Immigrants Represent 15.5 Percent of Iceland’s Population Jóhannesson

Vala Hafstað

Data published by Statistics Iceland yesterday show that January 1, this year, the number of immigrants living in Iceland was 57,126. That represents 15.5 percent of the population — an increase of 0.3 percent since last year, when immigrants counted 55,354. By comparison, that rate was 8 percent in 2012.

The number of second-generation immigrants rose from 5,684 in 2020 to 6,117 in 2021. Immigrants of first and second generation combined represented 17.1 percent of the population in Iceland.

Chart/Statistics Iceland

For clarification, an immigrant is a person born abroad with both parents foreign born and all grandparents foreign born, whereas a second generation immigrant is born in Iceland, having immigrant parents. A person with a foreign background has one parent of foreign origin.

As in previous years, people born in Poland made up the largest group of immigrants by far, counting 20,520, which represents 35.9 percent of the total immigrant population. The second largest group of immigrants was born in Lithuania (5.7 percent) followed by people born in the Philippines (3.7 percent).

Polish males represented 37.9 percent of all male immigrants, or 11,871 out of 31,339, followed by Lithuanian males (6.4 percent) and Romanian ones (4.6 percent).

Meanwhile, Polish women made up 33.5 percent of the female immigrant population, followed by women from the Philippines (5.6 percent) and ones from Lithuania (4.9 percent).

The capital region is where most first and second generation immigrants resided on January 1, or 64.7 percent of them.

Looking at the number of first and second generation immigrants as a proportion of the local population, it turns out that their numbers were proportionally the highest in Suðurnes (on the Reykjanes peninsula, Southwest Iceland), where they represented 27.7 of the local population. That rate was the second highest in the West Fjords, or 20.5 percent, and the lowest in Northwest Iceland, or 9.5 percent.

Last year, 395 individuals were granted Icelandic citizenship (227 women and 168 men) — most of them, or 134, from Poland.

For more information, see here .




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