Municipalities of Iceland

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Lower-level municipality map of Iceland

The municipalities of Iceland 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 constitution of Iceland.

History[edit]

Coat of arms of Iceland.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Iceland
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) with the main purpose of providing help for the poorest individuals in society. When urbanization began in Iceland during the 18th and 19th century, several independent townships (kaupstaðir) 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 distinction made 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 between themselves and the merger has to be agreed upon by the people of each municipality in a referendum. A similar approach is used by the Faroese government. Municipalities with fewer than 50 people may be merged with others by force though.

The number of municipalities peaked in the mid-20th century. There were 229 of them in 1950.[1] In 1995 their number had reduced to 170. In the year 2000 the number of municipalities in Iceland was 124 and since 1 January 2013 they are 74 in addition to the capital and only city Reykjavíkurborg (e. city of Reykjavík).

Government[edit]

The municipalities are governed by municipal councils which are directly elected every four years. Municipal elections were last held on 29 May 2010. 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/borgarstjóri) in the mostly urban municipalities but "municipal manager" (sveitarstjóri) in the rural or mixed municipalities. It is common for these executive managers to be professionally hired and politically independent.

List of municipalities[edit]

Number Name Region Population
(1 January 2014)
Area
(km²)
Mayor/Manager Party
0000 Reykjavíkurborg Capital Region 121,230 273 Jón Gnarr Kristinsson Best Party
1000 Kópavogsbær Capital Region 32,308 80 Ármann Kristinn Ólafsson Independence Party
1100 Seltjarnarneskaupstaður Capital Region 4,381 2 Ásgerður Halldórsdóttir Independence Party
1300 Garðabær Capital Region 14,180 76 Gunnar Einarsson Independence Party
1400 Hafnarfjarðarkaupstaður Capital Region 27,357 143 Guðrún Ágústa Guðmundsdóttir Left-Green Movement
1604 Mosfellsbær Capital Region 9,075 185 Haraldur Sverrisson Independence Party
1606 Kjósarhreppur Capital Region 221 284 Guðmundur H. Davíðsson
2000 Reykjanesbær Southern Peninsula 14,527 145 Árni Sigfússon Independence Party
2300 Grindavíkurbær Southern Peninsula 2,888 425 Róbert Ragnarsson independent
2503 Sandgerðisbær Southern Peninsula 1,609 62 Sigrún Árnadóttir independent
2504 Sveitarfélagið Garður Southern Peninsula 1,409 21 Magnús Stefánsson Progressive Party
2506 Sveitarfélagið Vogar Southern Peninsula 1,127 165 Ásgeir Eiríksson independent
3000 Akraneskaupstaður Western Region 6,699 9 Regína Ásvaldsdóttir independent
3506 Skorradalshreppur Western Region 58 216 Davíð Pétursson
3511 Hvalfjarðarsveit Western Region 617 482 Laufey Jóhannsdóttir independent
3609 Borgarbyggð Western Region 3,535 4,926 Páll S. Brynjarsson independent
3709 Grundarfjarðarbær Western Region 872 148 Björn Steinar Pálmason independent
3710 Helgafellssveit Western Region 53 243 Egill Valberg Benediktsson
3711 Stykkishólmsbær Western Region 1,095 10 Gyða Steinsdóttir L-list
3713 Eyja- og Miklaholtshreppur Western Region 148 383 Guðbjartur Gunnarsson
3714 Snæfellsbær Western Region 1,691 684 Kristinn Jónasson
3811 Dalabyggð Western Region 673 2,421 Sveinn Pálsson independent
4100 Bolungarvíkurkaupstaður Westfjords 950 109 Elías Jónatansson Independence Party
4200 Ísafjarðarbær Westfjords 3,639 2,379 Daníel Jakobsson independent
4502 Reykhólahreppur Westfjords 271 1,090 Ingibjörg Birna Erlingsdóttir independent
4604 Tálknafjarðarhreppur Westfjords 297 176 Eyrún Ingibjörg Sigþórsdóttir Independence Party
4607 Vesturbyggð Westfjords 949 1,339 Ásthildur Sturludóttir independent
4803 Súðavíkurhreppur Westfjords 202 749 Ómar Már Jónsson L-list
4901 Árneshreppur Westfjords 53 707 Oddný S. Þórðardóttir independent
4902 Kaldrananeshreppur Westfjords 105 387 Jenný Jensdóttir
4911 Strandabyggð Westfjords 506 1,906 Andrea Kristín Jónsdóttir
5200 Sveitarfélagið Skagafjörður Northwestern Region 3,978 4,180 Ásta Björg Pálmadóttir
5508 Húnaþing vestra Northwestern Region 1,173 3,019 Skúli Þórðarson
5604 Blönduósbær Northwestern Region 881 183 Arnar Þór Sævarsson independent
5609 Sveitarfélagið Skagaströnd Northwestern Region 498 53 Magnús B. Jónsson
5611 Skagabyggð Northwestern Region 98 489 Vignir Sveinsson
5612 Húnavatnshreppur Northwestern Region 409 3,817 Jens Pétur Jensen
5706 Akrahreppur Northwestern Region 208 1,364 Agnar H. Gunnarsson
6000 Akureyrarkaupstaður Northeastern Region 18,103 138 Eiríkur Björn Björgvinsson
6100 Norðurþing Northeastern Region 2,822 3,729 Bergur Elías Ágústsson
6250 Fjallabyggð Northeastern Region 2,010 364 Sigurður Valur Ásbjarnarson Independence Party
6400 Dalvíkurbyggð Northeastern Region 1,867 598 Svanfríður Jónasdóttir
6513 Eyjafjarðarsveit Northeastern Region 1,026 1,775 Jónas Vigfússon
6515 Hörgársveit Northeastern Region 559 893 Guðmundur Sigvaldason
6601 Svalbarðsstrandarhreppur Northeastern Region 387 55 Jón Hrói Finnsson Social Democratic Alliance
6602 Grýtubakkahreppur Northeastern Region 353 432 Guðný Sverrisdóttir
6607 Skútustaðahreppur Northeastern Region 371 6,036 Guðrún María Valgeirsdóttir
6611 Tjörneshreppur Northeastern Region 55 199 Steinþór Hreiðarsson
6612 Þingeyjarsveit Northeastern Region 917 5,988 Dagbjört Jónsdóttir
6706 Svalbarðshreppur Northeastern Region 90 1,155 Elfa Benediktsdóttir
6709 Langanesbyggð Northeastern Region 531 1,332 Gunnólfur Lárusson
7000 Seyðisfjarðarkaupstaður Eastern Region 665 213 Vilhjálmur Jónsson
7300 Fjarðabyggð Eastern Region 4,675 1,164 Páll Björgvin Guðmundsson Independence Party
7502 Vopnafjarðarhreppur Eastern Region 695 1,903 Þorsteinn Steinsson
7505 Fljótsdalshreppur Eastern Region 68 1,516 Gunnþórunn Ingólfsdóttir
7509 Borgarfjarðarhreppur Eastern Region 134 441 Jón Þórðarson
7613 Breiðdalshreppur Eastern Region 187 452 Páll Baldursson
7617 Djúpavogshreppur Eastern Region 470 1,133 Gauti Jóhannesson
7620 Fljótsdalshérað Northeastern Region 3,463 8,884 Björn Ingimarsson independent
7708 Sveitarfélagið Hornafjörður Southern Region 2,167 6,280 Ásgerður Kristín Gylfadóttir Progressive Party
8000 Vestmannaeyjabær Southern Region 4,264 17 Elliði Vignisson
8200 Sveitarfélagið Árborg Southern Region 7,889 158 Ásta Stefánsdóttir
8508 Mýrdalshreppur Southern Region 489 755 Ásgeir Magnússon
8509 Skaftárhreppur Southern Region 452 6,946 Eygló Kristjánsdóttir
8610 Ásahreppur Southern Region 193 2,942 Eydís Indriðadóttir
8613 Rangárþing eystra Southern Region 1,708 1,841 Ísólfur Gylfi Pálmason Progressive Party
8614 Rangárþing ytra Southern Region 1,553 3,188 Drífa Hjartardóttir Independence Party
8710 Hrunamannahreppur Southern Region 785 1,375 Jón G. Valgeirsson
8716 Hveragerðisbær Southern Region 2,333 9 Aldís Hafsteinsdóttir
8717 Sveitarfélagið Ölfus Southern Region 1,906 737 Ólafur Örn Ólafsson
8719 Grímsnes- og Grafningshreppur Southern Region 422 900 Ingibjörg Harðardóttir
8720 Skeiða- og Gnúpverjahreppur Southern Region 530 2,231 Kristófer A. Tómasson
8721 Bláskógabyggð Southern Region 931 3,300 Valtýr Valtýsson
8722 Flóahreppur Southern Region 631 289 Margrét Sigurðardóttir
325,671 102,698

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]