- Reykjavík; 184,000
- 103,000 square kilometers (39,769 square miles)
- Icelandic, English, Nordic languages, German
- Evangelical Lutheran
- Icelandic krona
- Life Expectancy:
- GDP per Capita:
- U.S. $30,200
- Literacy Percent:
Iceland Facts Flag
A volcanic island, Iceland is Europe's westernmost country and home to the world's northernmost capital city, Reykjavík. Although glaciers cover more than a tenth of the island, the Gulf Stream and warm southwesterly winds moderate the climate—most residents occupy the country's southwest. Established in 930, the national assembly, or Althingi, is the world's oldest continuous parliament. Under the Danish crown for more than 500 years, the country became a republic in 1944. Almost all of Iceland's electricity and heating come from hydroelectric power and geothermal water reserves. Explosive geysers, relaxing geothermal spas, glacier-fed waterfalls like Gullfoss (Golden Falls), and whale watching attract more than 270,000 visitors a year.
- Industry: Fish processing, aluminum, smelting, ferrosilicon production, geothermal power
- Agriculture: Potatoes, green vegetables, chicken, pork; fish
- Exports: Fish and fish products, animal products, aluminum, diatomite, ferrosilicon
—Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition
See trip details for Iceland's Ring Road, one of our best family trips from National Geographic.
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Over the centuries, humans (and sheep) have taken a toll on the volcano- and glacier-shaped landscape. But what remains is still spectacular.
2015 Traveler Photo Contest
Explore the top photos, share your favorites, and browse all entries.