|Municipalities of Iceland |
Sveitarfélög Íslands (Icelandic)
|Number||72 (as of 2018)|
|Populations||Smallest: Árneshreppur (pop. 45) |
Largest: Reykjavík (pop. 131,220)
|Areas||Smallest: Seltjarnarnes (2.11 km2) |
Largest: Fljótsdalshérað (8883.77 km2)
The municipalities of Iceland (Icelandic : Sveitarfélög [ˈsveiːtarˌfjɛːˌlœːx] ) are local administrative areas in Iceland that provide a number of services to their inhabitants such as kindergartens, elementary schools, waste management, social services, public housing, public transportation, services to senior citizens and handicapped people. They also govern zoning and can voluntarily take on additional functions if they have the budget for it. The autonomy of municipalities over their own matters is guaranteed by the Icelandic constitution.
The origin of the municipalities can be traced back to the commonwealth period in the 10th century when rural communities were organized into communes (hreppar [r̥ɛhpar̥] ) with the main purpose of providing help for the poorest individuals in society. When urbanization began in Iceland during the 18th and 19th centuries, several independent townships (kaupstaðir [ˈkʰœiːpˌstaːðɪr̥] ) were created. The role of municipalities was further formalized during the 20th century and by the end of the century there was no longer any official distinction between urban and rural municipalities.
The trend in recent years has been to transfer more functions and power from the state to the municipalities. This has called for larger municipalities. The government encourages municipalities to merge but has taken a different approach to the issue than governments in other Nordic countries where forced amalgamation is regularly carried out (such as the municipal reform in Denmark that took effect in 2007). Instead, the process is voluntary. Municipalities negotiate possible mergers among themselves, and any merger must first receive approval from the relevant municipality's constituent voting electorate in a referendum. A similar approach is used by the Faroese government. However, municipalities having a population of below 50 may be forced to merge.
The number of municipalities peaked in the mid-20th century. There were 229 of them in 1950.By 1995, their number had been reduced to 170. In the year 2000, only 124 municipalities remained in Iceland, and since 2018 there are 72.
The municipalities are governed by municipal councils which are directly elected every four years. Municipal elections were last held on 26 May 2018. The sizes of these councils vary from five members in the smallest municipalities to fifteen in the largest one. Most municipalities except for the very small ones hire an executive manager who may or may not be a member of the municipal council. These managers are usually referred to as mayors (bæjarstjóri [ˈpaiːjarˌstjouːrɪ] or borgarstjóri [ˈpɔrkarˌstjouːrɪ] ) in the mostly urban municipalities but "municipal manager" (sveitarstjóri [ˈsveiːtarˌstjouːrɪ] ) in the rural or mixed municipalities. It is common for these executive managers to be professionally hired and politically independent.
|Vernacular name||Official name||Region||Population |
|Reykjavík||Reykjavíkurborg||Höfuðborgarsvæðið||131,220||274.19||0000||Dagur Bergþóruson Eggertsson||Social Democratic Alliance|
|Kópavogur||Kópavogsbær||Höfuðborgarsvæðið||37,970||79.99||1000||Ármann Kristinn Ólafsson||Independence Party|
|Seltjarnarnes||Seltjarnarnesbær||Höfuðborgarsvæðið||4,720||2.11||1100||Ásgerður Halldórsdóttir||Independence Party|
|Garðabær||Garðabær||Höfuðborgarsvæðið||16,920||75.46||1300||Gunnar Einarsson||Independence Party|
|Hafnarfjörður||Hafnarfjarðarkaupstaður||Höfuðborgarsvæðið||30,000||144.07||1400||Haraldur L. Haraldsson||Independent|
|Mosfellsbær||Mosfellsbær||Höfuðborgarsvæðið||12,070||186.16||1604||Haraldur Sverrisson||Independence Party|
|Kjósarhreppur||Kjósarhreppur||Höfuðborgarsvæðið||250||284.08||1606||Guðný Guðrún Ívarsdóttir||Independent|
|Reykjanesbær||Reykjanesbær||Suðurnes||19,430||144.48||2000||Kjartan Már Kjartansson||Independent|
|Vogar||Sveitarfélagið Vogar||Suðurnes||1,310||164.4||2506||Ásgeir Eiríksson||Independent|
|Borgarbyggð||Borgarbyggð||Vesturland||3,860||4926.85||3609||Björn Bjarki Þorsteinsson||Independence Party|
|Stykkishólmur||Stykkishólmsbær||Vesturland||1,210||10.53||3711||Sturla Böðvarsson||Independence Party|
|Eyja- og Miklaholtshreppur||Eyja- og Miklaholtshreppur||Vesturland||120||383.51||3713||Eggert Kjartansson||Independent|
|Dalabyggð||Dalabyggð||Vesturland||640||2426.88||3811||Jóhannes Haukur Hauksson||Independent|
|Ísafjarðarbær||Ísafjarðarbær||Vestfirðir||3,810||2380.55||4200||Gísli Halldór Halldórsson||Independent|
|Vesturbyggð||Vesturbyggð||Vestfirðir||1,020||1336.06||4607||Rebekka Hilmarsdóttir||Independence Party|
|Súðavíkurhreppur||Súðavíkurhreppur||Vestfirðir||210||750.35||4803||Pétur G. Markan||Independent|
|Strandabyggð||Strandabyggð||Vestfirðir||460||1833.88||4911||Jón Gísli Jónsson||None|
|Skagafjörður||Sveitarfélagið Skagafjörður||Norðurland vestra||4,030||4176.45||5200||Ásta Björg Pálmadóttir||Independent|
|Húnaþing vestra||Húnaþing vestra||Norðurland vestra||1,210||3022.83||5508||Guðný Hrund Karlsdóttir||Independent|
|Blönduósbær||Blönduósbær||Norðurland vestra||940||182.61||5604||Arnar Þór Sævarsson||Independent|
|Skagaströnd||Sveitarfélagið Skagaströnd||Norðurland vestra||470||52.6||5609||Magnús B. Jónsson||Independent|
|Skagabyggð||Skagabyggð||Norðurland vestra||90||488.59||5611||Vignir Ásmundur Sveinsson||Independent|
|Húnavatnshreppur||Húnavatnshreppur||Norðurland vestra||370||3815.98||5612||Einar Kristján Jónsson||Independent|
|Akrahreppur||Akrahreppur||Norðurland vestra||210||1366.01||5706||Agnar Halldór Gunnarsson||Independent|
|Akureyri||Akureyrarkaupstaður||Norðurland eystra||19,030||135.55||6000||Ásthildur Sturludóttir||None|
|Norðurþing||Norðurþing||Norðurland eystra||3,120||3732.78||6100||Kristján Þór Magnússon||Independent|
|Fjallabyggð||Fjallabyggð||Norðurland eystra||2,010||363.83||6250||Gunnar Ingi Birgisson||Independent|
|Dalvíkurbyggð||Dalvíkurbyggð||Norðurland eystra||1,900||597.35||6400||Bjarni Th. Bjarnason||Progressive Party|
|Eyjafjarðarsveit||Eyjafjarðarsveit||Norðurland eystra||1,080||1774.83||6513||Karl Frímannsson||Independent|
|Hörgársveit||Hörgársveit||Norðurland eystra||620||893.97||6515||Snorri Finnlaugsson||Independent|
|Svalbarðsstrandarhreppur||Svalbarðsstrandarhreppur||Norðurland eystra||480||54.39||6601||Eiríkur H. Hauksson||Independent|
|Grýtubakkahreppur||Grýtubakkahreppur||Norðurland eystra||370||431.43||6602||Þröstur Friðfinnsson||Independent|
|Skútustaðahreppur||Skútustaðahreppur||Norðurland eystra||500||6048.01||6607||Jón Óskar Pétursson||Independent|
|Tjörneshreppur||Tjörneshreppur||Norðurland eystra||50||198.86||6611||Steinþór Heiðarsson||Independent|
|Þingeyjarsveit||Þingeyjarsveit||Norðurland eystra||860||5971.58||6612||Dagbjört Jónsdóttir||Independent|
|Svalbarðshreppur||Svalbarðshreppur||Norðurland eystra||90||1154.31||6706||Sigurður Þór Guðmundsson||Independent|
|Langanesbyggð||Langanesbyggð||Norðurland eystra||480||1328.85||6709||Elías Pétursson||Independent|
|Seyðisfjörður||Seyðisfjarðarkaupstaður||Austurland||690||212.64||7000||Vilhjálmur Jónsson||Progressive Party|
|Fjarðabyggð||Fjarðabyggð||Austurland||5,060||1614.45||7300||Páll Björgvin Guðmundsson||Independent|
|Vopnafjarðarhreppur||Vopnafjarðarhreppur||Austurland||660||1903.31||7502||Ólafur Áki Ragnarsson||Independent|
|Hornafjörður||Sveitarfélagið Hornafjörður||Austurland||2,440||6309.44||7708||Björn Ingi Jónsson||Independence Party|
|Vestmannaeyjar||Vestmannaeyjabær||Suðurland||4,360||16.14||8000||Elliði Vignisson||Independence Party|
|Árborg||Sveitarfélagið Árborg||Suðurland||10,060||157.19||8200||Ásta Stefánsdóttir||Independence Party|
|Rangárþing eystra||Rangárþing eystra||Suðurland||1,960||1839.93||8613||Ísólfur Gylfi Pálmason||Progressive Party|
|Rangárþing ytra||Rangárþing ytra||Suðurland||1,680||3187.09||8614||Ágúst Sigurðsson||Independence Party|
|Hrunamannahreppur||Hrunamannahreppur||Suðurland||820||1375.07||8710||Jón G. Valgeirsson||Independent|
|Hveragerði||Hveragerðisbær||Suðurland||2,700||9.03||8716||Aldís Hafsteinsdóttir||Independence Party|
|Ölfus||Sveitarfélagið Ölfus||Suðurland||2,270||736.32||8717||Gunnsteinn R. Ómarsson||Independent|
|Grímsnes- og Grafningshreppur||Grímsnes- og Grafningshreppur||Suðurland||500||899.44||8719||Ingibjörg Harðardóttir||Independent|
|Skeiða- og Gnúpverjahreppur||Skeiða- og Gnúpverjahreppur||Suðurland||610||2231.74||8720||Kristófer Tómasson||Independent|
|Flóahreppur||Flóahreppur||Suðurland||690||288.9||8722||Eydís Þ. Indriðadóttir||Independent|
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