The Analytical and Research department of Íslandsbanki bank reports that this year’s birth rate will be the highest in the history of the Icelandic nation. This is reported in the department’s newsletter Morgunkorn.
The report covers the decrease in population in 2009 but the population of Icelanders dwindled to 317,593 in the beginning of December which is a 0.7 percent decrease—or 2,163 individuals from the same time last year.
This is a big change from the years before when the population was rising steadily, 2.2 percent annually in the years 2004 – 2008 or, by 6,600 individuals per year.
To find a drop in the Icelandic population one needs to trace back more than 100 years. The last significant population drop was 121 years ago in the year 1888 when hundreds of Icelanders emigrated to North America because of hard economic times.
The recent drop in population can be traced to immigrants with foreign citizenship leaving the country. Nearly 3,100 such individuals have left but Icelanders have increased by about 936 at the same time.
This developement with Icelandic citizens is surprizing because 1,949 more individuals left the country than emigrated to the country. This means that the natural increase of the population, i.e. births exceeding deaths, is the major factor for the increase.
It is thus likely that 2009 will be a record year for births in the history of Iceland.