The population of Iceland was 387,758 on 1 January 2023 and had increased by 11,510 from 1 January 2022 or by 3.1%. It is the largest increase since 1734 or as far back as population figures for Iceland go. A total of 199,826 men, 187,800 women and 132 non-binary/other lived in the country at the beginning of the year. Males increased by 3.5%, females by 2.6% and non-binary/other by 80.8%.
Proportionally greatest population increase in the Southwest
On 1 January 2023, 6,651 more people lived in the Capital region than the year before. This is equivalent to a 2.8% population increase in one year. Proportionally, however, the population increase was greatest in the Southwest where it increased by 6.7%, or 1,941. The population increase in the South region was 4.2% and 3.1% in the West region, which was above the country’s average. The population growth was proportionally lower in the Westfjords (2.4%), North East (2.0%) and East (1.8%). The smallest increase was in the Northwest, where the number increased by only 27 individuals or 0.4%.
Population decreased in 8 of 64 municipalities
There were 64 municipalities in Iceland on 1 January 2023, which is a decrease by five, due to merger. The municipalities are diverse in size of population. Reykjavík was the most populous with 139,875 inhabitants while Árneshreppur had the smallest population of 47 inhabitants. Twenty-nine municipalities had less than 1,000 inhabitants, but only eleven had 5,000 inhabitants or more.
In 2022, the population decreased in 8 of the country's 64 municipalities with the biggest proportional decrease in Fljótsdalshreppur (6.8%). Of the eleven largest municipalities with 5,000 inhabitants or more, the largest increase was in Reykjanesbær (8.0%), the Municipality of Árborg (3.7%) and in Mosfellsbær and Reykjavíkurborg where the increase was around the national average (3.1%). Of the 11 largest municipalities, the smallest increase was in Fjarðabyggð (1.1%).
63% of the population in the Greater Reykjavik area
About 63% of the population lived in the Greater Reykjavík area on 1 January 2023, i.e. the continuous settlement from Hafnarfjörður to Mosfellsbær, a total of 242,995. The second largest urban area was in Keflavík and Njarðvík, where 21,950 inhabitants lived and 19,887 inhabitants lived in Akureyri and the surrounding area which came third. Inhabitants in rural areas totaled 22,752 individuals or 5.9% of the population. Rural areas are defined as the countryside or localities with less than 200 inhabitants.