Iceland (Republic of Iceland)

#Iceland

Iceland
Republic of Iceland
StatusIndependent State
Social and Moral Index2nd best
CapitalReykjavik
Land Area1 100 250 km2
LocationEurope, Scandinavia
Population2328 290
Life Expectancy381.943yrs (2012)
GNI3$29 176
ISO3166-1 Codes4IS, ISL, 352
Internet Domain5.is
Currency6Krona (ISK)
Telephone7+354

1. Overview

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.

CIA's The World Factbook (2013)8

2. Iceland National and Social Development

UN's Human Development Index
Country2012
score
Average
1980-2010
1Norway95.587.3
2Australia93.888.9
3USA93.787.8
...
10Japan91.284.3
11Canada91.186.5
12Korea, S.90.977.5
13Iceland90.683.2
14Hong Kong90.680.3
15Denmark90.183.7
16Israel90.082.7
17Belgium89.783.2
18Austria89.581.3
19Singapore89.583.3
20France89.380.7
21Finland89.281.7
22Slovenia89.284.4
Data Source
Social and Moral Development
CountryScore
1Sweden89.1
2Iceland87.6
3Denmark87.2
4Finland86.7
5Norway85.8
6New Zealand84.1
7Austria82.3
8Switzerland81.7
9Australia81.7
10Belgium81.6
11Netherlands81.6
12Germany81.4
13Luxembourg80.0
14Canada79.5
15Andorra79.4
16Japan79.2
17Estonia78.9
18France78.5
Data Source

The United Nations produces an annual Human Development Report which includes the Human Development Index. The factors taken into account include life expectancy, education and schooling and Gross National Income (GNI) amongst many others. The values in the chart are factored by 100.

The Social and Moral Development Index is a formulaic aggregation of many factors. It concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism. A country scores higher for achieving well in those areas, and for sustaining that achievement in the long term. Those countries towards the top of this index can truly said to be setting good examples and leading humankind onwards into a bright, humane, and free future. See: "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" by Vexen Crabtree (2013).

3. Population and Life Expectancy

Life Expectancy (at birth)
1Japan83.6
2Hong Kong83
3Switzerland82.5
4Monaco82.3
5Australia82
6Italy82
7Iceland81.9
8San Marino81.9
9Israel81.9
10France81.7
11Sweden81.6
12Spain81.6
Data Source
Fertility Rate
1Korea, N.2.0
2Brunei2.0
3St Vincent & Grenadines2.0
...
13St Lucia1.9
14USA2.1
15Ireland2.1
16Iceland2.1
17Denmark1.9
18Bahamas1.9
19Finland1.9
20UK1.9
Data Source
Population (m=millions)
CountryPeoplePer km2
1China1 353.6m145
2India1 258.35m423
3USA 315.79m35
...
168Malta419 2121310
169Brunei412 89278
170Bahamas351 27535
171Iceland328 2903
172Maldives324 3131081
173Belize324 29214
174Barbados274 530638
Data Source

Iceland's population is predicted to rise to 389 985 by 2030. This country has a fertility rate of 2.10. The fertility rate is, in simple terms, the average amount of children that each woman has. The higher the figure, the quicker the population is growing, although, to calculate the rate you also need to take into account morbidity, i.e., the rate at which people die. If people live healthy and long lives and morbidity is low, then, 2.0 approximates to the replacement rate, which would keep the population stable. If all countries had such a fertility rate, population growth would end. The actual replacement rate in most developed countries is around 2.1.

4. Gender Equality

Female Vote and Stand
1New Zealand1893
2Australia1902
3Finland1906
4Norway1913
5Iceland1915
6Denmark1915
7Russia1917
8Estonia1918
9Kyrgyzstan1918
10Latvia1918
11Germany1919
12Slovakia1919
Gender Equality
1Netherlands0.04
2Sweden0.05
3Denmark0.06
...
7Germany0.08
8Slovenia0.08
9France0.08
10Iceland0.09
11Italy0.09
12Belgium0.10
13Singapore0.10
14Austria0.10
Data Source

Gender inequality is not a necessary part of early human development. Although a separation of roles is almost universal due to different strengths between the genders, this does not have to mean that women are subdued, and, such patriarchialism is not universal in ancient history. Those cultures and peoples who shed, or never developed, the idea that mankind ought to dominate womankind, are better cultures and peoples than those who, even today, cling violently to those mores.

Iceland is notable for its equality between the sexes and this has been a feature of the country's culture for quite some time.

See:

5. Religion and Beliefs

#Buddhism #Christianity #Hinduism #Islam #Judaism

Disbelief In God
1Vietnam81%
2Japan65%
3Sweden64%
...
28Belarus17%
29Switzerland17%
30Slovakia17%
31Iceland16%
32Greece16%
33Israel15%
34Spain15%
35Armenia14%
Data Source

Data from the Pew Forum, a professional polling outfit, states that in 2010 the religious makeup of this country was as follows in the table below9:

Christian95%
Muslim0.2%
Hindu0.3%
Buddhist0.4%
Folk Religion0.5%
Jew0.1%
Unaffiliated3.5%

By adding up the Pew Forum data for the major monotheistic religions we can see that these make up 95.3% of the population. Yet there are simply too many who disbelieve in God for this to be true (16%). This is due to the so-called 'Census Effect', whereby many put down a religion for cultural reasons rather than because it reflects their beliefs. In highly Christian countries, as many as half of those who say they're a Christian lack any connection to a Church, and do not hold Christian beliefs (such as believing in God!).

The CIA World Factbook has slightly different data, and states: Lutheran Church of Iceland (official) 80.7%, Roman Catholic 2.5%, Reykjavik Free Church 2.4%, Hafnarfjorour Free Church 1.6%, other religions 3.6%, unaffiliated 3%, other or unspecified 6.2% (2006 est.)10.

The International Humanist and Ethical Union produced a report in 2012 entitled "Freedom of Thought" (2012), in which they document bias and prejudice at the national level that is based on religion, belief and/or lack of belief. Their entry for Iceland states:

The constitution and other laws and policies protect freedom of religion. However, the state financially supports and promotes Lutheranism as the country's official religion. The Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELC), which is the state church, enjoys some advantages not available to other religion and belief groups. Members of religious communities are allowed to designate part of their income tax to go to their church, but the non-religious have consistently been refused the right to designate their Humanist Association to enjoy the same privilege.

"Freedom of Thought" by IHEU (2012)11

Links:

6. The Internet

Internet Users in Population
1Iceland95.64
2Norway93.28
3Netherlands90.70
4Luxembourg90.08
5Sweden90.02
6Denmark88.77
7Finland86.90
8UK84.73
9New Zealand83.00
10Germany82.53
11Korea, S.82.52
12Switzerland82.17
Data Source

Internet access has become an essential research tool. It facilitates an endless list of life improvements, from the ability to network and socialize without constraint, to access to a seemingly infinite repository of technical and procedural information on pretty much any task. The universal availability of data has sped up industrial development and personal learning at the national and personal level. Individuals can read any topic they wish regardless of the locality of expert teachers, and, entire nations can develop their technology and understanding of the world simply because they are now exposed to advanced societies and moral discourses online. Like every communications medium, the Internet has issues and causes a small range of problems, but these are insignificant compared to the advantages of having an online populace.

Links:

7. More Charts and Comparisons to Other Countries

Economic Freedom
1Hong Kong9.0
2Singapore8.8
3New Zealand8.4
...
62Philippines7.1
63Fiji7.1
64Saudi Arabia7.1
65Iceland7.1
66Hungary7.1
67Botswana7.0
68Macedonia7.0
69Malaysia7.0
Data Source
Global Peace Index
1Iceland1.11
2New Zealand1.24
3Denmark1.24
4Canada1.32
5Japan1.33
6Austria1.33
7Ireland1.33
8Slovenia1.33
9Finland1.35
10Switzerland1.35
11Belgium1.38
12Qatar1.39
Data Source
Average IQ
1Singapore108
2Korea, S.106
3Taiwan105
4Japan105
5China105
6Italy102
7Mongolia101
8Switzerland101
9Iceland101
10Netherlands100
11Austria100
12Norway100
Data Source
Human Rights Treaties
1Argentina24
2Ecuador23
3Germany23
...
26Azerbaijan21
27Guatemala21
28Australia21
29Iceland20
30Ukraine20
31Liechtenstein20
32Hungary20
33Norway20
Data Source
Press Freedom Index
1Finland99.0
2Netherlands99.0
3Norway99.0
4Luxembourg99.0
5Andorra99.0
6Denmark99.0
7Liechtenstein99.0
8New Zealand99.0
9Iceland99.0
10Sweden99.0
11Estonia99.0
12Austria99.0
Data Source
R & D Spending
Country% RDP PPP
1Korea, S.4.2912
2Israel4.1112
3Japan3.5812
...
16Czech Rep.2.0012
17Singapore2.0013
18Netherlands1.9712
19Iceland1.8912
20Norway1.7012
21UK1.7012
22Canada1.6112
23Ireland1.5212
Gross National Income
1Qatar$87 478
2Liechtenstein$84 880
3Kuwait$52 793
...
22UK$32 538
23Finland$32 510
24France$30 277
25Iceland$29 176
26Ireland$28 671
27Korea, S.$28 231
28Bahamas$27 401
29Israel$26 224
Data Source
Happiness
1Denmark7.8
2Netherlands7.6
3Norway7.6
...
17Luxembourg7.1
18Ireland7
19France7
20Iceland6.9
21Korea, S.6.9
22UK6.9
23Oman6.9
24Belgium6.9
Data Source
Environmental Performance
1Iceland93.5
2Switzerland89.1
3Costa Rica86.4
4Sweden86.0
5Norway81.1
6Mauritius80.6
7France78.2
8Cuba78.1
9Austria78.1
10Colombia76.8
11Malta76.3
12Finland74.7
Data Source
Gay Equality
1Netherlands405
2Belgium350
3Canada280
4Sweden255
5Spain245
6S. Africa241
7Denmark225
8Iceland220
9Andorra210
10Norway210
11Argentina200
12Brazil196
Data Source

By Vexen Crabtree 2013 May 01
http://www.humantruth.info/iceland.html
Parent page: Vexing International Issues

References: (What's this?)

CIA
(2013) World Factbook. The USA Government's Central Intelligence Agency (USA CIA) publishes The World Factbook, and the online version is frequently updated.

Crabtree, Vexen
(2013) "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" (2013). Accessed 2016 Nov 01.

IHEU. International Humanist and Ethical Union.
(2012) Freedom of Thought. A copy can be found on iheu.org/...Freedom of Thought 2012.pdf, accessed 2013 Oct 28.

Lynn, Harvey & Nyborg
(2009) Average intelligence predicts atheism rates across 137 nations. Richard Lynn, John Harvey and Helmuth Nyborg article "Average intelligence predicts atheism rates across 137 nations" in Intelligence (2009 Jan/Feb) vol. 37 issue 1 pages 11-15. Online at www.sciencedirect.com, accessed 2009 Sep 15.

OECD
(2016) Research and development (R&D) - Gross domestic spending on R&D. Data from data.oecd.org. Accessed 2016 Sep 28.

United Nations
(2011) Human Development Report. This edition had the theme of Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All. Published on the United Nation's website at hdr.undp.org/.../HDR_2011_EN_Complete.pdf (accessed throughout 2013, Jan-Mar). UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.
(2013) Human Development Report. This edition had the theme of The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World. Published on the United Nation's HDR website at hdr.undp.org/.../hdr2013/ (accessed throughout 2013). UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.

Footnotes

  1. World Bank data on data.worldbank.org accessed 2013 Nov 04.^
  2. UN (2011).^
  3. UN (2013).^
  4. International Standards Organisation (ISO) standard ISO3166-1, on www.iso.org, accessed 2013 May 01.^
  5. Top level domains (TLDs) are managed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) on www.iana.org.^
  6. According to ISO4217.^
  7. According to ITU-T.^
  8. CIA (2013) https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ic.html accessed 2014 Apr 27.^
  9. Pew Forum (2012) publication "The Global Religious Landscape: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World´s Major Religious Groups as of 2010" (2012 Dec 18) accessed 2013 May 01.^
  10. CIA (2013) https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ar.html accessed 2014 Apr 27.^
  11. IHEU (2012) Added to this page on 2013 Oct 28.^
  12. OECD (2016) data for year 2014.^
  13. OECD (2016) data for year 2013.^

© 2016 Vexen Crabtree. All rights reserved.