Life Expectancy in Iceland Among Europe’s Highest

Vala Hafstað

According to figures published today by Statistics Iceland , life expectancy in Iceland was 80.9 years for men in 2021 and 84.1 years for women, reports.

Since 1988, life expectancy in Iceland has increased by roughly six years for men and roughly four years for women.

Based on a ten-year average, from 2011 through 2020, average life expectancy was the highest in Switzerland among European countries, or 83.3 years. Spain ranked second, with 83.1 years, Italy third, with 83.0, followed by Liechtenstein and Iceland, both of which had a life expectancy of 82.7 years. Average life expectancy for men was the lowest in Ukraine among European countries (72.2 years), Belarus (73.3) and Georgia (73.8).

The COVID-19 pandemic appears to have affected life expectancy the most in Liechtenstein among the European countries that have turned in the relevant data, where it was 2.4 years lower in 2020 than the previous year.
In 2021, 2,333 individuals residing in Iceland died — 1,177 men and 1,156 women. The mortality rate was 6.3 per 1,000 inhabitants.

Graph/Statistics Iceland

In 2021, the infant mortality in Iceland was 3.3 infants per 1,000 live births — the highest in a single year since 1997. Looking at a ten-year average (2010–2019), however, the infant mortality in Iceland averaged 1.7 infants per 1,000 live births, which was the lowest in Europe. By comparison, the infant mortality from 2010 through 2019 averaged 2.1 infants per 1,000 live births in Finland and Slovenia, 2.4 in Sweden and Norway, and 2.5 in Estonia. The highest infant mortality rate in Europe was in Azerbaijan, or 11.0 infants per 1,000 live births during the same ten-year period, according to Eurostat.

Thirty-year-old university-educated people in Iceland can expect to live much longer than those with less education. In 2021, 30-year-old university-educated women could expect to live 3.6 years longer than women with only compulsory education. Comparable figures for men show an almost five year higher life expectancy for those with a university education, compared with those with compulsory education only.




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