The Island Map
The monetary centre is Borgartún in Reykjavík, which hosts a large number of companies and three investment banks. Iceland’s inventory market, the Iceland Stock Exchange , was established in 1985. Many political parties remain against EU membership, primarily due to Icelanders’ concern about shedding control over their natural resources . Iceland is the one country in the world to have a population beneath two million but nonetheless have a floating exchange rate and an impartial monetary coverage. Strong financial growth had led Iceland to be ranked first within the United Nations’ Human Development Index report for 2007/2008, although in 2011 its HDI rating had fallen to 14th place on account of the economic crisis. Nevertheless, based on the Economist Intelligence Index of 2011, Iceland has the second-highest high quality of life on the earth. Based on the Gini coefficient, Iceland additionally has one of many lowest charges of income inequality in the world, and when adjusted for inequality, its HDI ranking is 6th.
In the late 12th century, Ari the Wise described it in the Íslendingabók as “forested from mountain to sea shore”. Permanent human settlement greatly disturbed the isolated ecosystem of skinny, volcanic soils and limited species diversity. The forests had been closely exploited over the centuries for firewood and timber.
Iceland’s unemployment fee has declined consistently since the crisis, with 4.8% of the labour pressure being unemployed as of June 2012, in comparison with 6% in 2011 and eight.1% in 2010. Iceland is a member of the European Economic Area , which permits the country access to the single market of the European Union . It was not a member of the EU, but in July 2009 the Icelandic parliament, the Althing, voted in favour of application for EU membership and officially applied on 17 July 2009. Historically, because of cultural, financial and linguistic similarities, Iceland is a Nordic country, and it participates in intergovernmental cooperation via the Nordic Council. When the island was first settled, it was extensively forested, with around 30% of the land lined in bushes.
The planting of latest forests has increased the variety of timber, but the result does not examine to the original forests. The tallest tree in Iceland is a sitka spruce planted in 1949 in Kirkjubæjarklaustur; it was measured at 25.2 m in 2013. Phytogeographically, Iceland belongs to the Arctic province of the Circumboreal Region inside the Boreal Kingdom. Around three-quarters of the island is barren of vegetation; plants consists mainly of grassland, which is frequently grazed by livestock. The most typical tree native to Iceland is the northern birch , which previously shaped forests over a lot of Iceland, together with aspens , rowans , frequent junipers , and different smaller trees, mainly willows. The highest air temperature recorded was 30.5 °C (86.9 °F) on 22 June 1939 at Teigarhorn on the southeastern coast. The lowest was −38 °C (−36.4 °F) on 22 January 1918 at Grímsstaðir and Möðrudalur in the northeastern hinterland.
- A French navigator, Jean-Francois de Galaup, comte de La Perouse, discovered 2,000 people on the island when he arrived in 1786.
- The country lies between latitudes 63 and 68°N, and longitudes 25 and 13°W.
- A main slave raid from Peru in 1862, adopted by epidemics of smallpox, decreased the inhabitants to solely 111 individuals by 1877.
- By that point, Catholic missionaries had settled on Easter Island and begun to convert the inhabitants to Christianity, a process that was completed by the late 19th century.
Deforestation, climatic deterioration during the Little Ice Age, and overgrazing by sheep imported by settlers caused a loss of critical topsoil because of erosion. Three-quarters of Iceland’s a hundred,000 square kilometres is affected by soil erosion, 18,000 km2 severe sufficient to make the land useless.
Additional eruptions on 14 April forced tons of of people to desert their houses. The resultant cloud of volcanic ash introduced main disruption to air travel across Europe.
The country’s cultural heritage contains conventional Icelandic cuisine, Icelandic literature, and medieval sagas. Iceland has the smallest inhabitants of any NATO member and is the only one with no standing army, with a frivolously armed coast guard. Iceland has a market economic system with relatively low taxes, in comparison with different OECD countries, in addition to the highest trade union membership on the earth. It maintains a Nordic social welfare system that gives universal health care and tertiary training for its citizens. Iceland ranks high in financial, democratic, and social stability, in addition to equality, ranking third on the earth by median wealth per grownup. In 2020, it was ranked as the fourth-most developed nation in the world by the United Nations’ Human Development Index, and it ranks first on the Global Peace Index. The island was governed as an unbiased commonwealth beneath the Althing, one of many world’s oldest functioning legislative assemblies.
The Sagas of Icelanders say that a Norwegian named Naddodd was the first Norseman to achieve Iceland, and in the ninth century he named it Snæland or “snow land” as a result of it was snowing. Following Naddodd, the Swede Garðar Svavarsson arrived, and so the island was then called Garðarshólmur which means “Garðar’s Isle”. Icelandic culture is founded upon the nation’s Scandinavian heritage. Icelandic, a North Germanic language, is descended from Old West Norse and is intently associated to Faroese.
The temperature information for Reykjavík are 26.2 °C (seventy nine.2 °F) on 30 July 2008, and −24.5 °C (−12.1 °F) on 21 January 1918. The heat North Atlantic Current ensures usually greater annual temperatures than in most places of comparable latitude on the planet. Regions on the planet with similar climates embody the Aleutian Islands, the Alaska Peninsula, and Tierra del Fuego, though these areas are closer to the equator. Despite its proximity to the Arctic, the island’s coasts remain ice-free through the winter. Ice incursions are uncommon, the last having occurred on the north coast in 1969. On 21 March 2010, a volcano in Eyjafjallajökull within the south of Iceland erupted for the primary time since 1821, forcing 600 individuals to flee their homes.