Immigrants in Iceland were 57,126 on 1 January 2021 or 15.5% of the total population. The proportion of immigrants is larger than last year when it was 15.2% (55,354 ). The number of second generation immigrants rose from 5,684 in 2020 to 6,117 in 2021.
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 a foreign background has one parent of foreign origin.
People born in Poland the largest group of immigrants
People born in Poland were the largest group of immigrants in 2021 as in the previous years, 20,520 or 35.9% of the total immigrant population. The second largest group of immigrants were born in Lithuania (5.7%) followed by people born in the Philippines (3.7%). Polish men are 37.9% of all male immigrants or 11,871 out of 31,339. Lithuanian men are the second most populous (6.4%) followed by men of Romanian origin (4.6%). Polish women are 33.5% of the female immigrants, followed by women from the Philippines (5.6%) and women from Lithuania (4.9%).
The highest proportion of immigrants in the Southwest
On 1 January 2021, 64.7% of first and second generation immigrants were living in the Capital region or 40,943. The highest proportion of immigrants was in the Southwest with 27.7% of first and second generation immigrants. The second highest proportion is in the Westfjords, whereas 20.5% of the population were immigrants or second generation immigrants. The lowest proportion was in the Northwest where only 9.5% of the population were immigrants or second generation immigrants.
395 persons acquired Icelandic citizenship in 2020
A total of 395 persons were granted Icelandic citizenship in 2020 compared with 437 in 2019. New Icelandic citizens were mostly of Polish origin (134) and the second largest group previously had Thai citizenship (19). In 1991, more men than women received Icelandic citizenship, but every year since then women have been the majority of new Icelandic citizens. This was also the case in 2020 when 227 women were granted Icelandic citizenship and 168 men.