The competition has been carried out since 1950; in the first year it was called Miss Reykjavík (Ungfrú Reykjavík). Since 1955, the contest has taken place under the current name Miss Iceland.
In the past, contest winners gained the right to represent Iceland in Miss Universe, Miss World or Miss International. As of 2009, the winner goes on to compete in Miss World. Runners-up go to Miss Universe, Miss International and Miss Earth.
There are six regional preliminary contests in each of the five rural regions and in the capital Reykjavík. 20 to 24 candidates, three to four from each region, take part in the finals.
Iceland is one of the most successful countries at the Miss World pageant with three victories, a record for a nation with a population of less than half million people.
In 2012, the contest did not take place.
Rafn Rafnsson, the new chief executive of the Miss Iceland contest, "in hopes of diversifying the field of contestants beyond the statuesque blonde with striking blue eyes that has become the Icelandic stereotype", said "There is no Miss Iceland stereotype..." One week later, in response to Rafnsson's statement, 1,300 people applied to become Miss Iceland, including several nontraditional candidates, such as:
- Sigríður Guðmarsdóttir, 48, a female governmental minister in Reykjavik
- Reynir Sigurðbjörnsson, 47, a male electrician
- Ása Richardsdóttir, a 49-year-old female producer in the fine arts industry
- Matthildur Helgadóttir-Jónudóttir, a female event manager also in her 40s
- Brynhildur Heiðardóttir Ómarsdóttir, a female literary critic
- Sigríður Ingibjörg Ingadóttir, a female Member of Parliament for the Social Democratic Alliance
- Guðrún Jónsdóttir, a spokesperson for Stígamót (organization that fights sexual abuse against women)
- Hildur Lillendahl, a feminist in Iceland
- Björk Vilhelmsdóttir, a city councilor of Reykjavík and feminist
- Þórdís Elva Þorvaldsdóttir, a writer and actress
In response to the increase of nontraditional applicants, Rafnsson said, "We have to follow the rules set by the international contest." This "means rejecting any applicants younger than 18 or older than 24. In addition to the age limits, contestants must be unmarried, childless and, of course, female." Íris Telma Jonsdóttir, Iceland's 2012 Miss World contestant, "has the unfortunate job of sifting through applications for the coming Miss Iceland contest and the publicity stirred by feminists has even sparked an abnormally high influx of legitimate hopefuls. That means she has a lot more reading to do before selecting the field of 25 women who will actually compete for a chance to move on to Miss World."
- Color key
- Declared as winner
- Ended as runner-up
- Ended as one of the finalists or semifinalists
|Year||Miss Iceland||Miss World Iceland||Placement at Miss World|
|1955||Arna Hjörleifsdóttir||Arna Hjorleifsdóttir|
|1956||Ágústa Guðmundsdóttir||Agusta Gudmundsdóttir|
|1957||Bryndís Schram||Runa Brynjolfdóttir|
|1958||Sigríður Þorvaldsdóttir||Hjordis Sigurvinsdóttir|
|1959||Sigríður Geirsdóttir||Sigurbjörg Sveinsdóttir|
|1960||Sigrún Ragnarsdóttir||Kristin Thorvaldsdóttir|
|1961||María Guðmundsdóttir||Johanna Kolbrun Kristjansdóttir|
Miss International 1963
Miss Scandinavia 1963
|1964||Pálína Jónmundsdóttir||Rosa Einarsdóttir|
|1965||Sigrún Vignisdóttir||Sigrun Vignisdóttir|
|1966||Kolbrún Einarsdóttir||Audur Hardardóttir|
|1967||Guðrún Pétursdóttir||Hrefna Wigelund Steinthorsdóttir|
|1969||María Baldursdóttir||Ragnheidur Pétursdóttir|
|1970||Erna Jóhannesdóttir||Anna Scheving Hansdóttir|
|1971||Guðrún Valgarðsdóttir||Fanney Bjarnadóttir|
|1972||Þórunn Símonardóttir||Rosa Helgadóttir|
|1973||Katrín Gisladóttir||Nina Breidfjord|
Miss Universe 1974
|1975||Helga Eldon Jónsdóttir||Halldora Björk Jonsdóttir|
|1976||Guðmunda Jóhannesdóttir||Sigridur Helga Olgeirsdóttir|
|1978||Halldóra Jónsdóttir||Asdis Loftsdóttir|
|1979||Kristín Bernharðsdóttir||Sigrun Saetran|
|1980||Elisabet Traustadóttir||Asdis Eva Hannesdóttir|
|1982||Guðrún Möller||Maria Bjork Sverrisdóttir|
|1983||Unnur Steinsson||Unnur Steinsson||4th Runner-up|
|1984||Berglind Johansen||Berglind Johansen||Top 15|
|1985||Halla Bryndis Jonsdóttir||Hólmfríður Karlsdóttir||Miss World 1985|
|1986||Gígja Birgisdóttir||Gigja Birgisdóttir|
|1987||Anna Margrét Jónsdóttir||Anna Margret Jonsdóttir||2nd Runner-up|
|1988||Linda Pétursdóttir||Linda Pétursdóttir||Miss World 1988|
|1989||Hugrún Linda Guðmundsdóttir||Hugrun Linda Gudmundsdóttir|
|1990||Ásta Sigríður Einarsdóttir||Asta Sigridur Einarsdóttir|
|1991||Svava Haraldsdóttir||Svava Haraldsdóttir|
|1992||María Rún Hafliðadóttir||Maria Run Haflidadóttir|
|1993||Svala Björk Arnardóttir||Gudrun Hreidarsdóttir|
|1994||Margrét Skúladóttir Sigurz||Birna Bragadóttir|
|1999||Katrín Baldursdóttir||Katrin Baldursdóttir|
|2000||Elín Magnúsdóttir||Elva Dögg Melsted|
|2001||Ragnheiður Guðnadóttir||Kolbrún Palina Helgadóttir|
|2002||Manuela Ósk Harðardóttir
Miss Scandinavia 2002 (1st Runner-up)
|2003||Ragnhildur Steinunn Jónsdóttir||Regína Dilja Jónsdóttir|
|2004||Hugrún Harðardóttir||Hugrún Harðardóttir|
|2005||Unnur Birna Vilhjálmsdóttir||Unnur Birna Vilhjálmsdóttir||Miss World 2005|
|2006||Sif Aradóttir||Ásdís Svava Hallgrímsdóttir|
|2007||Jóhanna Vala Jónsdóttir||Jóhanna Vala Jónsdóttir|
|2008||Alexandra Ívarsdóttir||Alexandra Ívarsdóttir|
|2009||Guðrún Dögg Rúnarsdóttir||Guðrún Dögg Rúnarsdóttir|
|2010||Fanney Ingvarsdóttir||Fanney Ingvarsdóttir|
|2011||Sigrún Eva Ármannsdóttir||Sigrún Eva Ármannsdóttir|
|2013||Tanja Ástþórsdóttir||Tanja Ástþórsdóttir|
|2015||Arna Ýr Jónsdóttir||Arna Ýr Jónsdóttir|
|2016||Anna Orlowska||Anna Orlowska|
|2017||Ólafía Ósk Finnsdóttir||Ólafía Ósk Finnsdóttir|
|2018||Erla Ólafsdóttir||Erla Ólafsdóttir|
Miss International Iceland
|Year||Miss Iceland||Placement at Miss International|
|1960||Sigriður Geirsdóttir||2nd Runner-up|
|1961||Sigrún Ragnarsdóttir||4th Runner-up|
|1962||Maria Gudmundsdóttir||Top 15|
|1963||Guðrún Bjarnadóttir||Miss International 1963|
|1964||Elisabet Sigríður Ottósdóttir||Top 15|
|1970||Erla Hardardóttir||Top 15|
|1973||Helga Eldon Jonsdóttir||2nd Runner-up|
|1979||Sigrún Björk Sverrisdóttir|
|1983||Steinunn Jóhanna Bergmann|
|1984||Guðlaug Stella Brynjólfsdottir||Top 10|
|1985||Anna Margret Jónsdóttir||Top 15|
|1987||Magnea Lovisa Magnusdóttir|
|1988||Guðbjörg Gissurardóttir||Top 15|
|1989||Guðrun Eyjólfsdóttir||Top 15|
|1990||Þórdis Steinunn Steinsdóttir|
|1992||Þórunn Larusdóttir||Top 15|
|1995||Lovísa Guðmundsdóttir||Top 15|
|1998||Guðbjörg Sigridur Hermannsdóttir|
|2000||Anna Lilja Björnsdóttir|
|2001||Íris Dögg Oddsdóttir|
|2004||Halldóra Rut Bjarnadóttir|
|2013||Sigrún Eva Ármannsdóttir||Top 15|
|Miss World||1985, 1988, 2005||Winner|
|Miss Universe||1962||1st runner-up|
|Miss Europe||1978, 1988, 1990, 1992||1st runner-up|
|Miss Scandinavia||1963, 1986, 1993, 1995, 1998, 2002, 2008||Winner|
- Unnur Steinsson was Miss Iceland 1983 and finished in the top five positions at the Miss World finals the same year. She is the mother of Unnur Birna Vilhjálmsdóttir who won the Miss Iceland pageant in 2005 and became Miss World 2005. Steinsson was three months pregnant when she carried Unnur and competed in the 1983 contest, which was strictly forbidden and could have led to disqualification. Her daughter, Unnur, as mentioned, won the pageant 22 years later.
- In 2011, Guðlaug Dagmar Jónasdóttir won second place and Sigríður Dagbjört Ásgeirsdóttir won third place.
- "Upplýsingar um keppnina" (in Icelandic). Archived from the original on 15 July 2007. Retrieved 25 May 2007.
- Here comes Iceland's first Miss Earth delegate
- JERVELL, ELLEN. "Critical Beauty - People of All Ages, Including a Few Men, Enter Contest as a Protest". www.criticalbeauty.com. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
- "MP signs up for Miss Iceland Beauty Contest". News of Iceland. 14 July 2013. Archived from the original on 21 August 2013. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
- JERVELL, ELLEN EMMERENTZE (26 July 2013). "Miss Iceland Gets a Chilly Reception From Feminists". Barrons Online. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
- JERVELL, ELLEN EMMERENTZE (26 July 2013). "Miss Iceland Gets a Chilly Reception From Feminists". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
- "Large and Hairy Feminists flock to sign up for Miss Iceland contest". News of Iceland. 15 June 2013. Archived from the original on 11 June 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2013.