Population of Iceland

According to Statistics Iceland, 376,248 individuals live in Iceland in May 2022. At the end of 2021, the total number of livestock was 1,236,267.

The second largest stock is the Icelandic sheep, but there were almost 10,000 more sheep in the 2021-2022 winter than the humans in Iceland, or 385,194. The sheep stock has not been smaller for 161 years or since 1861. The sheep stock was the largest in 1977 when it reached 896,411 sheep.

Iceland has 80,563 cattle and 69,499 horses (or 54,069, there was a proviso regarding the previous figure), and 10,166 pigs.
The largest stock by far is the poultry stock, with a total of 689,616, of which 100,565 are laying hens. There are 16,659 fur animals, of which minks are the most common. Not to mention wild mammals such as reindeer, but the summer population numbers over 6,000 animals, all in the country’s eastern half.

There is no number for wild foxes, minks, mice and rats, and pets.
But according to an opinion poll conducted by MMR, 20% of Icelandic households said they had a dog in their home, and 18% of households had a cat.

It is estimated that about 2,000,000 birds spend the winter in Iceland, of which 850,000 are eider ducks and 300,000 snow bunting. The number of birds multiplies during the summer; as of the more than 80 species that regularly nest in Iceland, 47 are migratory birds.

Cattle below Eyjafjöll mountains 

Icelandic settlement hens in Þykkvabær


Alba petting one of the 69,499 Icelandic horses in Akur, Öxarfjörður


Crowds during the Reykjavik Pride parade in Lækjargata, Reykjavik


Ísland 2019-2021 : A7R IV – RX1R II FE 1.8/1355mm GM – 2.0/35mm Z

Photographs and text: Páll Stefánsson