendly state of the bilateral relationship was reinforced when King Harald V of Norway hosted the visit of U.S. President Bill Clinton in November 1999, the first visit to Norway by a U.S. President in Office.

The excellent relations between Norway and the United States, and the Mission in Oslo can focus its efforts on projects that serve mutual interests. Among them are expanding on the success of NATO in securing transatlantic security, promoting new business opportunities between the two nations, working with Russia to preserve the Arctic environment and the Barents Sea, helping the Baltic nations to find their place in the new Europe, and capitalizing on information technology to promote human rights and a sense of world community.

According to the 2012 U.S. Global Leadership Report, 46% of Norwegians approve of U.S. leadership, with 21% disapproving and 33% uncertain.[1]


Principal U.S. officials:

  • AmbassadorSamuel D. Heins[2]
  • Chargé d'affaires - Jim DeHart
  • Counselor for Political-Economic Affairs – Eric J. Carlson
  • Public Affairs Officer - Kim Dubois
  • Management Counselor - Graham Webster
  • Consular Chief - Katherine M. Reimondez
  • Defense and Naval Attaché – CAPT Scott C. Swehla, USN
  • Army Attaché – COL Peter J. Scammell, USA
  • Air Attaché – Col James J. McGovern, USAF
  • Chief of Office of Defense Cooperation - Lt. Joseph Murray
  • Head of Commercial Section / U.S. Commercial Service - Vidar Keyn
  • Regional Security Officer - Kevin C. Lomax

see also United States Ambassador to Norway, Embassy of the United States in Oslo

The U.S. maintains an embassy in Oslo. Norway maintains an embassy in Washington DC, United States, and four consulates in New York City, Houston (Norwegian Consulate General, Houston), San Francisco and Minneapolis.

Norwegian Americans[edit]

Further information: Norwegian American

There are more than 4.5 million people of Norwegian ancestry in the United States today.[1] Of these, approximately three million claim "Norwegian" as their sole or primary ancestry.

  • A little more than 2% of whites in the United States are of Norwegian descent. In the Upper Midwest, especially Minnesota, western Wisconsin, northern Iowa, and the Dakotas, more than 15% of whites are of Norwegian descent. Nearly one-third of all North Dakotans claim Norwegian as their ancestry.[citation needed]
  • 55% of Norwegian Americans live in the Midwest, although a large number (21%) live in the Pacific States of Washington, Oregon, and California.
  • Norwegian Americans actively celebrate and maintain their heritage in many ways. Much of it centers on the Lutheran-Evangelical churches they were born into, but also culinary customs (e.g., lutefisk and lefse), costumes (bunad), and Norwegian holidays (Syttende Mai, May 17) are popular. A number of towns in the United States, particularly in the Upper Midwest, display very strong Norwegian influences.
  • Although the Norwegians were the most numerous of all the Scandinavian immigrant groups, other Scandinavians also emigrated to America during the same time period. Today, there are 11–12 million Americans of Scandinavian ancestry. Scandinavian descendants represent about 6% of the white population in the United States as a whole, and more than 25% of the white population of the Upper Midwest.
  • Norwegian Americans tend to be Lutheran, although substantial minorities are Roman Catholic or belong to other Protestant denominations. See The Norwegian Lutheran Church in the United States.
  • There are more people of Norwegian ancestry in America than in Norway. Historically high birth rates over the past hundred years among Norwegian-Americans resulted in their roughly quadrupling in population over the original ~850,000 immigrants.

Country comparison[edit]

Norway Norway Flag of the United States.svg United States
Population 5,063,709 323,842,000
Area 385,252 km2 (148,746 sq mi) 9,629,091 km2 (3,717,813 sq mi)
Population density 12.5/km2 (31/sq mi) 31/km2 (80/sq mi)
Capital Oslo Washington, D.C.
Largest city Oslo – 580,229 (1,422,442 metro) New York City – 8,363,710 (19,006,798 metro)
Government Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy Federal presidential constitutional republic
First leader Harald Fairhair George Washington
Current leader Harald V (Constitutional Monarch)

Erna Solberg (Prime Minister)

Donald Trump (President)
Official languages Norwegian English (de facto)
Main religions 85% Protestant, 10% other, 2% Islam, 1% Pentecostalism, 1% Roman Catholic 75% Christianity, 20% non-Religious, 2% Judaism, 1% Buddhism, 1% Islam
Ethnic groups 89.4% Norwegian and Sami, 10.6% other 74% White American, 14.8% Hispanic and Latino Americans (of any race), 13.4% African American,
6.5% Some other race, 4.4% Asian American, 2.0% Two or more races,
0.68% American Indian or Alaska Native, 0.14% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
GDP (nominal) 2008 IMF estimates: US$451.830 billion[3] ($94,386 per capita)[3] 2008 IMF estimates: US$14.441 trillion[3] ($47,440 per capita)[4]

Diplomatic missions[edit]


In 1906 Norway opened a consulate in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It became a consulate-general in 1946.[5] In 2001 the Norwegian government planned to close the consulate but it stayed open after Norwegian American groups lobbied to keep it open. In 2007 the Norwegian government again announced plans to close the consulate and replace it with an honorary consulate; area Norwegian Americans criticized the outcome.[6]

The Minneapolis consulate served Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.[7] In 2007 there were 850,000 people of Norwegian descent in Minnesota.[6] In 2007 the consulate had four permanent employees and an intern.[8]

As of 2015 Eivind Heiberg, the CEO of Sons of Norway, is the honorary consul of Minneapolis.[9]


There was previously a Norwegian consulate in Miami that served Florida, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and the Caribbean. The consulate closed on April 1, 2003. After its closure its territory was divided between the consulates in Houston, New York, Caracas, and Mexico City.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ U.S. Global Leadership Project Report - 2012 Gallup
  2. ^ Brodey, Sam (12 February 2016). "Minnesotan confirmed as Norway ambassador, ending long saga". MinnPost. Retrieved 11 March 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c "World Economic Outlook Database". International Monetary Fund. 
  4. ^ "World Economic Outlook Database". International Monetary Fund. 
  5. ^ Davey, Monica (2007-11-20). "For Children of Norway, a Rift With the Mother Country". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-04-17. 
  6. ^ a b Louwagie, Pam. "Norway threatens to close consulate in Minnesota." Minneapolis Star-Tribune. October 10, 2007. Retrieved on February 11, 2009.
  7. ^ a b "Consulates." Norway in the USA (Norwegian Government). September 28, 2006. Retrieved on April 17, 2017.
  8. ^ "Norwegian consulate in Minneapolis might be downgraded". Associated Press at MPR News. 2007-10-10. Retrieved 2017-04-17. 
  9. ^ Ode, Kim (2015-07-25). "Sons of Norway CEO Heiberg is Norway's new consul general". Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Retrieved 2017-04-17. 

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Department of State website (Background Notes).[1]

Further reading[edit]

  • Cole, Wayne S. (1989) Norway and the United States, 1905–1955: Two democracies in peace and war. Ames: Iowa State University Press. ISBN 0813803217.

External links[edit]

Media related to Norway – United States relations at Wikimedia Commons