Inhabitants of Iceland to Reach 434,000 in 2068 Skip to content

Inhabitants of Iceland to Reach 434,000 in 2068

By Ragnar Tómas

Reykjavík walking district laugavegur
Photo: Photo: Golli. Pedestrians walking down Reykjavík’s busiest street, Laugavegur.

Statistics Iceland has published population projections for 2019-2068. The forecast is predicated on statistical models for migration, fertility, and mortality. On January 1, 2019, the population was 357,000.

According to the median variant, the Icelandic population is expected to grow by 77,000 over the next 50 years (reaching 434,000). The high variant predicts a population of 506,000 while the low variant predicts a population of 366,000. These projections are based on varying assumptions on economic growth, fertility, and migration levels.

The median variant also predicts that from 2055, the number of yearly deaths is expected to exceed the number of births. Life expectancy at birth will increase from 84.0 years in 2019 to 88.7 years in 2068 for women, and from 79.9 to 84.4 years for men.

By 2035, 20% of the population will be older than 65 years. By 2055, that number will rise to 25%. After 2046, inhabitants of Iceland over 65 years old will become more numerous than those inhabitants under the age of 20.

The Icelandic population is, on average, younger than other EU countries:

“Although the population is aging and the population growth is rather slow, the Icelandic population is and will be younger than the population in the EU countries on average. For instance, the percentage of 0 to 15-year olds in Iceland will decrease to 16% in 2044, which is the 2018 proportion of young people in EU-28. Older persons (aged 65 or over) had already a 20% share of EU-28 population in 2018, while in Iceland this proportion will reach 20% in 2035.”

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