Iceland is a North Atlantic island country. It is located between Greenland and Norway, immediately south of the Arctic Circle. It has an area of 103,000 km2and 4800 kmof coastline. Iceland is bathed by the Greenland Sea in the north, the Norwegian Sea in the east, the Atlantic Ocean in the south, and the Danish Strait in the west. The most important cities are Reykjavík, the capital, with 116,500 residents (2004), Kópavogur (26,800 residents), Hafnarfjördhur (21,800 residents), Akureyri (16,000 residents), Gardhabaer (9,000 residents) and Húsavik (2400 residents). Like the Azores, it is located on the Central Atlantic Rift, hence the predominance of basalts and other volcanic rocks, of about 100 volcanoes and several hot springs. The geological and climatic characteristics make much of the territory inhospitable. The arboreal vegetation cover results from the planting of conifers and the remaining vegetation is shrub and undergrowth.
The climate is cold, having only three months in Reykjavík in the south with temperatures above 10 ° C, which explains the permanence of glaciers.
Iceland has an economy that is based on the fishing industry. Over the past 50 years, fishing has gone from family activity to large-scale commercial activity, with processing factories operated by large cooperatives. Industrial production includes aluminum, diatomite, food products, beverages and textile products. Only 1% of the soil is cultivated and, therefore, agriculture is limited to planting potatoes, hay and forage. Maritime products dominate exports and are destined for the United Kingdom, Germany and the USA. Imports come from Denmark, Germany and the USA, and cover machinery, transport equipment, fuels and construction materials.
Environmental indicator: the value of carbon dioxide emissions, per capita (metric tons, 1999), is 7.4.
The population was, in 2006, 299 388 residents, which corresponds to a density of approximately 3 residents/km2. The birth and death rates are respectively 13.64% and 6.72%. Average life expectancy is 80.31 years. The value of the Human Development Index (HDI) is 0.942 and the value of the Gender-adjusted Development Index (IDG) is 0.940 (2001). The country’s residents are mostly Icelandic (96%). The religion with the greatest expression is Evangelical Lutheranism (91%). The official language is Icelandic.
Iceland was colonized by Vikings from Norway in 874, but some recent archaeological discoveries suggest that it would have been populated earlier. In 930, the colonists created the world’s first Parliament, the Althing. In 1262, the country joined Norway and, in 1380, both countries came under the rule of the Danish crown. Until the Reformation, Iceland was politically autonomous, but in the mid-17th century, the Danish Crown began to exercise strong control over the country. At that time, the national economy declined and, in 1780, hunger killed 1/5 of the population. For Iceland democracy and rights, please check intershippingrates.
In 1874, Denmark secured the Icelandic Constitution and, in 1904, Iceland constituted its own Government. During the German occupation of Denmark in the 1940s, British and American troops stationed on Icelandic territory, using it as a strategic air base. In 1944, Iceland became an independent republic.
Iceland is currently a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), although it does not have its own military forces. The country has remarkably high standards of living, education, social security and health, in addition to having great political stability and the highest per capita income in Europe.
- Countryaah.com: Offers a full list of airports in the country of Iceland, sorted by city location and acronyms.
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Provides most commonly used abbreviations and initials containing the country name of Iceland. Listed by popularity.
1UpTravel.com – Maps of Iceland
Check out the country, political and shaded relief maps of this northern European island between the Greenland Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, northwest of the UK.
Expedia.com – Iceland Map
Discover a map that allows users to explore different regions with a zoom function. Includes links to country information.
Iceland – ABC Maps
Click on this small map of Iceland to find country facts and figures, such as geography, climate, terrain and land use.
Iceland – About.com
Provides maps and geographic information, including land use and climate factors, for this large island nation.
Iceland – Atlapedia Online
View two maps for Iceland – one highlights the country’s villages, the other detailing its physical characteristics. Also see country facts.
Iceland – Expedia Travel Information
Provides a summarized overview of this nation’s travel destinations, health and safety and transportation. Plus, excellent map for visitors.
Iceland – Merriam-Webster Atlas
Provides a quick point of reference for finding a detailed map of this isolated country. With country facts, a history summary and a diagrams.
Iceland – National Geographic
Combining satellite imagery and computer enhancements, check out this physical map of Iceland.