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Stavanger is a city and municipality in Norway. The city is the third-largest urban zone and metropolitan area in Norway (through conurbation with neighboring Sandnes) and the administrative center of Rogaland county. The municipality is the fourth most populous in Norway. Located on the Stavanger Peninsula in Southwest Norway, Stavanger counts its official founding year as 1125, the year the Stavanger Cathedral was completed. Stavanger's core is to a large degree 18th- and 19th-century wooden houses that are protected and considered part of the city's cultural heritage. This has caused the town center and inner city to retain a small-town character with an unusually high ratio of detached houses, and has contributed significantly to spreading the city's population growth to outlying parts of Greater Stavanger.

The city's rapid population growth in the late 20th century was primarily a result of Norway's booming offshore oil industry. Today the oil industry is a key industry in the Stavanger region and the city is widely referred to as the Oil Capital of Norway. The largest company in the Nordic region, Norwegian energy company Statoil is headquartered in Stavanger. Multiple educational institutions for higher education are located in Stavanger. The largest of these is the University of Stavanger.

Domestic military installations are located in Stavanger. Other international establishments, and especially local branches of foreign oil and gas companies, contribute further to a significant foreign population in the city. Immigrants make up 11.3% of Stavanger's population. Stavanger has since the early 2000s consistently had an unemployment rate significantly lower than the Norwegian and European average. In 2011, the unemployment rate was less than 2%. The city is also among those that frequent various lists of expensive cities in the world, and Stavanger has even been ranked as the world's most expensive city by certain indexes.

Stavanger is served by international airport Stavanger Airport, Sola, which offers flights to cities in most major European countries, as well as a limited number of intercontinental charter flights. The airport was named most punctual European regional airport by flightstats.com in 2010.

Every two years, Stavanger organizes the Offshore Northern Seas (ONS), which is the second largest exhibition and conference for the energy sector. Gladmat food festival is also held each year and is considered to be one of Scandinavia's leading food festivals. The city is also known for being one of the nation's premier culinary clusters. Stavanger 2008 European Capital of Culture.

GeographyEdit

The municipality of Stavanger is located in a coastal landscape, bordering the sea to the west and Boknafjorden in the northeast. The Byfjorden and Gandsfjorden run along the east side of the city. It is part of the Low-Jæren, a flat area of land consisting mostly of marsh, sand, and stone aur, that ranges from Ogna River in the south to Tungenes in the north; it is the northernmost part that includes Stavanger. The majority of the municipality lies between 0 and 164 feet (0-49.99 meters) in elevation. The landscape has a distinctive appearance with rocks and hills where there is no settlement or agriculture. The city of Stavanger is closely linked to the sea and water, with five lakes (including Breiavatnet, Stora Stokkavatnet, and Mosvatnet) and three fjords (Hafrsfjorden, Byfjorden, and Gandsfjorden); sea and water form the landscape, providing a shoreline rich with vegetation and wildlife.

The terrain is low-lying: 49% of the area is less than 66 feet (20.12 meters) above sea level, While 7% of the land is at 200 feet (60.96 meters). Stavanger's highest point is the 456 foot (138.99 meter) tall Jåttånuten with the 446 foot (135.94 meter) Ullandhaug as the second highest point.

The city has developed on both sides of a hollow that runs right through the terrain, with steep slopes up from the bottom. An extension of Boknafjorden and Byfjorden intersects the harbor into the hollow from the northwest, while Hillevåg lake intrudes from Gandsfjorden in the southeast. Breiavatnet is located between the two fjord arms.

The city includes many islands off the coast including: Bjørnøy, Buøy, Engøy, Grasholmen, Hellesøy, Hundvåg, Kalvøy, Lindøy, Sølyst, and Vassøy. It also includes the eastern half of the island of Åmøy.

ClimateEdit

The city is located on a peninsula on the southwest coast of Norway. The climate is maritime mild temperate (marine west coast - cfb) and rather windy, with all monthly temperature averages above freezing, and precipitation 1180 mm/year. Summers are pleasant and lowland areas in and around Stavanger have the longest growing season in Norway. However, summer temperatures are much cooler than those found further inland on the Scandinavian peninsula, even in more northerly areas. In contrast, winter temperatures are much milder than those in Oslo and Stockholm for example.

EconomyEdit

In the early 20th century, Stavanger's industry was mainly related to fisheries and shipping. In the first half of the century it was known for canning, and in the 1950s there were over 50 canneries in town. The town was even called Norway "canned capital", and included Christian Bjelland, who founded Chr Bjelland & Co. A/S. The last of these factories were closed down in 2002.

Around 1950, over half of the working population in the city employed in industry. Structural changes in industry and the strong development of the service industry has radically changed the city's economic base, and the service industry now represents over 11 percent of employment. However, the city still has 29 percent of the county's industrial employment.

Engineering is now the main industry with 59 percent of manufacturing employment. This is mostly related to the offshore petroleum industry, and production of oil platforms alone account for 40 percent. Other important industries are publishing – especially high printing and the major daily newspapers in town, Stavanger and Rogaland Avis Aftenblad – and food and beverage, which includes the processing of local agricultural products from Jæren, including Gilde Vest with one of the largest slaughterhouses.

Employment by place of work and industry in 2007 to 0.6% in primary, 27.4% in secondary and tertiary industries 71.7%. Employment by place of work by sector in 2007 to 24.4% in the public sector and 75.6% in the private sector and public enterprises.

Industry has in recent years become highly decentralized. The most important of the newer industrial areas are Forus in the south, on the border of Sandnes and Sola, and Dusavik (mainly petroleum-related activities) in the north, on the border of Randfontein. Significant older industrial areas are Hillevåg, Buøy, the eastern districts, and in some places elsewhere along the coast. Shipbuilding and shipping has also traditionally been of great importance to the city's economic growth, and Rosenberg Shipyard, established in 1896, is located on Hundvåg. Today Stavanger is also among the country's most important maritime cities, coming in fourth for registered fleets after the cities of Oslo, Bergen and Ålesund.

For the fourth consecutive year, Stavanger Region was in 2007 ranked best business region. Telemarksforsking Bo worked with Ministry NM to rank the regions in Norway with regard to profitability, growth and new businesses.

Sister/Twin CitiesEdit

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