Iceland at a Glance

Iceland is a modern western democracy and an open and technologically advanced society. The country’s economy is characterised by flexibility, high levels of innovation and the rapid adoption of new technology.

Iceland is an island in the North Atlantic, located between Europe and North-America. It is 103,000 km2 in size with a population of 330,000, the majority of which lives in the capital area.

Living in Iceland

Living in Iceland

Iceland is a good place to live according to the OECD Better Life Index, with the cultural scene in the capital flourishing year-round.

The National Intangible Capital of Iceland ranks near the top of the world, only exceeded by that of the United States. When looking at the impact of National Intangible Capital on the formation of GDP Iceland tops the list.

Map of Europe and America



Iceland has a strong economy due to its robust infrastructure, well-educated workforce, renewable energy and marine resources.

While Iceland was heavily affected by the global financial crisis in 2008, the country is on the road to a strong economic recovery. The government imposed capital controls as a response to the financial crisis but has announced plans to remove them.

Macroeconomic indicators 2011 - 2014


Flights and Logistics

Flights and logistics

Iceland is well connected to both Europe and America, with flights operated by a number of international operators.

International shipping companies operate multiple transport vessels to and from Iceland all year round:

Major express shipping services operate in Iceland:

Citizens of EU and EFTA countries do not need a visa when travelling to Iceland. Iceland has agreements with about 100 states, including all OECD countries, which permit all citizens with a valid passport to enter without visas.

Direct flights are operated on a regular basis to 16 destinations in North America and 45 destinations in Europe. Regular, year-round flights are operated to and from the following destinations:

  • Alicante
  • Amsterdam
  • Barcelona
  • Basel
  • Belfast
  • Bergen
  • Berlin
  • Billund
  • Birmingham
  • Boston
  • Bristol
  • Brussels
  • Copenhagen
  • Denver
  • Dublin
  • Edinburgh
  • Edmonton
  • Frankfurt Main
  • Geneva
  • Glasgow
  • Halifax
  • Helsinki
  • London
  • Manchester
  • Munich
  • New York
  • Orlando
  • Oslo
  • Paris
  • Rome
  • Seattle
  • Stockholm
  • Toronto
  • Warsaw
  • Washington

Natural Environment

Natural Environment

Iceland ranks highly as a safe place with regard to natural disaster risk. It is a well known fact that Iceland has active volcanoes and is seismically active. However, Iceland has a very low level of vulnerability towards natural hazards. However, Iceland ranks as the 6th safest place in the world according to the World Risk Index. The index is published by the United Nations University for Environment and Human Security and measures a country’s vulnerability and exposure to natural hazards and ranks countries accordingly. The risk of natural disaster in Iceland is similar to that of other Nordic countries and considerably lower than in the United States, the United Kingdom or India (see picture below).

Iceland’s location on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge results in minor earthquakes being relatively common on the island. All buildings and structures in Iceland are built to withstand earthquakes and located away from the most active areas.

Iceland is home to a number of active volcanoes, which are closely monitored. Minor eruptions occur every 3-4 years while larger eruptions occur much less frequently. Volcanic activity is confined to isolated zones and has had little or no impact on the transmission of electric power in Iceland and on life and business conducted in Iceland.

Details on the vulnerability and explosure to natural hazards

White Papers and Reports

White Paper on Power Security

A detailed look at Iceland as a choice for industries and companies interested in the benefits of power security.

White Paper on HPC in Iceland

Nordic HPC – How four universities work together to maximize computing power by offshoring to Iceland.

Broadgroup Report

Report by Broadgroup on Iceland as an international data center hub.


Haraldur Hallgrimsson


For enquiries in all other countries
Phone: +354 660 0875

Vala Valthorsdottir


For enquiries in all other countries
Phone: +354 778 4045

PWC report

A report by PWC on the important factors needed in order to evaluate Iceland as a location for your business. The report includes general information on the country in addition to details on the economic system, housing, tax and labour.

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The report from PWC on Iceland as a location for your business

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