Never More Ministers than in New Government Skip to content
Photo: Golli. Independence Party leader Bjarni Benediktsson, Left-green Party Leader Katrín Jakobsdóttir, and Progressive Party Leader Sigurður INgi Jóhannsson introduce the new government agreement at Kjarvalsstaðir.

Never More Ministers than in New Government

The Cabinet that took power yesterday is Iceland’s biggest for over a decade. The three-party coalition that is now beginning its second term has carried out a significant reorganisation of ministries and increased them from 11 to 12. Iceland has never had more ministers, though it also had 12 between the years 1999-2010.

When Iceland was granted home rule by Denmark in 1904, it had just one minister. That number did not increase until the first government was formed in 1917, when the cabinet was increased to three ministers. That number grew again 1939 to five ministers, and to six in 1944. Over the following decades, though their number fluctuated, the number of ministers increased overall reaching a record 12 in 1999. In 2009 the ministries were streamlined and only 8 ministers remained. Over the past 12 years the number of ministers has increased or stayed the same between terms.

Below is a side-by-side comparison of the ministries in Iceland’s last cabinet and the newly-minted one:

2017-2021 Cabinet Cabinet November 28, 2021 –
Prime Minister: 

Katrín Jakobsdóttir

Prime Minister: 

Katrín Jakobsdóttir

Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs: 

Bjarni Benediktsson

Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs: 

Bjarni Benediktsson

Minister of Transport and Local Government: 

Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson

Minister of Infrastructure: 

Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson

Minister of Health: 

Svandís Svavarsdóttir

Minister of Health: 

Willum Þór Þórsson

Minister of Justice: 

Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir

Minister of the Interior: 

Jón Gunnarsson

Minister of Education, Science, and Culture: 

Lilja Dögg Alfreðsdóttir

Minister of Tourism, Trade, and Culture: 

Lilja Dögg Alfreðsdóttir

Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources: 

Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson

Minister for the Environment, Energy, and Climate: 

Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson

Minister for Foreign Affairs: 

Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Cooperation: 

Þórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörð Gylfadóttir

Minister of Social Affairs and Children: 

Ásmundur Einar Daðason

Minister of Education and Children’s Affairs: 

Ásmundur Einar Daðason

Minister of Tourism, Industry, and Innovation: 

Þórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörð Gylfadóttir

Minister of Science, Industry, and Innovation: 

Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir

Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture: 

Kristján Þór Júlíusson

Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture: 

Svandís Svavarsdóttir

Minister of Social Affairs and the Labour Market: 

Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson

The Government of Iceland website has published an overview of the new ministries in English and how they will be restructured. They are expected to commence work around the end of the year.

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