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Målselv kommune

Málatvuomi suohkan
View of the mountain Istind on the Bardu-Målselv border
View of the mountain Istind on the Bardu-Målselv border
Official logo of Målselv kommune
Troms within
Målselv within Troms
Målselv within Troms
Coordinates: 68°58′30″N 19°03′52″E / 68.97500°N 19.06444°E / 68.97500; 19.06444
Administrative centreMoen
 • Mayor (2011)Helene Rognli (H)
 • Total3,326.22 km2 (1,284.26 sq mi)
 • Land3,207.21 km2 (1,238.31 sq mi)
 • Water119.01 km2 (45.95 sq mi)  3.6%
Area rank10 in Norway
 • Total6,798
 • Rank154 in Norway
 • Density2.1/km2 (5/sq mi)
 • Change (10 years)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
ISO 3166 codeNO-1924
Official language formNeutral

Målselv (Northern Sami: Málatvuomi suohkan) is a municipality in Troms county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Moen. The main commercial centre of the municipality is the Bardufoss area (including Andselv, Andslimoen, and Heggelia). Other villages in the municipality include Alappmoen, Fossmoen, Holmen, and Skjold. Besides bordering Sweden to the east and the ocean (Malangen fjord) to the northwest, it borders the municipalities of Balsfjord, Storfjord, Bardu, Sørreisa, and Lenvik.

The 3,326-square-kilometre (1,284 sq mi) municipality is the 10th largest by area out of the 422 municipalities in Norway. Målselv is the 154th most populous municipality in Norway with a population of 6,798. The municipality's population density is 2.1 inhabitants per square kilometre (5.4/sq mi) and its population has increased by 3% over the last decade.[2][3]

General information

The municipality of Maalselven was established in 1848 when it was separated from the large Lenviken Municipality. The initial population of Maalselven was 2,616. In 1891, some parts of the Maalsnes area (population: 30) were transferred to neighboring Malangen municipality. On 1 January 1904, an area with 5 inhabitants was transferred from Balsfjord Municipality to Maalselven. The spelling of the name was changed to Målselv in 1918. On 1 July 1925, the eastern district of the municipality was separated from Målselv to form the new Øverbygd municipality. This left Målselv with 3,531 residents.[4]

During the 1960s, there were many municipal mergers across Norway due to the work of the Schei Committee. On 1 January 1964, the municipality of Øverbygd (population: 1,232), the municipality of Målselv (population: 5,584), the Naveren and Målsnes areas of Malangen (population: 118), and the "Skogli ved Heia" farm in Balsfjord (population: 2) were all merged to form a new, larger municipality of Målselv with a new population of 6,936. On 1 January 1966, the Sørelvmo/Aursfjordbotn area (population: 131) was transferred from Balsfjord to Målselv. Then on 1 January 1972, the "Blomli i Fagerfjell" area of Målselv (population: 63) was transferred to Lenvik Municipality.[4]


The municipality is named after the river Målselva. The first element is the genitive case of the old uncompounded name of the Malangen fjord: Malr and the last element is the finite form of elv which means "river". The old name of the fjord is identical with the word malr[what language is this?] which means "bag" or "sack" (referring to the shape of the fjord). Prior to 1918, the name was written "Maalselven".[5]

Coat of arms

The coat of arms is from modern times; they were granted on 1 February 1985. The arms show a white river on a green background. They are a canting that represent the Målselva river which runs through the municipality.[6]


The Church of Norway has two parishes (sokn) within the municipality of Målselv. It is part of the Indre Troms prosti (deanery) in the Diocese of Nord-Hålogaland.

Churches in Målselv
Parish (Sokn) Church Name Location of the Church Year Built
Målselv Målselv Church Målselv 1978
Øverbygd Øverbygd Church Øverbygd 1867
Kirkesnesmoen Chapel Kirkesnesmoen 1977


Målselv was settled by farmers from southern Norway, especially Østerdalen from 1788 and onwards. They were attracted by the vast forests and areas of fertile land in the broad Målselvdalen. The valley and municipality take their name from the river Målselva. The river is well known for its salmon, and forms the Målselv waterfall (Norwegian: Målselvfossen), which has been selected as Norway's national waterfall. The Målselva empties into the Malangen fjord north of Olsborg. There are several mountains in the municipality: Njunis (1,713 m or 5,620 ft) is the highest and Istind is popular among hikers. There are many lakes such as Andsvatnet, Finnfjordvatnet, Rostojávri, Lille Rostavatn, and Takvatnet. One of the rarest orchids in Europe, Lysiella oligantha (Norwegian: Sibirnattfiol), is found in Målselv. Øvre Dividal National Park (740 km2 or 290 sq mi) is located in the easternmost part of Målselv, near the border with Sweden.

Media gallery


Målselv has a dry-summer subarctic climate (Köppen climate classification: Dsc).

Målselv is fairly sheltered from the coastal weather, and has a somewhat inland climate. Mean annual precipitation is 745 millimetres (29.3 in) at Moen, 652 millimetres (25.7 in) at Bardufoss and only 282 millimetres (11.1 in) in the Divi valley, which sits at 282 m (925 ft) above sea level. April through June is the driest period.[7]

There is on average 93 days each winter with daily low −10 °C (14 °F) or colder, and 28 days with low −20 °C (−4 °F) or colder. The winter season sees on average 68 days with at least 50 centimetres (20 in) snow cover on the ground, 126 days with at least 25 centimetres (9.8 in) snow cover, and 179 days with at least 5 centimetres (2.0 in) snow cover. In the warm season there is on average 116 days each year when the daily average high reaches 10 °C (50 °F) or warmer and 22 days with daily average high above 20 °C (68 °F). Precipitation is fairly moderate, there is on average 75 days per year with at least 3 millimetres (0.12 in) precipitation and 15 days per year with at least 10 millimetres (0.39 in) precipitation. This is based on data from with 1971-2000 as base period.[8]

Climate data for Bardufoss 1961-90 (76 m)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) −5.9
Daily mean °C (°F) −10.4
Average low °C (°F) −15.1
Average precipitation mm (inches) 66
Average precipitation days (≥ 1 mm) 11.2 11.4 9.3 7.8 6.8 8.9 11.7 12.7 12.9 13.7 12.0 12.5 130.9
Source: Norwegian Meteorological Institute[9]


All municipalities in Norway, including Målselv, 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.[10] The municipality falls under the Senja District Court and the Hålogaland Court of Appeal.

Municipal council

The municipal council (Kommunestyre) of Målselv is made up of 25 representatives that are elected to four year terms. Currently, the party breakdown is as follows:[11]

Målselv Kommunestyre 2015–2019
Party Name (in Norwegian) Number of
 Labour Party (Arbeiderpartiet)11
 Progress Party (Fremskrittspartiet)2
 Conservative Party (Høyre)4
 Centre Party (Senterpartiet)4
 Socialist Left Party (Sosialistisk Venstreparti)1
 Liberal Party (Venstre)3
Total number of members:25


A local newspaper, Nye Troms, covering Målselv, Bardu, and Balsfjord, has its main office in the Olsborg/Moen area. The municipality administration is located at Moen, about 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) east of Olsborg.

Further south along European route E6 is the Bardufoss region, which encompasses the local communities Andselv, Andslimoen, and Heggelia, the latter including the Norwegian army's 6th division. Near Andselv is the Bardufoss Airport and the Bardufoss Air Station of the Royal Norwegian Air Force, including the 337th and 339th Air Force helicopter squadrons. Målselv municipality, together with neighbouring Bardu, has the largest concentration of army bases in the country.

Moving further up the valley, another local community is Rundhaug, and moving eastwards, closer to Øvre Dividal National Park, is the community of Øverbygd, housing two more sub-communities Skjold and Holt. The former also houses the Skjold base for mechanized infantry and combat engineers.

Tourism is a growing industry in Målselv, with the opening of Målselv Fjellandsby, an alpine ski destination. Målselv is also home to Målselvfossen, Norway's national waterfall and a mecca for salmon fishermen. Bardufoss concentration camp was located here during World War II.

Notable people


  1. ^ "Navn på steder og personer: Innbyggjarnamn" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  2. ^ Statistisk sentralbyrå (2018). "Table: 06913: Population 1 January and population changes during the calendar year (M)" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  3. ^ Statistisk sentralbyrå. "09280: Area of land and fresh water (km²) (M)" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  4. ^ a b Jukvam, Dag (1999). "Historisk oversikt over endringer i kommune- og fylkesinndelingen" (PDF) (in Norwegian). Statistisk sentralbyrå.
  5. ^ Rygh, Oluf (1911). Norske gaardnavne: Troms amt (in Norwegian) (17 ed.). Kristiania, Norge: W. C. Fabritius & sønners bogtrikkeri. p. 103.
  6. ^ "Civic heraldry of Norway - Norske Kommunevåpen". Heraldry of the World. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  7. ^ "Climate statistics Målselv" (in Norwegian).
  8. ^ "Vanlig Vær Bardufoss" (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 30 December 2013. Retrieved 30 December 2013.
  9. ^ "eKlima Web Portal". Norwegian Meteorological Institute. Archived from the original on 14 June 2004.
  10. ^ Hansen, Tore, ed. (12 May 2016). "kommunestyre". Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian). Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  11. ^ "Table: 04813: Members of the local councils, by party/electoral list at the Municipal Council election (M)" (in Norwegian). Statistics Norway.

External links