Svalbard 1992Svalbard

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Svalbard - Introduction 1992
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Background: First discovered by the Norwegians in the 12th century the islands served as an international whaling base during the 17th and 18th centuries. Norway's sovereignty was recognized in 1920; five years later it officially took over the territory.

Svalbard - Geography 1992
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Geographic coordinates

Map reference

Total: 62,049 km²
Land: 62,049 km²; includes Spitsbergen and Bjornoya (Bear Island)
Comparative: slightly smaller than West Virginia

Land boundaries: none

Coastline: 3,587 km

Maritime claims
Exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm unilaterally claimed by Norway, not recognized by Russia
Territorial sea: 4 nm
focus of maritime boundary dispute in the Barents Sea between
Norway and Russia

arctic, tempered by warm North Atlantic Current; cool summers, cold winters; North Atlantic Current flows along west and north coasts of
Spitsbergen, keeping water open and navigable most of the year

Terrain: wild, rugged mountains; much of high land ice covered; west coast clear of ice about half the year; fjords along west and north coasts


Natural resources: coal, copper, iron ore, phosphate, zinc, wildlife, fish
Land use

Land use: arable land: 0%; permanent crops: 0%; meadows and pastures 0%; forest and woodland 0%; other 100%; there are no trees and the only bushes are crowberry and cloudberry

Irrigated land

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards


Svalbard - People 1992
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3,181 (July 1992), growth rate -3.9% (1992); about one-third of the population resides in the Norwegian areas (Longyearbyen and Svea on
Vestspitsbergen) and two-thirds in the Russian areas (Barentsburg and
Pyramiden on Vestspitsbergen); about 9 persons live at the Polish research station


Ethnic groups: Russian 64%, Norwegian 35%, other 1% (1981)

Languages: Russian, Norwegian


Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate

Birth rate: NA births/1000 population (1992)

Death rate: NA deaths/1000 population (1992)

Net migration rate: NA migrants/1000 population (1992)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: great calving glaciers descend to the sea
Current issues note:
located 445 km north of Norway where the Arctic Ocean, Barents Sea,
Greenland Sea, and Norwegian Sea meet

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: NA deaths/1000 live births (1992)

Life expectancy at birth: NA years male, NA years female (1992)

Total fertility rate: NA children born/woman (1992)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Literacy: NA% (male NA%, female NA%)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Svalbard - Government 1992
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Country name
Conventional long form: none

Government type:
territory of Norway administered by the Ministry of Industry,
Oslo, through a governor (sysselmann) residing in Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen; by treaty (9 February 1920) sovereignty was given to Norway

Capital: Longyearbyen

Administrative divisions

Dependent areas


National holiday


Legal system

International law organization participation



Executive branch

Legislative branch

Judicial branch

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: none

Diplomatic representation

Flag descriptionflag of Svalbard: the flag of Norway is used

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Svalbard - Economy 1992
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Economy overview:
Coal mining is the major economic activity on Svalbard. By treaty (9 February 1920), the nationals of the treaty powers have equal rights to exploit mineral deposits, subject to Norwegian regulation.
Although US, UK, Dutch, and Swedish coal companies have mined in the past, the only companies still mining are Norwegian and Russian. The settlements on Svalbard are essentially company towns. The Norwegian state-owned coal company employs nearly 60% of the Norwegian population on the island, runs many of the local services, and provides most of the local infrastructure.
There is also some trapping of seal, polar bear, fox, and walrus.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products


Industrial production growth rate

Labor force: NA
Organized labor: none
Labor force

Unemployment rate

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Budget: revenues $13.3 million, expenditures $13.3 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1990)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance



Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Norwegian kroner (NKr) per US$1 - 6.5189 (March 1992), 6.4829 (1991), 6.2597 (1990), 6.9045 (1989), 6.5170 (1988), 6.7375 (1987)

Svalbard - Energy 1992
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 21,000 kW capacity; 45 million kWh produced, 11,420 kWh per capita (1989)

Electricity consumption

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Svalbard - Communication 1992
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Svalbard - Military 1992
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Military expenditures

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Svalbard - Transportation 1992
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

4 total, 4 usable; 1 with permanent-surface runways; none with runways over 2,439 m; 1
with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways






Merchant marine

Ports and terminals

Svalbard - Transnational issues 1992
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Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs

Unlimited Biking

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