Iceland is a Nordic island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, with a population of 356,991 and an area of 103,000 km2 (40,000 sq mi), making it the most sparsely populated country in Europe. The capital and largest city is Reykjavík. Reykjavík and the surrounding areas in the southwest of the country are home to over two-thirds of the population.
Iceland has the highest trade union membership in the world. It maintains a Nordic social welfare system that provides universal health care and tertiary education for its citizens. Iceland ranks high in economic, democratic, social stability, and equality, ranking third in the world by median wealth per adult. In 2018, it was ranked as the sixth-most developed country in the world by the United Nations' Human Development Index, and it ranks first on the Global Peace Index. Iceland runs almost completely on renewable energy. W
Iceland community action[edit | edit source]
Community involvement[edit | edit source]
The Citizens Foundation is a non-profit organization based in Reykjavík, Iceland and founded under Icelandic law. Its purpose is to promote electronic collaborative democracy around the globe and to develop the software needed for that purpose.
Its formation can be traced back to the Icelandic financial crash in 2008 when development of the software started although the Foundation itself wasn't formally founded until 2010. The main focus has been on developing a web based democracy tool called Open Active Democracy (OAD) which it uses for its democracy building projects which are: Better Reykjavík, Shadow Parliament (Iceland only) and the international project Your Priorities. W
About 85 percent of total primary energy supply in Iceland is derived from domestically produced renewable energy sources.
In 2011, geothermal energy provided about 65 percent of primary energy, the share of hydropower was 20 percent, and the share of fossil fuels (mainly oil products for the transport sector) was 15 percent. In 2013, Iceland also became a producer of wind energy.
The main use of geothermal energy is for space heating with the heat being distributed to buildings through extensive district-heating systems. About 85% of all houses in Iceland are heated with geothermal energy.
Renewable energy provides almost 100 percent of electricity production, with about 75 percent coming from hydropower and 25 percent from geothermal power.
Iceland is the world’s largest green energy producer per capita and largest electricity producer per capita. W
Iceland expects to be energy-independent by 2050.
As of 2012, the government of Iceland is in talks with the government of United Kingdom about the possibility of constructing a high-voltage direct-current connector for transmission of electricity between the two countries. Such a cable would give Iceland access to a market where electricity prices have generally been much higher than those in Iceland. Iceland has considerable renewable energy resources, especially geothermal energy and hydropower resources, and most of the potential has not been developed, partly because there is not demand for additional electricity generation capacity from the residents and industry of Iceland, but the United Kingdom is interested in importing inexpensive electricity from renewable sources of energy, and this could lead to further development of the energy resources. W
Health and wellbeing[edit | edit source]
Iceland has a universal health care system. Unlike most countries, there are no private hospitals, and private insurance is practically nonexistent.
Icelanders are among the world's healthiest people, with 81% reporting they are in good health, according to an OECD survey. Although it is a growing problem, obesity is not as prevalent as in other developed countries. Iceland has many campaigns for health and wellbeing. Infant mortality is one of the lowest in the world, and the proportion of the population that smokes is lower than the OECD average. The average life expectancy is 81.8 (compared to an OECD average of 79.5), the fourth-highest in the world. W
Social inclusion[edit | edit source]
Icelanders are known for their strong sense of community and lack of social isolation: An OECD survey found that 98% believe they know someone they could rely on in a time of need, higher than in any other industrialised country. Similarly, only 6% reported "rarely" or "never" socialising with others. This high level of social cohesion is attributed to the small size and homogeneity of the population, as well as to a long history of harsh survival in an isolated environment, which reinforced the importance of unity and cooperation.
Egalitarianism is highly valued among the people of Iceland, with income inequality being among the lowest in the world. The constitution explicitly prohibits the enactment of noble privileges, titles, and ranks. Everyone is addressed by their first name. As in other Nordic countries, equality between the sexes is very high; Iceland is consistently ranked among the top three countries in the world for women to live in. W
News and comment[edit | edit source]
Iceland puts well-being ahead of GDP in budget, Dec 3 
This wonderfully warm biodome will let Icelanders escape their cold, bleak winters, Feb 7 
Reykjavík: the geothermal city that aims to go carbon neutral, Oct 3 
Aarhus Convention Membership reaches 45 as Iceland ratifies environmental rights treaty,  October 24.
Iceland phasing out fossil fuels for clean energy, September 20 
Iceland delagates talk with Jon Tester about Geo-Thermal energy. 
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