Immigrants in Iceland were 61,148 on 1 January 2022 or 16.3% of the total population. The proportion of immigrants is larger than last year when it was 15.5% (57,126). The number of second generation immigrants rose from 6,117 in 2021 to 6,575 in 2022.
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 on 1 January 2022 as in the previous years, 20,896 or 34.2% of the total immigrant population. The second largest group of immigrants were born in Lithuania (5.6%) followed by people born in Romania (4.1%). Polish men were 35.8% of all male immigrants or 12,008 out of 33,557. Lithuanian men were the second most populous (6.2%) followed by men of Romanian origin (5.1%). Polish women were 32.2% of the female immigrants, followed by women from the Philippines (5.4%) and women from Lithuania (4.7%).
The highest proportion of immigrants in the Southwest
On 1 January 2022, 64.9% of first and second generation immigrants were living in the Capital region or 43,923. The highest proportion of immigrants was in the Southwest with 28% of first and second generation immigrants. The second highest proportion was in the Westfjords, whereas 22.3% of the population were immigrants or second generation immigrants. The lowest proportion was in the Northwest where only 10.1% of the population were immigrants or second generation immigrants.
905 persons acquired Icelandic citizenship in 2021
A total of 905 persons were granted Icelandic citizenship in 2021 compared with 395 in 2020. New Icelandic citizens were mostly of Polish origin (190) and the second largest group previously had Vietnamese citizenship (87). 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 2021 when 506 women were granted Icelandic citizenship and 399 men.