Icelandic 1703 Census Listed by UNESCO Skip to content

Icelandic 1703 Census Listed by UNESCO

A census carried out by Árni Magnússon and Páll Vídalín in Iceland in 1702-1703 at the commission of the Danish King was yesterday added to the UNESCO Memory of the World Register, which calls for the preservation of valuable archival holdings, library collections and private individual compendia all over the world.

turffarm-bustarfell-vopnafj_psPhoto: Páll Stefánsson/Iceland Review.

A milestone in the history of population studies, the census is the first comprehensive census taken in Iceland and the oldest extant nominal census in the world that includes every member of a country’s population with name, age and social status, as stated on

According to the census, the total population of Iceland numbered 50,366 individuals in 1703.

This is the second listing for Iceland; in 2009 the Arnamagnæan Manuscript Collection was added to the Memory of the World Register, which includes approximately 300 documents of cultural value.


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