How does the geography of Iceland influence the way people live?
Iceland is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, almost within the Arctic Circle. Iceland was formed through volcanic activity and sits atop the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. In fact, Iceland is often called the land of fire and ice due to its unique contrast of geothermal activity and icy expanses! Only around 20% of the country is inhabited, and much of the other 80% is tundra where it is not possible to grow food. Most of Iceland's population live in the southwestern city of Reykjavik or the surrounding Capital Region. Because there is so little inhabitable or arable land, the Icelandic people have a long history of surviving on preserved fish, sheep, and dairy products. Some very hearty vegetables like potatoes, cabbage, and turnip may be grown on the arable land along the south of Iceland. Today, many foods are imported from around the world. With so many people concentrated along the coastline, it's no wonder fishing is a major industry for Iceland. Industrial work, such as processing aluminum, is also common.
Though months on end of darkness poses a risk for vitamin D deficiency, the Icelandic people are some of the healthiest in the world! Obesity rates are low and Icelanders enjoy active lifestyles including indoor and outdoor sports. Living in such a small space also makes the Icelandic people very environmentally conscious, and the country runs almost entirely on green energy.