Immigrants In Iceland Increase By 50% From 2012 - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Immigrants In Iceland Increase By 50% From 2012

Andie Fontaine
Photos by
Art Bicnick

Immigrants to Iceland continue to increase, according to the latest data from Statistics Iceland.

In the beginning of 2018, 43,736 immigrants were counted in Iceland, comprising 12.6% of the total population. The year previous, they comprised 10.6%, and in 2012, 8%. As such, Iceland’s immigrant population increased by over 50% from 2012 to 2018.

“Second-generation immigrants”, i.e., those born in Iceland but to one or more immigrant parents, also increased, from 4,473 last year to 4,861 this year. Put together, first and second generation immigrants now comprise 13.9% of all Iceland’s people.

In terms of demographics, Poles comprise the largest of all immigrant groups at 16,970 individuals, or 38.8% of the total immigrant population. After them come Lithuanians (5.5%) and those from the Philippines (4%).

The majority of immigrants, 63.5%, live in the greater Reykjavík area. In terms of percentage of the regional population, immigrants had the largest presence in Suðurnes, where they comprise 23.3% of residents there, followed by 17.6% in the Westfjords, while the lowest proportion was in Northwest Iceland, at 6.6%. Bear in mind that regional proportions count both first and second generation immigrants.


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