In 2021, the life expectancy in Iceland was 80.9 years for men and 84.1 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 years average (2011–2020) show that the average life expectancy was longest in Switzerland or 83.3 years. Spain (83.1) and Italy (83.0) were firmly on their heels while Liechtenstein and Iceland were in fourth to fifth place in Europe with a life expectancy of 82.7 years. The average life expectancy for men was lowest in Ukraine (72.2), Belarus (73.3) and Georgia (73.8).
Looking only at the last two years, 2019 and 2020, attempting to assess the impact of Covid-19 on mortality and thus life expectancy, it appears that Liechtenstein has been the worst affected by the pandemic, with a shortening of the estimated lifespan by 2.4 years. It is followed by Spain (1.6), Bulgaria (1.5) and Lithuania, Poland and Romania, where life expectancy was shortened by 1.4 years. The country that seems to have fared best during the pandemic is Norway where the life expectancy extended by 0.3 years between 2019 and 2020. It is followed by Finland and Denmark (0.1), and Latvia and Cyprus where life expectancy remained unchanged between years. According to this list, Iceland is in 6th place among the countries that seem to have fared best during the pandemic, but it should be noted that Germany, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Turkey, along with fifteen other European nations, have not delivered data.
Infant mortality in Iceland the lowest in Europe
In 2021, 2,333 Icelandic residents died; 1,177 men and 1,156 women. The mortality rate was 6.3 per 1,000 inhabitants.
In 2021, infant mortality in Iceland was 3.3 children out of every 1,000 live births, the highest for a single year since 1997. On the other hand, looking at ten-year average (2010–2019), infant mortality in Iceland averaged 1.7 children out of every 1,000 live births. In fact, nowhere in Europe was infant mortality as low as in Iceland. Infant mortality averaged 2.1 children in Finland and Slovenia, 2.4 in Sweden and Norway and 2.5 in Estonia. The most common infant mortality rate in Azerbaijan was 11.0 per 1,000 live births over the period 2010-2019, according to Eurostat.
The ten years average values for life expectancy and mortality rates are based on Eurostat database. Excluded are data from Andorra, Kosovo, Moldova, Russia and San Marino, due to the fact that information is missing for the majority of the examined period.