living

5 Good Reasons to Live in Iceland

1. Safe and clean

Iceland has a very low crime rate and violent crimes are especially rare. So rare in fact that the Icelandic police force doesn’t carry guns. Iceland tops the IEP’s Global Peace Index. Children play outside by themselves from a young age and have a curfew until the age of 16. The air is fresh as Iceland is a leader in using renewable energy: Icelandic houses are heated with geothermal energy and electricity produced with hydroenergy, and you can drink the water straight from the tap (just make sure to drink cold water as the hot water is geothermal water that has a distinct taste and smell). Life expectancy at birth is 83 years! Read more.

2. Equality

Women and men have the same opportunities in Iceland, and gender equality is a matter of national pride. Iceland is in first place in Gender Equality world wide and takes second place in the Social Progress Index. Icelanders are also very tolerant in regards to sexuality  and the Pride Parade is an extremely popular event locally. Gay marriage has been since 2008 (with a formal cohabition option in place since 1996) and gay couples are allowed to adopt children. Read more.

3. Close to nature

In Icelandic towns, you are always close to the sea, and the mountains. The wonderful outdoors is also just a 15 minute drive away. There are countless sightseeing opportunities and a great variety of hiking trails which you can explore on weekends. This close proximity to nature is unique, allowing you to have a modern job and then leave the office to go hiking at the end of the day when the weather is favourable. It is also much more likely that you will witness the Northern Lights dancing across the winter skies if you live in Iceland. Find out more on Inspired by Iceland.

4. Community & Culture

Iceland has a small population and a strong sense of community. Even the largest city, Reykjavik, is a comfortable size and you can walk around the downtown area in an afternoon. It is a lovely place to slow down and enjoy the simple pleasures of life. However, it also has a lively nightlife and there are various music and art festivals during the year. Icelanders have a very active lifestyle, enjoying concerts in the evenings after a day’s work. Thanks to the tourism boom of recent years it also offers a respectable fine dining scene. Read more.

5. Cheap healthcare & education

After living in Iceland legally for six months, you will become part of the Icelandic Health Insurance system and have the same rights as locals to healthcare. This means that you won’t pay more than ISK 25,000 for healthcare in a single month and that number will decrease to ISK 4,183 in consecutive months. This includes physiotherapy, doctor’s visits, treatment for longterm illnesses as well as all scans and hospital stays. Pregnancy and childbirth in Iceland are free of charge. Schooling is also affordable, the schools themselves are free but you pay a bit for food and for daycare in the afternoon. Subsidized daycare is available for all children from the age of two, allowing both parents to work.
Learn more about Health Insurance in Iceland and daycare and schooling.