Immigrants in Iceland were 50,272 on 1 January 2019, 14.1% of the population. The proportion of immigrants is larger than last year, when it was 12.6%. The number of second generation immigrants rose from 4,861 in 2018 to 5,263 in 2019. 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 foreign background has one parent of foreign origin.
Immigrants by country of birth
People born in Poland were the largest group of immigrants in 2019 as in previous years, 19,172 or 38.1% of the total immigrant population. The second largest group of immigrants were born in Lithuania (2,884) followed by people born in the Philippines (1,968).
Immigrants by region
On 1 January 2019, 63.6% of first and second generation immigrants were living in the capital region. The highest proportion of immigrants was in the Southwest with 26.6% of first and second generation immigrants. The lowest proportion was in the Northwest where only 7.5% of the population were immigrants or second generation immigrants.
569 persons acquired Icelandic citizenship in 2018
A total of 569 persons were granted Icelandic citizenship in 2018, compared with 637 in 2017. More females than males were granted Icelandic citizenship in 2018, as in every year since 1992. New Icelandic citizens were mostly of Polish origin (149).
In 2018, 247 persons were granted international protection in Iceland. This is the largest number of persons who have been granted international protection in one year. Of these, 78 persons had Iraqi citizenship and 28 Syrian. Asylum requests in 2018 decreased by a third from the previous year, from 1,068 to 731.