Norway is known for its high standard of living, its extensive welfare state provisions, and its care for the poor. The nation’s Human Development Index is calculated at 0.944—the highest in the world. Per capita gross domestic product (GDP) is $101,271, and $55,398 when adjusted for purchasing power parity due to the high cost of living in Norway. Wage differentials also remain low.

Norway was not always so economically well developed. During the Dark Ages in Europe, Vikings from Norway were forced to leave their homes to seek opportunity and plunder elsewhere to escape the poverty in which many of them lived. Norwegians settled in Scotland, Iceland, and Greenland. Norway was badly affected by the Black Death, which killed more than half of the population and ...

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