Iceland Physical Map

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Physical Map: Defined
In addition to country borders, major cities and significant bodies of water, Physical Maps indicate the location of landforms like deserts, mountains and plains. This type of map also displays major cities and regions. Physical Maps are commonly used to see elevation and land contours as well as major rivers and lakes.

page last updated on September 26, 2011

Introduction :: Iceland
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 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. 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. Literacy, longevity, and social cohesion are first rate by world standards.
Geography :: Iceland
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:
total: 103,000 sq km
country comparison to the world: 108
land: 100,250 sq km
water: 2,750 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Kentucky
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
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Hvannadalshnukur 2,110 m (at Vatnajokull glacier)
Natural resources:
fish, hydropower, geothermal power, diatomite
Land use:
arable land: 0.07%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 99.93% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Total renewable water resources:
170 cu km (2005)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 0.17 cu km/yr (34%/66%/0%)
per capita: 567 cu m/yr (2003)
Natural hazards:
earthquakes and volcanic activity
volcanism: Iceland, situated on top of a hotspot, experiences severe volcanic activity; Eyjafjallajokull (elev. 1,666 m) erupted in 2010, sending ash high into the atmosphere and seriously disrupting European air traffic; scientists continue to monitor nearby Katla (elev. 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 frequently 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; inadequate wastewater treatment
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 :: Iceland
311,058 (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 179
Age structure:
0-14 years: 20.2% (male 31,929/female 31,034)
15-64 years: 67.1% (male 105,541/female 103,202)
65 years and over: 12.7% (male 17,974/female 21,378) (2011 est.)
Median age:
total: 35.6 years
male: 35.2 years
female: 36.1 years (2011 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.687% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 140
Birth rate:
13.29 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 151
Death rate:
6.96 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 136
Net migration rate:
0.53 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 63
urban population: 93% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 1.5% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major cities - population:
REYKJAVIK (capital) 198,000 (2009)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.83 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 3.2 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 215
male: 3.34 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.05 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 80.9 years
country comparison to the world: 18
male: 78.72 years
female: 83.17 years (2011 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.89 children born/woman (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 141
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.3% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 86
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
fewer than 1,000 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 143
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
fewer than 100 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 135
Drinking water source:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population (2008)
Sanitation facility access:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population (2008)
noun: Icelander(s)
adjective: Icelandic
Ethnic groups:
homogeneous mixture of descendants of Norse and Celts 94%, population of foreign origin 6%
Lutheran Church of Iceland (official) 80.7%, Roman Catholic Church 2.5%, Reykjavik Free Church 2.4%, Hafnarfjorour Free Church 1.6%, other religions 3.6%, unaffiliated 3%, other or unspecified 6.2% (2006 est.)
Icelandic, English, Nordic languages, German widely spoken
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (2003 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 18 years
male: 17 years
female: 20 years (2008)
Education expenditures:
7.4% of GDP (2007)
country comparison to the world: 14

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