Statistics Iceland reports an unusually large increase in the population of Iceland last year, and if the trend continues Icelanders could hit the 300,000 mark at the beginning of next year. On December 1, there were 299,404 inhabitants in Iceland, compared to 293,291 the preceding year, a 2.1% increase.
According to Statistics Iceland, the population increase is higher than the past few years. On average each year there are 4,200 births and 1,800 deaths and net immigration was approximately 3.700 reports Morgunbladid.
There has been an increase in population in all parts of the country except the Western Fjords and in the North Western part of Iceland.
The population increase in Reykjavík,1.7%, was relatively less than in other areas around the country. The population decreased in Seltjarnarnes (-1.9%) but otherwise the smaller communities in the Reykjavík area saw the greatest proportional increase in inhabitants. Mosfellsbaer saw a 5.5% increase in population and Gardabær a 4.3% increase.
According to Statistics Iceland there was an unusual high population increase in the communities neighboring Reykjavík. In 2004, Hveragerdi experienced the most growth in population. This year, communities on the Reykjanes peninsula saw a 4.7% increase in population. In Southern Iceland the increase was 2.8% and in the West 3.1% mostly close to the towns.
In the last three years, Eastern Iceland has seen considerable changes in its population. The area experienced a substantial decrease in population in the last decade of the last century. After the construction of a hydroelectric power station and a aluminum plant started recently there has been a reversal in the population trends, and in the past two years its population has increased more than in any other area in Iceland. In the last year, the population in Eastern Iceland increased 10.3%. Morgunbladid points out, that compared with the entire country, the number of foreigners living in Eastern Iceland is noticeable : 24.6% of all men and 6.4% of all women in Eastern Iceland are now foreign citizens.