Fauske, in Lule Sámi Fuossko, is a municipality in Salten in Nordland. Fauske county was established on 1 January 1905 by being separated from Skjerstad county. The municipal center Fauske has city status and the town has 6,386 inhabitants as of 1 January 2020.


Fauske is located in the innermost part of Salten and borders Bodø municipality in the west, Saltdal municipality and Skjerstadfjorden in the south, Sørfold municipality in the north and towards Sweden in the east. The administration center is located 50 km east of Bodø city center.

Fauske is characterized by fjords and mountains. The municipality is located on the north and east side of Skjerstadfjorden, which enters the country at Saltstraumen south of Bodø and ends in Saltdalsfjorden in Saltdal. Along the fjord, the terrain is characterized by low hills and forests. To the west, the valleys Jordbrudalen and Fauskeeidet run from the fjord and north. In the eastern part of the municipality, the Sulitjelma valley runs from the fjord and eastwards towards Sweden. The valleys are surrounded by mountains, and in the east the mountains rise towards the Swedish border. The highest peak is Suliskongen, 1907 m above sea level. Here are also the glaciers Blåmannsisen north of the Sulitjelma valley and the Sulitjelma glacier in the far east. 14% of the municipality's area is covered by ice and snow all year round, and 8% is fresh water. The wetland area Kvitblikkvatn in Fauskeeidet is protected due to its rich bird life.

Half of the population lives in the municipal center Fauske, which is located in Fauskevika in the northeast of Skjerstadfjorden, and has city status. Other settlements are Finneid, just south of and now merged with Fauske town, Sulitjelma in the Sulitjelma valley and Valnesfjord in the west where Jordbrudalen begins. The rest of the population lives mostly along the Skjerstadfjord or on Fauskeeidet, which extends north from Fauske town.

Fauske municipality had a population decline from 1989 to 2007, but has since started to grow again.

Fauske has an upper secondary school, health center, nursing home and retirement home. Valnesfjord Helsesportsenter is a rehabilitation service that receives users from all over northern Norway. The municipal coat of arms has been a red boatman's knot against a silver background since 1988, and symbolizes Fauske as a hub for communication and trade.

Fauske was previously associated with Sulitjelma mines, but is now perhaps best known for Fauske marble on the west side of Fauskeeidet, which, among other things, has delivered marble to the UN building in New York.

Fauske is also a power municipality. In Fauske town are several industrial companies, including (1985) concrete, wood and metal products industry, mechanical workshop and stone grinding. Gift items are still produced from the ore from Sulitjelma. There is agriculture on Fauskeeidet and Valnesfjord, with emphasis on animal husbandry and milk production. The population is employed (1990) in agriculture and forestry (4%), power and water supply (3%), mining and industry (15%), construction (11%), transport (8%), business operations (18 %) and service industries (41%). Cultivated land makes up 2% of the municipality's area, and productive forest approx. 15% of the area.



The municipality is named after the farm Fauske which is documented back to the 16th century. According to Oluf Rygh, the name is of Norse origin and comes from the noun fauskr which means "dark wood". Fauske also has a rich Sami history, and at Leivset there is a protected Sami sacrificial site. Place names in the municipality testify to old Sami settlement. Mining with Sulitjelma mines in Sulitjelma was started in the 1880s, and dominated Fauske municipality for most of the 20th century. Copper and pyrite were mined in the period 1887–1991; Sulitjelma had one of Norway's largest kis deposits. There had been mining in more than ten different places. Copper ore and copper ore were transported by the Sulitjelma line to the shipping port at Finneid. The railway between Sulitjelma and Finneid was closed in 1972. Today there is a mining museum in Sulitjelma where visitors can get a tour deep into the old mining tunnels.

In 1905, Fauske became its own municipality by secession from Skjerstad. Between 1958 and 1962, Fauske was the terminus for the Nordlandsbanen. A possible continuation of the Nordlandsbanen will be from Fauske.