Isolation Leads to Prosperity

In: Social Issues

Submitted By Joannec731
Words 1464
Pages 6
JoAnne Castonguay
Professor Brooks
Introduction to Geography GEO-102/Z1
19 October 2013
Isolation Leads to Prosperity
Iceland is a highly urbanized Nordic island country located in the North Atlantic Ocean, known for beautiful glaciers, ice caps and volcanoes. It is a country of pure contrast in climate, geography, and culture. “A place where ice and fire co exist”, ("The Big Picture") Iceland has been shaped by forces of nature with active volcanoes, roaring rivers, and glacier cut fjords. Island isolation has allowed Iceland to develop a highly prosperous country, the most distinctive culture of the Western world, and the world’s oldest parliamentary democracy, where everyone is treated equally regardless of gender.
Iceland’s 320,000 close knit homogenous population is primarily Icelandic with a primary language of Icelandic, a North Germanic language. Icelanders are primarily a mix of Scandinavian and Celtic cultures that discovered their isolation on an island to be advantageous, not only to keep enemies away but to establish and maintain their culture. Even the name Iceland was chosen to deflect visitors. Icelandic blood lines have been so stable geneticists use them to study the human genome. ("Iceland Society and Culture Complete Report”)
Extremely urbanized, at 94%, most of the population lives in the country’s capital, Reykjavik (118,000), and other cities Kopavogur (30,000), Hafnarfjordur (25,000), Akureyri (17,000), Reykjanesbaer (14,000). The rest of the population lives in rural, agricultural areas of the country. ("The Big Picture Quick Facts.")
A classless nation, Iceland’s society is very horizontal and hierarchies are avoided. Low, middle, and upper classes do not exist. Women are afforded equal opportunities at work, home and in education. “Icelandic tradition and culture values independent and self reliant women”. ("Iceland…...

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