Vega, Norway

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Vega kommune
View of Nes harbour in Vega
View of Nes harbour in Vega
Coat of arms of Vega kommune
Coat of arms
Official logo of Vega kommune
Nordland within
Vega within Nordland
Vega within Nordland
Coordinates: 65°40′31″N 11°57′28″E / 65.67528°N 11.95778°E / 65.67528; 11.95778Coordinates: 65°40′31″N 11°57′28″E / 65.67528°N 11.95778°E / 65.67528; 11.95778
Administrative centreGladstad
 • Mayor (2007)Ingrid Solstrand (Ap)
 • Total164.79 km2 (63.63 sq mi)
 • Land162.54 km2 (62.76 sq mi)
 • Water2.25 km2 (0.87 sq mi)
Area rank#350 in Norway
 • Total1,234
 • Rank#377 in Norway
 • Density7.6/km2 (20/sq mi)
 • Change (10 years)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
ISO 3166 codeNO-1815
Official language formBokmål
The Vega Archipelago
UNESCO World Heritage Site
CriteriaCultural: v
Inscription2004 (28th Session)
Area107,294 ha
Buffer zone28,952 ha

Vega is a municipality in Nordland county, Norway. It is part of the Helgeland traditional region. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Gladstad. Other villages include Holand and Ylvingen.

The municipality comprises about 6,500 islands in the Vega Archipelago. The main island of the municipality is also called Vega, and it is also the largest at 163 square kilometres (63 sq mi). Bremstein Lighthouse is located in the southwestern part of the municipality.[2]

The 165-square-kilometre (64 sq mi) municipality is the 350th largest by area out of the 422 municipalities in Norway. Vega is the 377th most populous municipality in Norway with a population of 1,234. The municipality's population density is 7.6 inhabitants per square kilometre (20/sq mi) and its population has decreased by 5% over the last decade.[3]

General information[edit]

The municipality of Vega was established on 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). On 1 January 1965, the Skogsholmen area (population: 196) was transferred from Tjøtta to Vega. Then on 1 January 1971, the Skålvær islands (population: 32) in the northeastern part of Vega was transferred to Alstahaug.[4]


The municipality is named after the main island of Vega (Old Norse: Veiga). The name is probably derived from veig which means "liquid" or "fluid" (referring to the lakes and the marshes of the island). The name was written "Vegø" prior to 1891.[5]


The coat-of-arms is from modern times; they were granted on 20 November 1987. The arms show a gold-colored bailer for a boat on a red background. A bailer is an essential tool that is important to the municipality due to its dependence on the sea. An earlier suggestion for the Vega coat-of-arms picturing the black silhouette of a sailing boat on a yellow background is now used as the coat-of-arms of Nordland county.[6]


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

Churches in Vega
Church Name Location
of the Church
Year Built
Vega Vega Church Gladstad 1864
Ylvingen Chapel Ylvingen 1967


Early settlements on the main island date back 10,000 years, making it one of the oldest places of inhabitance in Northern Norway. Agriculture and fishing are at present as they were in the past, key fields of labour. Today's inhabitants are concentrated in Holand, Valla, Igerøy, Ylvingen, and Gladstad, the latter being the location of the municipal council and most of the island's commerce.


All municipalities in Norway, including Vega, 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.

Municipal council[edit]

The municipal council (Kommunestyre) of Vega is made up of 15 representatives that are elected to four year terms. Currently, the party breakdown is as follows:[7]

Vega Kommunestyre 2015–2019
Party Name Name in Norwegian Number of
 Labour PartyArbeiderpartiet8
 Centre PartySenterpartiet5
 Socialist Left PartySosialistisk Venstreparti1
 Local ListsLokale lister1
Total number of members:15


In 2004, the archipelago's cultural landscape was inscribed by UNESCO on the World Heritage Site list as representative of "the way generations of fishermen/farmers have, over the past 1,500 years, maintained a sustainable living in an inhospitable seascape near the Arctic Circle, based on the now unique practice of eider down harvesting." The oceanic climate and limestone bedrock has allowed 10 different species of orchids to grow in Vega, and 210 species of birds have been recorded at the archipelago.

Eidemsliene nature reserve has many warmth-loving species of plants and the most oceanic pine forest in North Norway.[8] Holandsosen nature reserve is an important wetland area with a shallow lake and soil rich in lime; 149 species of birds have been observed in this reserve which has a rich bird life all year (many birds use this as their winter quarter). Lånan nature reserve preserves many types of coastal nature and is a very important area for many species of birds; eider down harvesting is still practiced here.[9]

Media gallery[edit]


  1. ^ "Navn på steder og personer: Innbyggjarnamn" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet. Retrieved 2015-12-01.
  2. ^ Store norske leksikon. "Vega (bilde)" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2011-11-14.
  3. ^ Statistisk sentralbyrå (2017). "Table: 06913: Population 1 January and population changes during the calendar year (M)" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2017-09-23.
  4. ^ Jukvam, Dag (1999). "Historisk oversikt over endringer i kommune- og fylkesinndelingen" (PDF) (in Norwegian). Statistisk sentralbyrå.
  5. ^ Rygh, Oluf (1905). Norske gaardnavne: Nordlands amt (in Norwegian) (16 ed.). Kristiania, Norge: W. C. Fabritius & sønners bogtrikkeri. p. 32.
  6. ^ "Kommunevåpenet" (in Norwegian). Vega Kommune. Archived from the original on 2009-08-17. Retrieved 2008-11-30.
  7. ^ "Table: 04813: Members of the local councils, by party/electoral list at the Municipal Council election (M)" (in Norwegian). Statistics Norway. 2015.
  8. ^ "Eidemsliene naturreservat" (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 2012-04-17. Retrieved 2008-11-30.
  9. ^ "Lånan - Skjærvær naturreservat/Fuglefredningsområde" (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2008-11-30.

External links[edit]