Iceland’s immigrant population on the increase

New figures show that over 14 per cent of Iceland’s population are now immigrants.

The latest Statistics Iceland data shows that there were 50,727 immigrants in Iceland as of 1st January 2019 – or 14.1 per cent of the population. This represents a significant increase from the previous year’s figure of 12.6 per cent.

People born in Poland were the largest group of immigrants in 2019, as in previous years, numbering 19,172. This represents 38.1 per cent of the total immigrant population. The second largest group were immigrants born in Lithuania (2,884), followed by those born in the Philippines (1,968).

The figures show that 63.6 per cent of first- and second-generation immigrants were living in the Reykjavík capital region. However, the region with the highest proportion of immigrants was the Southwest, with 26.6 per cent of its residents being first- or second-generation immigrants. The Westfjords came second, with just under 20 per cent of residents falling into these categories.

The Statistic’s Iceland data classes an immigrant as individual born abroad with both parents and all grandparents also foreign born. A second-generation immigrant is born in Iceland to immigrant parents. A person with foreign background has one parent of foreign origin.

Article published 3rd December 2019