This Survey is published on the responsibility of the Economic and Development Review Committee of the OECD, which is charged with the examination of the economic situation of member countries.

The Economic situation and policies of Iceland were reviewed by the Committee on 29 May 2017. The draft was revised in the light of the discussion and given final approval as the agreed report of the whole Committee on 8 June 2017.

The Secretariat’s draft report was prepared for the Committee by Douglas Sutherland and Urban Sila under the supervision of Patrick Lenain. Damien Azzopardi provided the statistical research assistance, and Brigitte Beyeler provided the administrative support. The Survey also benefited from contributions by Julien Daubanes, Alain Dupeyras and Jane Stacey.

The previous Survey of Iceland was issued in September 2015.

  
Basic statistics of Iceland, 2015 or latest year available
(Numbers in parentheses refer to the OECD average)a

LAND, PEOPLE AND ELECTORAL CYCLE

Population (thousand)

329

Population density per km2

3.3

(37.0)

 Under 15 (%)

20.3

(18.1)

Life expectancy (years)

82.9

(80.5)

 Over 65 (%)

13.7

(16.2)

 Men

81.3

(77.8)

 Foreign-born (%)

11.5

 Women

84.5

(83.1)

Latest 5-year average growth (%)

0.7

(0.6)

Latest general election

October 2016

ECONOMY

Gross domestic product (GDP)

Value added shares (%)

 In current prices (billion USD)

16.8

 Primary sector

6.3

(2.5)

 In current prices (billion ISK)

2,214.0

 Industry including construction

22.7

(27.0)

 Latest 5-year average real growth (%)

2.7

(1.9)

 Services

71.0

(70.6)

 Per capita (000 USD PPP)

47.7

(40.8)

GENERAL GOVERNMENT

Per cent of GDP

Expenditure

42.9

(40.9)

Gross financial debt

73.0

(112.2)

Revenue

42.0

(38.0)

Net financial debtb

50.3

(72.7)

EXTERNAL ACCOUNTS

Exchange rate ISK per USD

131.90

Main exports (% of total merchandise exports)

PPP exchange rate (USA = 1)

140.34

 Manufactured goods

43.1

In per cent of GDP

 Food and live animals

42.7

 Exports of goods and services

53.7

(28.6)

 Machinery and transport equipment

4.2

 Imports of goods and services

46.2

(28.3)

Main imports (% of total merchandise imports)

 Current account balance

5.47

(0.16)

 Machinery and transport equipment

35.1

 Net international investment position

-5.7

 Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials

12.5

 Crude materials, inedible, except fuels

11.7

LABOUR MARKET, SKILLS AND INNOVATION

Employment rate for 15-64 year-olds (%)

84.7

(66.3)

Unemployment rate, Labour Force Survey (age 15 and over) (%)

4.2

(7.0)

 Men

87.1

(74.1)

 Youth (age 15-24, %)

8.7

(14.0)

 Women

82.3

(58.5)

 Long-term unemployed (1 year and over, %)

0.6

(2.2)

Participation rate for 15-64 year-olds (%)

87.9

(71.3)

Tertiary educational attainment 25-64 year-olds (%)

38.8

(35.0)

Average hours worked per year

1 880

(1766)

Gross domestic expenditure on R&D (% of GDP)

2.2

(2.4)

ENVIRONMENT

Total primary energy supply per capita (toe)

17.5

(4.1)

CO2 emissions from fuel combustion per capita (tonnes)

6.3

(9.4)

 Renewables (%)

88.5

(9.6)

Water abstractions per capita (m3)

558

(819)

Fine particulate matter concentration (PM2.5, μg/m3)

7.2

(14.0)

Municipal waste per capita (kilogrammes)

537

(516)

SOCIETY

Income inequality (Gini coefficient)

0.244

(0.308)

Education outcomes (PISA score, 2015)

Relative poverty rate (%)

4.6

(11.2)

 Reading

482

(493)

Ratio of incomes of the top 10% vs. Bottom 10%

5.0

(9.6)

 Mathematics

488

(490)

Public and private spending (% of GDP)

 Science

473

(493)

 Health care, current expenditure

8.8

(8.9)

Share of women in parliament (%)

41.3

(28.3)

 Pensions

6.3

(9.1)

Net official development assistance (% of GNI)

0.24

(0.39)

 Education (primary, secondary, post sec. non tertiary)

4.6

(3.6)

Better life index: www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org

a. Where the OECD aggregate is not provided in the source database, a simple OECD average of latest available data is calculated where data exist for at least 29 member countries.

b. Net public debt (according to the Act on Public Sector Finances definition) is defined as gross financial liabilities less unfunded pension liabilities and other accounts payable, as well as the value of currency and deposits.

Source: Calculations based on data extracted from the databases of the following organisations: OECD, International Energy Agency, World Bank, International Monetary Fund and Inter-Parliamentary Union, and Central Bank of Iceland.