Following centuries of reluctant unions with Denmark and Sweden, Norway, which borders both the North Sea and the northern Atlantic Ocean, achieved independence in 1905. Norway is often considered to have the most favorable climate for women of any nation in the world. Some scholars believe this preference for equality dates back to Viking invasions, which were common before the acceptance of Christianity in 994 C.E.

The discovery of extensive oil and gas in the 1960s led to an economic boom and further development of the social welfare state. The country is highly homogeneous, and 94.4 percent of the population is Norwegian. Religiously, 85.7 percent identify with the Church of Norway. In the 21st century, Norway ranks first on the United Nations Development Programme's list ...

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