Europe :: Iceland
  • Introduction :: Iceland
  • Background:
    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 Althingi, 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. Denmark granted limited home rule in 1874 and complete independence in 1944. The second half of the 20th century saw substantial economic growth driven primarily by the fishing industry. The economy diversified greatly after the country joined the European Economic Area in 1994, but Iceland was especially hard hit by the global financial crisis in the years following 2008. The economy is now on an upward trajectory, fueled primarily by a tourism and construction boom. Literacy, longevity, and social cohesion are first rate by world standards.
  • Geography :: Iceland
  • Location:
    Northern Europe, island between the Greenland Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, northwest of the United Kingdom
    Geographic coordinates:
    65 00 N, 18 00 W
    Map references:
    Arctic Region
    total: 103,000 sq km
    land: 100,250 sq km
    water: 2,750 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 109
    Area - comparative:
    slightly smaller than Pennsylvania; about the same size as Kentucky
    Area comparison map: Area comparison map
    Land boundaries:
    0 km
    4,970 km
    Maritime claims:
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
    temperate; moderated by North Atlantic Current; mild, windy winters; damp, cool summers
    mostly plateau interspersed with mountain peaks, icefields; coast deeply indented by bays and fiords
    mean elevation: 557 m
    lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Hvannadalshnukur (at Vatnajokull Glacier) 2,110 m
    Natural resources:
    fish, hydropower, geothermal power, diatomite
    Land use:
    agricultural land: 18.7% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 1.2% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 0% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 17.5% (2011 est.)
    forest: 0.3% (2011 est.)
    other: 81% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land:
    Population distribution:
    Iceland is almost entirely urban with half of the population located in and around the capital of Reykjavik; smaller clusters are primarily found along the coast in the north and west
    Natural hazards:

    earthquakes and volcanic activity

    volcanism: Iceland, situated on top of a hotspot, experiences severe volcanic activity; Eyjafjallajokull (1,666 m) erupted in 2010, sending ash high into the atmosphere and seriously disrupting European air traffic; scientists continue to monitor nearby Katla (1,512 m), which has a high probability of eruption in the very near future, potentially disrupting air traffic; Grimsvoetn and Hekla are Iceland's most active volcanoes; other historically active volcanoes include Askja, Bardarbunga, Brennisteinsfjoll, Esjufjoll, Hengill, Krafla, Krisuvik, Kverkfjoll, Oraefajokull, Reykjanes, Torfajokull, and Vestmannaeyjar

    Environment - current issues:
    water pollution from fertilizer runoff
    Environment - international agreements:
    party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Kyoto Protocol, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Transboundary Air Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Marine Life Conservation
    Geography - note:
    strategic location between Greenland and Europe; westernmost European country; Reykjavik is the northernmost national capital in the world; more land covered by glaciers than in all of continental Europe
  • People and Society :: Iceland
  • Population:
    350,734 (July 2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 178
    noun: Icelander(s)
    adjective: Icelandic
    Ethnic groups:
    homogeneous mixture of descendants of Norse and Celts 81%, population with foreign background 19% (2018 est.)
    note: population with foreign background includes immigrants and persons having at least one parent who was born abroad
    Icelandic, English, Nordic languages, German
    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.)
    Age structure:
    0-14 years: 20.31% (male 36,394/female 34,837)
    15-24 years: 12.85% (male 22,748/female 22,317)
    25-54 years: 39.44% (male 70,227/female 68,095)
    55-64 years: 11.94% (male 20,762/female 21,111)
    65 years and over: 15.47% (male 25,546/female 28,697) (2020 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios:
    total dependency ratio: 54
    youth dependency ratio: 29.9
    elderly dependency ratio: 24.1
    potential support ratio: 4.2 (2020 est.)
    Median age:
    total: 37.1 years
    male: 36.6 years
    female: 37.7 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 74
    Population growth rate:
    1.02% (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 104
    Birth rate:
    13.3 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    Death rate:
    6.6 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 139
    Net migration rate:
    3.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 34
    Population distribution:
    Iceland is almost entirely urban with half of the population located in and around the capital of Reykjavik; smaller clusters are primarily found along the coast in the north and west
    urban population: 93.9% of total population (2020)
    rate of urbanization: 0.81% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030: PDF
    Major urban areas - population:
    216,000 REYKJAVIK (capital) (2018)
    Sex ratio:
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.89 male(s)/female
    total population: 1 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
    Mother's mean age at first birth:
    27.4 years (2015 est.)
    Maternal mortality rate:
    4 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 173
    Infant mortality rate:
    total: 2.1 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 2.3 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 2 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 225
    Life expectancy at birth:
    total population: 83.3 years
    male: 81 years
    female: 85.6 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    Total fertility rate:
    1.97 children born/woman (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    Drinking water source:
    improved: urban: 100% of population
    rural: 100% of population
    total: 100% of population
    unimproved: urban: 0% of population
    rural: 0% of population
    total: 0% of population (2017 est.)
    Current Health Expenditure:
    8.3% (2017)
    Physicians density:
    3.98 physicians/1,000 population (2017)
    Hospital bed density:
    3.1 beds/1,000 population (2017)
    Sanitation facility access:
    improved: urban: 100% of population
    rural: 100% of population
    total: 100% of population
    unimproved: urban: 0% of population
    rural: 0% of population
    total: 0% of population (2017 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
    0.1% (2018)
    country comparison to the world: 124
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
    <500 (2018)
    HIV/AIDS - deaths:
    <100 (2018)
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
    21.9% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 83
    Education expenditures:
    7.5% of GDP (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 8
    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
    total: 19 years
    male: 18 years
    female: 20 years (2016)
    Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
    total: 6.1%
    male: 6.5%
    female: 5.6% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 160
  • Government :: Iceland
  • Country name:
    conventional long form: Republic of Iceland
    conventional short form: Iceland
    local long form: Lydveldid Island
    local short form: Island
    etymology: Floki VILGERDARSON, an early explorer of the island (9th century), applied the name "Land of Ice" after spotting a fjord full of drift ice to the north and spending a bitter winter on the island; he eventually settled on the island, however, after he saw how it greened up in the summer and that it was, in fact, habitable
    Government type:
    unitary parliamentary republic
    name: Reykjavik
    geographic coordinates: 64 09 N, 21 57 W
    time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    etymology: the name means "smoky bay" in Icelandic and refers to the steamy, smoke-like vapors discharged by hot springs in the area
    Administrative divisions:
    72 municipalities (sveitarfelog, singular - sveitarfelagidh); Akrahreppur, Akraneskaupstadhur, Akureyrarkaupstadhur, Arneshreppur, Asahreppur, Blaskogabyggdh, Blonduosbaer, Bolungarvikurkaupstadhur, Borgarbyggdh, Borgarfjardharhreppur, 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, Seltjarnarnesbaer, Seydhisfjardharkaupstadhur, Skaftarhreppur, Skagabyggdh, Skeidha-og Gnupverjahreppur, Skorradalshreppur, Skutustadhahreppur, Snaefellsbaer, Strandabyggdh, Stykkisholmsbaer, Sudhavikurhreppur, Sudhurnesjabaer, Svalbardhshreppur, Svalbardhsstrandarhreppur, Sveitarfelagidh Arborg, Sveitarfelagidh Hornafjordhur, Sveitarfelagidh Olfus, Sveitarfelagidh Skagafjordhur, Sveitarfelagidh Skagastrond, Sveitarfelagidh Vogar, Talknafjardharhreppur, Thingeyjarsveit, Tjorneshreppur, Vestmannaeyjabaer, Vesturbyggdh, Vopnafjardharhreppur
    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)
    National holiday:
    Independence Day, 17 June (1944)
    history: several previous; latest ratified 16 June 1944, effective 17 June 1944 (at independence)
    amendments: proposed by the Althingi; passage requires approval by the Althingi and by the next elected Althingi, and confirmation by the president of the republic; proposed amendments to Article 62 of the constitution – that the Evangelical Lutheran Church shall be the state church of Iceland – also require passage by referendum; amended many times, last in 2013
    International law organization participation:
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Iceland
    dual citizenship recognized: yes
    residency requirement for naturalization: 3 to 7 years
    18 years of age; universal
    Executive branch:
    chief of state: President Gudni Thorlacius JOHANNESSON (since 1 August 2016)
    head of government: Prime Minister Katrin JAKOBSDOTTIR (since 30 November 2017)
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president upon the recommendation of the prime minister
    elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a 4-year term (no term limits); election last held on 27 June 2020 (next to be held in 2024); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition becomes prime minister
    election results: Gudni Thorlacius JOHANNESSON reelected president; percent of vote - Gudni Thorlacius JOHANNESSON (independent) 92.2%, Gudmundur Franklin JONSSON (independent) 7.8%
    Legislative branch:
    description: unicameral Althingi or Parliament (63 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 4-year terms)
    elections: last held on 28 October 2017 (next to be held in 2021)
    election results: percent of vote by party - IP 25.2%, LGM 16.9%, SDA 12.1%, CP 10.9%, PP 10.7%, Pirate Party 9.2%, People's Party 6.9%, Reform Party 6.7%. other 1.5%; seats by party - IP 16, LGM 11, SDA 7, CP 7, PP 8, Pirate Party 6, Reform Party 4, People's Party 4
    Judicial branch:
    highest courts: Supreme Court or Haestirettur (consists of 9 judges)
    judge selection and term of office: judges proposed by Ministry of Interior selection committee and appointed by the president; judges appointed for an indefinite period
    subordinate courts: Appellate Court or Landsrettur; 8 district courts; Labor Court
    Political parties and leaders:
    Centrist Party (Midflokkurinn) or CP [Sigmundur David GUNNLAUGSSON]
    Independence Party (Sjalfstaedisflokkurinn) or IP [Bjarni BENEDIKTSSON]
    Left-Green Movement (Vinstrihreyfingin-graent frambod) or LGM [Katrin JAKOBSDOTTIR]
    People's Party (Flokkur Folksins) [Inga SAELAND]
    Pirate Party (Piratar) [rotating leadership]
    Progressive Party (Framsoknarflokkurinn) or PP [Sigurdur Ingi JOHANNSSON]
    Reform Party (Vidreisn) [Thorgerdur Katrin GUNNARSDOTTIR]
    Social Democratic Alliance (Samfylkingin) or SDA [Logi Mar EINARSSON]
    International organization participation:
    Arctic Council, Australia Group, BIS, CBSS, CD, CE, EAPC, EBRD, EFTA, FAO, FATF, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NATO, NC, NEA, NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    Ambassador Geir Hilmar HAARDE (since 23 February 2015)
    chancery: House of Sweden, 2900 K Street NW, #509, Washington, DC 20007
    telephone: [1] (202) 265-6653
    FAX: [1] (202) 265-6656
    consulate(s) general: New York
    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Jeffrey Ross GUNTER (since 2 July 2019)
    telephone: [354] 595-2200
    embassy: Laufasvegur 21, 101 Reykjavik
    mailing address: US Department of State, 5640 Reykjavik Place, Washington, D.C. 20521-5640
    FAX: [354] 562-9118
    Flag description:
    blue with a red cross outlined in white extending to the edges of the flag; the vertical part of the cross is shifted to the hoist side in the style of the Dannebrog (Danish flag); the colors represent three of the elements that make up the island: red is for the island's volcanic fires, white recalls the snow and ice fields of the island, and blue is for the surrounding ocean
    National symbol(s):
    gyrfalcon; national colors: blue, white, red
    National anthem:
    name: "Lofsongur" (Song of Praise)
    lyrics/music: Matthias JOCHUMSSON/Sveinbjorn SVEINBJORNSSON

    note: adopted 1944; also known as "O, Gud vors lands" (O, God of Our Land), the anthem was originally written and performed in 1874

  • Economy :: Iceland
  • Economy - overview:

    Iceland's economy combines a capitalist structure and free-market principles with an extensive welfare system. Except for a brief period during the 2008 crisis, Iceland has in recent years achieved high growth, low unemployment, and a remarkably even distribution of income. Iceland's economy has been diversifying into manufacturing and service industries in the last decade, particularly within the fields of tourism, software production, and biotechnology. Abundant geothermal and hydropower sources have attracted substantial foreign investment in the aluminum sector, boosted economic growth, and sparked some interest from high-tech firms looking to establish data centers using cheap green energy.

    Tourism, aluminum smelting, and fishing are the pillars of the economy. For decades the Icelandic economy depended heavily on fisheries, but tourism has now surpassed fishing and aluminum as Iceland’s main export industry. Tourism accounted for 8.6% of Iceland’s GDP in 2016, and 39% of total exports of merchandise and services. From 2010 to 2017, the number of tourists visiting Iceland increased by nearly 400%. Since 2010, tourism has become a main driver of Icelandic economic growth, with the number of tourists reaching 4.5 times the Icelandic population in 2016. Iceland remains sensitive to fluctuations in world prices for its main exports, and to fluctuations in the exchange rate of the Icelandic Krona.

    Following the privatization of the banking sector in the early 2000s, domestic banks expanded aggressively in foreign markets, and consumers and businesses borrowed heavily in foreign currencies. Worsening global financial conditions throughout 2008 resulted in a sharp depreciation of the krona vis-a-vis other major currencies. The foreign exposure of Icelandic banks, whose loans and other assets totaled nearly nine times the country's GDP, became unsustainable. Iceland's three largest banks collapsed in late 2008. GDP fell 6.8% in 2009, and unemployment peaked at 9.4% in February 2009. Three new banks were established to take over the domestic assets of the collapsed banks. Two of them have majority ownership by the state, which intends to re-privatize them.

    Since the collapse of Iceland's financial sector, government economic priorities have included stabilizing the krona, implementing capital controls, reducing Iceland's high budget deficit, containing inflation, addressing high household debt, restructuring the financial sector, and diversifying the economy. Capital controls were lifted in March 2017, but some financial protections, such as reserve requirements for specified investments connected to new inflows of foreign currency, remain in place.

    GDP (purchasing power parity):
    $18.18 billion (2017 est.)
    $17.48 billion (2016 est.)
    $16.29 billion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 153
    GDP (official exchange rate):
    $24.48 billion (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate:
    4% (2017 est.)
    7.4% (2016 est.)
    4.5% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 77
    GDP - per capita (PPP):
    $52,200 (2017 est.)
    $51,700 (2016 est.)
    $48,900 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 25
    Gross national saving:
    25.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
    29.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
    24.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 52
    GDP - composition, by end use:
    household consumption: 50.4% (2017 est.)
    government consumption: 23.3% (2017 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 22.1% (2017 est.)
    investment in inventories: 0% (2017 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 47% (2017 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -42.8% (2017 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
    agriculture: 5.8% (2017 est.)
    industry: 19.7% (2017 est.)
    services: 74.6% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products:
    potatoes, carrots, green vegetables, tomatoes, cucumbers; mutton, chicken, pork, beef, dairy products; fish
    tourism, fish processing; aluminum smelting;; geothermal power, hydropower; medical/pharmaceutical products
    Industrial production growth rate:
    2.4% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 120
    Labor force:
    198,700 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 172
    Labor force - by occupation:
    agriculture: 4.8%
    industry: 22.2%
    services: 73% (2008)
    Unemployment rate:
    2.8% (2017 est.)
    3% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 30
    Population below poverty line:

    note: 332,100 families (2011 est.)

    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: NA
    highest 10%: NA
    revenues: 10.39 billion (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 10.02 billion (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues:
    42.4% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 31
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
    1.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 22
    Public debt:
    40% of GDP (2017 est.)
    51.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 126
    Fiscal year:
    calendar year
    Inflation rate (consumer prices):
    1.8% (2017 est.)
    1.7% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    Current account balance:
    $857 million (2017 est.)
    $1.556 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 52
    $4.957 billion (2017 est.)
    $4.483 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 108
    Exports - partners:
    Netherlands 25.5%, Spain 13.6%, UK 9.4%, Germany 7.6%, US 7%, France 6.3%, Norway 4.9% (2017)
    Exports - commodities:
    fish and fish products (42%), aluminum (38%), agricultural products, medicinal and medical products, ferro-silicon (2015)
    $6.525 billion (2017 est.)
    $5.315 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 118
    Imports - commodities:
    machinery and equipment, petroleum products, foodstuffs, textiles
    Imports - partners:
    Germany 10.7%, Norway 9.2%, China 7%, Netherlands 6.7%, US 6.4%, Denmark 6.2%, UK 5.7%, Sweden 4.1% (2017)
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
    $6.567 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $7.226 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 89
    Debt - external:
    $21.7 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $25.02 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 91
    Exchange rates:
    Icelandic kronur (ISK) per US dollar -
    111.7 (2017 est.)
    120.81 (2016 est.)
    120.81 (2015 est.)
    131.92 (2014 est.)
    116.77 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: Iceland
  • Electricity access:
    electrification - total population: 100% (2016)
    Electricity - production:
    18.17 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 80
    Electricity - consumption:
    17.68 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    Electricity - exports:
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 148
    Electricity - imports:
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 160
    Electricity - installed generating capacity:
    2.772 million kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 100
    Electricity - from fossil fuels:
    4% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 206
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 109
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
    71% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 16
    Electricity - from other renewable sources:
    25% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 29
    Crude oil - production:
    0 bbl/day (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 151
    Crude oil - exports:
    0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 139
    Crude oil - imports:
    0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    Crude oil - proved reserves:
    0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 147
    Refined petroleum products - production:
    0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 159
    Refined petroleum products - consumption:
    20,850 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 139
    Refined petroleum products - exports:
    2,530 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    Refined petroleum products - imports:
    20,220 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 120
    Natural gas - production:
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 148
    Natural gas - consumption:
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 160
    Natural gas - exports:
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 123
    Natural gas - imports:
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 140
    Natural gas - proved reserves:
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 149
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
    3.228 million Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 144
  • Communications :: Iceland
  • Telephones - fixed lines:
    total subscriptions: 136,713
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 40 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 132
    Telephones - mobile cellular:
    total subscriptions: 424,720
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 124 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    Telecommunication systems:
    general assessment: telecommunications infrastructure is modern and fully digitized, with satellite-earth stations, fiber-optic cables, and an extensive broadband network; LTE licenses providing 99% population coverage; small but most progressive telecom market in Europe; good competition among mobile and broadband markets (2020)
    domestic: liberalization of the telecommunications sector beginning in the late 1990s has led to increased competition especially in the mobile services segment of the market; 40 per 100 for fixed line and 124 per 100 for mobile-cellular subscriptions (2018)
    international: country code - 354; landing points for the CANTAT-3, FARICE-1, Greenland Connect and DANICE submarine cable system that provides connectivity to Canada, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, UK, Denmark, and Germany; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean), 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic and Indian Ocean regions); note - Iceland shares the Inmarsat earth station with the other Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden) (2019)
    note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
    Broadcast media:

    state-owned public TV broadcaster (RUV) operates 21 TV channels nationally (RUV and RUV 2, though RUV 2 is used less frequently);  RUV broadcasts nationally, every household in Iceland is required to have RUV as it doubles as the emergency broadcast network; RUV also operates stringer offices in the north (Akureyri) and the east (Egilsstadir) but operations are all run out of RUV headquarters in Reykjavik;  there are 3 privately owned TV stations;  Stod 2 (Channel 2) is owned by Syn, following 365 Media and Vodafone merger, and is headquartered in Reykjavik;  Syn also operates 4 sports channels under Stod 2;  N4 is the only television station headquartered outside of Reykjavik, in Akureyri, with local programming for the north, south, and east of Iceland;  Hringbraut is the newest station and is headquartered in Reykjavik;  all of these television stations have nationwide penetration as 100% of households have multi-channel services though digital and/or fiber-optic connections

    RUV operates 3 radio stations (RAS 1, RAS2, and Rondo) as well as 4 regional stations (but they mostly act as range extenders for RUV radio broadcasts nationwide);  there is 1 privately owned radio conglomerate, Syn (4 stations), that broadcasts nationwide, and 3 other radio stations that broadcast to the most densely populated regions of the country.  In addition there are upwards of 20 radio stations that operate regionally

    Internet country code:
    Internet users:
    total: 340,117
    percent of population: 99.01% (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 163
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions:
    total: 136,556
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 40 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 116
  • Military and Security :: Iceland
  • Military and security forces:
    no regular military forces; Icelandic Coast Guard; Icelandic National Police (2019)
    Military expenditures:
    0.3% of GDP (2018)
    0.3% of GDP (2017)
    0.3% of GDP (2016)
    0.3% of GDP (2015)
    0.5% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 154
    Military and security service personnel strengths:
    the Icelandic Coast Guard has approximately 250 personnel (2019 est.)
    Military equipment inventories and acquisitions:
    the Icelandic Coast Guard's inventory consists of equipment from European suppliers (2019 est.)
    Military - note:
    Iceland is the only NATO member that has no standing military force; defense of Iceland remains a NATO commitment and NATO maintains an air policing presence in Icelandic airspace; Iceland participates in international peacekeeping missions with the civilian-manned Icelandic Crisis Response Unit (ICRU) (2019)
  • Transportation :: Iceland
  • National air transport system:
    number of registered air carriers: 6 (2020)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 63
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 7,819,740 (2018)
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 163.65 million mt-km (2018)
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix:
    TF (2016)
    96 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 59
    Airports - with paved runways:
    total: 7 (2017)
    over 3,047 m: 1 (2017)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 (2017)
    914 to 1,523 m: 3 (2017)
    Airports - with unpaved runways:
    total: 89 (2013)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 26 (2013)
    under 914 m: 60 (2013)
    total: 12,898 km (2012)
    paved/oiled gravel: 5,647 km (excludes urban roads) (2012)
    unpaved: 7,251 km (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 129
    Merchant marine:
    total: 37
    by type: general cargo 5, oil tanker 2, other 30 (2019)
    country comparison to the world: 126
    Ports and terminals:
    major seaport(s): Grundartangi, Hafnarfjordur, Reykjavik
  • Transnational Issues :: Iceland
  • Disputes - international:

    Iceland, the UK, and Ireland dispute Denmark's claim that the Faroe Islands' continental shelf extends beyond 200 nm; the European Free Trade Association Surveillance Authority filed a suit against Iceland, claiming the country violated the Agreement on the European Economic Area in failing to pay minimum compensation to Icesave depositors

    Refugees and internally displaced persons:
    stateless persons: 69 (2018)