In 2022, an unusually large number of people immigrated to Iceland, and net migration has never been higher in one year, or 9,764 people. This is twice as many as in 2021, when 4,920 more immigrated to Iceland than from it. Previously, the migration balance was highest in 2017, when around 8,240 more people moved to Iceland than from it.
In the last year, 17,487 immigrated to Iceland, and more people have never before immigrated to Iceland in one year. Previously, the highest number had immigrated to the country in 2017, or 14,929. At the same time the number of emigrants increased from 6,024 in the year 2021 to 7,723 in 2022. If only foreign citizens are considered, the migration balance was 10,341 in the year 2022, the highest it has ever been. The largest net migration of foreign citizens before 2022 was in 2017, when 7,888 more foreign citizens immigrated to Iceland than emigrated. The net migration among Icelandic citizens was negative in 2022, by 577. The migration balance of Icelandic citizens was positive in 2021 by 828.
Denmark the most popular country of destination for Icelandic citizens
Of the 2,626 Icelandic citizens who emigrated in 2022, a total of 1,805 migrated to Norway, Denmark or Sweden. Most of them emigrated to Denmark, or 1,146. These countries were also the major countries of origin for immigrating Icelandic citizens as 1,401 out of 2,049 immigrants came from these countries.
Most of the foreign citizens emigrating from Iceland migrated to Poland, or 1,617 out of 5,097. Poland was also the largest contributor of immigrants with foreign citizenship, 3,770 persons out of 15,438 foreign immigrants. Also, 2,282 foreign citizens immigrated from Ukraine to the country in 2022.
Over 38% of immigrants and emigrants in the age group 20–29 The largest age group among those who emigrated or immigrated in 2022 was 20–29 years old, or 38%. However, the modal age of emigrants was 25 years (401) while the modal age of immigrants was 25 years (741).
Most positive internal migration in the South region
When only considering internal migration between regions in the year 2022, the South had the most positive internal migration (325), followed by the Southwest region which had a positive internal migration of 288. The Capital region had the most negative internal migration (-669) followed by the Northwest (-85) and the East (-50). When considering external migration, the Capital region experienced the most positive migration or 6,067, followed by the Southwest region (1,487). No region experienced negative net migration in 2022.
Statistics Iceland assesses migration on the basis of information on changes in legal domicile in the National Registry's Population Register. Migration are counted on the basis of the date of registration in the National Registry, but not according to when the migration took place. It should be noted that there may be some delay in the registration of persons with foreign citizenship who receive a residence permit, and at the same time there may be some delay for those individuals who emigrate from the country.