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Counties of Norway: Map


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Norwaymarker is divided into 19 administrative regions, called counties (singular , plural (Bokmål) / fylke (Nynorsk); until 1918 known as amt, pl. amter / amt). The counties form the primary first-level subdivisions of Norway and are further divided into 431 municipalities (kommune, pl. kommuner / kommunar). The capital Oslomarker is considered as both a county and a municipality.

There is some political disagreement on whether counties are a practical, economical or even necessary level of administration. See politics of Norway for more information.

List of counties

Below is a list of the Norwegian counties as they have been since 1919, with their current administrative centres. Note that the counties are administered both by appointees of the national government and to a lesser extent by their own elected bodies. The county numbers are from the official numbering system ISO 3166-2:NO, which follows the coastline from the Swedish border in the southeast to the Russian border in the northeast. The number 13 was dropped from the system when the city of Bergenmarker (county no. 13) was merged into Hordaland (county no. 12) in 1972.
ISO-code Arms County (Fylke) Prefecture
01 Østfoldmarker Moss (county seat is Sarpsborg)
02 Akershusmarker Oslomarker
03 Oslomarker City of Oslomarker
04 Hedmarkmarker Hamarmarker
05 Oppland Lillehammermarker
06 Buskerudmarker Drammenmarker
07 Vestfold Tønsbergmarker
08 Telemarkmarker Skienmarker
09 Aust-Agdermarker Arendalmarker
10 Vest-Agdermarker Kristiansandmarker
11 Rogalandmarker Stavangermarker
12 Hordalandmarker Bergenmarker
14 Sogn og Fjordanemarker Leikangermarker
15 Møre og Romsdalmarker Moldemarker
16 Sør-Trøndelagmarker Trondheimmarker
17 Nord-Trøndelagmarker Steinkjermarker
18 Nordlandmarker Bodømarker
19 Troms Tromsømarker
20 Finnmarkmarker Vadsømarker




From the consolidation to a single kingdom, Norwaymarker was divided into a number of geographic regions that had its own legislative assembly or Thing, such as Gulating (Western Norway) and Frostating (Trøndelag). The second-order subdivision of these regions was into fylker, such as Egdafylke and Hordafylkemarker. In 1914, the historical term fylke was brought into use again to replace the term amt introduced during the union with Denmark. Current day counties (fylker) often, but not necessarily, correspond to the historical areas.



Formerly the term len (plural len) in Norwaymarker signified an administrative region roughly equivalent to today's counties. The historic len was an important administrative entity during the period of Dano-Norwegian unification after their amalgamation as one state, which lasted for the period 1536–1814.

At the beginning of the 1500s the political divisions were variable, but consistently included four main len and approximately 30 smaller sub-regions with varying connections to a main len. Up to 1660 the four principle len were headquartered at the major fortresses Bohus Fortressmarker, Akershus Fortressmarker, Bergenhus Fortressmarker and the fortified city of Trondheimmarker. The sub-regions corresponded to the church districts for the Lutheran church in Norway.

Len in 1536

These four principal len were in the 1530s divided into approximately 30 smaller regions. From that point forward through the beginning of the 1600s the number of subsidiary len was reduced, while the composition of the principle len became more stable.

Len in 1660

From 1660 Norway had nine principle len comprising 17 subsidiary len:

Len written as län continues to be used as the administrative equivalent of county in Sweden to this day. Each len was governed by a lenman.


With the royal decree of February 19, 1662, each len was designated an amt (plural amt) and the lenmann was titled amtmann, from German Amt (office), reflecting the bias of the Danish court of that period.

Amt in 1671

After 1671 Norway was divided into four principle amt or stiftsamt and there were nine subordinate amt:

Amt in 1730

From 1730 Norway had the following amt:

At this time there were also two counties controlled by counts, together forming what is now Vestfold county:


From 1919 each amt was renamed a fylke (plural fylker) (county) and the amtmann was now titled fylkesmann (county governor).

References & notes

See also

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