There Are Now Over 50,000 Immigrants In Iceland - The Reykjavik Grapevine

There Are Now Over 50,000 Immigrants In Iceland

Published December 2, 2019

Sam O'Donnell
Photo by
Bjarni Brynjólfsson

Well folks, we’ve done it. There are over fifty thousand immigrants in Iceland. First-generation immigrants now make up just over 14% of the population, which is a dramatic increase from the 12% measured last year. For reference, at the beginning of the decade, that number was roughly 8%.

Second-generation immigrants also increased from 4,861 last year to 5,263 this year. Adding the numbers of first and second-generation immigrants together, the total equals 15.6% of the population, which is the highest number of immigrants Iceland has ever seen.

As in recent years, Polish people were the most populous group of immigrants to the country, followed by people from Lithuania, then the Philippines. Most immigrants to the country choose to settle in the capital region, but other hot spots include Suðurnes and the Westfjords.

While immigration is up, citizenship is down. Only 569 people were granted citizenship last year, while 637 individuals received Icelandic citizenship in the previous year. As with the immigration statistics, the number of people receiving Icelandic citizenship was largely Polish.

If this trend of immigration continues on the uptick, it’s just a matter of time before we can replace all the blóðmör in Bónus with schnitzel and cabbage. Hurray multiculturalism!

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