Europe / Caspian / CIS
Country profile: Iceland
|Location:||Northern Europe, island between the Greenland Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, northwest of the UK|
|Climate:||temperate; moderated by North Atlantic Current; mild, windy winters; damp, cool summers|
|Terrain:||mostly plateau interspersed with mountain peaks, icefields; coast deeply indented by bays and fiords|
|Size:||103000 sq. km total (Land area: 100250 sq. km Water area: 2750 sq.km)|
|Population:||304,367 (July 2008 est.)|
|Languages:||Icelandic, English, Nordic languages, German widely spoken|
|Legal system:||civil law system based on Danish law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction|
|Currency:||Icelandic krona (ISK)|
Settled by Norwegian and Celtic (Scottish and Irish) immigrants during the late 9th and 10th centuries A.D., Iceland boasts the world's oldest functioning legislative assembly, the Althing, established in 930. Independent for over 300 years, Iceland was subsequently ruled by Norway and Denmark. Fallout from the Askja volcano of 1875 devastated the Icelandic economy and caused widespread famine.
Over the next quarter century, 20% of the island's population emigrated, mostly to Canada and the US. Limited home rule from Denmark was granted in 1874 and complete independence attained in 1944. Literacy, longevity, income, and social cohesion are first-rate by world standards.
Energy production and consumption
|Consumption:||18,460 bbl/day (2005 est.)|
|Imports:||17,450 bbl/day (2005 est.)|
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Other countries in this region
- Bosnia and Herzegovina,
- Czech Republic,
- Faroe Islands,
- United Kingdom,