According to the National registry population in Iceland numbered 293.577 by 31 December 2004. Population increase between 31 December 2003 and 31 December 2004 was 1.0 per cent. In the Capital region (höfuðborgarsvæði) the population increase was 1.3 per cent. The share of the population living in this part of the country has increased dramatically during the 20th and early 21st centuries and currently, almost two thirds of the entire population of Iceland lives the Capital region (62.8 per cent).  

Outside the Capital region, there was an increase in population in three of the countries' eight regions. The increase was most pronounced in the East (Austurland) where population increase was no less than 4.6 per cent. The increase in the region is primarily due to immigration followed by the construction of a hydropower plant in the area. Currently 11.2 per cent of the male population and 4.2 per cent of the female population in the East are of foreign nationality compared to 3.5 per cent of men and 3.7 per cent of women in the country as a whole.    

The most noticeable population decline occurred in the Vestfjords (Vestfirðir) and the Northwest (Norðurland vestra) (population declined by 1.7% in both cases). Both these regions have experienced a dramatic decline in population in past decades. 

In contrast to many other European societies, the increase in population in Iceland is mainly to be explained by high natural increase. In 2004 the number of births surpassed deaths by slightly more than 2,400 (number of births around 4,240 and number of deaths around 1,820). Net immigration rate was negative in 2003 (-0.5) but positive in 2004 (1.5).

Sex ratio (measured as the number men per 1,000 women) was 1,005.2. Not unexpectedly, there were considerable differences in sex ratio between urban and rural areas. The lowest ratio was found in the capital region, 974.6 men per 1,000 women and in urban setting with 10,000 inhabitants or more the ratio was 992,8. In less populous urban areas men were more numerous than women. The highest sex ratio was found in rural areas (1,223.7).

Population 31 December 2004 - publication

    Urban nuclei


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