Immigrants in Iceland were 55,354 on 1 January 2020 or 15.2% of the population. The proportion of immigrants is larger than last year when it was 14.1% (50,271). The number of second generation immigrants rose from 5,264 in 2019 to 5,684 in 2020.
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 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 2020 as in the previous years, 20,477 or 37% of the total immigrant population. The second largest group of immigrants were born in Lithuania (3,277) followed by people born in the Philippines (2,085).
The highest proportion of immigrants in the Southwest
On 1 January 2020, 64.1% of first and second generation immigrants were living in the capital region. The highest proportion of immigrants was in the Southwest with 27.9% of first and second generation immigrants. The lowest proportion was in the Northwest where only 9.1% of the population were immigrants or second generation immigrants.
437 persons acquired Icelandic citizenship in 2019
A total of 437 persons were granted Icelandic citizenship in 2019 compared with 569 in 2018. More females than males were granted Icelandic citizenship in 2019 as in every year since 1992. New Icelandic citizens were mostly of Polish origin (131).
In 2019, 468 persons were granted international protection in Iceland. This is the largest number of persons who have been granted international protection in one year. Of these, 155 persons had Venezuelan citizenship and 71 Syrian. Asylum requests in 2019 increased little from the previous year, from 731 to 813.