In 2016 seven out of every hundred households in Iceland were not able to pay their rent or mortgage on time at some point in the past twelve months due to financial difficulties. Eight per cent of households with children (95% confidence intervals +/- 1.8%) had been in arrears with their housing costs, about 7% (+/- 1.6%) with other utility bills, such as internet or electricity, and 9% (+/- 1.8%) had been in arrears on other loans while this proportion was 4% (+/- 1.4%) for households without children. About 13% (+/- 1.5%) of households were in some type of arrears in 2016 which is a considerable decrease from 2010 when the proportion was 19% (+/- 1.6%). This is among results from EU-SILC for Iceland.
The proportion of the population living in households that were in some sort of arrears decreased from 20% in 2010 to 13% in 2016. As households with children are more likely to be in some kind of arrears the proportion of children in this group is higher than that of adults. In 2016 19% of children (+/- 1.9%) and 12% (+/- 1.0%) of adults lived in households in some sort of arrears. This is a considerable change from the years after the economic collapse as 28% of children (+/- 2.1%) and 18% of adults (+/- 1.1%) lived in households in some type of arrears in 2011.
More than one third of Icelandic households, 36% (+/- 2.1%), had difficulties making ends meet in 2016 which is a substantial decrease since 2010-2013 when about half of Icelandic households had financial difficulties.
In a similar vein about one third of households, 33% (+/- 2%), could not face unexpected, necessary, expenses in 2016 without specific measures.
About 60% of households are without children
ccording to the EU-SILC about six out of every ten households were without children in 2016, 17% (+/-2.1%) were single male households, 14% (+/- 1.8%) single female households and about 31% (+/- 1.4%) comprised of two or more adults. Single parents were about 7% (+/- 0.8%) of all households while households with two or more adults and children were about 31% (+/- 1.6%).
About the data
For the longitudinal survey EU-SILC Statistics Iceland contacts close to 5 thousand households every year. In 2016, 4,430 households were contacted and thereof responses were received from 2,870, giving a response rate of about 65%.
In the survey, respondents are asked to evaluate the state of the household’s finances in several questions; some general ones such as “Thinking of your household's total income, is your household able to make ends meet? Is it very difficult, difficult, somewhat difficult, somewhat easy, easy or very easy? “. The household respondent is also asked if the household can face unexpected but necessary expenses employing the same methods it usually does. There are three questions on arrears due to financial difficulties in the past twelve months: Rent or mortgage payments, utility bills, and other loans. By combining responses in these three questions it is possible to calculate the proportion of households in some type of arrears.