The Icelandic population will grow, from 348 to 436 thousand during the next 50 years. This is according to the medium variant population projection. The high variant predicts a population of 513 thousand while the low variant projects 365 thousand inhabitants. The population increase is both due to positive migration and natural increase. The projection variants are built according to different assumptions about economic growth, fertility and migration levels.

Statistics Iceland has published national projections for 2018–2067 describing the size and structure of the future population. The forecast is based on statistical models for migration, fertility and mortality.

The number of births per year will exceed the number of deaths per year during the entire period, for high and medium variants. Life expectancy at birth will grow from 83.9 years in 2018 to 88.7 years in 2067 for women and from 79.8 to 84.4 years for men.

Immigration rates are expected to exceed emigration rates, which is mainly due to a high level of foreign immigration to Iceland. The number of emi¬grating Icelandic citizens will be higher than the number of returning citizens.

Population structure presented by age pyramids is predicted to change as follows:

  • By 2039, 20% of the population will be older than 65 years and by 2057 the proportion will be over 25%.
  • After 2046, the older age population (over 65 years) will become more numerous than the younger (less than 20 years old).

Although the population is ageing and the population growth is rather slow, the Icelandic population is and will be younger than the population of most European countries. For instance, only in 2050 will the proportion of 0 to 24 year olds decrease down to 27%, which was the proportion of young people in Europe-28 at January 2017. Older persons (aged 65 or over) had a 19% share of EU-28 population in 2017, while in Iceland this proportion will reach 19% in 2035.

Statistics

Population projections 2018-2067 - Statistical Series