Stavanger is a city and municipality in Norway. Although the fourth largest city, Stavanger is the third largest urban zone in Norway and the administrative centre of Rogaland county. Located on the Stavanger peninsula in Southwest Norway, Stavanger counts its official founding year as 1125, the year the Stavanger cathedral was completed. Stavanger's core is to a large degree 17th and 18th century wooden houses that are considered part of the city's cultural heritage and these are hence protected. This has caused the town centre and inner city to retain a small-town character, and even after the city's rapid growth in the 1970s onwards, the urbanization of the city center has been limited and a large share of the population still lives in detached houses.
The city's rapid population growth in the late 1900s was primarily a result of Norway's booming offshore oil industry. Today the oil industry is a key industry in the Stavanger region and the city is widely referred to as the Oil Capital of Norway. The largest company in the Nordic region, Norwegian energy company Statoil is headquartered in Stavanger. Multiple educational institutions for higher education are located in Stavanger. The largest of these is the University of Stavanger, which offers doctorates inPetroleum Technology and Offshore Technology among others.
Domestic and international military installations are located in Stavanger, and among these is NATO's Joint Warfare Center. Other international establishments, and especially local branches of foreign oil and gas companies, contribute further to a significant foreign population in the city. Immigrants make up 11.3% of Stavanger's population. Stavanger has since the early 2000s consistently had an unemployment rate significantly lower than the Norwegian and European average. In 2011, the unemployment rate was less than 2%. The city is also among those that frequent various lists of expensive cities in the world, and Stavanger has even