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.

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 2015)
Area
(km²)
Mayor/Manager Party
0000 Reykjavíkurborg Capital Region 121,822 273 Dagur Bergþóruson Eggertsson Social Democratic Alliance
1000 Kópavogsbær Capital Region 33,205 80 Ármann Kristinn Ólafsson Independence Party
1100 Seltjarnarneskaupstaður Capital Region 4,411 2 Ásgerður Halldórsdóttir Independence Party
1300 Garðabær Capital Region 14,453 76 Gunnar Einarsson Independence Party
1400 Hafnarfjarðarkaupstaður Capital Region 27,875 143 Haraldur L. Haraldsson independent
1604 Mosfellsbær Capital Region 9,300 185 Haraldur Sverrisson Independence Party
1606 Kjósarhreppur Capital Region 216 284 Guðný Guðrún Ívarsdóttir independent
2000 Reykjanesbær Southern Peninsula 14,924 145 Kjartan Már Kjartansson independent
2300 Grindavíkurbær Southern Peninsula 2,995 425 Róbert Ragnarsson independent
2503 Sandgerðisbær Southern Peninsula 1,580 62 Sigrún Árnadóttir independent
2504 Sveitarfélagið Garður Southern Peninsula 1,425 21 Magnús Stefánsson independent
2506 Sveitarfélagið Vogar Southern Peninsula 1,102 165 Ásgeir Eiríksson independent
3000 Akraneskaupstaður Western Region 6,767 9 Regína Ásvaldsdóttir independent
3506 Skorradalshreppur Western Region 62 216 Árni Hjörleifsson independent
3511 Hvalfjarðarsveit Western Region 635 482 Björgvin Helgason independent
3609 Borgarbyggð Western Region 3,539 4,926 Björn Bjarki Þorsteinsson Independence Party
3709 Grundarfjarðarbær Western Region 900 148 Eyþór Garðarsson
3710 Helgafellssveit Western Region 53 243 Sif Matthíasdóttir independent
3711 Stykkishólmsbær Western Region 1,107 10 Sturla Böðvarsson Independence Party
3713 Eyja- og Miklaholtshreppur Western Region 144 383 Eggert Kjartansson independent
3714 Snæfellsbær Western Region 1,679 684 Kristinn Jónasson independent
3811 Dalabyggð Western Region 680 2,421 Jóhannes Haukur Hauksson independent
4100 Bolungarvíkurkaupstaður Westfjords 923 109 Elías Jónatansson independent
4200 Ísafjarðarbær Westfjords 3,629 2,379 Gísli Halldór Halldórsson independent
4502 Reykhólahreppur Westfjords 268 1,090 Karl Kristjánsson independent
4604 Tálknafjarðarhreppur Westfjords 305 176 Indriði Indriðason independent
4607 Vesturbyggð Westfjords 1,002 1,339 Ásthildur Sturludóttir Independence Party
4803 Súðavíkurhreppur Westfjords 204 749 Pétur G. Markan independent
4901 Árneshreppur Westfjords 54 707 Eva Sigurbjörnsdóttir independent
4902 Kaldrananeshreppur Westfjords 112 387 Finnur Ólafsson independent
4911 Strandabyggð Westfjords 473 1,906 Jón Gísli Jónsson
5200 Sveitarfélagið Skagafjörður Northwestern Region 3,910 4,180 Ásta Björg Pálmadóttir independent
5508 Húnaþing vestra Northwestern Region 1,171 3,019 Guðný Hrund Karlsdóttir independent
5604 Blönduósbær Northwestern Region 861 183 Arnar Þór Sævarsson independent
5609 Sveitarfélagið Skagaströnd Northwestern Region 488 53 Magnús B. Jónsson independent
5611 Skagabyggð Northwestern Region 99 489 Vignir Ásmundur Sveinsson independent
5612 Húnavatnshreppur Northwestern Region 414 3,817 Einar Kristján Jónsson independent
5706 Akrahreppur Northwestern Region 194 1,364 Agnar Halldór Gunnarsson independent
6000 Akureyrarkaupstaður Northeastern Region 18,191 138 Eiríkur Björn Björgvinsson independent
6100 Norðurþing Northeastern Region 2,806 3,729 Kristján Þór Magnússon independent
6250 Fjallabyggð Northeastern Region 2,037 364 Gunnar Ingi Birgisson independent
6400 Dalvíkurbyggð Northeastern Region 1,861 598 Bjarni Th. Bjarnason Progressive Party
6513 Eyjafjarðarsveit Northeastern Region 1,032 1,775 Karl Frímannsson independent
6515 Hörgársveit Northeastern Region 567 893 Snorri Finnlaugsson independent
6601 Svalbarðsstrandarhreppur Northeastern Region 414 55 Eiríkur H. Hauksson independent
6602 Grýtubakkahreppur Northeastern Region 364 432 Þröstur Friðfinnsson independent
6607 Skútustaðahreppur Northeastern Region 395 6,036 Jón Óskar Pétursson independent
6611 Tjörneshreppur Northeastern Region 59 199 Steinþór Heiðarsson independent
6612 Þingeyjarsveit Northeastern Region 920 5,988 Dagbjört Jónsdóttir independent
6706 Svalbarðshreppur Northeastern Region 98 1,155 Sigurður Þór Guðmundsson independent
6709 Langanesbyggð Northeastern Region 513 1,332 Elías Pétursson independent
7000 Seyðisfjarðarkaupstaður Eastern Region 653 213 Vilhjálmur Jónsson Progressive Party
7300 Fjarðabyggð Eastern Region 4,747 1,164 Páll Björgvin Guðmundsson independent
7502 Vopnafjarðarhreppur Eastern Region 674 1,903 Ólafur Áki Ragnarsson independent
7505 Fljótsdalshreppur Eastern Region 75 1,516 Gunnþórunn Ingólfsdóttir independent
7509 Borgarfjarðarhreppur Eastern Region 135 441 Jón Þórðarson independent
7613 Breiðdalshreppur Eastern Region 186 452 Páll Baldursson independent
7617 Djúpavogshreppur Eastern Region 422 1,133 Gauti Jóhannesson independent
7620 Fljótsdalshérað Eastern Region 3,454 8,884 Björn Ingimarsson independent
7708 Sveitarfélagið Hornafjörður Southern Region 2,150 6,280 Björn Ingi Jónsson Independence Party
8000 Vestmannaeyjabær Southern Region 4,272 17 Elliði Vignisson Independence Party
8200 Sveitarfélagið Árborg Southern Region 8,052 158 Ásta Stefánsdóttir Independence Party
8508 Mýrdalshreppur Southern Region 480 755 Ásgeir Magnússon independent
8509 Skaftárhreppur Southern Region 460 6,946 Eygló Kristjánsdóttir independent
8610 Ásahreppur Southern Region 216 2,942 Egill Sigurðsson independent
8613 Rangárþing eystra Southern Region 1,749 1,841 Ísólfur Gylfi Pálmason Progressive Party
8614 Rangárþing ytra Southern Region 1,548 3,188 Ágúst Sigurðsson Independence Party
8710 Hrunamannahreppur Southern Region 794 1,375 Jón G. Valgeirsson independent
8716 Hveragerðisbær Southern Region 2,384 9 Aldís Hafsteinsdóttir Independence Party
8717 Sveitarfélagið Ölfus Southern Region 1,885 737 Gunnsteinn R. Ómarsson independent
8719 Grímsnes- og Grafningshreppur Southern Region 431 900 Ingibjörg Harðardóttir independent
8720 Skeiða- og Gnúpverjahreppur Southern Region 518 2,231 Kristófer Tómasson independent
8721 Bláskógabyggð Southern Region 961 3,300 Valtýr Valtýsson independent
8722 Flóahreppur Southern Region 616 289 Eydís Þ. Indriðadóttir independent
329,100 102,698

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]