Vega, Norway

Vega kommune

Coat of arms

Nordland within

Vega within Nordland
Coordinates: 65°40′31″N 11°57′28″E / 65.67528°N 11.95778°E / 65.67528; 11.95778Coordinates: 65°40′31″N 11°57′28″E / 65.67528°N 11.95778°E / 65.67528; 11.95778
Country Norway
County Nordland
District Helgeland
Administrative centre Gladstad
  Mayor (2007) Andre Møller (Ap)
  Total 163.33 km2 (63.06 sq mi)
  Land 161.05 km2 (62.18 sq mi)
  Water 2.28 km2 (0.88 sq mi)
Area rank 355 in Norway
Population (2011)
  Total 1,270
  Rank 382 in Norway
  Density 7.9/km2 (20/sq mi)
  Change (10 years) -10.0 %
Demonym(s) Vegværing[1]
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code NO-1815
Official language form Bokmål
Data from Statistics Norway
UNESCO World Heritage Site
The Vega Archipelago
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
Type Cultural
Criteria v
Reference 1143
UNESCO region Europe and North America
Inscription history
Inscription 2004 (28th Session)

Vega is a municipality in Nordland county, Norway. It is part of the Helgeland traditional region. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Gladstad. Other villages include Holand and Ylvingen.

The municipality comprises about 6,500 islands in the Vega Archipelago. The main island of the municipality is also called Vega, and it is also the largest at 163 square kilometres (63 sq mi). Bremstein Lighthouse is located in the southwestern part of the municipality.[2]

General information

The municipality of Vega was established on 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). On 1 January 1965, the Skogsholmen area (population: 196) was transferred from Tjøtta to Vega. Then on 1 January 1971, the Skålvær islands (population: 32) in the northeastern part of Vega was transferred to Alstahaug.[3]


The municipality is named after the main island of Vega (Old Norse: Veiga). The name is probably derived from veig which means "liquid" or "fluid" (referring to the lakes and the marshes of the island). The name was written "Vegø" prior to 1891.[4]


The coat-of-arms is from modern times; they were granted on 20 November 1987. The arms show a gold-colored bailer for a boat on a red background. A bailer is an essential tool that is important to the municipality due to its dependence on the sea. An earlier suggestion for the Vega coat-of-arms picturing the black silhouette of a sailing boat on a yellow background is now used as the coat-of-arms of Nordland county.[5]


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

Churches in Vega
Church NameLocation
of the Church
Year Built
VegaVega ChurchGladstad1864
Ylvingen ChapelYlvingen1967


Early settlements on the main island date back 10,000 years, making it one of the oldest places of inhabitance in Northern Norway. Agriculture and fishing are at present as they were in the past, key fields of labour. Today's inhabitants are concentrated in Holand, Valla, Igerøy, Ylvingen, and Gladstad, the latter being the location of the municipal council and most of the island's commerce.


All municipalities in Norway, including Vega, 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 Vega is made up of 15 representatives that are elected to every four years. Currently, the party breakdown is as follows:[6]

Vega Kommunestyre 2015–2019
Party NameName in NorwegianNumber of
 Labour PartyArbeiderpartiet8
 Centre PartySenterpartiet5
 Socialist Left PartySosialistisk Venstreparti1
 Local ListsLokale lister1
Total number of members:15


In 2004, the archipelago's cultural landscape was inscribed by UNESCO on the World Heritage Site list as representative of "the way generations of fishermen/farmers have, over the past 1,500 years, maintained a sustainable living in an inhospitable seascape near the Arctic Circle, based on the now unique practice of eider down harvesting." The oceanic climate and limestone bedrock has allowed 10 different species of orchids to grow in Vega, and 210 species of birds have been recorded at the archipelago.

Eidemsliene nature reserve has many warmth-loving species of plants and the most oceanic pine forest in North Norway.[7] Holandsosen nature reserve is an important wetland area with a shallow lake and soil rich in lime; 149 species of birds have been observed in this reserve which has a rich bird life all year (many birds use this as their winter quarter). Lånan nature reserve preserves many types of coastal nature and is a very important area for many species of birds; eider down harvesting is still practiced here.[8]


  1. "Navn på steder og personer: Innbyggjarnamn" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet. Retrieved 2015-12-01.
  2. Store norske leksikon. "Vega (bilde)" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2011-11-14.
  3. Jukvam, Dag (1999). "Historisk oversikt over endringer i kommune- og fylkesinndelingen" (PDF) (in Norwegian). Statistisk sentralbyrå.
  4. Rygh, Oluf (1905). Norske gaardnavne: Nordlands amt (in Norwegian) (16 ed.). Kristiania, Norge: W. C. Fabritius & sønners bogtrikkeri. p. 32.
  5. "Kommunevåpenet" (in Norwegian). Vega Kommune. Retrieved 2008-11-30.
  6. "Table: 04813: Members of the local councils, by party/electoral list at the Municipal Council election (M)" (in Norwegian). Statistics Norway. 2015.
  7. "Eidemsliene naturreservat" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2008-11-30.
  8. "Lånan - Skjærvær naturreservat/Fuglefredningsområde" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2008-11-30.
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