Iceland Population 2018

338,942

Iceland is a land of huge contrasts: On the one hand there is a landscape that hasn’t changed for millions of years with mountains and dangerously active volcanos spread through the land. This, in turn, leads to a sparsely populated country that is also one of the richest and most highly developed in the world.

This Nordic island nation is located between the Arctic and North Atlantic Oceans. Iceland has an estimated population of 337,780 in 2018, which ranks 175th in the world.

Area and Population Density in Iceland

Overall, Iceland has a surface area of 103,001 square kilometres (39,770 square miles) and it is the 108th largest in this respect. However, that harsh geographical landscape is one of the reasons why it's population remains so low. Iceland has the lowest population density of all European countries at just 3 people per kilometer (8/square mile).

City Centers and Capital of Iceland

The capital and largest city of Iceland is Reykjavik, which is also the northernmost capital in the world and a major tourist destination. Reykjavik has a population of about 120,000 or 200,00c0 if the larger Capital Region is included. It's believed that the city was the site of the first permanent settlement on the island, founded sometime around AD 870. It's one of the safest, greenest, and cleanest global cities. The Capital Region accounts for 64% of Iceland's total population.

Iceland Demographics

The original population of the island was of Gaelic and Nordic origin based on genetic analysis and literary evidence from the island's settlement. One genetic study of Icelanders found most men were of Nordic origin while most women were of Gaelic origin.

In the island's early history, the harsh winters, volcanic eruptions, and outbreaks of plague affected its growth many times, with 37 famines recorded between 1500 and 1804. The first census of Iceland found a population of more than 50,000 in 1703, which declined to 40,000 after massive eruptions of the Laki volcano between 1783 and 1784. As living conditions improved, the population began to grow, eventually hitting 60,000 in 1850 then 320,000 by 2008.

Iceland's population is fairly young for such a developed country. The median age in Iceland is 36.5 years of age, with a total life expectancy of 83.1 years of age. Iceland is also rare in that it is one of the few European nations with a fertility rate well above the replacement rate at 2.1 children born per woman.

The ethnic composition of Iceland today is 93% Icelandic. The largest ethnic minority is Polish at 3% of the population. There are about 8,000 Poles on the island, accounting for 75% of the workforce in Fjarðabyggð. More than 13% of the population was born abroad while 6% hold foreign citizenship. There is also significant Icelandic dysporia with 88,000 people of Icelandic descent in Canada and more than 40,000 in the United States.

Quality of Life in Iceland

Iceland ranks at number 4 in the World Happiness Report in 2018, with a rating of 7.495. This rating is discerned from the examination of GDP per capita, social support, life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity, and perceived corruption. Additionally, 100% of the population has improved access to clean drinking water and only 1.2% of the population struggles with access to improved sanitation facilities. School life expectancy is at a total of 20 years, with females tending to spend 21 years in education over males who are only expected to stay in for 18 years.

Components of Population Change

One birth every 120 minutes
One death every 240 minutes
One net migrant every 1440 minutes
Net gain of one person every 206 minutes

Iceland Population in 2018Source: By Dieter Schweizer (Obersulm, Germany) (taken by author) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

Iceland Population Pyramid 2018

5001,0001,5002,0002,500Iceland Male Population5001,0001,5002,0002,500Iceland Female Population10095908580757065605550454035302520151050

Iceland Population by Age

There are 255,010 adults in Iceland.

Census Years

Year Date
20212021
201131 December 2011

Population Data via United Nations WPP (2015 Revision, Medium Variant)

Iceland Population Growth

Iceland is expected to continue its steady growth, potentially hitting 493,000 by 2060, exceeding half a million for the first time by the second half of the 21st century.

About Iceland

Official NameIceland
Languages SpokenIcelandic
Is LandlockedNo
Latitude/Longitude65-18
Currencies UsedIceland Krona
DemonymIcelander

Countries Bordering Iceland

None

Iceland Population Density

Iceland Top 20 Cities by Population

Name Population
Reykjavik118,918
Kopavogur31,719
Hafnarfjoerdur26,808
Akureyri17,693
Gardabaer11,421
Mosfellsbaer8,651
Akranes6,612
Selfoss6,510
Isafjoerdur2,624
Saudarkrokur2,575
Egilsstadir2,303
Borgarnes1,759
Keflavik

Iceland Population Clock

The population of Iceland (as of 12/13/2018)?338,942
Last UN Estimate (July 1, 2018)337,780
Births Per Day12
Deaths Per Day6
Net Migrations Per Day 1
Net Change Per Day 7
Population Change Since January 1st2,429

Iceland Population Estimator

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Estimate as of December 13th 2018 is: 339,039

Iceland Population by Year (Historical)

Year Population % Male % Female Density (km²) Population Rank Growth Rate
2018337,78050.20%49.80%3.281800.82%
2017335,02550.17%49.83%3.251800.77%
2016332,47450.16%49.84%3.231800.68%
2015330,24350.17%49.83%3.211800.61%
2010320,32850.38%49.62%3.111801.66%
2005294,97950.14%49.86%2.861791.02%
2000280,43550.04%49.96%2.721780.94%
1995267,62950.15%49.85%2.601770.97%
1990255,04350.21%49.79%2.481781.09%
1985241,58250.29%49.71%2.351761.14%
1980228,26250.41%49.59%2.221750.92%
1975218,07050.53%49.48%2.121741.30%
1970204,42650.56%49.44%1.981731.23%
1965192,31350.55%49.46%1.871711.84%
1960175,59250.52%49.47%1.701702.18%
1955157,64250.36%49.64%1.531712.02%
1950142,65950.00%49.99%1.391710.00%

Iceland Population by Year (Projections)

Year Population % Male % Female Density (km²) Population Rank Growth Rate
2020343,22850.25%49.75%3.331800.00%
2025355,18450.31%49.69%3.451800.69%
2030365,64650.35%49.65%3.551810.58%
2035374,29750.38%49.62%3.631830.47%
2040381,15150.39%49.61%3.701820.36%
2045386,34950.41%49.59%3.751820.27%
2050390,07150.44%49.56%3.791820.19%
2055392,53350.49%49.51%3.811830.13%
2060394,12250.53%49.47%3.831840.08%
2065395,05750.56%49.44%3.841830.05%
2070395,25350.57%49.43%3.841820.01%
2075394,66250.57%49.43%3.83182-0.03%
2080393,19550.56%49.44%3.82182-0.07%
2085391,00950.56%49.44%3.80182-0.11%
2090388,35650.56%49.44%3.77182-0.14%
2095385,55650.56%49.44%3.74182-0.14%
Data Sources
  1. Statistics Iceland
  2. Statistics Iceland
  3. World Population Prospects (2017 Revision) - United Nations population estimates and projections.

    Total population: Estimated to be consistent with official population estimates through 2015, and with estimates of the subsequent trends in fertility, mortality and international migration.

  4. GeoNames Gazetteer