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a nation and the main population of Iceland, numbering about 200,000 persons (1970, estimate). They also live in Canada and the USA. They speak the Icelandic language, and their religion is Protestantism (Lutheranism). The Icelanders are the descendants of Scandinavian settlers who migrated to Iceland, chiefly from Norway, during the ninth and tenth centuries. Emigrants from Scandinavian colonies in Ireland and Scotland also contributed to the formation of the Icelandic people. National consolidation and the formation of the Icelandic nation occurred between the 11th and 13th centuries. From 1380, Iceland’s national development was hampered by a long period of Danish rule. In 1918, Denmark recognized the sovereign rights of Iceland on the basis of a Danish-Icelandic union. The union was dissolved in 1944, and the country was proclaimed a republic. The chief occupation of the Icelanders is fishing, fish processing, and agriculture.