Population The Norwegian estimated population is 4.6 million. Ethnically most Norwegians are Nordic/North Germanic, while small minorities in the north are Finnish. The Sami are instead considered an indigenous people, and traditionally live in the Northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. The largest concentration of Sami people is in the capita, Oslo. In recent years, immigration has accounted for more than half the population growth. The largest immigrant groups are Pakistanis, Danes, Swedes, Vietnamese and Iraqis. Capital Oslo Languages The official language is Norwegian. The Norwegian language has two official written forms, called Bokmål and Nynorsk, which do not differ greatly. Bokmål is written by almost 90% of the population, although many speak dialects that differ significantly from the written language. Nevertheless, all of the Norwegian dialects are usually interintelligible. Several Sami languages are spoken and written in the northern regions by the Sami people. The Germanic Norwegian language and the Finno-Ugric Sami languages are entirely unrelated. However, the Finnish language bears some similarities to the Sami language. Religions Approximately 86% of the inhabitants are members of the Evangelic Lutheran Church of Norway (state church). Other Christian societies total about 4.5% (the Evangelical Lutheran Free Church, the Catholic Church, Pentecostal congregations, the Methodist Church, etc.). Among non-Christian religions, Islam is the largest in Norway with about 1.5%, and other religions are at less than 1% each. About 1.5% belong to the secular Human Ethical Union. As of 1 January 2003 approximately 5% of the population are unaffiliated. Economy The Norwegian economy is a prosperous bastion of welfare capitalism, featuring a combination of free market activity and government intervention. The government controls key areas, such as the vital petroleum sector (through large-scale state enterprises). The country is richly endowed with natural resources - petroleum, hydropower, fish, forests, and minerals - and is highly dependent on its oil production and international oil prices, with oil and gas accounting for one-third of exports. Only Saudi Arabia and Russia export more oil than Norway. Norway opted to stay out of the EU during a referendum in November 1994; nonetheless, it contributes sizably to the EU budget. The government has moved ahead with privatization. Accordingly, Norway has been saving its oil-boosted budget surpluses in a Government Petroleum Fund, which is invested abroad and now is valued at more than $150 billion. After lackluster growth of 1% in 2002 and 0.5% in 2003, GDP growth picked up to 3.3% in 2004.