is traditionally divided into 23 counties
, and 25 independent towns, kaupstaðir
. Today this division is no longer significant as far as administration is concerned. Iceland is now split up between 26 sýslumenn
(magistrates) that are the highest authority over the local police
(except in Reykjavík
where there is a special office of police commissioner) and carry out administrative functions such as declaring bankruptcy
people outside of the church.
Independent towns (kaupstaðir
) were first created in the 18th century as urbanization began in Iceland, this practice continued into the 1980s the last town that was declared an independent town was Ólafsvík
in 1983. Since then, the laws regarding municipalities
have been changed in such a way that there is no longer any distinction made between urban or rural municipalities.