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Facts about Iceland

In the northern part of the Atlantic Ocean lies the volcanic island of Iceland, famous for its warm springs and dramatic scenery.

Photographer
Karin Beate Nøsterud/norden.org

Although Iceland is two-and-a-half-times the size of Denmark, only a little over 1% of its land is arable. Most of the terrain consists of volcanic areas covered by large lava fields and glaciers. The country has only 320,000 inhabitants, more than half of whom live in the area in and around the capital city, Reykjavik.

Iceland is a republic with a directly elected president, who is formally responsible for appointing the prime minister. The parliament, Althing, is Iceland's highest authority.

Iceland is not a member of the EU, but takes part in European economic co-operation through the EEA Agreement. Iceland is a member of NATO.

Fish and fish products are still Iceland's most important revenue sources, followed by exports of aluminium and iron silicon. In recent years, Iceland has experienced growth in sectors including biotechnology, software and tourism.

Per capita GDP is € 31,900 (2006).

Total area 103,440 km2
Icecap and Glaciers 10,800 km2
Lakes and streams 2,386 km2
Ice-free land area 90,154 km2
Arable land, market gardens and orchards 1,865 km2
Forests 1,212 km2
Largest lake Þingvallavatn 82 km2
Coast line 6 088 km
Highest point Hvannadalshnúkur 2,110 m
Precipitation Reykjavík (2007) 890 mm
Population 01.01.13 321857 inh.
Population density in the ice-free area 01.01.13 3.6 pop./km2

Population, capital

1. January 2013

205,675 inh Reykjavík (municipality)1.

National day 17. June (Independence Day 17 June 1944)
Form of government Republic
Parliament Alþingi or Althingi
(63 seats)
Membership of the EU No
Membership of EEA From 01.01.1994
Membership of NATO From 4 April 1949
Head of State (as at September 2009) President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson
Head of government Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson (Framsóknarflokkurinn / Progressive Party)
Currency: Icelandic crown (ISK)
Official website www.iceland.is
Official language

Icelandic

1)Reykjavik, Kópavogur, Seltjarnarnes, Gardðbær, Hafnarfjörður, Mosfellsbær, Kjósarhreppur and Sveitarflelagið Álftarnes

Contact

Marita Hoydal
Phone: 0045 29692915

Pictures from Iceland