Location: Northern Europe, island between the Greenland Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, northwest of the UK.
The area is approximately 103,000 sq km (100,250 sq km land. 2,750 sq km water). Terrain is mostly plateau interspersed with mountain peaks, and icefields. The coast is deeply indented by bays and fjords. Natural hazards include earthquakes and volcanic activity. Climate is temperate; moderated by North Atlantic Current. You will find mild, windy winters, and damp, cool summers.
Population: About 335,878 people live in Iceland.
The ethnic group is a homogeneous mixture of descendants of Norse and Celts. Languages include Icelandic, English, Nordic, and German.
Religions: Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland (official), other Protestant denominations, Roman Catholic, Reykjavik Free Church, Hafnarfjorour Free Church, The Independent Congregation, and others.
Agriculture: Potatoes, green vegetables; mutton, dairy products; fish.
Exports (commodities): Fish, aluminum, animal products, ferrosilicon, and diatomite.
Economy: Iceland's Scandinavian-type economy is basically capitalistic, yet with an extensive welfare system, low unemployment, and remarkably even distribution of income. In the absence of other natural resources (except for abundant hydrothermal and geothermal power), the economy depends heavily on the fishing industry, which provides nearly 40% of export earnings and employs nearly 5% of the work force. The government remains opposed to EU membership, primarily because of Icelanders' concern about losing control over their fishing resources, and worries over the ongoing Eurozone crisis.
Iceland's economy has been diversifying into manufacturing and service industries in the last decade, particularly within the fields of software production, biotechnology, and financial services. The tourism sector is also expanding, with the recent trends in ecotourism and whale watching.
Currency: Icelandic krona (ISK).
This page was last updated on 02 February, 2018