Iceland

Country Summary

2022 population pyramid

Introduction

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. The economy is on an upward trajectory, fueled primarily by a tourism and construction boom.

Geography

Area

total: 103,000 sq km

land: 100,250 sq km

water: 2,750 sq km

Climate

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

Natural resources

fish, hydropower, geothermal power, diatomite

People and Society

Population

357,603 (2022 est.)

Ethnic groups

Icelandic 81.3%, Polish 5.6%, Danish 1%, other 12.1% (2021 est.)

Languages

Icelandic, English, Nordic languages, German

Religions

Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland (official) 62.3%, Roman Catholic 4%, Independent Congregation of Reykjavik 2.7%, Independent Congregation of Hafnarfjordur 2%, pagan worship 1.4%, Icelandic Ethical Humanist Association 1.1%, other (includes Zuist and Pentecostal) or unspecified 19%, none 7.6% (2021 est.)

Population growth rate

0.93% (2022 est.)

Government

Government type

unitary parliamentary republic

Capital

name: Reykjavik

Executive branch

chief of state: President Gudni Thorlacius JOHANNESSON (since 1 August 2016)

head of government: Prime Minister Katrin JAKOBSDOTTIR (since 30 November 2017)

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)

Economy

Economic overview

high-income European economy; frozen EU accession application but Schengen Area member; tourism industry, which helped rebound the economy after 2008 collapse, hit hard by COVID-19; major fishing industry; complex regulatory environment

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$19.16 billion (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$52,300 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

milk, mutton, poultry, potatoes, barley, pork, eggs, beef, other meat, sheep skins

Industries

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

Exports

$7.43 billion (2020 est.)

Exports - partners

Netherlands 23%, United Kingdom 9%, Germany 9%, Spain 8%, United States 7%, France 7%, Canada 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

aluminum and aluminum products, fish products, aircraft, iron alloys, animal meal (2019)

Imports

$7.55 billion (2020 est.)

Imports - partners

Norway 11%, Netherlands 10%, Germany 8%, Denmark 8%, United States 7%, United Kingdom 6%, China 6%, Sweden 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, aluminum oxide, carbon/graphite electronics, cars, packaged medicines (2019)


Page last updated: Wednesday, May 25, 2022