In the northern part of the Atlantic Ocean lies the volcanic island of Iceland, famous for its warm springs and dramatic scenery.
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 308,000 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||2,560 km2|
|Ice-free land area||90,080 km2|
|Arable land, market gardens and orchards||1,290 km2|
|Largest lake||Þingvallavatn 82 km2|
|Coast line||6 088 km|
|Highest point||Hvannadalshnúkur 2,110 m|
|Precipitation Reykjavík (2007)||890 mm|
|Population 01.01.12||319,575 inh.|
|Population density in the ice-free area 01.01.12||3.5 pop./km2|
1. January 2012
203,594 inh Reykjavík (municipality)1.
|National day||17. June (Independence Day 17 June 1944)|
|Form of government||Republic|
|Parliament||Alþingi or Althingi
|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 Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir (Samfylkingin/ Social Democratic Alliance)|
|Currency:||Icelandic crown (ISK)|
1)Reykjavik, Kópavogur, Seltjarnarnes, Gardðbær, Hafnarfjörður, Mosfellsbær, Kjósarhreppur and Sveitarflelagið Álftarnes