Iceland saw reduced population for the first time since the late 19th century in 2009. On January 1, 2010, the country had 317,630 residents but 319,368 on January 1, 2009, which is a decrease in population by 0.5 percent.
From the 2009 Gay Pride festival in Reykjavík. Photo by Candy Caldwell.
However, in the five years prior Icelandic residents have increased rather rapidly, by 1.6 percent per year on average, as Statistics Iceland points out.
All regions saw a decrease in population in 2009. The population in east Iceland decreased the most last year, but the trend was less significant in northwest Iceland, the West Fjords and the capital region.
The reduced population trend is caused by mass emigration.
Click here to read about a recent record wave of emigration.