Østfold fylke
—  County  —
Coat of arms of Østfold fylke
Coat of arms
Østfold within Norway
Country Norway
County Østfold
Region Østlandet
County ID NO-01
Official language form Bokmål
Demonym Østfolding [1]
Administrative centre Sarpsborg
 • Governor Anne Enger
  (since 2003)
 • County Mayor Ole Haabeth
  (since 2007)
Area(#17 in Norway, 1.28% of Norway's land area)
 • Total 4,182 km2 (1,615 sq mi)
 • Land 3,887 km2 (1,501 sq mi)
Population (2008)
 • Total 267,039
 • Density 66/km2 (170/sq mi)
 • Change (10 years) 7.5 %
 • Rank in Norway 6 (5.61% of nation)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Income (per capita) 138,600 NOK
GDP (per capita) 200,084 NOK (2001)
National Rank: 8 (3.30% of nation)
Data from Statistics Norway

About this sound Østfold  is a county in southeastern Norway, bordering Akershus and southwestern Sweden (Västra Götaland County and Värmland), while Buskerud and Vestfold is on the other side of the bay. The county administration is in Sarpsborg, and Fredrikstad is the biggest city.

Østfold is located between the Oslo Fjord and Sweden. It is dominated by a hilly landscape with a lot of woodland in the north and along the Swedish border, a major lake system in the central part, and highly dense lowland area along the coast, with a relatively large archipelago. Most of the county's population is located in the coastal area. Cities such as Moss, Sarpsborg, Fredrikstad, and Halden are found here, along with some relatively highly populated rural municipalities. Including these coastal cities, Østfold also has another two cities, Askim and Mysen. This makes Østfold the richest county in the country in terms of number of cities.

Østfold is among the nation's oldest inhabited regions, with petroglyphs (rock drawings) and mounds throughout the area. Many manufacturing communities are situated here. Moss and Fredrikstad have shipyards. Granite mines are situated in Østfold, granite stone from these was used by Gustav Vigeland.

The county slogan: "The heartland of Scandinavia". The local dialect is characterized by the geographical proximity to Sweden.


In the Viking Age, the area was part of Vingulmark, which in turn was part of Viken and included Båhuslen. It was partly under Swedish rule until the time of Harald Fairhair.

Later, when Norway was under Danish rule, the Danish king divided the area into many baronies. (The barony of Heggen og Frøland, consisting of the municipalities Askim, Eidsberg, and Trøgstad, originally belonged to Akershus - but it was transferred to Østfold in 1768.)

To this day, in contrast to many other traditional districts of Norway, Østfold is culturally not a unity, but instead a mosaic of areas around the various cities and towns.

The name[]

The old name of the Oslofjord was Fold, and the meaning of Østfold is 'the region east for the Fold' (see also Vestfold). The name is first recorded in 1543; in the Middle Ages the name of the county was Borgarsysla 'the county/sýsla of the city Borg (now Sarpsborg)'.

Later (under Danish rule) the county was called Smaalenenes Amt 'the amt consisting of small len'.

The name "Eastfold" occurs as a place in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth.


The coat of arms is from modern times (1958). The lines represent sunrays at sunrise in the east. (See above under the name.) They also represent the worship of the Sun in the Bronze Age (depicted in several rock carvings found in the county).

Transport and infrastructure[]

Østfold is located strategically between Oslo and Sweden. The main highways between Oslo and Gothenburg, and Oslo and Stockholm, go through the county. The railway from Oslo to Gothenburg runs more or less parallel to E6, and there is also a railway between Ski and Sarpsborg that covers the inner part. Besides, there are plans to relocate a vast part of the Oslo-Stockholm railway, which would result in an extension of the Inner Østfold railway eastwards.

Moss Airport in Rygge - a commercial, public airport - was recently opened. As of now, Norwegian Air Shuttle is the major company, with several domestic and international flights. The airport will serve as an addition to Oslo Airport, Gardermoen, with a potential of more than 2 million people within a two hours distance.


Østfold has a total of 18 Municipalities:

  1. Aremark
  2. Askim
  3. Eidsberg
  4. Fredrikstad
  5. Halden
  6. Hobøl
  7. Hvaler
  8. Marker
  9. Moss
  10. Rakkestad
  11. Rygge
  12. Rømskog
  13. Råde
  14. Sarpsborg
  15. Skiptvet
  16. Spydeberg
  17. Trøgstad
  18. Våler
Municipalities of Østfold

External links[]


This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Østfold. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.