Page last modified 18 August 2023


 

110) Iceland

Community

Area 102,819 square kilometres (land area 100,250 square kilometres).

Population,


Ca. 100? (800) (1)

30,000+ (950) (1)

75,000 (1120)

50,000 (1430) (2)

50,358 (1703)

44,845 (1792)

47,240 (1801) (3)

57,094 (1840)

59,157 (1850)

64,603 (1855)

72,422 (1881)

70,927 (1891) (4)

76,237 (1898)

78,470 (1901)

103,500 (1930)

121,474 (1940) +17.3%

143,973 (1950) +18.5%

175,680 (1960) +22.0%

204,578 (1970) +16.4%

228,000 (1980) +11.4%

255,000 (1990) +11.8%

280,000 (2000) +9.8%

318,000 (2010) +13.6%

366,400 (2020) +15.2%


(1) Before 800, only a few Irish hermits lived in Iceland. Viking settlement began after they discovered the island in the 800s, rising to over 30,000 by the year 950.

(2) Population reduced after The Plague in 1402-04.

(3) Widespread famine and emigration after the Laki volcanic eruption of 1783

(4) Considerable emigration to America in late 19th century. The population increased by a net 31,000 over the 19th century, but between 1872 and 1900 alone some 15,600 Icelanders emigrated to North America, especially to Manitoba.

Ethnicity and Religion, %, Iceland adopted Christianity in 1000 AD

 

Icelandic

Polish

Christian

Lutheran

No

Religion

1900

 

 

99.8

0.1

1940

99.1

 

 

 

1970

98.6(1)

 

97.3

1.6

1980

 

 

93.2

 

1990

 

 

92.5

7.0

2001

98.0

 

 

 

2010

94.0

 

85.5

 

2016

92.0

3.6

69.9

 

1) The remaining 1.4% were either Danish or US military

Birth and death rates Below replacement rate = 2.1

 

Fertility Rate

Birth

Rate

Infant

Mortality

Death

Rate

% Aged

Under 15

% Aged

Over

65

% Urban

1835

 

38.9

 

 

 

 

 

1855

 

 

23.8

 

 

 

 

1900

 

29.1 (+11.7)

 

17.4

 

 

 

1925

 

 

 

12.7

 

 

 

1940

 

22.0

 

 

 

 

61.3

1952

 

28.0 (+20.0)

21.0

8.0

30.8

7.7

61.0

1960

4.3

27.0 (+20.4)

17.5

6.6

34.9

8.0

80.3

1970

2.8

19.0 (+12.0)

13.0

7.0

32.6

8.8

84.9

1980

2.5

20.0 (+13.2)

8.0

6.8

27.5

9.9

88.3

1990

2.3

19.0 (+12.3)

5.0

6.7

24.8

10.7

90.8

2000

2.1

14.3 (+7.8)

3.2

6.5

23.2

11.6

92.4

2010

2.2

15.0 (+8.6)

2.0

6.4

20.8

12.0

93.6

2015

1.8

12.5 (+5.9)

1.7

6.6

20.3

13.7

93.7

2017

1.7

11.9 (+5.4)

1.6

6.5

 

 

 

2018

 

 

1.5

 

19.8

14.8

93.8

Life expectancy,


58.7 (1926): 56.2 (M), 61.0 (F)

72.0 (1952); 70.0 (M), 74.0 (F)

73.4 (1960); 71.1 (M), 75.8 (F)

73.9 (1970), 70.7 (M), 77.3 (F)

76.8 (1980); 73.5 (M), 80.4 (F)

78.0 (1990); 75.5 (M), 80.7 (F)

79.7 (2000); 77.8 (M), 81.6 (F)

81.9 (2010); 79.8 (M), 84.1 (F)

83.1 (2020); 81.6 (M), 84.5 (F)


Population of principal cities, 1,000s

 

Akureyri

Hafnarfjorour

Kopavogur

REYKJAVIK1

1786

 

 

 

0.2

1801

 

 

 

0.3

1880

 

 

 

3

1900

 

 

 

5.8

1910

1

 

 

6.7

1940

6

4

 

38

1945

6

4

 

47

1951

 

 

 

57.5

1959

9

7

6

71

1968

10

9

11

80

1985

14

13

14

90

1992

15

16

17

98

2001

16

20

24

112

2005

17

22

26

115

2008

17

25

29

119

2015

18

28

33

123

1Founded by the Viking settler, Ingolfr Arnarson in 874 AD, Reykjavik became the capital of Iceland in 1918.The name Reykjavik means �smoky bay�, because of steam from the many geysers there.


Wealth; Gross Domestic Product (nominal values)

 

GDP,

US$ million

Total GDP,

% of USA

GDP per capita,

US$

GDP per capita

% of USA

1956

218

0.06

 

 

1960

248

0.05

1,415

47.06

1965

523

0.07

2,735

71.45

1970

510

0.05

2,600

49.55

1975

1,320

0.08

6,500

83.12

1980

3,370

0.12

14,717

116.82

1985

2,910

0.07

12,032

65.86

1990

6,320

0.11

24,436

102.01

1995

6,980

0.09

25,686

85.43

2000

8,510

0.09

29,903

82.04

2005

16,700

0.13

56,250

126.95

2010

13,250

0.09

41,676

86.15

2015

16,780

0.09

50,734

90.26

2016

20,050

0.11

59,976

104.37

GDP by primary sector In 1960, 97% of Iceland�s exports were accounted for by fish.

 

Agriculture

% GDP

Agriculture

% employed

Industry

% GDP

Industry

% employed

Services

% GDP

Services

% employed

1850

 

89.0*

 

 

 

 

1890

 

82.0*

 

 

 

 

1900

 

77.0

 

 

 

 

1920

40.0

 

 

 

 

 

1940

33.0

 

 

 

 

 

1970

14.0

17.0

 

 

 

 

1980

 

10.0

 

 

 

 

1990

13.0

11.0

27.5

27.0

52.1

62.0

2010

5.5

4.8

24.7

22.2

69.9

73.0

2016

4.8

4.2

22.2

17.8

73.0

78.0

*Mainly sheep rearing and fishing. 1850, fishing = 7%; 1890, fishing = 18%.

Communications

Language, %, Official; Icelandic

 

Icelandic

Polish

2000

100

 

2008

93.2

2.7

Literacy 99.9% (1985 and after)


Physical communications � roads,

From 1888 many bridges were constructed in Iceland; before this year there were none.

In 1968 Iceland changed from left hand to right hand driving

 

Roads (km)

Surfaced (km)

Motor vehicles

Cars

Commercial Vehicles

1924

 

 

 

300

 

1940

4,392

 

 

 

 

1945

 

 

4,889

2,488

2,401

1951

7,185

 

 

6,400

4,200

1956

 

 

16,000

10,800

 

1960

10,719

 

20,256

14,553

5,703

1961

 

 

 

16,800

 

1970

11,000

 

43,896

37,568

6,038

1977

11,525

 

 

65,700

6,700

1980

11,525

 

95,606

87,075

8,531

1990

11,900

2,600

136,148

121,803

14,845

2000

12,890

3,800

181,566

161,575

19,990

2005

 

4,611

214,885

187,442

25,544

2007

 

 

240,551

 

 

2010

 

 

 

204,736

30,437

2012

12,890

4,782

243,000

 

 

2013

 

 

246,000

 

 

2014

 

 

 

217,454

31,464

Railways; none

Electronic communications, TV broadcasts began 1966

 

Telephones (landlines)

Mobile Telephones

Radios

Televisions

PCs

Internet Users

1938

 

 

15,400

 

 

 

1944

10,788

 

27,339

 

 

 

1948

15,696

 

35,000

 

 

 

1952

21,368

 

 

 

 

 

1960

37,274

 

50,000

 

 

 

1961

42,154

 

 

 

 

 

1968

 

 

 

27,331

 

 

1970

60,000

 

52,000

 

 

 

1977

 

 

65,000

56,000

 

 

1980

84,400

 

67,500

60,000

 

 

1986

 

2,642

 

72,000

 

 

1990

130,400

10,010

85,000

83,000

10,000

 

1995

 

30,900

95,000

95,000

55,000

 

1998

 

 

 

 

 

122,000

2000

196,300

215,000

 

 

110,000

150,000

2005

 

304,000

 

106,000

142,000

258,000

2010

204,000

349,000

 

 

 

303,000

2016

164,566

164,566

 

 

 

330,000

2017

 

 

 

 

 

334,300

Tourism: Visitors to Iceland,


4,000 (1950)

61,000 (1970)

68,000 (1972)

65,921 (1980)

142,000 (1990)

190,000 (1995)

303,000 (2000)

374,000 (2005)

489,000 (2010)

1,289,000 (2015)