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

Health

live 3.0 years longer

In United States, the average life expectancy is 81 years (78 years for men, 83 years for women) as of 2022. In Iceland, that number is 84 years (81 years for men, 86 years for women) as of 2022.

be 39.5% less likely to be obese

In United States, 36.2% of adults are obese as of 2016. In Iceland, that number is 21.9% of people as of 2016.

Economy

be 41.7% less likely to live below the poverty line

In United States, 15.1% live below the poverty line as of 2010. In Iceland, however, that number is 8.8% as of 2017.

make 13.1% less money

United States has a GDP per capita of $60,200 as of 2020, while in Iceland, the GDP per capita is $52,300 as of 2020.

pay a 16.9% higher top tax rate

United States has a top tax rate of 39.6% as of 2016. In Iceland, the top tax rate is 46.3% as of 2016.

Life

be 78.9% less likely to die during childbirth

In United States, approximately 19.0 women per 100,000 births die during labor as of 2017. In Iceland, 4.0 women do as of 2017.

be 68.1% less likely to die during infancy

In United States, approximately 5.2 children (per 1,000 live births) die before they reach the age of one as of 2022. In Iceland, on the other hand, 1.6 children do as of 2022.

Expenditures

spend 48.8% less on healthcare

United States spends 16.8% of its total GDP on healthcare as of 2019. In Iceland, that number is 8.6% of GDP as of 2019.

spend 52.0% more on education

United States spends 5.0% of its total GDP on education as of 2014. Iceland spends 7.6% of total GDP on education as of 2018.

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.


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

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.
Read more

How big is Iceland compared to United States? See an in-depth size comparison.

Share this

ASK THE ELSEWHERE COMMUNITY

Join the Elsewhere community and ask a question about Iceland. It's a free, question-and-answer based forum to discuss what life is like in countries and cities around the world.