Icelanders Still Stream to Norway Skip to content

Icelanders Still Stream to Norway

Icelanders are still moving in hordes to Norway; in the first half of this year 695 people moved from Iceland to Norway, which is a similar figure as in past years. However, more people have moved to Iceland from Denmark than the other way around in 2011.


From Oslo. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

In 2009-2010, 1,450-1,500 Icelanders moved to Norway, a similar figure as those who moved to Denmark the years before that, Morgunbladid reports.

“There is stagnation everywhere and if anything, I find the outlook worse than it has been,” commented Vilmundur Jósefsson, chairman of the Confederation of Icelandic Employers (SA).

In the past three years, approximately 2,700 individuals have moved from Iceland to Norway in excess of those who have moved from Norway to Iceland, which is a similar figure as the population of larger towns like Ísafjördur and Saudárkrókur.

Yet the number of those who move back to Iceland from Norway is relatively high; in 2010 they were 500 and 250 so far this year.

“Some people don’t manage to find their footing here and realize that it is a little more difficult to move between countries than they originally thought,” said Rev. Arna Grétarsdóttir who serves the Icelandic congregation in Norway; it numbers around 7,000 people.

“Also, some people only came here to work and return to Iceland once they found work there,” she added.

According to the Ministry of Finance the unemployment rate in Iceland is still high—6.6 percent in July—but has not been lower since before the banking collapse in 2008.

Click here to read about the unemployment situation in Iceland.


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