Iceland is officially called the Republic of Iceland. It was first inhabited in 874 CE by Norse settlers. From 1262 to 1918, Iceland was ruled by Norway and then Denmark. Iceland gained independence in 1918 and became a republic in 1944. The warm North Atlantic Current heats Iceland to a higher climate than most places of similar latitude (subpolar oceanic).
Iceland has an area of 103,001 sq km, a population of 325,000, and a very high HDI of 0.906. It is the most sparsely populated country in Europe.