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Norwegian county bordered by Finnmark to the north, Nordland county to the south, Finland and Sweden to the east. To the west lies the Arctic Ocean. Troms stretches roughly between 68° and 70° northern latitude and is thus north of the Arctic Circle in its entirety.

Troms covers an area of 25,848 km2 with a population as of January 1, 2003 of 151,673. This means roughly six persons per square kilometer, making Troms one of the more sparsely populated Norwegian counties. Troms is the 4th largest county in Norway.

Towns
Major cities - in a Norwegian context - in Troms are Tromsø (pop. 60,524) and Harstad (pop. 23,092). Some other towns are Finnsnes, Andselv, Sørreisa and Skjervøy. The county's administrative centre is located in Tromsø; the Paris of the north1.

Municipalities
There are 25 municipalities in Troms. Population per January 1, 2002 in parenthesis.

As should be evident by this list, some municipalities have a population about the size of a London city block, yet occupies an area comparable to the entire London Inner City. Troms can in no way be called crowded.

The sole Sámi municipality in Troms is Kåfjord. Its official Sámi name is Gaivuotna. The annual Riddu Riddu festival is held in Manndalen in Kåfjord.

Geography
The jagged coastline with its hundreds upon hundreds of bays, fjords, islands, islets and skerries, creates a sharp contrast to the mountainous inland. The winter temperatures easily reaches -30°C inland, while it's rarely colder than -10°C at the coast because of the Gulf Stream. Areas above 150m above sea level is uninhabitable because of the climate. The majority of the population lives near the coastline, and half of the population in Troms are living on islands. Norway's largest and second largest islands; Hinnøy and Senja is located within the borders of Troms county. Norways tallest island - Andørja - is found here also.

The fragility of the North Norwegian nature have prompted the creation of no less than three national parks in the county; Upper Dividalen (750 km2), Reisa (803 km2) and Ånderdalen on the Senja island (68 km2).

Miscellaneous
Troms has very little in the way of heavy industry, it relies instead on fisheries, sea farms and agriculture. Tourism and service functions are also important.

The population have long been a mix of Sámi, Norwegian and immigrants from Finland known as kvæner, providing a rich and diverse culture in the county. The Riddu Riddu festival, The Festival of North-Norway and Tromsø International Film Festival are annual major cultural events.

1Tromsø's nickname The Paris of the North came about when visitors saw the 18th century Tromsø women wearing the latest in European fashion and heard the inhabitants speaking a language influenced by mainland European. Because of Tromsø's trade with Russia and the relatively easy seaway access to mainland Europe, the citizens of Tromsø became cosmopolites before the word was even invented.

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