Iceland Population, People, Languages and Religions

By | January 21, 2022

Iceland Country Overview

Where is Iceland located? Iceland is the second largest island country in Europe and is located in the North Atlantic just before the Arctic Circle. Iceland is the largest volcanic island on earth. The time zone map of the world divides countries into world time zones along lines of longitude. This division into time zones defines the size of the time difference of the respective country from the official world time (also called UTC). Iceland is one of the few countries where the regional time is exactly the same as the world clock. Accordingly, there are no time differences or shifts.

Bordering Countries of Iceland

According to abbreviationfinder, Iceland is located in the North Atlantic Ocean and is surrounded by the Greenland Sea to the west, the Norwegian Sea to the east, and the Arctic Ocean to the northwest. To its south lies Scotland, and to its southeast lies Norway. Iceland’s northernmost point is located at Cape Nordost, while its westernmost point is located at Reykjanes. The country has a total of 6,890 km of coastline that borders these countries.

Iceland shares a maritime border with Denmark in its southwest corner, which is formed by a line drawn between the Faroe Islands and Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula. The Faroe Islands are an autonomous area of Denmark located between Iceland and Scotland. To Iceland’s east lies Norway, another Nordic country that has been an important ally of Iceland since 1944 when they signed a treaty of friendship. This treaty was renewed in 1985 to help strengthen ties between both nations. Furthermore, Norway provides assistance with search and rescue operations for ships that may be stranded in Icelandic waters due to bad weather or other issues.

Iceland also shares maritime borders with Greenland and Canada in its far northwest corner; this border is formed by a line drawn between Greenland’s Ellesmere Island and Canada’s Baffin Island. This area is home to some of the world’s most spectacular scenery as well as some of nature’s rarest creatures including polar bears, muskoxen and narwhals. These countries work together closely on matters such as climate change mitigation, sustainable fishing practices, oil exploration safety regulations and more.

Iceland National Flag

Population Distribution

As of 2023, the latest population of Iceland is 350,734, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).

Total population 350,734
Population growth rate 1.02%
Birth rate 13.70 births per 1,000 people
Life expectancy
Overall life expectancy 81.11 years
Men life expectancy 78.89 years
Women life expectancy 83.42 years
Age structure
0-14 years 20.40%
15-64 years 64.85%
65 years and above 14.76%
Median age 36.00 years
Gender ratio (Male to Female) 1.00
Population density 3.41 residents per km²
Urbanization 92.80%
94% Icelanders; Proportion of foreigners 2015: 7.4%
Evangelical Lutheran 93%; Catholics (Roman Catholic) 1%; Non-denominational 1.4%; Other 1.9%
Human Development Index (HDI) 0.938
HDI ranking 6th out of 194

People in Iceland

Only 356,000 people live in Iceland. The Icelanders are mostly descendants of the Vikings and Celts who settled the island in the 10th century. 94 percent of Icelanders live in cities. The largest metropolitan area is the capital Reykjavik, where 200,000 people live alone.

Languages in Iceland

In Iceland, people speak Icelandic. Icelandic is one of the Nordic languages ​​along with Norwegian, Swedish, Danish and Faroese. Most of the similarity is to Faroese. As in these countries, you basically speak on duo in Icelandic. So we say to all the people you – in Icelandic says þú – and speaks to other by their first names.

The Icelandic language has hardly changed in writing over a millennium, so that old texts are still easy to understand today. This is explained by the country’s isolated location. The Icelanders try to this day to keep their language clear of foreign words. English words are being replaced by new Icelandic creations. For example, for “computer” one says tölva, formed from the Icelandic words for number and fortune teller. This purity limits the language change until today.

The Icelandic alphabet

While our alphabet has 26 letters, the Icelandic alphabet has 32 letters. There are no letters C, W, Q and Z at all. But all vowels are accented and unaccented, so A and Á, E and É as well as Y and Ý are each individual letters. Yes, the Y is also a vowel (vowel) in Icelandic. It is pronounced like our Ü. The Ö is also a separate letter.

And finally there are other letters: The letter Ð / ð is called Eth and is pronounced like th in this, i.e. voiced. The letter Þ / þ is an old rune, i.e. a Germanic character. His name is Thorn and is pronounced like the th in the English word thing (voiceless). There is also the Æ / æ, where A and E are pulled together. But this letter is pronounced like our ei.

Counting in Icelandic

Do you want to count to 10 in Icelandic? It works like this: 1 einn, 2 tveir, 3 þrír, 4 fjórir, 5 fimm, 6 sex, 7 sjö, 8 átta, 9 niu, 10 tíu.

Religions in Iceland

67 percent of Icelanders belong to the Evangelical Lutheran Church. It is called the Icelandic State Church here because it is protected and supported by the state. 5.7 percent of the population of Iceland belong to an evangelical free church. 3.9 percent are Catholics. Minorities are Muslims, Buddhists and other small religious groups. 6.7 percent do not belong to any church.