The Svalbard Treaty of 1920 defines Svalbard as all islands, islets and skerries from 74° to 81° north latitude, and from 10° to 35° east longitude. The land area is 61,022 km (23,561 sq mi), and dominated by the island of Spitsbergen, which constitutes more than half the archipelago, followed by Nordaustlandet and Edgeøya. All settlements are located on Spitsbergen, except the meteorological outposts on Bjørnøya and Hopen. The Norwegian state took possession of all unclaimed land, or 95.2% of the archipelago, at the time the Svalbard Treaty entered into force; Store Norske, a Norwegian coal mining company, owns 4%, Arktikugol, a Russian coal mining company, owns 0.4%, while other private owners hold 0.4%.
The three main industries on Svalbard are coal mining, tourism, and research. In 2007, there were 484 people working in the mining sector, 211 people working in the tourism sector, and 111 people working in the education sector. The same year, the mining gave a revenue of 2.008 billion Norwegian kroner (US$227,791,078), tourism 317 million kroner ($35,967,202), and research 142 million kroner ($16,098,404). In 2006, the average income for economically active people was 494,700 kroner; 23% higher than on the mainland. Almost all housing is owned by the various employers and institutions and rented to their employees; there are only a few privately owned houses, most of which are recreational cabins. Because of this, it is nearly impossible to live on Svalbard without working for an established institution.
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