A new study by the data and research center Statistics Iceland addresses the issue of population growth in Iceland. Looking ahead fifty years to 2065, the data accounts for such factors as natural population growth, migration, fertility and mortality.
According to projections, the population could increase as much as 55.9%, which would mean the total number of inhabitants would rise to 513,000. This is one end of the spectrum. However, the figure could reach just 372,000, which would reflect an increase of only 17.5%. The so-called “medium projection variant,” or in other words the meeting point between the highest and lowest projections, is 437,000, an increase of 32.7% in 2065. The current population of Iceland is 329,100.
The analysis by Statistics Iceland also took a look at life expectancy, which will contribute to the level of population growth Iceland can expect in the coming decades. Overall it is expected to lengthen. Currently the life expectancy rate for women is 83.5 years, while for men it is 79.5. In fifty years’ time, women may be living to 88.5 years, and men to 84.3.
Issues such as economic growth, the ratio of fertility to mortality, and the ratio of immigration to emigration come into play in such estimates. For example, the rate of growth depends on the overall prosperity of society and whether more babies are being born than people are dying. As can be seen with recent trends, while immigration to Iceland continues, more and more native Icelanders are leaving their home country every year. Simultaneously, it must be noted that the population of Iceland has doubled in the last 60 years, where in 1965 it was 190,652.
It has been pointed out that even with an increase in population of the median 32.7%, Iceland would still remain one of the least densely populated countries in the world, with only 4.25 inhabitants per square kilometer.