In 2019, the life expectancy in Iceland was 81.0 years for men and 84.2 years for women.

Life expectancy at birth measures how long, on average, people can expect to live based on population age-specific mortality rates. These rates have decreased over the last decades so people can expect to live even longer than the calculated life expectancy shows.

During the past 30 years, life expectancy in Iceland has increased by six and four years for men and women respectively (see Figure 1).

Ten year averages (2009-2018) show that men in Switzerland have the highest life expectancy in Europe, 80.9 years, followed by Iceland (80.8), Liechtenstein (80.4), Sweden and Italy (80.2) and Spain and Norway (79.9). The shortest life expectancy for men is in Ukraine (67.0), Belarus (67.8) and Lithuania (68.9).

According to the same ten-year averages, women in Spain and France have the longest life expectancy in Europe, 85.8 and 85.6 years respectively. Women in Switzerland come third (85.2) followed by Italy (85.1), Liechtenstein (84.4), Luxemburg (84.2) and Iceland (84.1). The lowest values are recorded in Ukraine (76.9), Azerbaijan (77.2) and North Macedonia (77.5).

Life expectancy of 30 year olds with tertiary education increased more in 2011-2019
In 2019, the average life expectancy for 30 year old women with compulsory education was 52.8 years while compulsory educated males were expected to live additional 48.8 years. Women with upper secondary education could expect to live more than two years longer than women with compulsory education or 54.9 years from the age of 30. The difference was even more pronounced among males as the life expectancy of a 30 year old with upper secondary education was 52.1 years, or more than three years longer than males with compulsory education.

In general, tertiary educated individuals may expect to live longer than those with less education. In 2019, the life expectancy of 30 year old women with tertiary education was 56.1 years or 3.3 years more than corresponding women with compulsory education. The life expectancy of 30 year old males with tertiary education was 53.5 years, or nearly five years more than males with compulsory education.

From 2011-2019, life expectancy for 30 year olds increased the most for those with tertiary education, about 1.3 years. Life expectancy of thirty year olds grew less among those with upper secondary education or 1.1 years while staying the same among those with compulsory education.

Infant mortality in Iceland the lowest in Europe
In 2019, 2,275 Icelandic residents died; 1,157 men and 1,118 women. The mortality rate was 6.3 per 1,000 inhabitants and the infant mortality rate was 1.1 per 1,000 live births.

The infant mortality rate in Iceland was 1.8 per 1,000 live births on average over a ten year period (2009-2018), which is the lowest rate in Europe. The second lowest average (2.1) was recorded in Finland, followed by Slovenia (2.1), Sweden (2.4), Norway (2.5) and Czech Republic and Cyprus (2.7). The highest infant mortality rates were recorded in Turkey (11.0). Causes of death for 2018 were updated with this press release.

The ten year average values for life expectancy and mortality rates are based on Eurostat database. Excluded are data from Andorra, Moldova, Russia and San Marino, due to the fact that data are missing for the majority of the examined period.

Education is classified according to ISMENNT2011, the Icelandic educational classification. ISMENNT2011 is based on the International Classification of Education 2011 (ISCED2011). Explanations of ISMENNT2011 can be found on the website of Statistics Iceland.


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