In 1st quarter of 2019, on average 192,232 individuals (16-74 years), were employed in Iceland. Of those employed, women were 90,315 or 47.0% and men were 101,918 or 53.0%. The number of employed immigrants (16-74 years) was 36,844 on average or 19.2% of the total number of employed.

In 1st quarter of 2019, the average number of employed each month with a legal residence in Iceland was 187,859, 97.7% of all employees. Thereof, 154,753 employees with a legal residence in Iceland had Icelandic background or 80.5%. Of immigrants, 33,106 had a legal residence in Iceland (89.9%) while 3,738 did not, or 10.1%.

Number of 16-74 year olds with legal residence in Iceland, in population and employed

From the 1st quarter of 2013, percentage of immigrants of all employed has increased in all regions of the country. The ratio was highest in the Southwest and in the Westfjords in the 1st quarter of 2019 and had increased since the first quarter of 2016. The lowest percentage is in the Northwest.


Employees not born in Iceland and whose parents and grandparents are not born in Iceland are categorized as immigrants according to Statistics Iceland’s classification. Others are considered to have an Icelandic background.

The above results are part of a new publication of register based information on employed in the Icelandic labour market by Statistics Iceland. The results cover all individuals with income from employment that are reported in the Pay-as-you-earn register of the Icelandic tax authorities, including income from jobs, maternity and paternity payments and income of self-employed. The publication encompasses the number of employees by gender, age, background and legal residence. The results are preliminary and can change over time.