The Human Truth Foundation

Iceland (Republic of Iceland)

By Vexen Crabtree 2013

#humanism #iceland #scandinavia

Iceland
Republic of Iceland
StatusIndependent State
Social and Moral Index13rd best
CapitalReykjavik
Land Area 100 250km21
LocationEurope, Scandinavia
Population0.3m2
Life Expectancy82.72yrs (2017)3
GNI$37 065 (2017)4
ISO3166-1 CodesIS, ISL, 3525
Internet Domain.is6
CurrencyKrona (ISK)7
Telephone+3548

1. Overview

#canada #denmark #norway #USA

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)9

Book CoverA mythical kingdom ruled by elves and Arctic energy, Iceland is where the past meets the future in an elemental symphony of wind, stone, fire and ice. Iceland is, literally, a country in the making -the natural elements work in harmony to power its veritable volcanic laboratory: geysers gush, mudpots gloop, Arctic gales swish along fjords, stone towers rise from the depths of an indigo sea, and glaciers grind their way through lava fields and the merciless tundra. The sublime power of Icelandic nature turns the prosaic into the extraordinary. A dip in the pool becomes a soothing soak in a geothermal lagoon, a casual stroll can transform into a trek across a glittering ice cap, and a quiet night of camping means front-row seats to either the aurora borealis´ curtains of fire, or the soft, pinkish hue of the midnight sun.

It´s hard not to be deeply touched by the island´s beauty - few leave without a pang. Iceland has that effect on people. Perhaps it´s the landscape´s austere bleakness, or maybe it has something to do with the island´s tiny population, but a visit here is as much about the people you meet as it is about the ethereal landscape.

"The World" by Lonely Planet (2014)10

2. Iceland National and Social Development

#economics #human_development

UN HDI (2016)11
Pos.Lower is better
Rank11
1Norway1
2Australia2
3Switzerland2
4Germany4
5Denmark5
6Singapore5
7Netherlands7
8Ireland8
9Iceland9
10Canada10
11USA10
12Hong Kong12
World Avg94.3
q=188.
Gross National Income Per-Capita (2011)12
Pos.Higher is better
PPP $12
1Qatar$129 916
2Singapore$78 162
3Kuwait$76 075
...
26UK$37 931
27Japan$37 268
28Bahrain$37 236
29Iceland$37 065
30S. Korea$34 541
31Oman$34 402
32Italy$33 573
33New Zealand$32 870
World Avg$17 240
q=193.
Social & Moral
Development Index
13,14
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Rank13,14
1Taiwan30.2
2Denmark30.5
3Norway30.9
...
10Switzerland37.2
11New Zealand37.6
12Luxembourg39.5
13Iceland39.6
14Japan39.8
15UK39.8
16Australia41.1
17Spain42.2
World Avg86.4
q=195.

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 Social and Moral Development Index concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, public health, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism, and on some technological issues. 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: Which are the Best Countries in the World? The Social and Moral Development Index.

3. Iceland's Demographics

#birth_control #demographics #health #immigration #life_expectancy #longevity #migration #overpopulation #population

Population:

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.

Population (2018)2
Pos.
Population2
1China1.4b
2India1.4b
3USA327.1m
...
170Brunei0.4m
171Bahamas0.4m
172Belize0.4m
173Iceland0.3m
174Vanuatu0.3m
175Barbados0.3m
176Sao Tome & Principe0.2m
177Samoa0.2m
World Avg39.0m
q=195.
Life Expectancy (2015)12
Pos.Higher is better
Years12
1Hong Kong84.16
2Japan83.68
3Italy83.34
4Singapore83.21
5Switzerland83.13
6Spain82.77
7Iceland82.72
8Israel82.56
9Australia82.54
10France82.36
11Sweden82.35
12Canada82.22
World Avg71.27
q=190.
Fertility Rate (2013)15
Pos.2.0 is best15
1N. Korea2.00
2Brunei1.99
3St Vincent & Grenadines2.01
...
13St Lucia1.93
14USA2.08
15Ireland2.10
16Iceland2.10
17Denmark1.88
18Bahamas1.88
19Finland1.87
20UK1.87
World Avg2.81
q=180.
Old-Age Dependency Ratio (2016)16
Pos.Lower is better
Per 10016
1Uganda04.3
2Mali04.5
3Chad04.7
...
146Slovakia31.6
147Albania31.8
148Norway32.2
149Iceland32.5
150Serbia32.7
151Hungary32.9
152Romania33.6
153USA33.8
World Avg18.3
q=185.

Migration:

Immigrants (2017)17
Pos.
%17
1UAE88.4%
2Kuwait75.5%
3Qatar65.2%
...
42UK13.4%
43Latvia13.2%
44Spain12.8%
45Iceland12.5%
46Libya12.4%
47France12.2%
48Barbados12.1%
49Djibouti12.1%
World Avg9.4%
q=195.
Emigrants (2010)18
Pos.
%18
1Dominica104.8%
2Palestine68.4%
3Samoa67.3%
...
48Swaziland13.4%
49Lithuania13.2%
50Romania13.1%
51Iceland13.0%
52Bahamas12.8%
53Estonia12.6%
54Nicaragua12.5%
55Latvia12.3%
World Avg11.5%
q=192.

4. Human Rights, Equality & Tolerance

#equality #freedom #human_rights #Iceland #politics #tolerance

When it comes to ensuring human rights and freedom, Iceland leads the world, setting excellent examples. Iceland comes in the best 20 in terms of opposing gender inequality19, LGBT equality20, supporting press freedom21 and in its success in fighting anti-semitic prejudice22. And finally, it does better than average in terms of supporting personal, civil & economic freedoms23, its nominal commitment to Human Rights24 and in speed of uptake of HR treaties25.

For tables, charts and commentary, see:

5. Iceland's Health

#alcohol #birth_control #demographics #health #Iceland #life_expectancy #longevity #mental_health #obesity #overpopulation #parenting #population #smoking #suicide #vaccines

Health (2020)26,27
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Rank26,27
1Hong Kong18.0
2Singapore41.5
3Maldives43.3
...
31Morocco75.1
32Sweden75.6
33Armenia76.0
34Iceland76.0
35Greece76.1
36Netherlands76.4
37Cuba76.4
38UAE76.6
39Antigua & Barbuda77.7
World Avg92.3
q=187.

The countries with the best overall approach to public health, in terms of both public policy and individual lifestyle choices, are Hong Kong, Singapore and The Maldives26. These countries are worth emulating. And, although often through no fault of the average citizen, the worst countries are S. Sudan, Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea26.

The data sets used to calculate points for each country are its average life expectancy, its alcohol consumption rate, its fertility rate, its smoking rate, its suicide rate, its food aid and health contributions and WHO compliance, the prevalence of overweight adults, its adolescent birth rate and its immunizations take-up. The regions with the best average results per country are Scandinavia, Asia and Europe26, whereas the worst are Africa, Micronesia and Polynesia26.

Health:

Iceland does relatively well in encouraging good health, compared to many other countries. Iceland comes in the best 20 when it comes to its average life expectancy12 and in its adolescent birth rate19. It does better than average when it comes to its food aid and health contributions and WHO compliance28, its fertility rate15 (but one of the highest in Europe) and in its smoking rate29 (the best in Europe). Iceland does not succeed in everything, however. It does worse than average in its suicide rate30 (still low for Europe), its immunizations take-up31 and in its alcohol consumption rate32 (still good for Europe). The prevalence of overweight adults has increased by 14% between 1976 and 2016.
Life Expectancy (2015)12
Pos.Higher is better
Years12
1Hong Kong84.16
2Japan83.68
3Italy83.34
4Singapore83.21
5Switzerland83.13
6Spain82.77
7Iceland82.72
8Israel82.56
9Australia82.54
10France82.36
11Sweden82.35
12Canada82.22
World Avg71.27
q=190.
Alcohol Consumption (2016)32
Pos.Lower is better
Per Capita32
1Bangladesh0.0
2Kuwait0.0
3Libya0.0
...
133Cameroon8.9
134Canada8.9
135Rwanda9.0
136Iceland9.1
137Sweden9.2
138Chile9.3
139Grenada9.3
140S. Africa9.3
World Avg6.2
q=189.
Fertility Rate (2013)15
Pos.2.0 is best15
1N. Korea2.00
2Brunei1.99
3St Vincent & Grenadines2.01
...
13St Lucia1.93
14USA2.08
15Ireland2.10
16Iceland2.10
17Denmark1.88
18Bahamas1.88
19Finland1.87
20UK1.87
World Avg2.81
q=180.
Smoking Rates (2014)29
Pos.Higher is worse29
182Montenegro4 125
181Belarus3 831
180Lebanon3 023
...
91Venezuela 565
90Gabon 559
89Norway 556
88Iceland 551
87S. Africa 537
86Tajikistan 533
85Cape Verde 515
84Pakistan 511
World Avg 819
q=182.
Suicide Rate (2013)30
Pos.
Per 100k30
1Haiti0
2Grenada0
3Egypt0.1
...
53USA22.2
54Chile22.4
55Canada22.7
56Iceland23.5
57New Zealand23.6
58Ireland23.7
59Norway23.8
60Denmark23.9
World Avg20.93
q=91.
Food Aid, Health Contributions & WHO Compliance (2017)28
Pos.Lower is better
Rank28
1Sweden1
2Ireland2
3Denmark3
...
38Pakistan38
39Portugal39
40Brazil40
41Iceland41
42El Salvador42
43Russia43
44Turkey44
45Mexico45
World Avg82.0
q=163.
Overweight Adults (2016)33
Pos.Lower is better
%33
1Vietnam18.3
2India19.7
3Bangladesh20.0
...
130Suriname58.9
131Colombia59.0
132Cyprus59.1
133Iceland59.1
134Montenegro59.4
135Belarus59.4
136France59.5
137Belgium59.5
World Avg49.0
q=191.

Children's Health:

Adolescent Birth Rate (2015)19
Pos.Lower is better
Per 100019
1N. Korea0.5
2S. Korea1.6
3Switzerland2.9
...
12Norway5.9
13Luxembourg5.9
14Italy6.0
15Iceland6.1
16Libya6.2
17Finland6.5
18Germany6.7
19Maldives6.7
World Avg47.9
q=185.
Infant Immunizations 2011-2015 (2015)31
Pos.Higher is better
Avg %31
1Hungary99.0
2China99.0
3Uzbekistan98.9
...
112Malawi91.7
113Mexico91.6
114Moldova91.5
115Iceland91.5
116Trinidad & Tobago91.4
117Jamaica90.9
118Burkina Faso90.6
119Nepal90.1
World Avg88.3
q=194.

6. Iceland's Modernity and Learning

#education #english #intelligence #maths #modernity #research #science #technology #the_internet

Modernity and Learning (2020)34
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Rank34
1Finland8.0
2Belgium9.1
3Denmark10.0
...
14Japan17.3
15Netherlands18.6
16Austria18.9
17Iceland19.1
18Slovenia19.5
19Canada20.4
20Singapore21.1
21Hungary21.2
22S. Korea21.5
World Avg69.0
q=180.

Modernity and Education:

Research and Development (2016)
Pos.Higher is better
% RDP PPP
1S. Korea4.2935
2Israel4.1135
3Japan3.5835
...
16Singapore2.0036
17Czechia2.0035
18Netherlands1.9735
19Iceland1.8935
20Norway1.7035
21UK1.7035
22Canada1.6135
23Ireland1.5235
World Avg0.84
q=126.
Secondary Education (2018)37
Pos.Higher is better37
1Luxembourg100.0%
2Estonia100.0%
3Austria100.0%
4Canada100.0%
5Finland100.0%
6Iceland100.0%
7Uzbekistan99.9%
8Czechia99.8%
9Slovakia99.3%
10Latvia99.2%
11Kazakhstan98.6%
12Kyrgyzstan98.4%
World Avg63.0%
q=169.
Length of Schooling (2018)38
Pos.Higher is better
Years38
1Australia22.1
2Belgium19.7
3Finland19.3
4Iceland19.2
5Denmark19.1
6New Zealand18.8
7Sweden18.8
8Ireland18.8
9Norway18.1
10Netherlands18.0
11Spain17.9
12Argentina17.6
World Avg13.2
q=193.
Intellectual Endeavours (2017)28
Pos.Lower is better
Rank28
1Ukraine1
2Czechia2
3Hungary3
...
12New Zealand12
13Latvia13
14Bulgaria14
15Iceland15
16Bosnia & Herzegovina16
17Sweden17
18Lithuania18
19Macedonia19
World Avg82.0
q=163.
Maths, Science & Reading (2015)39
Pos.Higher is better
Score39
1Singapore1655
2Hong Kong1598
3Japan1586
...
32Latvia1460
33Italy1456
34Luxembourg1450
35Iceland1443
36Croatia1426
37Lithuania1425
38Hungary1424
39Israel1416
World Avg1389
q=70.
IQ (2006)40
Pos.Higher is better40
1Hong Kong108
2Singapore108
3S. Korea106
4Japan105
5Taiwan105
6China105
7Italy102
8Iceland101
9Switzerland101
10Mongolia101
11Netherlands100
12Norway100
World Avg85.6
q=138.

Technology and Information:

Internet Users (2016)41
Pos.Higher is better41
1Iceland100%
2Faroe Islands99%
3Norway98%
4Bermuda97%
5Andorra97%
6Denmark96%
7Liechtenstein96%
8Luxembourg95%
9Netherlands94%
10Sweden93%
11Monaco93%
12UK93%
World Avg48.1%
q=201.
IPv6 Uptake (2017)42
Pos.Higher is better
Ratio42
1Belgium55.4
2Germany41.8
3Switzerland35.1
...
57Mexico0.4
58Bhutan0.4
59China0.3
60Iceland0.3
61Turkey0.3
62Uruguay0.3
63Moldova0.3
64UAE0.3
World Avg3.82
q=176.

7. National Culture

#charity #corruption #happiness #morals #politics

Personal Charitability
(World Position, 2013-2016)
43
Pos.Lower is better43
1Myanmar (Burma)1.25
2USA1.5
3New Zealand3.5
...
14Norway13.33
15Malta14
16Indonesia14.75
17Iceland16
18Bhutan17.5
19Kenya17.75
20Jamaica20.5
21Austria21.25
World Avg68.1185897435897
q=156.
Corruption (2012-2016)44
Pos.Higher is better
Avg Score44
1Denmark90.8
2New Zealand90.6
3Finland89.4
...
10Luxembourg81.6
11Australia80.8
12Germany79.6
13Iceland79.2
14UK78.0
15Belgium76.0
16Hong Kong75.6
17Japan74.2
World Avg43.05
q=176.
Happiness (2018)45
Pos.Higher is better45
1Finland7.6
2Norway7.6
3Denmark7.6
4Iceland7.5
5Switzerland7.5
6Netherlands7.4
7Canada7.3
8New Zealand7.3
9Sweden7.3
10Australia7.3
11Israel7.2
12Austria7.1
World Avg5.38
q=156.
Creativity and Culture (2017)28
Pos.Lower is better
Rank28
1Belgium1
2Netherlands2
3Estonia3
...
34S. Korea34
35New Zealand35
36Belize36
37Iceland37
38Croatia38
39Bulgaria39
40Marshall Islands40
41Malaysia41
World Avg82.0
q=163.
Open Trading, Aid and Development (2017)28
Pos.Lower is better
Rank28
1Ireland1
2Denmark2
3Sweden3
...
102Australia102
103Madagascar103
104Dominica104
105Iceland105
106Bolivia106
107Ghana107
108Mexico108
109Thailand109
World Avg82.0
q=163.

8. Peace Versus Instability

#extremism #human_development #peace #politics #religious_violence #terrorism

Global Peace Index (2012)46
Pos.Lower is better46
1Iceland1.11
2New Zealand1.24
3Denmark1.24
4Canada1.32
5Japan1.33
6Austria1.33
7Ireland1.33
8Slovenia1.33
9Finland1.35
10Switzerland1.35
11Belgium1.38
12Qatar1.40
World Avg2.02
q=157.
Peacekeeping and Security (2017)28
Pos.Lower is better
Rank28
1Samoa1
2S. Africa2
3Tunisia3
...
74Jamaica74
75Guyana75
76Fiji76
77Iceland77
78Turkey78
79Georgia79
80Albania80
81Gabon81
World Avg82.0
q=163.
Refugees and UN Treaties (2017)28
Pos.Lower is better
Rank28
1Austria1
2Germany2
3Netherlands3
...
39Turkey39
40Malaysia40
41Montenegro41
42Iceland42
43Hungary43
44Kenya44
45Serbia45
46Bolivia46
World Avg82.0
q=163.
Impact of Terrorism (2019)47
Pos.Lower is better
Score47
1Togo0.00
2Mongolia0.00
3Swaziland0.00
...
15Trinidad & Tobago0.02
16Uzbekistan0.02
17Qatar0.03
18Iceland0.03
19Panama0.04
20Guyana0.04
21UAE0.05
22Slovakia0.06
World Avg2.78
q=150.

9. The Natural Environment

#biodiversity #climate_change #over-exploitation #the_environment

Forest Area Change 1990-2015 (2015)48
Pos.Higher is better
%48
1Iceland205.6
2Bahrain144.4
3Uruguay131.3
4Kuwait81.2
5Dominican Rep.79.5
6Egypt65.9
7Vietnam65.6
8Ireland62.2
9Tunisia61.9
10Cuba56.9
11Cape Verde55.7
12Rwanda50.9
World Avg02.8
q=184.
Environmental Performance (2018)49
Pos.Higher is better49
1Switzerland87.4
2France84.0
3Denmark81.6
...
8Austria79.0
9Ireland78.8
10Finland78.6
11Iceland78.6
12Spain78.4
13Germany78.4
14Norway77.5
15Belgium77.4
World Avg56.4
q=180.
Energy to GDP Efficiency (2014)50
Pos.Higher is better50
1Hong Kong26.32
2Sri Lanka20.00
3Panama17.86
...
112Ukraine03.28
113Togo02.88
114Ethiopia02.81
115Mozambique02.47
116Iceland02.41
117Zimbabwe02.31
118Trinidad & Tobago02.07
119Serbia00.72
World Avg09.29
q=119.
Convention on Biological Diversity
Pos.Earlier is better
Signed
1China1993 Dec 29
2Guinea1993 Dec 29
3Cook Islands1993 Dec 29
...
85Kazakhstan1994 Dec 05
86El Salvador1994 Dec 07
87Chile1994 Dec 08
88Iceland1994 Dec 11
89Venezuela1994 Dec 12
90Comoros1994 Dec 28
91S. Korea1995 Jan 01
92Bolivia1995 Jan 01
World Avg1899 Dec 30
q=197.
Rational Beliefs on the Environment (2011)51
Pos.Higher is better
%51
1Argentina78.3%
2Greece77.6%
3Brazil77.1%
...
137China15.1%
138Denmark14.9%
139Libya14.6%
140Iceland13.1%
141Uzbekistan11.3%
142Tajikistan11.1%
143Haiti10.0%
144Albania9.4%
World Avg39.9%
q=145.

10. Economic Inequality and Poverty

#capitalism #economics #health #inequality #life_expectancy #social_development

Inequality in Life Expectancy (2019)52
Pos.Higher is worse52
184Chad40.90
183Central African Rep.40.10
182Sierra Leone39.00
...
8Czechia3.00
7Finland3.00
6Japan2.90
5Slovenia2.90
4Sweden2.90
3Hong Kong2.50
2Singapore2.50
1Iceland2.40
World Avg14.59
q=184.
Income Inequality (Gini Coefficient) (2017)53
Pos.Lower is better
%53
1Ukraine25.0
2Belarus25.4
3Slovenia25.4
...
10Norway27.5
11Algeria27.6
12Belgium27.7
13Iceland27.8
14Denmark28.2
15Netherlands28.2
16Serbia28.5
17Timor-Leste (E. Timor)28.7
World Avg38.1
q=152.

11. Religion and Beliefs

#belief #buddhism #christianity #god #hinduism #islam #judaism #religion

Disbelief In God (2007)54
Pos.Higher is better
%54
1Vietnam81
2Japan65
3Sweden64
...
29Switzerland17
30Belarus17
31Greece16
32Iceland16
33Spain15
34Israel15
35Armenia14
36Lithuania13
World Avg9.9
q=137.

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 below55:

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.)56.

The International Humanist and Ethical Union produced a report in 2012 entitled "Freedom of Thought" (2012)57, 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)58

Links: