103.125 sq. km
Conditional reduction of currency
Climate, average max and min t°
Temperate; moderated by North Atlantic Current; mild, windy winters; damp, cool summers; avg. maximum temperature (July) +12°; avg. minimum temperature (January) -1°
Time difference from Moscow
- 4 hours
Icelandic 93.44%, Polish 2.83%, and others 3.73%
Inhabited 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. Iceland became a member of NATO on 30 March 1949. Among NATO members, Iceland is the only one with no standing army.
Industrialization of the fisheries and aid from the Marshall Plan brought prosperity in the years after World War II. The economy diversified greatly after the country joined the European Economic Area in 1994. Iceland began accession negotiations with the EU in July 2010; however, public support has dropped substantially because of concern about losing control over fishing resources and in reaction to worries over the ongoing Eurozone crisis.
Prime Minister and Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the Prime Minister
unicameral Parliament Althing (63 members)
Supreme Court, and eight district courts
GDP per capita rank
Corruption perceptions index rank