|an island republic in the N Atlantic, regarded as part of Europe: settled by Norsemen, who established a legislative assembly in 930; under Danish rule (1380--1918); gained independence in 1918 and became a republic in 1944; contains large areas of glaciers, snowfields, and lava beds with many volcanoes and hot springs (the chief source of domestic heat); inhabited chiefly along the SW coast. The economy is based largely on fishing and tourism. Official language: Icelandic. Official religion: Evangelical Lutheran. Currency: króna. Capital: Reykjavik. Pop: 291 000 (2004 est). Area: 102 828 sq km (39 702 sq miles)|
Note: Iceland proclaimed its independence from Denmark in 1944.
Note: It is a member of NATO.
Note: A unique combination of glaciers and plate tectonics has resulted in an unusual land surface, dominated by a rugged coastline, hot springs, geysers, and volcanoes.