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Brief Facts About Iceland


Flag: Blue with a red cross outlined in white fimbration, extending to the edges of the flag. The colors are symbolic for three of the elements that make up the island: red is for the volcanic fires, white recalls the snow and glaciers, and blue is for the skies above.

Population: 332,000 (2016). An estimated 9% (29.900) of the population is of foreign-born nationality. Median age is 36,3 years.

Capital city: Reykjavík. The largest municipalities are Reykjavík* (122,000); Kópavogur* (34,000); Hafnarfjördur *(28,000); Akureyri (18,000); Reykjanesbær (15.000).  * denotes cities in the capital region.

Size: 103,000 sq. km (40,000 sq. miles), bigger than Hungary and Portugal and a little bit smaller than Cuba.

Government: Iceland is a parliamentary constitutional republic. Suffrage is universal from 18 years of age. The president is elected by direct popular vote for a term of four years, with no term limit. Most executive power rests with the Government, which is elected separately from the presidential elections every four years. Althingi is a legislative body of 63 members elected for a term of four years by popular vote. Judicial power lies with the Supreme Court and the district courts.

Language: The official language of Iceland is Icelandic, a North Germanic language derived from Old Norse. It has changed relatively little throughout the centuries. English is widely spoken and understood.

Religion: Most Icelanders (80%) are members of the Lutheran State Church. Another 5% are registered in other Christian denominations, including the Free Church of Iceland and the Roman Catholic Church. Almost 5% of people practice ásatrú, the traditional Norse religion.

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