There have never been as many pupils in compulsory education in Iceland as in the autumn of 2022, or 47,115. The number of pupils increased by 256 from the previous year, or by 0.5%. The main explanation for the increase is the increased number of migrants to Iceland.
In the spring of 2022, 4,604 pupils completed the 10th grade, while 4,258 pupils entered the 1st grade in the autumn that year. There were 1,072 new pupils in grades 2-10, who were not pupils in compulsory schools in Iceland in the autumn of 2021. Of these pupils, one-third are Icelandic citizens, but two-thirds are foreign citizens. These data come from an annual data collection on compulsory schools in October.
Never more pupils with a foreign mother tongue
The number of pupils with a foreign mother tongue has increased year by year. In the autumn of 2022, 6,570 pupils had a foreign mother tongue, or 13.9% of pupils, an increase of 760 pupils from the previous year. It should be kept in mind that some of these pupils also speak Icelandic as their mother tongue. The most common foreign mother tongue was Polish, spoken by almost 2,100 pupils, and more than 300 pupils speak English, Arabic, Spanish or Philippine languages. In addition, the number of children speaking Ukrainian as a mother tongue increased from 40 to 210 between years.
The number of pupils with foreign citizenship also increased from the previous year, and were 4,114 in the autumn of 2022, an increase of 683. The largest increase was in the number of pupils from Ukraine, by 203, the number of children with Polish citizenship increased by 107 and the number of children from Venezuela by 95. The number of pupils with Icelandic citizenship decreased by 427 between 2021 and 2022.
174 compulsory schools operating
There are 174 compulsory schools operating in Iceland in the 2022-2023 school year, the same number as in the previous year. Ásgarður – school in the clouds, should be mentioned, as this is the only school in Iceland that operates independent of its location. There are 13 private schools operating with just over 1,450 pupils and three special education schools, with 174 pupils.
Three schools had fewer than ten pupils in the autumn of 2022. They are Grunnskólinn í Hofgarði with three pupils, Grunnskóli Raufarhafnar with six pupils and Grunnskóli Drangsness, where seven pupils attended school.