Around 52,600 inhabitants in Iceland aged 25-64 took part in lifelong learning in 2022, 26.7% of the population in this age group. That is an increase of 18.5% from the previous year, and participation in lifelong learning was greater in 2022 than it was just before the Covid-19 pandemic. In the last decade, participation in lifelong learning was greatest in 2015, when 27.3% of this age group took part in lifelong learning. Rates of participation in 2022 were only a little lower than participation rates in 2015.

The largest increase was in the number of those who took part in courses and other learning with an instructor (e.g. conferences), but there were smaller changes in the number of those attending school. There were 18,200 participants in courses aged 25-64 years old and 19,800 in other learning with an instructor in 2022. Students in school were 22,700.

Participation was greatest among those with tertiary education
Participation in lifelong learning is greater among those with higher education. It was greatest among those with tertiary education, as 35.1% of those aged 25-64 participated in lifelong learning in 2022. The proportion was lower among those who had completed upper secondary education, 23.2%, and lowest among those who had solely completed basic education, 15,7%.

A greater share of women than men aged 25-64 participated in lifelong learning, or 32.0% of women compared with 21.8% of men.

About the data
The data are based on the Statistics Iceland Labour Force Survey. The Labour Force Survey is based on international definitions and standards. The sample frame includes all Icelandic and foreign citizens aged 16–74 residing in Iceland. The total sample size in 2022 was 19,995. When those who had passed away and those who were living abroad had been deducted from the sample the net sample was 19,597 persons. The total number of usable answers was 11,482 which correspond to a 58.6% response rate. All results from the survey have been weighted by age and sex using the National Population Register.

Lifelong learning includes all types of education that a person attends, both formal education in school and education out of school, such as a course, lecture, or a conference. The same individual can both take part in a course, in other education or training and attend school, but each individual is only counted once in the totals.

Statistics