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NextGen Trips Europe - Iceland Destination
Administrative & Electoral Divisions of Iceland


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Counties of Iceland

Iceland is divided into regions, constituencies, counties, and municipalities. There are eight regions which are primarily used for statistical purposes; the district court jurisdictions also use an older version of this division. Until 2003, the constituencies for the parliamentary elections were the same as the regions, but by an amendment to the constitution, they were changed to the current six constituencies:

* Reykjavík North and Reykjavík South (city regions);
* Southwest (four geographically separate suburban areas around Reykjavík);
* Northwest and Northeast (north half of Iceland, split); and,
* South (south half of Iceland, excluding Reykjavík and suburbs).

The redistricting change was made in order to balance the weight of different districts of the country, since previously a vote cast in the sparsely populated areas around the country would count much more than a vote cast in the Reykjavík city area. The imbalance between districts has been reduced by the new system, but still exists.

Iceland's 23 counties are, for the most part, historical divisions. Currently, Iceland is split up among 26 magistrates who represent government in various capacities. Among their duties are tax collection, administering bankruptcy declarations, and performing civil marriages. After a police reorganization in 2007, which combined police forces in multiple counties, about half of them are in charge of police forces.

There are 79 municipalities in Iceland which govern local matters like schools, transport and zoning. These are the actual second-level subdivisions of Iceland, as the constituencies have no relevance except in elections and for statistical purposes. Reykjavík is by far the most populous municipality, about four times more populous than Kópavogur, the second one.

Source: Wikipedia Encyclopedia

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