An unusually high number of people moved to Iceland last year, or 10,958, compared with 7,461 in 2015, according to new figures from Statistics Iceland.
The number of those who immigrated exceeded that of those who left the country by 4,069. That difference was 1,451 the previous year. Only twice in the past has net immigration in Iceland exceeded that of last year. This was in 2006 and 2007, when net immigration was about 5,200. The year 2007 is the only one when more people immigrated to Iceland than last year, or 12,546.
Last year, 6,889 people emigrated from Iceland, compared with 6,010 the previous year. Looking at foreign citizens alone, their net immigration was 4,215, whereas among Icelandic citizens the number of those who left the country exceeded that of those who moved to Iceland by 146.
Among the 3,245 Icelandic citizens who left the country in 2016, 2,134 moved to Norway, Denmark or Sweden. Most of them moved to Denmark, or 993. Most of the Icelandic citizens who moved back to Iceland came from those countries, or 2,149 out of 3,099, most of them from Norway, or 857.
At the same time, most of the foreign citizens who left Iceland moved to Poland, or 1,089 out of 3,644, while 2,826 Polish citizens moved to Iceland. Ever since 1996, with the exception of 2004, Polish citizens have made up the largest group of foreign citizens who have moved to Iceland.