Immigrants In Iceland: 13% Of The Population, Nearly 20% Of The Workforce - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Immigrants In Iceland: 13% Of The Population, Nearly 20% Of The Workforce

Published August 30, 2018

Andie Fontaine
Photo by
Art Bicnick

The percentage of Icelanders in the labour market has never been higher, and their presence in the workforce is at an even higher percentage than their share of the total population.

RÚV reports that, according to data from Statistics Iceland, there were 201,000 people out of a total 338,000 who were employed in the second quarter of 2018. Of these, 37,000 of them were immigrants, just shy of 19% of the total workforce.

This is the highest percentage that foreign workers have ever claimed of Iceland’s job market, and the vast majority of them (about 32,000) are with registered addresses in Iceland. Foreign men were employed in significantly greater numbers than women, at 21,500 to 14,400 respectively.

Most interestingly is the fact that foreigners comprise only about 13% of the population.

Statistics Iceland defines foreigners as those who were born and abroad and have parents and grandparents who were also born abroad; everyone else is considered to have an Icelandic background.

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