Quality of Life Comparison

COMPARED TO

If you lived in Iceland instead of South Africa, you would:

Health

be 99.5% less likely to be living with HIV/AIDS


In South Africa, 20.4% of people are living with AIDS/HIV as of 2018. In Iceland, that number is 0.1% of people as of 2018.

live 18.5 years longer


In South Africa, the average life expectancy is 65 years (63 years for men, 66 years for women) as of 2020. In Iceland, that number is 83 years (81 years for men, 86 years for women) as of 2020.

be 22.6% less likely to be obese


In South Africa, 28.3% of adults are obese as of 2016. In Iceland, that number is 21.9% of people as of 2016.

Economy

make 3.8 times more money


South Africa has a GDP per capita of $13,600 as of 2017, while in Iceland, the GDP per capita is $52,200 as of 2017.

be 89.8% less likely to be unemployed


In South Africa, 27.5% of adults are unemployed as of 2017. In Iceland, that number is 2.8% as of 2017.

Life

be 96.6% less likely to die during childbirth


In South Africa, approximately 119.0 women per 100,000 births die during labor as of 2017. In Iceland, 4.0 women do as of 2017.

be 92.4% less likely to die during infancy


In South Africa, approximately 27.8 children die before they reach the age of one as of 2020. In Iceland, on the other hand, 2.1 children do as of 2020.

have 30.7% fewer children


In South Africa, there are approximately 19.2 babies per 1,000 people as of 2020. In Iceland, there are 13.3 babies per 1,000 people as of 2020.

Basic Needs

be 18.8% more likely to have access to electricity


In South Africa, approximately 84% of the population has electricity access as of 2017. In Iceland, 100% of the population do as of 2016.

be 76.3% more likely to have internet access


In South Africa, approximately 56.2% of the population has internet access as of 2018. In Iceland, about 99.0% do as of 2018.

Expenditures

spend 21.0% more on education


South Africa spends 6.2% of its total GDP on education as of 2018. Iceland spends 7.5% of total GDP on education as of 2016.

Geography

see 77.6% more coastline


South Africa has a total of 2,798 km of coastline. In Iceland, that number is 4,970 km.

Iceland: At a glance

Iceland is a sovereign country in Europe, with a total land area of approximately 100,250 sq km. Settled by Norwegian and Celtic (Scottish and Irish) immigrants during the late 9th and 10th centuries A.D., Iceland boasts the world's oldest functioning legislative assembly, the Althing, established in 930. Independent for over 300 years, Iceland was subsequently ruled by Norway and Denmark. Fallout from the Askja volcano of 1875 devastated the Icelandic economy and caused widespread famine. Over the next quarter century, 20% of the island's population emigrated, mostly to Canada and the US. Denmark granted limited home rule in 1874 and complete independence in 1944. The second half of the 20th century saw substantial economic growth driven primarily by the fishing industry. The economy diversified greatly after the country joined the European Economic Area in 1994, but Iceland was especially hard hit by the global financial crisis in the years following 2008. Literacy, longevity, and social cohesion are first rate by world standards.

How big is Iceland compared to South Africa? See an in-depth size comparison.


The statistics on this page were calculated using the following data sources: The World Factbook.

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