Iceland is an island in Northern Atlantic Ocean. Iceland is a sparsely populated country and only 329 thousand people live there and more than half of the population lives in the capital area. The towns that are around Iceland are mostly on the coastline.
The electricity sector in Iceland relies primarily on renewable energy; hydro power and geothermal energy. In Iceland hot water is used to heat up the homes and more than 90% of the households use this energizer. Iceland has clean water; we can drink from our sinks and from mountain water. There are also a lot of hot springs in Iceland which are e.g. used for green houses and can also be used for swimming pools and geothermal spa.
The highland of Iceland covers 75% and lowland 25%. The highest peak of Iceland which is named Hvannadalshnúkur is in our county, Sveitarfélaginu Hornafjörður.
There are many glaciers in Iceland. The glaciers cover 11 percent of the land. The largest glaciers are in the southern and in the middle of Iceland. Vatnajökull is the largest glacier in Iceland and third largest glacier in the world. A part of the glacier is located in our county. Vatnajökull covers 8% of the country and averages about 400 meters in thickness. Vatnajökull is very volcanically active, last eruption was in 2014 in Holuhraun north of the glacier. Other very volcanically active places like; Grímsvötn and Bárðarbunga in the glacier Vatnajökull which have erupted recently. There are in total seven areas under the glacier which are active volcanos, the most active of them all is Grímsvötn because it is very close to the hot spot around there.
Iceland has the oldest parliament in the world it was founded in 930. Iceland became a republic 1944. There have been five presidents in Iceland since the independence. Vigdís Finnbogadóttir was the fourth president of Iceland and served from 1980 to 1996. She was the first woman in the world who was elected in democratic elections to serve as president. The current president is Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson he has been president since 1996.
Work and industry in Iceland
Fish and fish products are about 40 % of the export in Iceland and about 8% of the people in the country work in this field.
Tourism is getting bigger and bigger as an industry in Iceland and now 22% of people in the country working within it. In 2015 about 1.2 million tourists will visit Iceland. And next year 25% more tourists are expected.
25% people in Iceland are working in industry and the aluminium is the biggest one. About 800.000 tons of aluminium is exported each year.
Some strange facts about Iceland
– There are a lot of cars in Iceland that’s probably one of the main reasons why there aren’t any trains in Iceland. For each 1000 persons are 500 cars.
– The Icelanders are always connected to the internet and there are about 97% of Icelanders who use the internet.
– On June 21st there is only bright 24 hours during the day.
– On December 21st it is only dark about 19 hours during the day.
Written by Egill Jón and Kristófer Laufar