Orientation & Geography

Europe, Norway, Hordaland

Leirvik is a town and the administrative centre of Stord municipality in the county of Hordaland, Norway. Leirvik is the regional centre of Sunnhordland, and has many public services and offices such as the regional court and Sunnhordland Museum, as well as shops and restaurants. In 2009, Leirvik had a population of 11,424, and covers an area of 8.46 square kilometres with a population density of 1,350 per square kilometre. Leirvik has approximately 65% of the total population of Stord. It is the largest urban area that is located in a municipality where Nynorsk is the preferred language form. Confusingly, when the municipality of Stord declared township, they decided to name the town "Stord". This was to ensure that Leirvik and its surrounding areas were large and populous enough to qualify for Norwegian town status. Even though this is the official name, the public acceptance of this is minimal, and the name of the urban community remains "Leirvik". The name translates into 'clay bay', the word "leire" meaning "clay" and "vik" meaning "bay". The name comes from the high concentration of clay in the ground. The locals often refer to Leirvik by the name "Vikjo" rather than "Leirvik".