Administrative divisions of Iceland
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politics and government of
This article shows the administrative divisions of Iceland.
There are 74 municipalities in Iceland which govern most local matters like kindergartens, primary schools, waste management, social services, public housing, public transport, services to senior citizens and to disabled people. They also govern zoning and can voluntarily take on additional functions if they have the budget for it. The autonomy of municipalities over their own matters is guaranteed by the constitution of Iceland.
Iceland's 23 counties are for the most part historical divisions. Currently, Iceland is split up among 24 sýslumenn (English: sheriffs or magistrates) that represent government in various capacities. Among their duties are local police (except in Reykjavík, where there is a special office of police commissioner) tax collection, declaring bankruptcy and civil marriage.
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 parliament elections were the same as the regions, but by an amendment to the constitution they were changed to the current six constituencies. The change was made in order to balance the weight of different districts of the country since 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.
Historically, Iceland was divided into farthings (Icelandic: landsfjórðungur (singular), landsfjórðungar (plural)), that were named after the cardinal directions. These were administrative divisions established in 965 for the purpose of organising regional assemblies called farthing assemblies (Icelandic: fjórðungsþing) and for regional courts called farthing courts (Icelandic: fjórðungsdómar). Each farthing contained three local assemblies (held in spring and autumn) except the Norðlendingafjórðungur which had four.
- List of cities and towns in Iceland
- ISO 3166-2 codes of Iceland
- FIPS region codes of Iceland (standard withdrawn in 2008)
- NUTS of Iceland
- Subdivisions of the Nordic countries