The Nordic island nation of Iceland occupies an area of 103,000 km2 (40,000 sq miles) in the North Atlantic Ocean.
Iceland is largely an arctic desert punctuated by mountains, glaciers, geysers, hot springs, volcanoes, and waterfalls.
Most of the vegetation and agricultural areas are in the lowlands close to the coastline.
As can be observed on the physical map of Iceland, the country's most distinctive features are the glaciers that cover over 4,600 sq. mi (11,922 sq. km) or 11. 5% of the total area of the country. During the past few decades, however, they've markedly thinned and retreated owing to a milder climate.
By far the largest of the glaciers is the Vatnajokull in southeast Iceland, with an area of 3,240 sq. mi (8,400 sq. km). The Vatnajokull glacier is equal in size to all the glaciers on the European mainland put together and reaches a thickness of 3000 ft. (1 km).
The highest point in Iceland is Hvannadalshnukur, a peak on the edge of the Öræfajökull Volcano, which rises 6,922 feet (2,110 m). The location of this point have been marked on the map by a yellow upright triangle.
And speaking of Volcanoes, on March 21, 2010, the Eyjafjallajökull Volcano in southern Iceland erupted for the first time since 1821, forcing 600 people to flee their homes. Further eruptions in April forced hundreds of people to abandon their homes. And in fact, the resultant cloud of volcanic ash brought major disruption to air travel across Europe.
Due to its stunning geographical features including mountains, glaciers, waterfalls, volcanoes and the pristine environment, Iceland is a great tourist destination for nature lovers.
Iceland has 8 regions that are purely statistical divisions. These are 1. Capital Region Höfuðborgarsvæði 2. Southern Peninsula Suðurnes 3. Western Region Vesturland 4. Westfjords Vestfirðir 5. Northwestern Region Norðurland vestra 6. Northeastern Region Norðurland eystra 7. Eastern Region Austurland 8. Southern Region Suðurland
Iceland is divided into 74 municipalities as the first level administrative divisions (sveitarfelog, singular - sveitarfelagidh). In alphabetical order, these municipalities are: Akrahreppur, Akraneskaupstadhur, Akureyrarkaupstadhur, Arneshreppur, Asahreppur, Blaskogabyggdh, Blonduosbaer, Bolungarvikurkaupstadhur, Borgarbyggdh, Borgarfjardharhreppur, Breidhdalshreppur, Dalabyggdh, Dalvikurbyggdh, Djupavogshreppur, Eyjafjardharsveit, Eyja-og Miklaholtshreppur, Fjallabyggdh, Fjardhabyggdh, Fljotsdalsheradh, Fljotsdalshreppur, Floahreppur, Gardhabaer, Grimsnes-og Grafningshreppur, Grindavikurbaer, Grundarfjardharbaer, Grytubakkahreppur, Hafnarfjardharkaupstadhur, Helgafellssveit, Horgarsveit, Hrunamannahreppur, Hunathing Vestra, Hunavatnshreppur, Hvalfjardharsveit, Hveragerdhisbaer, Isafjardharbaer, Kaldrananeshreppur, Kjosarhreppur, Kopavogsbaer, Langanesbyggdh, Mosfellsbaer, Myrdalshreppur, Nordhurthing, Rangarthing Eystra, Rangarthing Ytra, Reykholahreppur, Reykjanesbaer, Reykjavikurborg, Sandgerdhisbaer, Seltjarnarnesbaer, Seydhisfjardharkaupstadhur, Skaftarhreppur, Skagabyggdh, Skeidha-og Gnupverjahreppur, Skorradalshreppur, Skutustadhahreppur, Snaefellsbaer, Strandabyggdh, Stykkisholmsbaer, Sudhavikurhreppur, Svalbardhshreppur, Svalbardhsstrandarhreppur, Sveitarfelagidh Arborg, Sveitarfelagidh Gardhur, Sveitarfelagidh Hornafjordhur, Sveitarfelagidh Olfus, Sveitarfelagidh Skagafjordhur, Sveitarfelagidh Skagastrond, Sveitarfelagidh Vogar, Talknafjardharhreppur, Thingeyjarsveit, Tjorneshreppur, Vestmannaeyjabaer, Vesturbyggdh and Vopnafjardharhreppur.
With an area of 103,000 sq. km, Iceland is the 18th largest island in the world and the 2nd largest island in Europe. It is the most sparsely populated and the westernmost country in Europe. Located along the south western shores of the country, in the Faxa Bay area is, Reykjavik – the capital and the largest city of Iceland. It is the northernmost capital city of a Sovereign State in the world and one of the smallest capitals of Europe. Reykjavik is a major fishing port and the country’s chief administrative, cultural, industrial and economic centers.
Iceland is an island nation strategically located in the North Atlantic Ocean, between Europe and North America on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland is geographically positioned both in the Northern and Western hemispheres of the Earth. Situated just south of the Arctic Circle, Iceland is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean in the south, the Greenland Sea in the north, the Denmark Strait in the northwest and the Norwegian Sea in the east.
Regional Maps: Map of Europe
|Legal Name||Republic of Iceland|
|64 09 N, 21 57 W|
|Independence||1 December 1918 (became a sovereign state under the Danish Crown); 17 June 1944 (from Denmark; birthday of Jon SIGURDSSON, leader of Iceland's 19th Century independence movement)|
|Total Area||103,000.00 km2|
|Land Area||100,250.00 km2|
|Water Area||2,750.00 km2|
|Total Border||0.0 km|
|Climate||Temperate; moderated by north atlantic current; mild, windy winters; damp, cool summers|
|Coordinates||65 00 N, 18 00 W|
|Mean Elevation||557 m|
|Lowest Elevation||0 m|
|Highest Elevation||2,110 m|
|Hvannadalshnukur (at Vatnajokull Glacier)|
|Ethnic Groups||homogeneous mixture of descendants of Norse and Celts 81%, population with foreign background 19% (2018 est.)|
|Languages||Icelandic, English, Nordic languages, German|
|Religions||Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland (official) 67.2%, Roman Catholic 3.9%, Reykjavik Free Church 2.8%, Hafnarfjordur Free Church 2%, Asatru Association 1.2%, The Independent Congregation .9%, other religions 4% (includes Zuist and Pentecostal), none 6.7%, other or unspecified 11.3% (2018 est.)|
|Currency||Icelandic kronur (ISK)|
|GDP Per Capita||$66,944.83|
|Exports||Fish and fish products (42%), aluminum (38%), agricultural products, medicinal and medical products, ferro-silicon (2015)|
This page was last updated on November 9, 2020