The population of Iceland on January 1, 2021 was 368,792. The country's population increased by 4,658 from 1 January 2020 or by 1.3%. A total of 189,043 men and 179,749 women lived in Iceland in the beginning of the year, an increase of 1.1% for men in 2020 and 1.4% for women.
Proportionally greatest population increase in the South
On 1 December 2020, the boundaries of the regions of the East and the South changed in the regional division of Statistics Iceland. This means that the municipality of Hornafjörður now belongs to the South and not the East as before.
In the capital area, 3,494 more people lived on 1 January 2021 than a year ago. This is equivalent to a 1.5% population increase in one year. Proportionally, however, the population increase was greatest in the South where it increased by 1.8%, or 555 from last year. The population also increased in the Southwest region, by 366 individuals (1.3%), and by 78 (1.1%) in the North-west. The population growth was proportionally lower in the East (1.0%), the West (0.3%) and the North East (0.04%). On the other hand, the number decreased in the Westfjords by 0.1%, but had increased by 0.7% in 2019.
Population decreased in 27 of 69 municipalities
There were 69 municipalities in Iceland on 1 January 2021, which is a decrease by three, due to the merger of Borgarfjarðarhreppur, Djúpavogshreppur, Fljótsdalshérað and Seyðisfjarðarkaupsstaður under the name Múlaþing. The municipalities are diverse. Reykjavík was the most populous with 133,262 inhabitants while Árneshreppur had the smallest population with 42 inhabitants. Thirty-six municipalities had less than 1,000 inhabitants, but only eleven municipalities had 5,000 inhabitants or more.
In 2020, the population decreased in 27 of the country's 69 municipalities with the biggest proportional decrease in Reykhólar (9.9%). Of the eleven largest municipalities with 5,000 inhabitants or more, the largest proportional increase was in Garðabær (4.5%), Mosfellsbær (4.2%), Árborg (3.9%), Akraneskaupsstaður (2.2%), Múlaþing (2.0%), Reykjavík (1.6%) and Reykjanesbær (1.3%), while the increase was below the national average in Akureyrarbær (1.0%), Kópavogsbær (1.0%) and Fjarðabyggð (0.1%). Of the 11 largest municipalities, the number decreased only in Hafnarfjarðarkaupsstaður (-0.9%).
63% of the population in the Greater Reykjavik area
About 63% of the population lived in the Greater Reykjavík area on January 1, 2021, defined as the continuous settlement from Hafnarfjörður to Mosfellsbær, 232,280 inhabitants. The second largest locality was Keflavík and Njarðvík, where 19,562 inhabitants lived, while in Akureyri, 19,069 inhabitants lived on 1 January 2021. Inhabitants in rural areas were 21,355, 5.8% of the population, rural areas referring to the countryside or localities with less than 200 inhabitants.
Population by municipalities