Iceland's PopulationIceland was first settled around the 9th century by a mix of Norsemen from Scandinavia and Celts from the British Isles. Both the language and culture of Iceland were purely Nordic from the outset, but there are traces of Celtic influence in some of the Eddaic poems, in names and in the appearance of Icelanders. Immigration has been minimal since the first settlement, and there are no Inuits (native peoples) in Iceland.
Around the year 1100 the population, then entirely rural, is estimated to have been about 70,000 -80,000. Three times during the eighteenth century it declined below 40,000, but by the year 1900 it had reached 78,000. In 1925 it finally passed the 100,000 mark, and in 2006 the population reached 300,000.
In January 2011 the Icelandic population was 319,000. Population density per square kilometre in Iceland is 3.1, making it the most sparsely populated country in Europe (seventh in the world). The average life expectancy for men is 78 years and for women 82 years -- one of the world's highest averages.