It is a Nordic island country between the North Atlanticand the Arctic Ocean. It has a population of 329,100 and an area of 103,000 km2 (40,000 sq mi), giving the island the lowest population density of any 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 is volcanically and geologically active. The interior consists of a plateau characterized by sand and lava fields, mountains and glaciers, while many glacial rivers flow to the sea through the lowlands. Iceland is warmed by the Gulf Stream and has a temperate climate, despite a high latitude just outside the Arctic Circle.
Iceland is best known as the home of the first Viking explorers of North America, in the year 986. Its original inhabitants may be descended from both Germanic and Norse ancestors. Currently, they also include many arrivals from Europe.