Ranking Iceland (KH)


Katharina Hauptmann's picture

Of course there is much more to a country than a selection of statistics—statistics are just numbers. But they are interesting nevertheless.

Let’s take a look at how Iceland performs:

According to the World Economic Forum, Iceland ranks first on the Global Gender Gap Report (again) meaning the gender gap is the smallest here. Good news!

Iceland also scored well on the World Peace Index (first place), Mother’s Index (fourth place), Women’s Index (fifth place), Global AgeWatch Index (seventh), Global Talent Competitiveness Index (tenth), Human Development Index (13th) and Good Country Index (17th).

My adopted home’s economic freedom score is 72.0, making its economy the 26th freest in the 2015 Index of Economic Freedom.

It might be a bit surprising for some people to learn that the island of fire and ice places 15th in the World Ranking on Gun Ownership and seventh-11th on the World Atheist List.

The Men’s National Football team is number 38, according to FIFA; the women are doing much better and are listed as number 20.

Háskóli Íslands, the University of Iceland, is among the 300 best universities in the world, according to The Times Higher Education World University Ranking. This may not sound too flattering but 300 out of 17,000 universities in the world is just fine.

In 2013, The Peace Fund placed Iceland at number 171 out of 178 on the Failed States Index and on the Corruption Perceptions Index, Iceland ranks 12th. I’m not sure what to make of this.

We should definitely not be proud of Iceland dropping from first to 21st place on the Press Freedom Index, or ranking third in the per capita electronic waste list.

Still, the Environmental Performance Index claims that Iceland is the 14th best country at dealing with “high-priority environmental issues.”

It’s also quite concerning that this small country is inhabited by the 12th fattest nation in the world, according to the latest OECD study.

Food for thought!

Katharina Hauptmann – katha.hauptmann(at)

Views expressed here are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Iceland Review.