Quality of Life Comparison

COMPARED TO

If you lived in Iceland instead of United States, you would:

Health

live 3.1 years longer


In United States, the average life expectancy is 80 years (78 years for men, 82 years for women). In Iceland, that number is 83 years (81 years for men, 85 years for women).

be 39.5% less likely to be obese


In United States, 36.2% of adults are obese. In Iceland, that number is 21.9% of people.

Economy

be 36.4% less likely to be unemployed


In United States, 4.4% of adults are unemployed. In Iceland, that number is 2.8%.

make 12.9% less money


United States has a GDP per capita of $59,500, while in Iceland, the GDP per capita is $51,800.

spend 16.9% more on taxes


United States has a top tax rate of 39.6%. In Iceland, the top tax rate is 46.3%.

Life

be 78.6% less likely to die during childbirth


In United States, approximately 14.0 women per 1,000 births die during labor. In Iceland, 3.0 women do.

be 63.8% less likely to die during infancy


In United States, approximately 5.8 children die before they reach the age of one. In Iceland, on the other hand, 2.1 children do.

Basic Needs

be 28.9% more likely to have internet access


In United States, approximately 76.2% of the population has internet access. In Iceland, about 98.2% do.

Expenditures

spend 48.0% less on healthcare


United States spends 17.1% of its total GDP on healthcare. In Iceland, that number is 8.9% of GDP.

spend 56.0% more on education


United States spends 5.0% of its total GDP on education. Iceland spends 7.8% of total GDP on education.

Geography

see 75.1% less coastline


United States has a total of 19,924 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 United States? See an in-depth size comparison.


The statistics on this page were calculated using the following data sources: The World Factbook, Internal Revenue Service, Directorate of Internal Revenue.

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