The north is divided into several smaller districts, each of which has relatively good farmland. Aurora borealis over the Snaefellsnes peninsula, western Iceland, March 2013. Iceland is a Scandinavian country, the world’s oldest democracy but modern in nearly every respect. Since WWII Iceland has maintained a high standard of living that is comparable to other Nordic countries. It’s a Nordic country, which is also known as the land of fire and ice, thanks to its diverse landscape and nature. Denmark's hold on Iceland was significantly reduced in 1874 when a constitution was drafted granting Iceland permission to handle domestic affairs. Iceland's present day parliament, Althing, is the oldest existing national assembly in the world. Which Country Is Larger By Population? The first woman was elected to the Althing in … The book of settlements ( Landnámabók ), which contains information on four hundred settlers, was compiled in the twelfth century. The eastern fjords resemble the western fjords but have, in addition, an inner lowland. It lies about 4,200 kilometers (2,600 mi.) The Republic of Iceland, the setting for Hannah Kent's debut novel Burial Rites, has a deep and intriguing history.. and its Licensors Iceland is largely a tableland broken up by structural faults. Iceland began to prosper once again. The health-care system receives 40.5 percent of the national budget and the nation operates one of the most expensive health-care systems in the world. Check out our country profile, full of essential information about Iceland's geography, history, government, economy, population, culture, religion and languages. Iceland was under Danish rule until the late 19th century, when they created their own constitution. It is a relatively young nation since it was first inhabited by Vikings from Norway in the late 800s. Category. Independent Guðni Jóhannesson, a historian, was elected in 2016 to the largely ceremonial presidency. Traditionally, Iceland has been divided according to the four points of the compass. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). The depressed zones between the basalt areas have extensive plateaus above which rise single volcanoes, table mountains, or other mountain masses with steep sides. Today, Icelanders stand at the precipice of a new, exciting and divisive chapter in their young country’s history. Continuous eruptions took place in the Krafla area in the northeast in 1975–84, damaging a geothermal generating project in the area. However, literacy was accomplished in the eighteenth century as children were taught to read by their families or clergy in their homes. The southeast, locked between the glaciers and the sea, has a landscape of rugged splendour. The new island grew to about 1 square mile (2.5 square km) in area and rose more than 560 feet (170 metres) above sea level, a total of 950 feet (290 metres) from the ocean floor. A study by Weingand conducted in 1989 revealed that 86 percent of well-educated Icelanders, 71 percent of the general population, and 53 percent of students reported recalling oral reading of sagas and folk-tales in the home during childhood. Identify the one with the larger population. Settled by Norsemen from Scandinavia and Celts from the British isles settled in the 9 th and 10 th centuries, Icelandic history has always been shaped by events on the larger politicla stage of the Nordic Countries. It lies just below the Arctic Circle between 64 and 66 degrees north. This quiz is based on Britannica’s list of the world’s populations, so review that before you start. Visitors to Iceland typically find the people to be courteous and friendly, are surprised by the cold yet temperate climate (mild winters and cool summers), and are struck by the breathtaking natural beauty of the country. Select Type. Many Icelanders, for example, still believe in elves, trolls, and other figures in the mythical landscape of the Norse past, while even Icelanders who live in cities harbour a vision of their country as a pastoral land, in the words of Nobel Prize-winning author Halldór Laxness, of. Reykjavík and the surrounding areas in the southwest of the country are home to over two-thirds of the population. Sparkling glaciers, such as Vatna Glacier (Vatnajökull), Europe’s largest, lie across its ruggedly beautiful mountain ranges; abundant hot geysers provide heat for many of the country’s homes and buildings and allow for hothouse agriculture year-round; and the offshore Gulf Stream provides a surprisingly mild climate for what is one of the northernmost inhabited places on the planet. 258 Iceland HD Wallpapers and Background Images. There were eruptions in the Vatnajökull area in 1983 and 1996. The landscape in basaltic areas is one of plateau and fjord, characterized by successive layers of lava visible one above the other on the valley sides. In 1915 Icelandic women were allowed to vote. On June 17, 1944, the Republic of Iceland was formally declared at Thing-vellir. Located 180 miles south of the Arctic Circle, Iceland's nearest neighbor is Greenland to the west (180 miles), followed by Scotland to the south east (495 miles), and Norway to the east (590 miles). Destination Iceland, an island nation in the North Atlantic Ocean, between Europe and North America. The centre of the country is uninhabited. Iceland is a land overflowing with water: … These first schools were devoted primarily to educating men for the priesthood, but many others who were prominent in secular affairs were taught as well. Real power rests with the 63-member parliament, the Althingi (Althing). Earthquakes are frequent in Iceland but rarely result in serious damage. The cost of living is very high because so many purchases from cars to paper are imported. The result of this drilling was very promising and proved among other things, that this was a ‘high temper… In this post, we have gathered interesting Iceland facts to give you some insights about this amazing country. Located midway between North America and mainland Europe (), Iceland is the same distance from New York as New York is to Los Angeles.The island is the same size as the state of Ohio, with 11% of its surface covered in glaciers. All Icelandic youth are expected to work as soon as possible, particularly during the summer months when school is out of session. In 1904 Iceland was granted home rule. Region. With a population of approximately 272,000 people, Iceland is one of the smaller nations in the world, yet it is the least densely populated of all European nations. The strength of the people, mirrored by the powerful landscape, is evident in the thriving independent culture. Iceland has more hot springs and solfataras—volcanic vents that emit hot gases and vapours—than any other country. Its average elevation is 1,640 feet (500 metres) above sea level, but one-fourth of the country lies below 650 feet (198 metres). Immigration from other parts of the world has been minimal since the time of the first settlement. At the end of the fourteenth century, Iceland was brought under Danish rule and conflicts between church and state culminated in the Reformation of 1550 with Lutheranism declared the country's official religion. Many of the early settlers of Iceland were small lords and kings from Norway who were fleeing the tyrrany of Harald the Fairhaired who wanted to unify Norway under one king, namely himself. Iceland's interior consists mostly of uninhabited mountains and high plateaus. Whether employment involves intellectually challenging desk work, farming, or fishing, for the Icelander there seems to be an intrinsic association between one's work life and both one's personal contentment and the meaning ultimately attached to one's life. In the southwest several fine natural harbours have directed interest toward the sea, and good fishing grounds lie off the shores of this region. More than 13% is covered by snowfields and glaciers, and most of the people live in the 7% … Iceland was founded more than 1,000 years ago during the Viking age of exploration and settled by a mixed Norse and Celtic population. Iceland joined the United Nations in 1946 and it is a charter member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Eyjafjallajökull volcano, beneath an extension of Mýrdalsjökull (Mýrdals Glacier), erupted in March 2010 for the first time since 1821. Illiteracy is unknown in the small island country. Instead Iceland gained an Icelandic minister responsible to the Althing. Manuscript illumination, woodcarving, and folk music have been associated with periods of heightened interest. Located 180 miles south of the Arctic Circle, Iceland's nearest neighbor is Greenland to the west (180 miles), followed by Scotland to the south east (495 miles), and Norway to the east (590 miles). Icelandic nightlife is famous for its vibrancy, with night clubs, cafes, and cinemas in all major towns. Alkaline hot springs are found in some 250 areas throughout the country. Located west of Scandinavia and just south of the Arctic Circle, the first confirmed settlement of Iceland was in the 9th and 10th centuries by Norsemen from Scandinavia and Scotland. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. The infamous Sturlung Age, which followed the era of peace, was marked by political treachery and violence. Quiz. The first bishopric, or center for learning, was established at Skal-holt in south Iceland in 1056, and a second was developed at Holar in the north in 1106. The medical and welfare systems are jointly financed through taxation by the national and local government. There are numerous theater companies in Iceland, and Reykjavik is home to a symphony orchestra, an opera house, and a ballet company. Geologically, Iceland is a very young country and the process of its formation is still in progress. Although increasingly integrated into the European mainstream, Icelanders take care to preserve their traditions, customs, and language. With artists frequently deriving inspiration from the extraordinary terrain and the ancestral culture, the arts are flourishing in Iceland. Iceland has a long history of farm wor… The next three centuries were troubled by Danish profiteering, international pirates, a series of natural disasters, and famines. Lying on the constantly active geologic border between North America and Europe, Iceland is a land of vivid contrasts of … Most of the more than 5,000 residents had to be evacuated, and—although the harbour remained intact—about one-third of the town was destroyed. Glacier ice and cooled lava each cover approximately one-tenth of the country’s total area. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? The largest, Deildartunguhver, emits nearly 50 gallons (190 litres) of boiling water per second. The glaciers are a reminder of Iceland’s proximity to the Arctic Circle, which nearly touches its northernmost peninsula. Over 25 airlines maintain scheduled flights to Iceland. Omissions? Roughly 90-94 percent of Icelanders are Protestants (73 percent Evangelical Lutheran) and 1 percent are Catholic. It is estimated that since the year 1500 about one-third of the Earth’s total lava flow has poured out of the volcanoes of Iceland. This quiz will show you two countries. The capital and largest city is Reykjavík. A main reason for this is because of the high regard placed on hard work by the people. Iceland is a volcanic island located in the North Atlantic Ocean, 300 km east of Greenland and 900 km west of Norway. Iceland’s rugged coastline, of more than 3,000 miles (4,800 km), meets the Greenland Sea on the north, the Norwegian Sea on the east, the Atlantic Ocean on the south and west, and the Denmark Strait—which separates it from Greenland by about 200 miles (320 km)—on the northwest. With an excellent health care system available to all citizens at no cost, the life expectancy in Iceland is among the highest in the world (76.5 years for males and 81.5 years for females) and infant mortality is among the lowest in the world (5.5 per 1,000 live births). Unlike most European countries, however, it is ethnically homogeneous, so much so that genetic researchers have used its inhabitants to study hereditary disorders and develop cures for a host of diseases. Hekla brought physical destruction, widespread epidemics, and death. Despite its physical isolation some 500 miles (800 km) from Scotland—its nearest European neighbour—Iceland has remained throughout its history very much a part of European civilization. The total power output of the Torfajökull (Torfa Glacier) area, the largest of the 19 high-temperature solfatara regions, is estimated to equal about 1,000 megawatts. Terms of Use, Iceland - Constitutional Legal Foundations, Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.com, Iceland - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education. The country is situated on a strategic location between North America and Europe, about 840 km north west of the United Kingdom and about 460 km south east of Greenland 's coast. Since then, Iceland has flourished into a thriving community but its population has remained one of the smallest in Europe. The first settler was Ingólfur Arnarson, who settled in Reykjavík. Much of Iceland is underlain by basalt, a dark rock of igneous origin. The southern lowland comprises the main farming region. New Icelandic terms are introduced in each discipline and foreign influence on the vocabulary is actively resisted. Welfare services include unemployment insurance, old age and disability pensions, family and childbearing allowances, and sickness benefits. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Much of the uninhabited regions, encompassing more than 80 percent of the island, are covered with permanent snow and ice (glaciers) or volcanic surface, preventing many agricultural activities. Iceland, island country located in the North Atlantic Ocean. A governmental agency, the Icelandic Language Committee, was established in 1965 and officiates over all language issues. Time-lapse video of the southern coast of Iceland. The highest point is 6,952 feet (2,119 metres), at Hvannadals Peak, the top of Öræfajökull in Vatnajökull. The oldest rocks were formed about 16 million years ago. The population rose (despite emigration to Canada) and in 1911 Reykjavik University was founded. Iceland is volcanically and geologically active. The closest bodies of land in Europe are the Faroe Islands (530 km). In 1969 the town council of Grindavik decided to explore the area near Svartsengi for the possibility of geothermal heat, which could be harnessed for domestic heating in Grindavik. Widely known as “The Land of Fire and Ice” Iceland is home to some of the largest glaciers in Europe, and some of the world’s most active volcanoes. Flights to Iceland How to get there. Iceland is an island nation located in Northern Europe between the Greenland Sea and the Northern Atlantic Ocean. Iceland, one of the world's first independent, democratic nations, is the second largest island in Europe (39,769 square miles). Iceland does not maintain armed forces. Iceland. Iceland is considered one of the most beautiful countries in the entire world. In 1000 A.D., Christianity was peacefully adopted at the Althing, which met for two weeks each summer and attracted a significant portion of the population. Iceland, island country located in the North Atlantic Ocean. The strong Icelandic economy is based on the use of renewable natural resources and a highly educated and skilled labor force. English, Danish, and German are also widely spoken and understood. Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.comGlobal Education ReferenceIceland - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education, Copyright © 2021 Web Solutions LLC. Volcanic activity has been particularly frequent since the 1970s. Iceland is one of the best places to experience the Northern Lights. U.S.-ICELAND RELATIONS The United States was the first country to recognize Iceland’s independence in 1944 following Danish rule. A strong movement for linguistic purism gained strength in the nineteenth century and has persisted unabated. Although Irish monks were the first people to inhabit Iceland in the eighth century, it was not until the period extending from 870 to 930 A.D. that Iceland was systematically settled by both Norsemen from Scandanavia and Celts from the British Isles. The history of Iceland is one of survival and prosperity. In 1700, less than half of the population of Iceland could read. This is its story. However, the United States, which has assumed responsibility for Iceland's defense, maintains a naval air station at the Keflavik International Airport. Independent for over 300 years, Iceland was subsequently ruled by … Despite physical isolation, Iceland has maintained its place in European civilization. A PDF of the background information for the 2012/2013 and 2014/2015 datasets is available. View data tables. Iceland is a country of extreme geological contrasts. Iceland, an island about the size of Kentucky, lies in the north Atlantic Ocean east of Greenland and just touches the Arctic Circle. Households require two or more incomes, with most women working outside the home and many men holding two jobs. The area covered by Vatnajökull (Vatna Glacier), the country’s largest, is equal to the combined total area covered by all the glaciers on the continent of Europe. In the post WWII era, Iceland has based its foreign policy on peaceful international cooperation and has participated in Western defense efforts. The Icelandic sagas, most of which recount heroic episodes that took place at the time the island was settled, are regarded as among the finest literary achievements of the Middle Ages, reflecting a European outlook while commemorating the history and customs of a people far removed from continental centres of commerce and culture. After the occupation of Denmark and Iceland's declaration of sovereignty, the island's vulnerability was responded to by British and U.S. troops. Iceland is a Nordic island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, with a population of 356,991 and an area of 103,000 km (40,000 sq mi), making it the most sparsely populated country in Europe. from New York and 830 kilometers (520 mi.) It is the northernmost capital in the world and is located exactly halfway between New York and Moscow. All Rights Reserved The basalt sheets tend to tilt somewhat toward the centre of the country. Iceland is home to a wide variety of private and public galleries, many of which can be found in small towns and villages throughout the countryside. Silfra in Þingvellir National Park. Vatnajökull covers an area of more than 3,000 square miles (8,000 square km) and is about 3,000 feet (900 metres) deep at its thickest point. Literacy has been universal in Iceland since the end of the eighteenth century. Iceland - Iceland - Government and society: Iceland’s constitution, which was adopted in 1944, established a parliamentary democracy with a directly elected president as head of state. - Wallpaper Abyss Other major population centres are Akureyri, on the north-central coast; Hafnarfjördhur, on the southwestern coast; and Selfoss, in the southern lowlands. Infoplease has everything you need to know about Iceland. The country is in very good economic standing with a very low unemployment rate. The process starts now and Iceland is challenging itself to complete it within the … crofts standing at the foot of the mountains or sheltering on the southern slope of a ridge, each with a little brook running through the home-field, marshy land beyond, and a river flowing smoothly through the marsh. Iceland background information Iceland background information. see more. The middle west is divided between fishing and farming and has many places of great natural beauty. Lying on the constantly active geologic border between North America and Europe, Iceland is a land of vivid contrasts of climate, geography, and culture. The capital is where the largest museums and galleries are located and among the most visited are the Culture House, Einar Jonsson Museum , … It is northwest of the United Kingdom and has a strategic location between Greenland and Europe. Sigur Rós (Icelandic pronunciation: [ˈsɪːɣʏrous] ()) is an Icelandic post-rock band from Reykjavík, active since 1994.Known for their ethereal sound, frontman Jónsi's falsetto vocals, and their use of bowed guitar, the band's music incorporates classical and minimal aesthetic elements. There are, however, traces of Celtic influence in the literature and in the names of people and places. Information about Iceland and COVID-19. Although the state provides financial support to the church, it extends considerable freedom. Painting in particular has thrived since the end of the nineteenth century. The principal employers are fishing, industry, agriculture, and health services. Looking for facts about Iceland? This country updated its background information for the 2016/2017 dataset. Select Category. It erupted again beginning on April 14 and sent wandering ash plumes into the skies that disrupted air traffic for days across northern and central Europe. 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