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Capital: Reykjavik

Area: 103,000 sq. km

Population in Iceland: 368 000 (2021)

Population in Reykjavik area: 235 000 (2021)

Independence from: Denmark on June 17, 1944

Occupancy density: 3 inhabitants / km²

Form of government: Democratic Republic

Official language: Icelandic

Currency: Icelandic krona (ISK)

National Day: June 17

Facts about nature

Iceland is an island of 103,000km2, with an average elevation of 500m above sea level. Hvannadalshnjukur is the highest point and is located at 2,119 masl. Over 11 percent of Iceland is covered by glaciers, among others. Vatnajokull, the largest in Europe.

Volcanoes in Iceland create life

As Iceland is located on the Atlantic ridge, there is a "hot spot" of volcanic and geothermal activity: The 30 "post-ice age volcanoes" have been erupting over the past two centuries, and the consequence is that naturally heated water supplies a large part of the population with cheap and pollution-free heating. The many rivers are simultaneously used to produce pollution free electricity in Iceland using hydropower.

Facts about the population

Out of more than 368,000, over 235,000 live in the capital Reykjavik and the area around the capital. Keflavik International Airport is located approx. 50 km from the capital. The inland highlands are rugged and uninhabitable, so most other Iceland settlements are located along the coastline.

Facts about the language

Iceland was immigrated by Norwegian in the 9th century. The Icelanders believe that Ingolfur Arnarson, who was a Norwegian Viking, was the first permanent resident. When came to Iceland in 872 he used the first year to find a good place to settle down. At last, he found a beautiful bay which he named Reykjavik and made as his home. Icelanders still speak the Vikings' original language, and although modern Icelandic has undergone changes in pronunciation and vocabulary, Iceland is alone in maintaining a different national tradition. Namely to use the first name instead of the last name. An Icelander's first name is followed by his or her father's first name and the nickname son or daughter, for example, Guðrún Pétursdóttir (Guðrún, daughter of Pétur). Family members can therefore have many different "surnames".

Facts about the story

In the year 930, the Icelandic Vikings held the world's first parliamentary hearing at Þingvellir. The Althing was held every summer until the end of the 18th century. When the Icelandic independence struggle began in the 19th century, Þingvellir became a symbol of historical pride. When the Icelanders got their constitution in 1874, when they celebrated the thousandth anniversary of the Althing in 1930, and when the modern republic was founded in 1944, the Icelanders applied to Þingvellir.

Þingvellir is a national park and was recently added to the UNESCO World Heritage List, among 788 other important natural and cultural sites worldwide.

Today, Iceland is led by the Allting in Reykjavik, where 63 members are elected every four years. Presidential elections are held every four years. The President of Iceland does not take part in the daily political debate.

Facts about the economy

Iceland has large natural resources where fish and energy have been the most important income sources for several years. But, after the financial crisis in 2008 and the eruption of Eyjafjalljøkull in 2010, the world became familiar with this natural gem. As of today, tourism is the largest source of income in Iceland. Iceland is a member of EFTA and the EEA

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