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Iceland is big in terms of land size but very small in terms of population. It´s about 103,000 square kilometres (40,000 square miles) which means it is similar size as the state of Ohio. Population is only just over 300,000 and it is the least populated country in Europe and seventh in the world. Most of the people are of Norwegian descent, with some admixture of Celtic blood from those who came from Ireland and the Scottish islands from the time of settlement. About 7% of the population is of foreign origin with people from Polland being the single largest group (about 2%). About 2/3 live in the greater Reykjavik area.


Main population centers around Reykjavik, the world´s northernmost capital. About 2/3 of the population lives in the greater Reykjavik area. Largest community outside that area is Akureyri in North Iceland which has the population of approximately 15.000 people. Language written and spoken is Icelandic which is one of the oldest living languages in Europe. English and Danish are mandatory subjects in school and Literacy is 99,9%. Majority of Icelanders are within the Evangelical Lutheran Church; state church of Iceland (87.8%).

Standard of living

Iceland has been among the top countries if not at the top when measuring life standard and well being.  Icelanders enjoy living a long and healthy life (measured by life expectancy), being educated (measured by adult literacy and enrolment at the primary, secondary and tertiary level) and having a decent standard of living (measured by purchasing power parity, PPP, income). Unemployment rate is rarely more than 2%.

Iceland has Parliamentary system and elects president (head of state) every four years. Iceland is a member of numerous international organizations, including the United Nations and its agencies, the European Economic Area, NATO, the Council of Europe, OECD, EFTA, WTO and the Nordic Council.

Click here to see what Iceland looks like on a map!