The number of residents in municipalities surrounding the capital area increases twice as fast as that of people in the capital area itself. This is revealed in a new report on population trends by Iceland Statistics, according to Vísir.
The report covers the last quarter of 2015 and shows a large increase in the population of Akranes, Suðurnes (Keflavík and vicinity) and east of Hellisheiði―areas which benefit from the proximity to services offered in the capital region.
The population of the West Fjords and East Iceland continues to decrease.
At the end of 2015, the population of Iceland was 332,750. Residents within the capital area were 213,760, while 119,000 people lived outside it. The population grew by a little over one percent, both in the capital area and outside it.
“Areas in Southwest Iceland at up to a 50 km [31 miles] distance from the capital are grow twice as fast as the capital area,” Þóroddur Bjarnason, professor at the University of Akureyri told Vísir. “This has been the trend for several years and is comparable to population development in many other Western nations.”
“Many strive to combine the advantages of urban and rural settings by living in moderate-size communities within a short distance from the city,” Þóroddur explained. He finds it worrisome that the size of the population in the West Fords has decreased by 1.3 percent from a year ago. The exception is Ísafjörður, where the population has remained unchanged, and there has been an increase in the Vesturbyggð area, but elsewhere in the West Fjords, there is a considerable decrease in the size of the population.