Iceland Facts


Iceland, state of the North Atlantic; 103,000 km2 (100 260 km2 land area), 356 991 residents (2019).Iceland, located just south of the Arctic Circle, encompasses the island of Iceland and several smaller islands. The main island is located approximately 300 km southeast of Greenland, approximately 1,000 km west of Norway and 800 km northwest of Scotland. Iceland’s internationally recognized territorial waters extend 200 nautical miles from the coast and occupy 758 000 km 2. The capital is Reykjavík (127,220 residents, 2018).

Iceland Country Flag

Country facts

  • Republic of Iceland / Republic of Iceland
  • Country abbreviation: IS
  • Area: 103 000 km2
  • Population (2019): 356 991 residents
  • Capital: Reykjavik
  • Main language: Icelandic
  • State: Republic
  • Head of State: Guðni Th. Jóhannesson (President)
  • Head of Government: Katrín Jakobsdóttir
  • Per capita GDP (2018): US $ 73,202
  • GNI per capita (2018): US $ 67,950
  • Currency unit: 1 Icelandic krona = 100 auras
  • Currency code: ISK
  • Country number (telephony): 354
  • Internet domain name: ice
  • Time difference compared to Sweden: −1
  • National Day: June 17 (Independence Day, 1944)

Nature

  • Land use: forest (0.3%), agricultural land (23%), other (77%)
  • Highest mountain: Hvannadalshnúkur (2,119 m asl)
  • Largest glacier: Vatnajökull (8,400 km2 )

Population

  • Population density (2019): 3 residents per km2
  • Natural population growth (2019): 0.5%; birth rate 12 ‰, death rate 7 ‰
  • Age structure (2019): 0-14 years (19%), 15-64 (67%), 65- (14%)
  • Average life expectancy (2019): men 81 years, women 84 years
  • Infant mortality (2019): 3 per 1,000 live births
  • Population forecast 2050: 400,000 residents
  • HDI (2017): 0.935 (place 6 of 198)
  • Urbanization rate (2019): 94%
  • Most populous city (2018): Reykjavík (127,220 residents)

Business

  • Industry’s contribution to GDP (2017): agriculture (6%), industry (20%), service (74%)
  • Exports (2017): US $ 4 957 million
  • Main export products: fish and fish products, aluminum
  • Main exporting countries: Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom
  • Imports (2017): US $ 6,525 million
  • Main import products: machinery, means of transport, oil products
  • Main importing countries: Germany, Norway, China
  • Railway network: nothing in operation

Iceland is dominated by a plateau and fjord landscape with an average height of 500 m above sea level. There are 200-300 volcanoes on the island, some 30 of which are active. About a tenth of the surface is covered by ice in the form of glaciers; Vatnajökull is the world’s largest glacier outside the Arctic. Iceland has plenty of rivers, waterfalls and lakes, and all over the island are areas with hot springs and sulfur springs.

The country is a republic with parliamentary democracy. The Constitution of 1944 gives the president, elected in general elections every four years, a strong position, but in practice, he has the most ceremonial functions. The legislative power lies with Allting, whose 63 members are elected every four years.

Until the 1990s, fishing and fish products were the basis for the country’s economy. Recently, however, the aluminum industry and financial services have increasingly taken over this role. Iceland has no major mineral deposits but, on the other hand, rich hydropower assets that are utilized for the energy-intensive aluminum industry. High-tech industries have also recently seen strong growth.

The country’s financial sector was hit hard by the international financial crisis in 2008 and GDP fell sharply in 2009 and 2010, but then there has been some recovery. In 2010, the country applied for membership in the EU, but the application was withdrawn in 2014. In 2010 and 2011, the volcanoes Eyjafjallajökull and Grímsvötn erupted, spreading ash clouds across much of Europe.

Iceland Map

Iceland Map

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