Iceland is a Nordic European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean. The country's population is about 320,000. The capital and the largest city is Reykjavik. The main island is south of the Arctic Circle, which passes through the small Icelandic island of Grimsey off the main island's northern coast. The southwestern region of the country is home to two-thirds of the country's population. Iceland is volcanically and geologically active.
Until the 20th century, population relied on fisheries and agriculture. After World War II fisheries and Marshall Aid industrialized to bring about prosperity. In 1994, Iceland became party to the European Economic Area. In 2008, political unrest occurred as the nation's entire banking system systemically failed. However in 2011, it was ranked as the 14th most developed country in the world by the United Nations' Human Development Index, and the fourth most productive country per capita.
Most Icelanders are descendants of Norse and Gaelic settlers. Icelandic is a North Germanic language. The country's cultural heritage includes traditional Icelandic cuisine, poetry, and the medieval Icelanders' sagas. Currently, Iceland has the smallest population among NATO members and is the only one with no standing army.
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