Richest cities in Iceland

Even though there are less than 400 000 people living on the far-off island of Iceland, the small Nordic country punches well above its weight in terms of economic development and quality of life. With more and more tourists visiting every year, the population growing, and the recovery from the 2008 financial crisis, Iceland seems to be on the right path economically. If you want to know more about the richest cities in Iceland, keep on reading:


Akureyri is the largest city in Iceland, which is not in the capital region surrounding Reykjavík. It is often called the Capital of North Iceland, despite the fact that only 20 000 people live here. As it lies on the coast, fishing and the maritime industry have always been important to the region and Akureyri itself. The port manages to be ice-free, despite of its northern location, which is another feather in its cap. Like many areas of Iceland, Akureyri has experienced a tourism boom in the last years and the town is becoming more lively and international. A lot of visitors go whale watching here, as it is one of the best places in Iceland for that.


Reykjavík is the most populous city in Iceland and the most urban part of the island, where most of the finance, politics, and tech work occurs. There are 130 000 people living in the city itself, and around 230 000 people in total in the Capital region, which consists of a few other cities, effectively suburbs of Reykjavík. With most of the country’s population residing in or around Reykjavík, it should come as no surprise that most of the economic activity occurs here. Even tourism seems to be concentrated here, due to the proximity to the airport and abundance of great waterfalls and sights around the capital. There is a well-developed financial sector in Reykjavík, with Borgartún serving as a mini-Wall Street and being home to the largest banks on the island. Beyond the airport, the port of Reykjavík is also very popular and brings in cargo and people to the capital.

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