Iceland is not a continent but a country located in the continent of Europe. The country comprises of a number of islands, some of which are uninhabited. The main island is approximately 101,826 square kilometers. The entire country of Iceland is 103,000 square kilometers. It is one of the most sparsely populated countries in Europe. Its capital and the most populated city is Reykjavik. The official language spoken in Iceland is known as Icelandic, which is a North Germanic Language.
Iceland is isolated from other landmasses which makes people think the country is independent of other countries. The closest land mass to Iceland is Greenland, which is approximately 290 km away. For this reason, many people may classify it as a continent and not a country. However, Iceland is technically a part of Europe.
Iceland is a member country of NATO, Council of Europe, UN, OECD, and EFTA. Iceland is a Nordic country. Iceland is not a member of EU. Interestingly, Iceland does not have an army. The defence of Iceland is taken care of by a lightly armed coast guard.
Geography of Iceland
Iceland is located in the north Atlantic. It is situated at the meeting point of the Arctic and the North Atlantic. The main island of Iceland is on the southern side of the Arctic. It lies between longitudes 25 and 130 W and longitude 63 and 680 N. Geologically, Iceland is located on the ridge that separates the Eurasian plate and the North American plate. Iceland was created due to volcanic activities on the ridge. The country has a wide range of geologically and volcanically active areas. Iceland is closer to continental Europe than North America. Thus, it is included in Europe for several reasons including political, geographical, and economical
Climate of Iceland
The climate of Iceland’s coastline is described as Subarctic. The warm north Atlantic current is responsible for the generally warmer temperatures than most places of the same latitude. The south coast is warmer, windier, and wetter than the north coast. The central highlands are the coldest parts of Iceland. The inland plains in the north are mostly arid. The Icelandic coast does not receive snowfall during the winter, despite its close proximity to the Arctic. Ice incursions are a rare occurrence in the Arctic.
Government and Politics of Iceland
Iceland is a parliamentary republic and a representative democracy. The president serves as the head of state. The prime minister and appointed cabinet members are in charge of the government. The country has a multi-party political system. No single party has received the majority votes in the elections. For this reason, the government of Iceland has always been a coalition between two or more political parties.