Facts about Iceland

Islandsk landskap
Karin Beate Nøsterud/norden.org
Iceland, the volcanic island in the north Atlantic is famous for its hot springs and dramatic scenery.

Iceland is two and a half times the size of Denmark, but only a little over 1% of the land is fit for growing crops. Most of the landscape consists of big lava fields and glaciers. More than half of the population of 338,349 live in and around the capital, Reykjavík.

Iceland is a republic with a directly elected president. The President formally nominates the prime minister. The Althing (Alþingi) is the parliament and supreme authority in Iceland.

Iceland is not an EU member is a signatory to the EEA Agreement, so part of the European Economic Area. Iceland is a member of NATO.

Fish and fishery products are still the country’s main source of income, followed by aluminium and ferrosilicon exports. In recent years, growth has been recorded in sectors such as biotechnology, software and tourism.

GDP per capita is €30,000 euros (2013).

Land mass: 103,492 km2

Ice caps and glaciers: 10,500 km2

Lakes and rivers: 2,656 km2

Ice-free area: 92.692 km2

Arable land, market gardens and orchards: 1.290 km2

Forest: 1,907 km2

Largest lake: Þingvallavatn 82 km2

Coast line: 6,088 km

Highest point: Hvannadalshnúkur 2,110 m

Average temperature Reykjavík (1961–1990): January -0.6°C, July 10.7°C

Volume of precipitation Reykjavik (2007): 890 mm

Population 2016: 338,349 inhabitants

Population, capital city 2016: 216,878 inhabitants in Reykjavík (local authority) (1)

National day: 17th June (Independence Day 17th June 1944)

Form of government: Republic

Parliament: Althing (Alþingi) 63 MPs

Membership of EU: No

Membership of EEA: Since 1st January 1994

Membership of NATO: Since 4th April 1949

Head of state: President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson

Head of government: Prime minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir

Currency: Icelandic krona (ISK)

Official website: www.iceland.is

Official language: Icelandic

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