Ballangen kommune

Coat of arms

Nordland within

Ballangen within Nordland
Coordinates: 68°18′23″N 16°44′39″E / 68.30639°N 16.74417°E / 68.30639; 16.74417Coordinates: 68°18′23″N 16°44′39″E / 68.30639°N 16.74417°E / 68.30639; 16.74417
Country Norway
County Nordland
District Ofoten
Administrative centre Ballangen
  Mayor (2007) Anne-Rita Nicklasson (H)
  Total 930.84 km2 (359.40 sq mi)
  Land 846.84 km2 (326.97 sq mi)
  Water 84.00 km2 (32.43 sq mi)
Area rank 118 in Norway
Population (2012)
  Total 2,616
  Rank 290 in Norway
  Density 3/km2 (8/sq mi)
  Change (10 years) -2.4 %
Demonym(s) Ballangsværing[1]
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code NO-1854
Official language form Bokmål
Data from Statistics Norway

Ballangen (Northern Sami: Bálák) is a municipality in Nordland county, Norway. It is part of the traditional district of Ofoten. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Ballangen. Other villages include Bjørkåsen, Kjeldebotn, Kobbvika, and Skarstad.

The municipality borders Narvik to the east and Tysfjord to the south, and has a short border with Sweden to the southeast. Ballangen is situated on the southern shore of Ofotfjorden. Ballangen also includes the long and narrow Efjorden, just south of the much larger Ofotfjorden. Its immediate surroundings are dominated by fjords, mountains, and forests. Ballangen relies on the neighbouring Narvik as its economic base.

Map of the municipality

The village of Ballangen lies along the southern shore of the Ofotfjorden along the European route E06 highway. The highway crosses the Efjord Bridges on its way to Ballangen and then on again to the town of Narvik. The 0.93-square-kilometre (230-acre) village of Ballangen has a population (2013) of 827. The population density is 889 inhabitants per square kilometre (2,300/sq mi).[2]

General information

Efjord in Ballangen July 2003. The bridge is part of the E6 road.

The municipality of Ballangen was established on 1 July 1925 when it was separated from the large municipality of Evenes. The new municipality encompassed all of Evenes located south of the Ofotfjorden. Initially, Ballangen had 3,270 residents. On 1 January 1962, the southern part of Lødingen (the island of Barøya and the area surrounding the Efjorden; population: 433) was transferred from to Ballangen. The borders have not changed since.[3]


The coat-of-arms is from modern times; they were granted on 18 July 1980. The arms show a gold hammer on a green background. It was chosen as a symbol to represent the mining in the municipality. There used to be copper mines in the municipality. The green background symbolizes agriculture.[4]


The Old Norse form of the name was Bagangr. The meaning of the first element is not known and the last element is angr which means "fjord".[5][6][7]


The Church of Norway has one parish (sokn) within the municipality of Ballangen. It is part of the Ofoten deanery in the Diocese of Sør-Hålogaland.

Churches in Ballangen
Church NameLocation
of the Church
Year Built
BallangenBallangen ChurchBallangen1923
Efjord ChapelKobbvika1985
Kjeldebotn ChurchKjeldebotn1956


The first person living in Ballangen was Lodve Lange (Lodve the long), who is mentioned in Heimskringla as being one of King Olav Tryggvason's most trusted warriors, and being placed near the king in the famous ship Ormen Lange (long serpent). Lodve probably participated in the Battle of Svolder in the year 1000, and might have been killed there. He lived at Saltvik, which is near the fjord, east of today's village of Ballangen.

There is a long history of mining in Ballangen, starting from the 17th century. Over the years as many as 36 mines have been operated in Ballangen, including minerals like copper, nickel and iron, zinc, manganese, and lead, but the most serious mining started in 1911 with Bjørkåsen Gruver mining mostly pyrite. Mining for nickel and olivine continued until 2002. There is also a dolomite quarry in Ballangen. Ballangen is the main agricultural municipality in the Ofoten region.[7]


All municipalities in Norway, including Ballangen, are responsible for primary education (through 10th grade), outpatient health services, senior citizen services, unemployment and other social services, zoning, economic development, and municipal roads. The municipality is governed by a municipal council of elected representatives, which in turn elect a mayor.

Municipal council

The municipal council (Kommunestyre) of Ballangen is made up of 17 representatives that are elected to every four years. Currently, the party breakdown is as follows:[8]

Ballangen Kommunestyre 2015–2019
Party NameName in NorwegianNumber of
 Labour PartyArbeiderpartiet5
 Progress PartyFremskrittspartiet2
 Conservative PartyHøyre2
 Christian Democratic PartyKristelig Folkeparti1
 Centre PartySenterpartiet7
Total number of members:17


View of the Frostisen glacier

The Efjorden area is dominated by large slopes of bare rock with a narrow green area of vegetation near the fjord. The obelisk-like mountain, Stetind, nearby is dominated by the same, dark blue-grey rock, which contrasts with the clear water in the fjord where the sand banks can be seen just below the surface. Climbers and hikers are often tempted to test their skills on the rocky slopes. The large Frostisen glacier is located in the southeastern part of the municipality.

In the east, Ballangen borders on lake Siiddašjávri which it shares with Sweden. Siiddašjávri is the 14th largest lake which lies in or partially in Norway. Other lakes in the municipality include Børsvatnet, Geitvatnet, Hjertvatnet, Kjelvatnet, Langvatnet, Melkevatnet, Røvatnet, Søre Bukkevatnet, and Storvatnet.

The island of Barøya sits near the entrances to the Ofotfjorden and Efjorden. The Barøy Lighthouse sits on the northern edge of the island.

Notable residents

Sister cities


  1. "Navn på steder og personer: Innbyggjarnamn" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet. Retrieved 2015-12-01.
  2. Statistisk sentralbyrå (1 January 2013). "Urban settlements. Population and area, by municipality.".
  3. Jukvam, Dag (1999). "Historisk oversikt over endringer i kommune- og fylkesinndelingen" (PDF) (in Norwegian). Statistisk sentralbyrå.
  4. Norske Kommunevåpen (1990). "Nye kommunevåbener i Norden". Retrieved 2008-11-18.
  5. Unger, Carl Rikard (1896). Sproglig-historiske studier (in Norwegian). Kristiania, Norge: H. Aschehoug & Co. p. 77. Retrieved 2008-11-18.
  6. Rygh, Oluf (1905). Norske gaardnavne: Nordlands amt (in Norwegian) (16 ed.). Kristiania, Norge: W. C. Fabritius & sønners bogtrikkeri. p. 293.
  7. 1 2 Store norske leksikon. "Ballangen" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2012-05-22.
  8. "Table: 04813: Members of the local councils, by party/electoral list at the Municipal Council election (M)" (in Norwegian). Statistics Norway. 2015. Archived from the original on 2016-03-06.

External links

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