Svalbard: Economy#

Coal mining, tourism, and international research are the major revenue sources on Svalbard. Coal mining is the dominant economic activity and a treaty of 9 February 1920 gave the 41 signatories equal rights to exploit mineral deposits, subject to Norwegian regulation. Although US, UK, Dutch, and Swedish coal companies have mined in the past, the only companies still engaging in this are Norwegian and Russian. The settlements on Svalbard are essentially company towns. The Norwegian state-owned coal company employs nearly 60% of the Norwegian population on the island, runs many of the local services, and provides most of the local infrastructure. There is also some hunting of seal, reindeer, and fox. Goods such as alcohol, tobacco, and vehicles, normally highly taxed on mainland Norway, are considerably cheaper in Svalbard in an effort by the Norwegian government to entice more people to live on the Arctic archipelago. By law, the Norwegians collect only enough taxes to pay for the needs of the local government; none of tax proceeds go to Norway.

Economic Facts#

GDP (purchasing power parity)$6.313 billion
GDP - real growth rateNA%
Budgetrevenues: $NA
expenditures: $NA
Exchange ratesNorwegian kroner (NOK) per US dollar -
5.802 (2013)
5.8162 (2012)
6.0442 (2010)
6.288 (2009)
5.6361 (2008)
Labor force1,234 (2003)
Taxes and other revenuesNA% of GDP
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)NA% of GDP