Free Essay

Iceland

In: Business and Management

Submitted By Jackson1898
Words 1806
Pages 8
Deric D. Jackson
International Trade & Policy, ECO 466
Spring 2014
Term Research Paper
Outline
I. Introduction II. Geography a. Location b. Physical Features c. Climate III. History IV. Government d. Country’s official name e. Type of government f. Current government leader i. Name, Title, residence V. Economy g. Major Industries h. Major agriculture i. Trade ii. Exports iii. Imports iv. Trade policies j. Currency VI. People k. Statistics v. Population vi. Ethnic Groups vii. Major Religions l. Language m. Education viii. Literacy rate ix. Length of Schooling x. Funding

The island country of island is situated several hundred miles northwest of the British Isles and directly below the Arctic Circle. Iceland is often known for its natural Beauty; volcanoes, hot springs glaciers, and auroras are prominent features. It is affectionately called the land of fire and ice. Iceland is relatively small yet modern and industrialized state with a modest population of just under 340,000 and total area of 103,000 km2 (39,769 sq. mi). Iceland has a varied topography but it is one of the most volcanic regions, in the world. Iceland started to form in the Miocene era about 20 million years ago from a series of volcanic eruptions on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where it lies between North America and Eurasian plates, this cause the island to be active geologically as the plates are constantly moving away from each other. Due to the volcanic eruptions, Iceland has a rugged landscape dotted with hot springs, sulphur beds, geysers lava fields, canyons and waterfalls. There are approximately 200 volcanoes in Iceland and most of them are active. In addition, Iceland lies on a hotspot called Iceland Plume which formed the island millions of years ago. The interior portion of Iceland is mostly an elevated plateau with small areas of forest but little land suitable for agriculture. In the north, there are extensive grasslands which are used by grazing animals such as sheep and cattle. Most of Iceland’s agriculture is practiced along the coast. More than 13% of Iceland is covered by snowfields and glaciers, and most of the people live in the 7% of the island that is made up on of fertile coastland. Iceland’s climate is temperate because of the Gulf Stream. Winters are usually mild and windy and summers are wet and cool. The Gulf Stream is what keeps the climate milder than one would expect from an island near the Artic Circle
Iceland was first inhabited in the late 9th and 10th centuries. According to ancient tests the first permanent settler was a Viking chieftain named Ingolfr Arnarson. He is credited with settling in and giving the name to the capital of Reykjavik. Most of the people who came to Iceland were Norewegians who brought with them slaves of Gaelic and Celtic origin. Their languages likely mixed and the ancient Icelandic language was born, the closest modern relative to Old Norse.IN the 930 C.E the governing body on Iceland created a constitution and an assembly. The assembly was called Althing, one of the world’s oldest parliaments. The Althing severed as a legislative and judicial body but nevertheless Iceland was a very independent and ungoverned nation with no king, no written laws, nor taxes. Later Iceland experienced an dark age when falling under the control of Denmark. In 1918, the Act of Union was signed with Denmark which officially made Iceland an autonomous nation that was united with Denmark under the same king. In 1946, Iceland and the U.S. decided to end U.S responsibility for maintain Iceland’s defense but the U.S. kept some military bases on the island. In 1949, Iceland joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and with the start of the Korea War in 1950, the U.S. again became responsible for defending Iceland militarily. Today, the U.S. is still Iceland’s main defensive partner but there are no military personnel stationed on the island and according to the U.S. department of State, Iceland is the only member of NATO with no stand military.
Iceland, officially called the republic of Iceland. The government of Iceland takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic republic. Iceland also has the executive branch with a chief of state and head of government. The judicial branch consists of the Supreme Court called Haestirettur, which has justices who are appointed for life and eight district courts for each of the country’s eight administrative division. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vest in both the government and parliament, the Althing. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.
Iceland is a strong market economy typical od Scandinavian Countries. This means its economy is both capitalistic with free market principles but it also has a large welfare system for its citizens. It’s mixed economy has high levels of free trade and government intervention. However, the government consumptions is less than in the other Nordic countries. Geothermal power in Iceland is the primary source of home and industrial energy in Iceland. Tourism is also a growing industry in the country an =d the associated service-sector jobs are growing. In addition, despite its high latitude, Iceland has a relatively mild climate die to the Gulf Stream which allows the people to practice agriculture in the fertile coastal regions. The largest agricultural industries in Iceland are potatoes and green vegetables. Mutton, chicken, pork, beef, dairy products, and fishing also contribute considerably to the economy. In 1190s Iceland undertook extensive free market reforms, which produced a strong economic growth. Iceland was rated as having one of the world’s highest levels of economic freedom as well as civil freedoms. Iceland’s economy is high export-driven. Marin products are majority of goods exports. Other important exports include aluminum, Ferro silicon alloys, machinery and electronic equipment for the finishing industry, software, wooden goods. Most of the exports go to the European Union and European Free Trade Association countries, The United States and Japan. The main imports are machinery and equipment, petroleum products, foodstuff and textile. Cement is Iceland’s most imported product. The total 2005 value of Imports was $4.582 billion. Iceland’s main partner is Germany, followed by United States, Norway, and Denmark. Iceland’s most extensive trade agreement concerns the European Economic Area (EEA), which forms the basis for a common market for goods, services, capital and labor between the 15 member countries of the European Union and three member countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). Iceland is also a member of WTO, OECD and a member of other trade related organizations.

The currency of Iceland is the krona issued exclusively by the Central Bank Of Iceland since the bank’s founding in 1961. The exchange rate in 2008 was 78 kronur to the United States dollar, down from 97.43 in 2001. Monetary policy is carried out by the Central Bank Of Iceland, which maintains a 2.5% inflation target rate, adopted in March 2001. Foreign debt has risen to more than five times the value of it GDP, and Iceland’s Central Bank has raised short-term interest rates to nearly 15% in 2007. Due to the plunging currency against euro and dollar, in 2008 inflation is speculated to currently be at 20-25%. A recent rounded estimate suggests that the Iceland populations in 2012 were 319,575. Today, the estimate is 333,547, which will make this only the 169th most populous country on earth. Iceland has surface area of 103,001 square kilometers (39,770 square miles) and it’s the 108th largest in this respect. The harsh geographical landscape is one of the reasons why it is only the 232nd most densely populated with just 3.2 people of every square kilometer of land (8.4 per square mile). The organization known as Statistics Iceland had produced an interesting table of projections with regard to the expected population of Iceland in the future. Taking the estimate that says the Iceland population in 2012 was 319,575, the bureau claims by 2020, those figures will have risen to 343,836. Similar percentage increase are predicted for the decades that follow and by 2060, numbers will have risen 493,800. If population of Iceland increases exponentially before then, however, it could well exceed half a million for the first time in the country’s history by the second half of the 21st century.
Icelanders are the national group or ethnic group of Iceland descended primarily from Norsemen of Scandinavia and Celts from Ireland and Scotland. Historical and DNA record indicate that around 60 to 80 percent of the settlers were to Nordic origin and the rest were of Celtic stock from British Isles. Currently, only 4-6% of Icelandic citizens are immigrants from Asia, Africa and Latin America. Freedom of religion is guaranteed in Iceland by the constitution. There is a State church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church, to which about 83% of the population belongs. Other denominations: Evangelical Lutheran Free churches (4.7%), Roman Catholic Church (2.4%), Pentecostal, and Charismatic Congregations (1.0%). Icelandic and Norwegian did not become markedly different until the 14th Century. From then onwards the two languages became different. Norweigan language became Danish and Swedish, while Icelandic is resisted to change. Resistance to change is one of the characteristics of the Icelandic language, which explains the fact that 12th century text is still easy to read for a modern Icelander. Icelandic educational system is divide into four level: Preschool (up to 6 years of age), Compulsory school (6-16 years of age), Upper secondary school (16-12 years of age), Higher educational (age 19/20 and older). The educations in Iceland had traditionally been organized within the public sector, and there are very few private institutions in the school system. Almost all private schools receive public funding. The Icelandic higher educational system dates back to the foundation of University in 1911. The University of Iceland remains the principal institution of higher learning in Iceland, but over the last three decades, new institutions of higher educations have emerged, and there are currently seven institutions of higher educations.

Work-Cited
Central Intelligence Agency. (April 18, 20140 CIA- The World Factbook-Iceland. Retrieved from: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ic.html
Hegason, Gudjon and Jill Lawless. (April 18, 2014). “Iceland Evacuated Hundreds as Volcano Erupts Again” Associated Press. Retrieved from: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20140418/ap_on_re_eu/eu_iceland_volcano
Infoplease. (n.d.). Iceland: History Geography, Government, and Culture – Infoplease.com .Retrieved from: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A107624.html
United States Department of State. (2009, November). Iceland(11/09). Retrieved from: http://www.state.gov.r.pa/ei/bgn/3396.htm
Wikipedia.( April 18, 2014). Geology of Iceland-Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geology_of_Iceland

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