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Iceland’s Population to Increase by 88,000 in 50 Years

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Iceland’s Population to Increase by 88,000 in 50 Years

Christmas tree lit.

A crowd watches as the Christmas tree in Austurvöllur square is lit, 2016. Photo: City of Reykjavík.

Iceland’s population is projected to increase to 436,000 by 2067, marking an increase of 88,000 people in 50 years. This projection was published in a recent report by Statistics Iceland.

Life expectancy for Icelandic women is currently 83.9 years and is expected to extend to 88.7 years in 2067. Icelandic men currently have a life expectancy of 79.8 years, expected to go up to 84.4 years. The number of annual births is also expected to continue to outstrip the number of deaths each year.

Immigration rates – that is, people of foreign origin moving to Iceland – are expected to exceed emigration rates, i.e. Icelanders moving to other countries. It is also expected, however, that there will be more Icelanders moving out of Iceland in 2067 than returning to the country after living abroad.

The age demographics of the country is expected to shift quite dramatically: “By 2039, 20% of the population will be older than 65 years and by 2057, the proportion will be over 25%.” After 2046, however, people 65 years and older will outnumber people 20 years and younger.

Even so, Iceland will remain a relatively young country when compared to other European nations. In January 2017, the proportion of people aged 20 and under in Europe was 28%. In Iceland, however, the population of young people won’t drop to a similar percentage – 27%, specifically – until 2050. Similarly, the percentage of the European population aged 65 and older was at 19% in January 2017. Iceland’s senior population will not hit 19% until 2035.

See the report (in English) and associated graphics here.

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