Where is Svalbard and Jan Mayen?

Located in Northern Europe, Svalbard and Jan Mayen is an island nation. It has a 3,587.00 km coastline. Russia and Norway dispute their maritime limits in the Barents Sea.

The capital and only city in Svalbard is Longyearbyen which means “Long Year Town”. Initially a coal mining center the city was founded in 1906 and currently has a population of about 2,144 residents. Many of those citizens are Nordland and Troms from the northern regions of mainland Norway. The city is home to a sports club, church, indoor pool, and two museums; the Svalbard Museum and the Spitsbergen Airship Museum. Yearly temperatures in Longyearbyen remain cold due to the city’s typical Arctic climate. Jan Meyer was named after Jan Jacobs May van Schellinkhout who journeyed to the isolated island in 1610. This remote island has no permanent residents but is occupied on a part time basis by workers employed by the Norwegian Armed Forces and the Norwegian Meteorological Institute. The island is also home to Beerenberg, an active volcano which last erupted in 1985.

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Svalbard and Jan Mayen is a European country covering 62,422.00 km2. and slightly smaller than West Virginia. Its geographic coordinates are 78 00 N, 20 00 E and Longyearbyen is the capital city.

Its name comes from the Norse phrase for "cold shores".

Its ISO code is SJ.

The currency of Svalbard and Jan Mayen is the Krone (NOK).


Svalbard and Jan Mayen has a mean elevation of 0 m above sea level.

It has a tropical climate with some temperature variation. Its terrain consists of rugged mountains, ice coveraged, and fjords.


Svalbard and Jan Mayen has a population of 2,667 making it the 230th largest in the world. The population is mostly concentrated on the island of Spitsbergen.

Norwegian is the most commonly spoken language. The major ethnic groups are reported as Norwegian, Russian, and Ukrainian.

It seems reasonable that due to of their status as being governed under the jurisdiction of the nation of Norway the official language of both Svalbard and Jan Meyen is Norwegian. This language, which is comprised of twenty nine letters, comes in two written forms; Bokmål and Nynorsk. Riksmål, another form of Norwegian, is also spoken in Svalbard. Because no one lives on the arctic island of Jan Meyen on a full time basis its only population is made up of either workers or visitors from Norway all of whom are assumed to speak Norwegian. Among Norway’s recognized minority languages are English, Spanish, Russian, German, and even Chinese.

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The dialing code for the country is 47.


It is a territory of Norway. Its constitution was last ratified in 1814.

Svalbard and Jan Mayen are unique in regards to their political status. Both are known as unincorporated areas under the jurisdiction of the Scandinavian country of Norway. Svalbard’s governor is appointed by the governing body of Norway known as the Storting. The head of Jan Mayen’s local government is the County Governor of Norway’s Nordland region with some powers being afforded to the station commander of the Norwegian Defence Logistics Organisation. Both Svalbard and Jan Mayen are governed by the Norwegian national government which meets in the Storting Building in Norway’s capital city of Oslo. Both of these regions operate under Norway’s constitutional monarchy with members of parliament elected by the people of the country. The acting prime minister is the country’s executive head of state and there are no restrictions in terms of how many times he or she can run.

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The Arctic islands of Svalbard and Jan Mayen are surrounded by the country of Norway and operate under this nation’s sovereignty. As established by the International Organization for Standardization these two jurisdictions don’t have their own separate flags but rather share this national symbol with the people of Norway. The official flag, like many in this area of the world, is composed of the three traditional Slavic colors; white, red, and blue. The design also features an off centered Scandinavian cross which references the historical and cultural traditions of the Christian faith as practiced by a majority of the nation’s citizens. The current version of Norway’s flag was officially adopted in 1821.

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This page was last modified on January 17th, 2018

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