The proportion of individuals living in overcrowded conditions has increased in recent years. In 2018, 14.1% of individuals were living in overcrowded conditions, while they were 10.9% in 2017 and 7.8% in 2016. The proportion of individuals living in overcrowded conditions has risen for all ages and particularly for 25-34 year olds where 24.0% lived in overcrowded conditions in 2018 but only 15.6% in 2017. Looking at income quintiles, the biggest change was between 2016 and 2018 for those in the lowest income quintile with 14.3% living in overcrowded conditions in 2016 but 30.2% in 2018.
This trend does not appear to be in other European countries. Compared with the Nordic countries, the proportion is similar to that of Sweden, but much higher than in the other Nordic countries. In 2018, the ratio was 15.2% in Sweden, 6.0% in Norway, 9.2% in Denmark and 7.3% in Finland.
The overcrowding rate is defined as the percentage of the population living in an overcrowded household. A person is considered to be living in an overcrowded household if the household does not have at its disposal a minimum number of rooms equal to: one room for the household; one room per couple in the household; one room for each single person aged 18 or more; one room per pair of single people of the same gender between 12 and 17 years of age; one room for each single person between 12 and 17 years of age and not included in the previous category; one room per pair of children under 12 years of age.
Relationship between age of individuals and quality of housing
Since 2015, the proportion of individuals reported to be living within poor housing conditions has remained virtually unchanged. In 2017, it was 19.8% and 19.2% in 2018. There is little variation between the sexes but a significant age difference. The proportion of persons aged 35-44 years who reported living in poor housing conditions was 23.9% in 2018, while the proportion was lower for individuals 65 years and older, 8.9%.
This is among the new findings from Statistics Iceland on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC). The results are based on individuals’ responses regarding problems with roof leaks, damp or rot in walls, floors or windows. If the answer is affirmative, they are considered to live in poor housing conditions.
About the data
The results are based on the Icelandic version of the European Union Survey on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC). The EU-SILC is a longitudinal survey where roughly 5 thousand households in Iceland are contacted every year. The results for 2018 are preliminary.