The aim of this cross-sectional study was to estimate the prevalence of iron deficiency and overload in the adult population in Iceland, a developed Scandinavian country. The study population consisted of 4240 individuals aged 25-74 years randomly selected from the national roster. Basic hematological, S-iron, S-total iron binding capacity (TIBC), and S-ferritin measurements were obtained on 2588 individuals (61.0%). The results indicated unusually large iron stores in the adult Icelandic population and significantly larger iron stores in the rural compared to the urban population. Iron deficiency was rare except in urban premenopausal women, where 1 in 4 showed evidence of iron deficiency and 3.2% had iron deficiency anemia. Seven patients with hereditary hemochromatosis were identified from a subgroup of 1887 subjects, resulting in a prevalence of 0.37%. Two of the hereditary hemochromatosis patients had been gastrectomized. Measures to improve the iron balance in urban premenopausal women cannot therefore include increased iron fortification of food but must be more directed towards the target group.