Life is Good in Iceland, According to OECD Skip to content

Life is Good in Iceland, According to OECD

Iceland comes first in many measures of quality of life, according to data about well-being released this month by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Morgunblaðið reported first.

The OECD Better Life Initiative, launched in 2011, and according to the report, “focuses on the aspects of life that matter the most to people and that shape the quality of their lives.”

Iceland ranks highest among OECD countries in environmental quality, covering both air quality and water quality. In 2013, exposure to air pollution was 78 percent lower than the OECD average level. Iceland also ranks highest in social support systems: 98 percent of Icelanders report having friends or relatives they can count on in hard times.

A total of 86 percent of Icelanders aged 15-64 were in employment, also the largest share in the OECD. Average earnings are in the top tier of OECD countries. Icelanders, however, spend a higher percentage of their earnings on housing than the OECD average (24 percent compared to 21 percent).

The number of deaths due to assault has remained constant over the past decade, while the proportion of those declaring they feel safe walking alone at night has increased by 10 percentage points. A recent study conducted by Reykjavík capital area police and reported on by Vísir shows, however, that nearly one third of women are concerned about becoming victims of sexual violence in downtown Reykjavík.

Life expectancy has increased by two years since 2005 and is now over two years higher than the OECD average, meaning Icelanders have even more time to enjoy the good life.

Read the OECD report on Iceland here.

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