In 2018, total annual income per individual in Iceland was 6.6 million ISK on average or 553 thousand ISK per month. The median of the total annual income was 441 thousand ISK per month. Individuals’ income from work was 505 thousand ISK per month on average, an increase of 5.5% compared with the previous year, with the median value of 447 thousand ISK. For 25 to 74 year olds the income from work was 571 thousand ISK per month on average, where one percent had around 2 million ISK or higher income from work per month.
Total income is composed of wages (income from work), capital income and other income. Results are based on individuals’ tax returns, 16 years old and older.
Total income highest in Seltjarnarnes and Garðabær
Total average income for 2018 was highest in Seltjarnarnes 8.5 million ISK and Garðabær 8.4 million ISK, being the only municipalities with total average income over 8 million ISK. Compared to a median value the total income was relatively lower or 6.2 million ISK in both municipalities. Total income in Bolungarvík was 7.6 million ISK on average, 7.3 million ISK in Kjósahreppur and 7.2 million ISK in Kópavogur. In seven municipalities the total annual income was below 5 million ISK in 2018, the lowest being Akrahreppur with 4.3 million ISK and Húnavatnshreppur with 4.4 million ISK.
More precise breakdown can be found in figure 1, where income from work, capital income and other income is showed for the ten most populated municipalities along with Bolungarvik, Seltjarnarnes, Akrahreppur and Húnavatnshreppur and the whole country in 2018.
Income increases with education
In 2018, the total annual median income for individuals with basic education was 4.4 million ISK, 5.4 million ISK for individuals with secondary education and 7.8 million ISK for those with tertiary education. The median of all individuals was just below 5.5 million ISK.
A comparison of the medians for total income, for 25-74 year olds, shows that annual total income for individuals with basic education was 5.2 million ISK or 430 thousand ISK per month while individuals with upper secondary education had 6.1 million ISK or 509 thousand ISK per month. Individuals with tertiary education had 7.9 million ISK or 661 thousand ISK per month. Similar difference can be found between education levels regardless of average or median values.
The median income from work shows a considerable difference in the income of individuals with basic education compared with those with higher education. It should be noted that the comparison of total income by education does not take into account the labour status of individuals. Total income is defined as the total income from work, capital income and other income. Other income may include pension payments, benefits and unemployment benefits.
About income statistics from tax returns
Statistics Iceland publishes statistics on income for the period 1990 to 2018 by municipality and sex. This comprises total income as well as income from earnings, capital gains and disposable income including other income and taxes. Results are based on individuals’ tax returns.
Income by sex and age 1990-2018
Income by municipalities and sex 1990-2018 - Division into municipalities as of 1st of January 2018
Income by municipalities and sex 1990-2018 - Current municipalities
Distribution of total income by sex and age 1990 - 2018
Distribution of income from work by sex and age 1990 - 2017
Income by education, sex and age 1990-2018