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Western Norway

Western Norway


Western Norway (Norwegian: Vestlandet, Vest-Norge, Vest-Noreg) is the region along the Atlantic coast of southern Norway. It consists of the counties Rogaland, Hordaland, Sogn og Fjordane, and Møre og Romsdal and the region has a population of approximately 1.3 million people. The largest city is Bergen, second largest is Stavanger. Agder, Vest-Telemark, Hallingdal, Valdres and northern parts of Gudbrandsdal were during some periods included in the notion Western Norway.

The area shares a common history with Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Iceland and to a lesser extent the Netherlands, Scotland and England. For example, the Icelandic horse is a close relative of the Fjord horse and the Faroese language may resemble a West Norwegian dialect.

Western Norway has also had a large emigration to the United States, Canada, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and the United Kingdom. This applies particularly the states of Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Montana, and South Dakota. The Icelandic and Faroese people, and many people in the British Isles, are descendants of Norsemen and Vikings who emigrated from Western Norway during the Viking Age. On the other hand, thousands of Western Norwegians are descendants of Dutch and German traders who arrived in the 16th and the 17th centuries, especially in Bergen.