The Urbanization of Iceland

Iceland is not unique when it comes down to urbanization, what is interesting though is to see that most of the flux has been towards a single city, Reykjavik. 300 years ago, there where virtually no cities in the country, a century ago the country was still one with a very strong rural population. Throughout the last century we have however seen a steady and strong influx of people from countryside to the capital, whereas other areas have lost their share og the overall population. Now, if we let the area of each circle represent the population of each region in 1911, then this is what we get:

Iceland in 1911

The raw data goes like this: Capital Area:15469 Reykjanes:2541 West Iceland:10351 Western Fjords:13169 North-West: 9103 North-East: 11911 East: 9617 South: 13500. A Century later, the situation is quite different:

Iceland in 2011

Here we have stacked up the circles, giving the years with positive growth a blue color, and the ones with population decrease a red one. The corresponding numbers can be found in the the following Excel sheet: popice_pbmp. Finally, here is a video showing the entire animation. The underlying map can be found on wikimedia commons. The data is taken and compiled from, the Statistical Office of Iceland.

In and Out of Iceland

The following video shows the net immigration/emigration in/out of Iceland for the past 50 years. I was made using Processing and data from the Statistical Office of Iceland ( Large circles = Many people. Small circles = Fewer people. Blue circles = Icelanders. Red circles = Foreigners. The Pie-Chart at the center symbolizes the entire population, with the red part of the cake symbolizing the foreign nationals at each point in time. One can see the steady flow into the country in the years before 2008 and then a large net flow out of it in the past two years.

Domestic and External Migration in Iceland in 2010

Domestic and International Migration in 2010. CC-BY-SA PaBaMapa

Yesterday (see here) we looked at the domestic migration in Iceland in 2010. The above image also includes the international migrations. We are using one point for the people moving in and another one for those moving out (for purely aesthetic reasons). The data comes, as before, from The underlying image comes from Wikimedia Commons (User: NordNordWest CC-BY-SA). A fun fact, we have to shrink the arrows a bit from yesterday in other for the picture to be readable. Here’s how it would look otherwise: It is of course interesting to see how those large immigration and emigration arrows divide into different countries and regions of the world. More on that soon!  

End of Earth Countdown

Now, we all now from our Astronomy classes that the Sun will eventually blow up in size, become a Red Giant and swallow the earth. When will this happen? According to the this article ( we still have 7.6 thousands of millions of years to go. Here’s a small Java counter to remind of that slightly depressing fact. [processing file=”” width=”500″ height=”125″] The pictures are taken from NASA. See: This was done using Processing. I have to admit one slight flaw in the counter. The first “7” in the years-part is in fact hard-coded into the program due to size-limitations of JAVA’s integer type. I PROMISE to correct this in time.

Expenditures of Icelandic Households 2007-2009

Expenditures of Icelanders in 2007-2009

The above Picture shows the relative expenditures of Icelandic homes in 2009. Those interested int the source can find it here: Some clarifications. ALC stands for both alcohol and tobacco. The LEISURE box include dining and hotel costs. HOUSING includes electricity and heating. A visualisation of a more detailed breakdown of this data is on its way in the next couple of days.

Detailed Expenditures of Icelanders in 2002 and 2009

In the last post, we looked at the expenditures of Icelandic households. The following graph shows the expenditure in 2009, but in a bit more detail. Click on the picture for a larger definition.

Expenditures of Icelandic Households in 2002. CC-BY-SA PaBaMapa.

  Producing the same image with data from 2009 gives the following result:

Expenditures of Icelandic Households in 2009. CC-BY-SA PaBaMapa.

Now for those of you interested in the raw data, it can be found in the following file: expenditures2002-2009. The data is taken from the Statistical Office of Iceland,

The Constant Fall of the Icelandic Krona

There has been an interesting discussion in Iceland in the past days about our National Currency, the Icelandic Krona. This has to do with a recent claim, e.g. by the Nobel prize winner Krugman, that the post-crunch super-devaluation of the krona has in fact helped us keeping the unemployment levels lower than in countries like Ireland. Of course this comes at a price. The Krona has essentially been “protected” by different types of currency restrictions for most of its lifespan. This is not exactly a healthy environment for businesses to flourish. As this fine article by Þórlindur Kjartansson (in Icelandic) points out, the Krona has lost 99.95% of its value with respect to the Danish Krona since the two separated. Keeping Danish cash in your drawer amounts to 11% interest rate a year in Icelandic Kroner. Here’s a short history of the Icelandic Krona for the past 30 years.

The Icelandic Krona agains the Danish Krona. 1980-2011. PaBaMapa: CC-BY-SA.

The data comes from the Central Bank of Iceland. See: Now here’s a small applet showing the collapse of the Krona through the years: [processing file=”” width=”500″ height=”400″] [Click on the applet window to reset the graphics.]