The counties of Norway are often divided into five traditional geographical regions called landsdeler (country parts).
It is nice to have an idea of these regions because it may come up in conversation, making travel arrangements, or researching genealogy or history.
The Five Regions of Norway
Below the regions are listed in English then Bokmål and Nynorsk, for reference. The counties of Norway are generally considered as grouped into the following regions:
Northern Norway | Nord-Norge | Nord-Noreg
Central Norway | Midt-Norge | Midt-Noreg
Western Norway | Vestlandet | Vestlandet
Southern Norway | Sørlandet (or Agder)
Eastern Norway | Østlandet | Austlandet
These broad regions have no administrative role. They can share some general characteristics like location, history, or dialect.
Sørlandet is a newer region, while the other four groups are ancient.
Exceptions to the Five Regions
The above five areas are not cast in stone, however. County lines have changed over the years due to political or administrative practicalities, so some of the groupings don’t color inside the lines very well.
- The region Central Norway is often used as a synonym to Trøndelag, but can include some of Møre og Romsdal especially Nordmøre and parts of Romsdal.
- The southernmost part of Nordland, called Helgeland, is sometimes included in Central Norway.
- Rogaland, in whole or in part, is sometimes grouped with Southern Norway instead of Western Norway.
Also, since they are not strictly counties, this does not include:
- The territories of Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands in the North Atlantic
- The dependency of Bouvet Island in the south Atlantic Ocean
- The dependencies of Queen Maud Land and Peter I Island in Antarctica