Thousands Move Out of Iceland - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Thousands Move Out of Iceland

Published October 16, 2009

About 7,000 people have left Iceland so far this year, according to the latest figures from Credit Info.
All told, 6,762 people have moved out in the first nine months of this year, 3,475 of them with Icelandic citizenship. If the trend continues until the end of the year, the number of people leaving the country in 2009 will be similar to the number of people who left in 2008.
The difference this time around is far more Icelanders are moving out. In 2008, about 64% of those who left the country were foreigners. This year, that figure is about 50%. If the pattern holds, about 9,000 people will leave Iceland this year; half of them Icelanders.
Most of the foreigners leaving Iceland this year have gone to Poland. Among Icelanders moving out, the Nordic countries are unsurprisingly popular, with Denmark the number one choice, followed by Norway and then Sweden. Especially noticeable is the difference between how many people moved to Norway in 2008 compared to 2009: from 278 to 1,042, respectively.
Credit Info believes the economic collapse and the loss of employment plays a large role in the number of people leaving the country, although the surveyors did not have on hand information with regards to what percentage of those who have left the country were on the dole.

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