Iceland Mag

2 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag


The population of the Westfjords continues to shrink, down by 34% in the past 34 years

By Staff

  • Ísafjörður The largest town in the Westfjords Ísafjörður had 3,620 inhabitants in the last quarter of 2015. Photo/Pjetur Sigurðsson.

According to Statistics Iceland the population of the Westfjords shrank by 1.3% in the fourth quarter of 2015. The population of the nine municipalities in the Westfords was 6,870 at the end of 2015, down from 6,930 at the beginning of the year.  The population of the Westfjords has been in steady decline since the early 1980s. In 1982 the number of Westfjord residents was 10,452 which means the population of the region has shrunk by 34% in as many years.

The largest decrease in the fourth quarter took place in the municipality of Tálknafjörður where the number of residents fell from 310 to 260. The local news site Bæjarins besta points out the reason was a serious economic hit the municipality took when a local fish freezing plant closed down, and the fishing quota which had been ensured jobs in the village was sold to a larger fishing corporation in Southwest Iceland.

While the population of Iceland continues to grow
The population of Iceland stood at 332,750 at the end of 2015, having grown by 1,440 in the fourth quarter. The growth was both due to immigration and births. 970 children were born in Iceland during the fourth quarter, while 520 people died, a net increase of 450. At the same time the population grew by 520 due to net immigration. 1,210 people moved from Iceland in the fourth quarter of 2015, while 2,200 people moved to Iceland.

At the end of the fourth quarter of 2015 213,760 people lived in the greater Reykjavík area, and 119,000 outside the capital region.


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