Icelandic Farmers Experience More Signs of Stress and Depression

Newly concluded research conducted by the University of Akureyri for the Icelandic Regional Development Institute (Byggðastofnun) indicates that Icelandic farmers show more signs and symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression than the average Icelander.

The research was conducted via an online survey, and then compared to similar research conducted by the Directorate of Health in 2022 that measured the same traits in Icelanders overall. The results showed that depression and stress in particular were predominant amongst Icelandic farmers, even when compared to other Icelanders in the labour market.

The research also showed evidence that farmers who plan to change jobs or move experience more symptoms of depression, stress and anxiety. However, it should be noted that due to the small number of respondents, there is great statistical uncertainty about how big the difference really is between this subset and those farmers who are not making such plans.

A major contributing factor in these results was workload. A large proportion of farmers think they either very often or always have too much work to do. At the same time, a large proportion of respondents also believed they had to work with great speed.

The full report, in Icelandic, can be read here (.pdf).