Every Norwegian is Now a Millionaire (Kind Of)

There's more oil money than the country knows what to do with

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Chris Ratcliffe / Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Troll A offshore gas platform, operated by Statoil ASA, stands in the North Sea near Bergen, Norway, on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012.

If a faint roar jolted you on Wednesday, it was probably the nation of Norway collectively whooping “kjempeflott,” as they all became millionaires.

At least they did in theory, since their wealth fund, managing the small Scandinavian country’s enormous oil fortune, surpassed the threshold of 5.097 trillion krone — or a million krone for every inhabitant. (A million krone is about $162,000.)

The prospect of supercar, champagne and fine art sales shooting through the roof is slim, however, since the fund is carefully put aside for a rainy day. Since it was established in 1990, the fund has grown to become the world’s largest, owning 1 percent of the globe’s stocks and a vast empire of real estate. Governments are only allowed to use 4 percent of it every year, however.