The Svalbard Islands is a Norwegian island chain in the Arctic Ocean. The total land area is approximately 61,022 kilometers squared. The major island, Spitsbergen, is over half that area is size. Nordaustlandet and Edgeoya are the other two major islands. The signing of the Svalbard Treaty turned the islands into a sovereign nation of Norway. The institution of the Governor of Svalbard is the executive branch for the country. The Longyearbyen Community Council is in charge act as a municipality. They manage utilities, education, fire department, roads, and other public matters.

The economy revolves around coal mining, tourism, and research. In 2007, the industries brought in revenues of NOK 2.008 billion, NOK 317 million and NOK 142 million respectively. In 2002, the estimated population was 2,642 people. The majority of them were Russian or Ukranian. There are also Polish people and other non-Norwegian inhabitants. These come from a variety of European and Asian countries.

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