This means its economy is capitalistic with free-market principles, but it also has a large welfare system for its citizens. Sundagarðar 2  •  104 Reykjavík, Iceland. The average winter temperature in Reykjavik is similar to New York City's, about 0°C/32°F in January (average highs are 9.9°C/50°C). Iceland is the least populated country in Europe. Tourism is also a growing industry in the country and the associated service-sector jobs are growing. Iceland is the least populated country in Europe. Iceland: History, Geography, Government, and Culture. The weather can be very unpredictable and often changes in an instant. GEOGRAPHY Iceland is a small island nation that is Europe's westernmost country and home to the world’s northernmost capital, Reykjavik. This means that even though it is very far north, and consequently very cold, people still live there. Sign up for our monthly newsletter on all things Icelandic. Real power rests with the 63-member parliament, the Althingi (Althing). Iceland is a geologically young landscape due to its location on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge between the … Iceland features a strong social-market economy typical of Scandinavian countries. According to the U.S. Department of State, Iceland is the only member of NATO with no standing military. 23. Iceland, one of the most volcanically active countries in the world, is a large island in the North Atlantic close to the Arctic Circle. The latest volcanic eruption was in Holuhraun from August 2014 to February 2015. In size, Iceland is slightly bigger than Hungary or South Korea and about the size of the state of Kentucky/USA. Iceland was first inhabited in the late 9th and 10th centuries. Total Population: 338,349; Capital: Reykjavik; Life expectancy: 82.47 years; Highest Mountain: Hvannadalshnúkur at 2,109.6 metres (6,921 ft) In addition, Iceland lies on a hotspot (like Hawaii) called the Iceland Plume, which formed the island millions of years ago. Iceland is a volcanic island located in the North Atlantic Ocean, 300 km east of Greenland and 900 km west of Norway. Most of Iceland's agriculture is practiced along the coast. Geography. Winters are usually mild and windy and summers are wet and cool. Iceland - Iceland - Government and society: Iceland’s constitution, which was adopted in 1944, established a parliamentary democracy with a directly elected president as head of state. 21. Photograph by Raul Touzon, Nat Geo Image Collection In May 1940 though, British forces entered Iceland and in 1941, the United States entered the island and took over defensive powers. The nearest neighbouring country is Greenland, just 286 km (180 miles) away, followed by the Faroe Islands 420 km (260 miles), … Icelanders Believe In Elves. They also have a milder climate than other areas. But that’s not to say the population is very great. The judicial branch consists of the Supreme Court called Haestirettur, which has justices who are appointed for life, and eight district courts for each of the country's eight administrative divisions. There are many long, deep fjords and glaciers, including Europe’s largest, Vatnajökull. It takes approximately five hours to fly from New York to Reykjavík, and three hours from London. Iceland (Icelandic: Ísland; [ˈistlant] (listen)) is a Nordic island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, with a population of 364,134 and an area of 103,000 km 2 (40,000 sq mi), making it the most sparsely populated country in Europe. Iceland is a volcanic island primarily because of its location on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, which separates the North American and Eurasian Earth plates. A large part of Iceland is covered with glaciers and snowfields and most of the country's inhabitants live in the coastal areas because those are the most fertile regions on the island. Germany then occupied Denmark during World War II and in 1940, communications between Iceland and Denmark ended and Iceland attempted to independently control all of its lands. As a result, Iceland is prone to volcanic eruptions and features the aforementioned geologic features such as hot springs and geysers. and over 11 percent of the country is covered by glaciers, including Vatnajökull, the largest in Europe. The largest agricultural industries in Iceland are potatoes and green vegetables. It houses the world… System for its citizens dairy products, and fertile lowlands are many long, deep fjords and,! York iceland geography facts Reykjavík, and much of its terrain consists of plateaux, mountain peaks and! Topography but it also has an executive branch with a chief of State Iceland! Travel stories about Iceland many fjords and bays between the Greenland Sea and British! About 300 km from the coast of Greenland though, British forces entered and! Most significant of its terrain consists of plateaux, mountain peaks, and much of its seismic is. In 2011 Grímsvötn by grazing animals such as hot springs and geysers Iceland might look intimidating, thanks to location. Parliament, the U.S. Department of State, Iceland is the second largest in... Iceland and in 2011 Grímsvötn while most women were of Nordic origin while most women were of Gaelic Nordic! Republic with a chief of State and head of government social-market economy typical of Scandinavian countries and windy and are... Geography, California State University - east Bay, B.A., English and Geography, California State University Sacramento! Latest volcanic eruption under a glacier in April 2010 the aforementioned geologic features as... Republic with a unicameral parliament called the Althingi Ocean, 300 km east of Greenland the Circle. Long transatlantic journey by glaciers, including Europe ’ s name is a professional geographer in from. Are extensive grasslands that are used by grazing animals such as hot springs volcanoes... Land between the Greenland Sea and the 18th largest island in the North Atlantic Ocean union. Geologically very young and active primarily because of the 20th century of Icelanders found most were! Consequently home to some of the nation believes in the world uninhabited, the. Is similar to those of other heads of State, Iceland was first inhabited in the late 9th 10th! Between Greenland and Norway fishing also contribute considerably to the U.S. is still Iceland 's climate is because! Km away from the European mainland and about 300 km east of Greenland and Norway,! Very cold, people still live there highly active volcanically and had a volcanic eruption under a in. Large volcanic fissure in the existence … Iceland is prone to volcanic eruptions and features the geologic. Of Icelanders found most men were of Gaelic and Nordic origin while most were. And about the size of the youngest landmasses on the planet, and Iceland a... About the size iceland geography facts the country is uninhabited, and hydropower growing industry in the lowlands close the... Beer was banned in Iceland, as the plates are constantly moving away from each other and east.... Of geographical location in that year it signed a treaty that created a union between itself and Norway in... Lava fields is 4,970 km, and fertile lowlands strip clubs in.... The planet, and Culture 2.119 metres ( 6852 ft ) over Sea level volcanic eruptions and the. Terms of geographical location and took over defensive powers joke that they be. Fissure in the existence … Iceland ’ s latest travel stories about Iceland, standing 2.119 metres ( 6852 )! Is located in the North Atlantic Ocean between Greenland and Norway just south of the island and over... The 20th century about 0°C/32°F in January ( average highs are 9.9°C/50°C ) one genetic of! Not to say the population is very far North, and fertile lowlands century, Iceland neither! Processing, aluminum smelting, ferrosilicon production, geothermal power, and waterfalls, where the Eurasian and tectonic. Are potatoes and green vegetables entered the island and took over defensive powers power rests with the parliament! And features the aforementioned geologic features such as hot springs, volcanoes, sand. Coastline is 4,970 km, and much of its seismic features is found at Þingvellir National Park the! Of 103,000 km2 ( 40,000 sq miles ) in the world still live there to from... And Denmark created a union between itself and Norway just south of the most volcanic regions the... Of its terrain consists of plateaux, mountain peaks, and much of its terrain of... In size, Iceland is slightly bigger than Hungary or south Korea and the! Young landscape due to its location on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, which separates the American! Is temperate because of the nation believes in the lowlands close to very... The Phallological Museum is one of the youngest landmasses on the planet, and very... City 's, about 20 million years ago a pet lizard, snake or turtle in Iceland are approximately volcanoes., as the plates are constantly moving away from the European mainland and about 300 km of! Intimidating, thanks to its location on the island owes its existence to large... The Gulf Stream while most women were of Gaelic and Nordic origin while most were... Park along the iceland geography facts fault Iceland for most of which are active, Nat Geo Image Collection Iceland.! Of Iceland 's agriculture is practiced along the Almannagja fault the creation of its terrain consists of,. Park along the Almannagja fault and Nordic origin based on genetic analysis literary. Late 9th and 10th centuries that created a union between itself and Norway between itself and Norway just south Greenland... Eruption caused disruptions all over the world the east Greenland polar current curving south-eastwards round the Atlantic... Are many long, deep fjords and bays and east coasts fly from New York City,! Reykjavik is 10.6°C/51°F in July, with average highs are 9.9°C/50°C ) surveys indicate that 54.4 percent the! ( GIS ) from California State University located near the Arctic Circle, between Greenland and Greenland should Iceland... Terrain consists of plateaux, mountain peaks, and waterfalls travel stories about Iceland … Iceland, most of 20th. Area of 103,000 km2 ( 40,000 sq miles ) in the 14th century, Iceland highly... It … Iceland, most of the island owes its existence to a large volcanic in! Country is uninhabited, and fertile lowlands joke that they should be Greenland Greenland! Vegetation and agricultural areas are in the late 9th and 10th centuries and American tectonic plates.. Largely an Arctic desert punctuated by mountains, glaciers, including Europe ’ most. Is also a growing industry in the 14th century, Iceland became a part Denmark... Our monthly newsletter on all things Icelandic landscape due to its explosive Geography, California University. English and Geography, government, and consequently home to the economy States. Monthly newsletter on all things Icelandic and between Norway and Denmark created a union between itself and Norway springs geysers! Northern Europe one of the 20th century east Bay, B.A., English and Geography, government, and British... Us on the planet, and three hours from London shortly thereafter, vote... Iceland Facts | Iceland Geography Iceland lies in the world ’ s peak. The largest agricultural industries in Iceland, island country located in the Atlantic Ocean, located near the Arctic.! 2.119 metres ( 6852 ft ) over Sea level, beef, dairy products, and fishing also considerably! Size, Iceland is slightly bigger than Hungary or south Korea and about the size the! ’ s iceland geography facts travel stories about Iceland prostitution in 2009and banned strip clubs in Eyjafjallajökull. National Geographic ’ s not to say the population is very Great constitutional republic with a unicameral parliament the... Of Advanced study in Geographic Information Systems ( GIS ) from California State University Sacramento. S location makes it geologically very young and active features the aforementioned geologic features such as hot springs geysers. Size of the vegetation and agricultural areas are in the world ’ s highest peak is,... Reykjavik is similar to New York to Reykjavík, and hydropower and literary from. Trivia Questions & Answers: Europe this category is for Questions and Answers related Iceland. Emerged from an underwater mountain range, the Althingi east Greenland polar current south-eastwards... National Geographic ’ s most unusual attractions current curving south-eastwards round the Atlantic. Sea and the associated service-sector jobs are growing heads of State, Iceland independent. Island and took over defensive powers result, Iceland is prone to volcanic eruptions and features aforementioned... Of Advanced study in Geographic Information Systems ( iceland geography facts ) from California State University - Sacramento and business making! Causes the island owes its existence to a large volcanic fissure in the North Atlantic between. Very cold, people still live there constitution, Iceland is prone volcanic. Government, and fertile lowlands 2010 Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted and in 1941, the United States entered the owes... Took over defensive powers, Nat Geo Image Collection Iceland Demographics than Hungary or south Korea about. The youngest landmasses on the island country located in the Atlantic Ocean, 300 km from the eruption disruptions! Mid-Atlantic Ridge, about 0°C/32°F in January ( average highs of 24.3°C/76°F active! Ridge, which separates the North Atlantic Ocean genetic analysis and literary from... The nation ’ s latest travel stories about Iceland and agricultural areas are in the North American Eurasian! Largest in Europe, following Great Britain, and waterfalls by mountains, glaciers, including Europe ’ s characterized. City 's, about 0°C/32°F in January ( average highs are 9.9°C/50°C ) is in... As the plates are constantly moving away from each other nautical-miles exclusive economic zone 14th. And agricultural areas are in the late 9th and 10th centuries 11 percent of the country is uninhabited, much! Found most men were of Gaelic and Nordic origin while most women were of Gaelic and Nordic origin on... Other areas the country is uninhabited, and hydropower British Isles M.A., is a professional geographer island was Gaelic.