Photos of Iceland

A hauntingly luminous view down the southwest flank of Hekla volcano.



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, which was 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 the global financial crisis hit Iceland especially hard in the years after 2008. The economy is now on an upward trajectory, primarily thanks to a tourism and construction boom. Literacy, longevity, and social cohesion are first-rate by world standards.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.



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

comparison ranking: total 108

Area - comparative

slightly smaller than Pennsylvania; about the same size as Kentucky

Area comparison map:
Area comparison map

Land boundaries

total: 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


highest point: Hvannadalshnukur (at Vatnajokull Glacier) 2,110 m

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

mean elevation: 557 m

Natural resources

fish, hydropower, geothermal power, diatomite

Land use

agricultural land: 18.7% (2018 est.)

arable land: 1.2% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 17.5% (2018 est.)

forest: 0.3% (2018 est.)

other: 81% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

0.5 sq km (2020)

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

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


total: 364,036

male: 182,268

female: 181,768 (2024 est.)

comparison rankings: female 178; male 178; total 178


noun: Icelander(s)

adjective: Icelandic

Ethnic groups

Icelandic 78.7%, Polish 5.8%, Danish 1%, Ukrainian 1%, other 13.5% (2024 est.)

note: data represent population by country of birth


Icelandic, English, Polish, Nordic languages, German


Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland (official) 58.6% Roman Catholic 3.8%, Independent Congregation of Reykjavik 2.6%, Independent Congregation of Hafnarfjordur 1.9%, pagan worship 1.5%, Icelandic Ethical Humanist Association 1.4%, other (includes Zuist and Pentecostal) or unspecified 18.7%, none 7.7% (2024 est.)

Demographic profile

Iceland is one of the most gender-equal countries in the world.  Its welfare policies enable both men and women to balance work and family life.  Iceland lagged its Nordic neighbors in introducing new childcare policies, and even when they did in the 1990s, parents still faced a childcare gap between the paid parental leave period and the start of pre-school. The female labor participation rate continued to grow from the 1960s to the 2000s, as women’s educational attainment increased.  Icelanders are marrying later, if they marry at all, and people are having children later.  The interval between births has decreased. Non-marital cohabitation and childbearing outside of marriage are common. Approximately 2 out of 3 children are born out of wedlock, which is among the highest in Europe.  Iceland’s total fertility rate (TFR) has been fairly stable, hovering around replacement level (2.1 children per woman), for decades – a rate higher even than its Nordic neighbors. 

Iceland has fluctuated over time between being a country of net emigration and one of net immigration.  Most Icelandic emigrants return to their native country after a few years.  From 1960 to 1996, Iceland registered a net outflow, followed by a net inflow until the 2008 banking crisis. During and after the crisis, more Icelanders left the country than immigrated to it.  Following the crisis, Iceland returned to being a country of net immigration.  In 2017, the country’s foreign-born population accounted for 11% of the population and 17% had an immigrant background.  The countries of origin have become more diverse over time, with Polish immigrants composing the largest share in 2017. Foreigners acquiring Icelandic citizenship must have a basic comprehension of the Icelandic language.  The requirement that new citizens modify or change their names to be more Icelandic was dropped in 1996.  The most popular emigration destination was Sweden, followed by Denmark and Norway in 2021.

Age structure

0-14 years: 19.8% (male 36,692/female 35,239)

15-64 years: 63.2% (male 116,210/female 113,810)

65 years and over: 17.1% (2024 est.) (male 29,366/female 32,719)

2023 population pyramid:
2023 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 50.5

youth dependency ratio: 28

elderly dependency ratio: 22.5

potential support ratio: 4.5 (2021 est.)

Median age

total: 38 years (2024 est.)

male: 37.4 years

female: 38.6 years

comparison ranking: total 79

Population growth rate

0.85% (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 107

Birth rate

12.6 births/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 138

Death rate

6.6 deaths/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 132

Net migration rate

2.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 45

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: 94% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 0.74% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

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

15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.9 male(s)/female

total population: 1 male(s)/female (2024 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

28.7 years (2020 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

3 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 180

Infant mortality rate

total: 1.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2024 est.)

male: 1.8 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 1.4 deaths/1,000 live births

comparison ranking: total 225

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 84 years (2024 est.)

male: 81.8 years

female: 86.3 years

comparison ranking: total population 8

Total fertility rate

1.94 children born/woman (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 113

Gross reproduction rate

0.95 (2024 est.)

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 (2020 est.)

Current health expenditure

9.6% of GDP (2020)

Physicians density

4.14 physicians/1,000 population (2019)

Hospital bed density

2.8 beds/1,000 population (2019)

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 (2020 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

21.9% (2016)

comparison ranking: 83

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 7.72 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 4.39 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 2.11 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 1.22 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total 49

Tobacco use

total: 12% (2020 est.)

male: 11.9% (2020 est.)

female: 12% (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 122

Education expenditures

7.7% of GDP (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 13


total population: NA

male: NA

female: NA

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 19 years

male: 18 years

female: 21 years (2020)


Environment - current issues

water pollution from fertilizer runoff

Environment - international agreements

party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Convention, Marine Dumping-London Protocol, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Heavy Metals, Environmental Modification, Marine Life Conservation


temperate; moderated by North Atlantic Current; mild, windy winters; damp, cool summers

Land use

agricultural land: 18.7% (2018 est.)

arable land: 1.2% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 17.5% (2018 est.)

forest: 0.3% (2018 est.)

other: 81% (2018 est.)


urban population: 94% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 0.74% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Revenue from forest resources

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 164

Revenue from coal

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 153

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 5.79 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 2.06 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 0.59 megatons (2020 est.)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 525,000 tons (2015 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 293,003 tons (2013 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 55.8% (2013 est.)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 80 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

industrial: 200 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

agricultural: 300,000 cubic meters (2017 est.)

Total renewable water resources

170 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)


total global geoparks and regional networks: 2

global geoparks and regional networks: Katla; Reykjanes (2023)


Country name

conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Iceland

local long form: none

local short form: Island

etymology: Floki VILGERDARSON, an early Norse 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

64 municipalities (sveitarfelog, singular - sveitarfelagidh); Akranes, Akureyri, Arneshreppur, Asahreppur, Blaskogabyggdh, Bolungarvik, Borgarbyggdh, Dalabyggdh, Dalvikurbyggdh, Eyjafjardharsveit, Eyja-og Miklaholtshreppur, Fjallabyggdh, Fjardhabyggdh, Fljotsdalshreppur, Floahreppur, Gardhabaer, Grimsnes-og Grafningshreppur, Grindavikurbaer, Grundarfjardharbaer, Grytubakkahreppur, Hafnarfjordhur, Horgarsveit, Hrunamannahreppur, Hunathing Vestra, Hunabyggdh, Hvalfjardharsveit, Hveragerdhi, Isafjardharbaer, Kaldrananeshreppur, Kjosarhreppur, Kopavogur, Langanesbyggdh, Mosfellsbaer, Mulathing, Myrdalshreppur, Nordhurthing, Rangarthing Eystra, Rangarthing Ytra, Reykholahreppur, Reykjanesbaer, Reykjavik, Seltjarnarnes, Skaftarhreppur, Skagabyggdh, Skagafjordhur, Skeidha-og Gnupverjahreppur, Skorradalshreppur, Snaefellsbaer, Strandabyggdh, Stykkisholmur, Sudhavikurhreppur, Sudhurnesjabaer, Svalbardhsstrandarhreppur, Sveitarfelagidh Arborg, Sveitarfelagidh Hornafjordhur, Sveitarfelagidh Olfus, Sveitarfelagidh Skagastrond, Sveitarfelagidh Vogar, Talknafjardharhreppur, Thingeyjarsveit, Tjorneshreppur, Vestmannaeyjar, 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

Legal system

civil law system influenced by the Danish model

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 Bjarni BENEDIKTSSON (since 9 April 2024); note - Katrin JAKOBSDOTTIR resigned on 5 April 2024 in order to be a candidate in the 1 June 2024 presidential election.

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 1 June 2024 (next to be held in June 2028); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition becomes prime minister

election results: 2024:  Halla TOMASDOTTIR elected president; percent of vote - Halla TOMASDOTTIR (independent) 34.1%, Katrin JAKOBSDOTTIR (Left-Green Movement) 25.2%, Halla Hrund LOGADOTTIR (independent) 15.7%, Jon GNARR (Social Democratic Alliance) 10.1%, Baldur PORHALLSSON (independent) 8.4%, other 6.5%; note - TOMASDOTTIR will take office 1 August 2024

Gudni Thorlacius JOHANNESSON reelected president; percent of vote - Gudni Thorlacius JOHANNESSON (independent) 92.2%, Gudmundur Franklin JONSSON (independent) 7.8%

2016: Gudni Thorlacius JOHANNESSON elected president; Gudni Thorlacius JOHANNESSON (independent) 39.1%, Halla TOMASDOTTIR (independent) 27.9%, Andri Snær MAGNASON (Democracy Movement) 14.3%, David ODDSSON (independent) 13.7%, other 5%

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Althingi or Parliament (63 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by closed-list proportional representation vote using the D'Hondt method; members serve 4-year terms)

elections: last held on 25 September 2021 (next to be held in 2025)

election results: percent of vote by party - IP 24.4%, PP 17.3%, LGM 12.6%, People's Party 8.9%, Pirate Party 8.6%, SDA 9.9%, Reform Party 8.3%, CP 5.5%; seats by party - IP 16, PP 13, LGM 8, People's Party 6, Pirate Party 6, SDA 6, Reform Party 5, CP 3; composition - men 33, women 30; percentage women 47.6%

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court or Haestirettur (consists of 7 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) [Thorhildur Sunna AEVARSDOTTIR]
Progressive Party (Framsoknarflokkurinn) or PP [Sigurdur Ingi JOHANNSSON]
Reform Party (Vidreisn) [Thorgerdur Katrin GUNNARSDOTTIR]
Social Democratic Alliance (Samfylkingin) or SDA [Kristrun FROSTADOTTIR]

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

chief of mission: Ambassador Bergdís ELLERTSDÓTTIR (since 16 September 2019)

chancery: House of Sweden, 2900 K Street NW, #509, Washington, DC 20007

telephone: [1] (202) 265-6653

FAX: [1] (202) 265-6656

email address and website:

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Carrin F. PATMAN (since 6 October 2022)

embassy: Engjateigur 7, 105 Reykjavik

mailing address: 5640 Reykjavik Place, Washington, D.C. 20521-5640

telephone: [354] 595-2200

FAX: [354] 562-9118

email address and website:

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

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 3 (1 cultural, 2 natural)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Thingvellir National Park (c); Surtsey (n); Vatnajökull National Park - Dynamic Nature of Fire and Ice (n)


Economic overview

high-income north Atlantic island economy; non-EU member but market integration via European Economic Area (EEA); dominant tourism, fishing, and aluminum industries vulnerable to demand swings and volcanic activity; inflation remains above target rate; barriers to foreign business access and economic diversification

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$21.227 billion (2022 est.)
$19.794 billion (2021 est.)
$18.94 billion (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 155

Real GDP growth rate

7.24% (2022 est.)
4.51% (2021 est.)
-7.22% (2020 est.)

note: annual GDP % growth based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 40

Real GDP per capita

$55,600 (2022 est.)
$53,100 (2021 est.)
$51,700 (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 23

GDP (official exchange rate)

$28.065 billion (2022 est.)

note: data in current dollars at official exchange rate

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

8.31% (2022 est.)
4.44% (2021 est.)
2.85% (2020 est.)

note: annual % change based on consumer prices

comparison ranking: 137

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: A (2017)

Moody's rating: A2 (2019)

Standard & Poors rating: A (2017)

note: The year refers to the year in which the current credit rating was first obtained.

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 5.8% (2017 est.)

industry: 19.7% (2017 est.)

services: 74.6% (2017 est.)

comparison rankings: services 48; industry 150; agriculture 122

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.)

Agricultural products

milk, chicken, barley, lamb/mutton, potatoes, pork, beef, eggs, other meats, cucumbers/gherkins (2022)

note: top ten agricultural products based on tonnage


tourism, fish processing; aluminum smelting; geothermal power, hydropower; medical/pharmaceutical products

Industrial production growth rate

4.27% (2022 est.)

note: annual % change in industrial value added based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 92

Labor force

231,000 (2022 est.)

note: number of people ages 15 or older who are employed or seeking work

comparison ranking: 175

Unemployment rate

3.79% (2022 est.)
6.03% (2021 est.)
5.48% (2020 est.)

note: % of labor force seeking employment

comparison ranking: 71

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 13.4% (2021 est.)

male: 13%

female: 13.7%

comparison ranking: total 132

Population below poverty line

8.8% (2017 est.)

note: % of population with income below national poverty line

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

26.1 (2017 est.)

note: index (0-100) of income distribution; higher values represent greater inequality

comparison ranking: 168

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 4%

highest 10%: 22.1% (2017 est.)

note: % share of income accruing to lowest and highest 10% of population


0.69% of GDP (2022 est.)
0.75% of GDP (2021 est.)
0.77% of GDP (2020 est.)

note: personal transfers and compensation between resident and non-resident individuals/households/entities


revenues: $11.776 billion (2018 est.)

expenditures: $11.536 billion (2018 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

1.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 23

Public debt

88.46% of GDP (2022 est.)
96.68% of GDP (2021 est.)
100.61% of GDP (2020 est.)

note: central government debt as a % of GDP

comparison ranking: 28

Taxes and other revenues

23.03% (of GDP) (2022 est.)

note: central government tax revenue as a % of GDP

comparison ranking: 65

Current account balance

-$577.122 million (2022 est.)
-$758.255 million (2021 est.)
$200.648 million (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - net trade and primary/secondary income in current dollars

comparison ranking: 107


$13.044 billion (2022 est.)
$9.555 billion (2021 est.)
$7.197 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - exports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 102

Exports - partners

Netherlands 27%, UK 9%, US 8%, Germany 8%, France 6% (2022)

note: top five export partners based on percentage share of exports

Exports - commodities

fish, aluminum, iron alloys, aluminum wire, animal meal (2022)

note: top five export commodities based on value in dollars


$13.146 billion (2022 est.)
$10.065 billion (2021 est.)
$7.518 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - imports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 108

Imports - partners

Norway 12%, Netherlands 10%, Denmark 8%, Germany 8%, China 7% (2022)

note: top five import partners based on percentage share of imports

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, aluminum oxide, cars, carbon-based electronics, aircraft (2022)

note: top five import commodities based on value in dollars

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$5.887 billion (2022 est.)
$7.079 billion (2021 est.)
$6.419 billion (2020 est.)

note: holdings of gold (year-end prices)/foreign exchange/special drawing rights in current dollars

comparison ranking: 92

Debt - external

$19.422 billion (2019 est.)
$22.055 billion (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 94

Exchange rates

Icelandic kronur (ISK) per US dollar -

Exchange rates:
135.28 (2022 est.)
126.989 (2021 est.)
135.422 (2020 est.)
122.607 (2019 est.)
108.3 (2018 est.)


Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2021)


installed generating capacity: 2.967 million kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 17,912,066,000 kWh (2020 est.)

exports: 0 kWh (2020 est.)

imports: 0 kWh (2020 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 519 million kWh (2020 est.)

comparison rankings: transmission/distribution losses 85; imports 120; exports 100; consumption 74; installed generating capacity 108

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

nuclear: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

solar: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

wind: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

hydroelectricity: 67.6% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

geothermal: 32.3% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

biomass and waste: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)


production: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 142,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 136,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 0 metric tons (2019 est.)


total petroleum production: 0 bbl/day (2021 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 19,700 bbl/day (2019 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 0 barrels (2021 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production

0 bbl/day (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 120

Refined petroleum products - exports

2,530 bbl/day (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 101

Refined petroleum products - imports

20,220 bbl/day (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 120

Natural gas

production: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

consumption: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

exports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

imports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

proven reserves: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

3.337 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 459,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 2.879 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 0 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total emissions 147


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 93,000 (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 25 (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 137

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 457,000 (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 123 (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 176

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: Iceland has one of the smallest yet most progressive telecom markets in Europe; the country in 2020 became the top in Europe for fiber penetration; it aims to provide a fixed broadband service of at least 100Mb/s to 99.9% of the population by the end of 2021, an ambitious target by international standards and one which it is likely to achieve given the progress which operators have made in extending the reach of fiber networks; there is effective competition in the mobile and broadband markets, with a number of players having emerged to challenge the dominance of the two leading operators which have interests across the telecom sectors; the telecom market has shown some resilience in recent years following the significant economic downturn a decade ago, supported by continuing investment in mobile and fixed-line broadband infrastructure by operators and well as by the government’s Telecommunications Fund which is supporting Next Generation Access networks, particularly in rural areas (2022)

domestic: 27 per 100 for fixed line and nearing 118 per 100 for mobile-cellular subscriptions (2021)

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)

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 users

total: 370,000 (2021 est.)

percent of population: 100% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total 174

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 141,816 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 42 (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 124


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 (2018) mt-km


83 (2024)

comparison ranking: 63


1 (2024)


total: 12,905 km (2021)

comparison ranking: total 129

Merchant marine

total: 39 (2023)

by type: general cargo 5, oil tanker 2, other 32

comparison ranking: total 127


total ports: 43 (2024)

large: 0

medium: 2

small: 2

very small: 17

size unknown: 22

ports with oil terminals: 5

key ports: Grundartangi, Reykjavik, Seydhisfjordhur, Vestmannaeyjar

Military and Security

Military and security forces

no regular military forces; the Icelandic National Police, the nine regional police forces, and the Icelandic Coast Guard fall under the purview of the Ministry of Justice (2024)

note: the Icelandic Coast Guard is responsible for operational defense tasks in Iceland including but not limited to operation of Keflavik Air Base, special security zones, and Iceland's air defense systems

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the Icelandic Coast Guard's inventory consists of equipment from mostly European suppliers (2024)

Military - note

Iceland was one of the original 12 countries to sign the North Atlantic Treaty (also known as the Washington Treaty) in 1949; 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)

Iceland cooperates with the militaries of other Nordic countries through the Nordic Defense Cooperation (NORDEFCO), which consists of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden; areas of cooperation include armaments, education, human resources, training and exercises, and operations; NORDEFCO was established in 2009

in 1951, Iceland and the US concluded an agreement to make arrangements regarding the defense of Iceland and for the use of facilities in Iceland to that end; the agreement, along with NATO membership, is one of the two pillars of Iceland‘s security policy; since 2007 Iceland has concluded cooperation agreements with Canada, Denmark, Norway, and the UK; it also has regular consultations with Germany and France on security and defense (2023)

Transnational Issues

Refugees and internally displaced persons

stateless persons: 68 (2022)