Net Migration in Iceland in 2021: 6th Largest on Record

Vala Hafstað

Net migration of people in Iceland last year was the sixth largest on record, counting close to 4,700 people, Morgunblaðið reports.

Last year, net migration of people with Icelandic citizenship was 770, and 3,900 for foreign citizens, according to new figures from Statistics Iceland.

By analyzing numbers published by Statistic Iceland, Morgunblaðið reveals that net migration has only been higher in 2006 and 2007 — the years prior to the financial crisis — and in 2017, 2018 and 2019 — when tourism in Iceland reached a peak. In both instances, there was a shortage of labor in labor intensive sectors: in 2006-2007, expansion in construction required increased labor, and between 2017 and 2019, numerous jobs in tourism had to be filled.

The year 2021 was the fifth year this century when the number of people with Icelandic citizenship who moved to the country exceeded that of those who left the country. By comparison, during 19 years out of 22 since January 1, 2000, the number of people with foreign citizenship who moved to Iceland exceeded that of those who left the country.

Total net migration in Iceland by people of foreign citizenship this century is close to 55,000.

The population of Iceland at the end of the fourth quarter, 2021, was 376,000.

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