As of March 14, 2023, there are approximately 1,678 people of African ancestry living in Iceland, which represents 0.44% of the total population of 375,088, according to data from Statistics Iceland and the World Population Review. Despite its small population and lack of racial diversity, Iceland is home to various ethnicities, including Polish, Lithuanian, Filipino, and Black individuals.
Iceland is a nation on an island in the North Atlantic Ocean that is quite small and has a very low population density. Although the nation is famous for its beautiful landscapes and thriving cultural settings, the variety of races is not often one of the first things that come to mind when thinking of Iceland.
In this piece, we will investigate the question of how many black people live in Iceland by looking at various demographic figures, reasons black people migrate to Iceland, what it’s like to be black in Iceland, how blacks fit into the Icelandic culture and other related topics.
Read Related: Black People Statistics You Probably Didn’t Know About!
Iceland and Black People
The existence of black people in Iceland and the experiences they have had there is an important topic that has gotten a comparatively small amount of attention in public discourse.
However, in recent years, there has been a rise in knowledge and conversation regarding issues related to race and immigration in Iceland. This is particularly relevant in light of the worldwide refugee crisis and the rising feelings of the far right in Europe and other parts of the world.
It is vital to study both the historical context and the current realities in order to have a complete understanding of the situation that black people are in today in Iceland.
How Many Black People Live In Iceland?
With a population of 375,088, according to the current data from the world population review, Iceland is one of the smallest countries in Europe due to its small population. There are only a few people of different ethnicities living in Iceland, although the vast majority of Icelanders are of Icelandic heritage.
Different ethnicities represented in Iceland include Polish, Lithuanian, Filipino and some blacks as well.
As of 14th March 2023, the current immigration data collected by Statistics Iceland indicated that there were 1,678 people living in Iceland who self-identified as having African ancestry. This constitutes a fraction of one percent (0.44%) of the overall population. This explains why Iceland is one of the countries which isn’t known for its racial diversity.
Even if the percentage of black people in Iceland is quite low, it is important to note that over the past few decades, the country has become significantly more diverse as a result of an increase in the number of immigrants who come from a variety of different parts of the world.
It is also important to acknowledge the limitations of official demographic statistics, which cannot accurately portray the experiences or identities of all individuals. This is something that needs to be noted.
Below is a table of the number of immigrants to Iceland from various African countries.
|Number of Immigrants
|Democratic Republic of the Congo
|Sao Tome and Principe
Why do blacks migrate to Iceland?
There are a lot of different reasons why blacks could decide to move to Iceland, such as the possibility of better economic possibilities, the chance to reunite with family members, or the possibility of receiving asylum or refugee status.
Asylum seekers are individuals who flee their home countries due to persecution or fear of persecution based on factors such as their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.
They seek refuge in another country and apply for asylum status, which is a legal designation that allows them to stay in that country and receive protection from harm.
The majority of people who immigrate to Iceland do so from other nations in Europe, but smaller numbers of people come from Asia, Africa, and the Americas.
In recent years, there has been a discernible increase in the number of individuals requesting refuge in Iceland. The majority of these individuals originate from war-torn regions, such as Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
What is it like to be black in Iceland?
In spite of Iceland’s reputation as a generally progressive and liberal society, there have been reported instances of prejudice and discrimination against people of color and other minority groups.
This can manifest itself in a variety of ways, such as through the use of verbal harassment, physical assault, or exclusion from social and cultural events. Others have expressed xenophobic sentiments and doubt about the benefits of diversity, while others have taken a stand against racism and intolerance in Iceland.
Below is a short story of actual black people living in Iceland.
Quite interesting right? Here is another one that talks about racism a little bit. Talking about racism, there are always one or two idiots who will go beyond the law to be racists. So, to say there’s no amount of racism in Iceland though there are very few blacks would just not be accurate.
How do blacks fit in the Icelandic culture?
Black people or those of African heritage who come to Iceland often want to feel like they belong and have a cultural identity. However, it can be hard for immigrants from different backgrounds to find their place in a country that is closely tied to its natural surroundings.
Despite this, Iceland is generally very friendly to newcomers. But it’s still important to address concerns about how people of African descent are represented, included, and seen.
There are positive examples of black cultural identity being cherished and celebrated in Iceland.
For instance, each year, the city of Reykjavik hosts a blues festival that features musicians from all over the world, including a significant number of black artists. Additionally, the African Society of Iceland and the Africa Day Festival are two examples of groups and celebrations dedicated to preserving African cultural heritage in Iceland.
Some FAQs About Black People in Iceland
Does Iceland have a lot of immigrants?
In 2023, there are about 52,541 individuals in Iceland representing 14% of the total population, according to the official Iceland website.
What languages do Icelanders speak?
Although Icelandic is the primary language spoken by Icelanders, they are generally a multilingual group. Most Icelanders are able to speak English fluently, as well as other languages such as Danish, German, Spanish and French.
Are there any Christians in Iceland?
Statistics Iceland’s official data for 2023 indicates that Christianity was the religion of 69.55% of Iceland’s population. Of this group, 58.61% were members of the Lutheran Church of Iceland, 5.33% followed smaller Lutheran free churches, 3.83% were Roman Catholics, and 1.78% belonged to other Christian denominations.
How many black people live in Iceland?
As of 14th March 2023, the current immigration data collected by Statistics Iceland indicated that there were 1,678 people living in Iceland who self-identified as having African ancestry.
So, there you have it…
To sum up, whether or not there are many black people living in Iceland is a topic that involves issues of diversity, migration, social inclusion, and cultural identity. Even though the number of black people living in Iceland is not very high, their experiences and perspectives are important and contribute to the identity of Iceland as a country.
It’s crucial that we include the views and experiences of all members of society, especially those who may be marginalized or underrepresented, in our discussions about immigration, social justice, and global connections.
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