Animated Population Pyramid: Iceland

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The above animation shows the distribution of the Icelandic population by sex and age. This kind of graphic illustration is referred to as a population pyramid, age-sex pyramid or an age structure diagram.

The animation illustrates several interesting facts about the development of the Icelandic population.

  • Child mortality: It's sad seeing how high the mortality rate sometimes is among the youngest children in the first decades. This tells a story of the status of "maternity care" and child health back then.
  • Baby boom: The population growth is pretty steady until World War II. During the war there is a slight drop in the birth rate, followed by a boom in the years after the war. This boom can be attributed to better health care, economic prosperity and optimism in the post war era. In the early sixties the size of each year flattens of as family planning and contraceptives become mainstream.
  • Foreign workers: The development since 2005 tells an interesting story of a boom, and a crash. If you step through the years from 2005 to 2008, you'll see an increase in the age group from 20 years old to about 50 years old, especially on the male side. This increase is probably a result of foreign workers, moving to Iceland in the boom years.
  • Upcoming wave of pensioners: The animation clearly shows that the people born in the post war baby boom are now about to become pensioners. In the next 15-20 years, the number of pensioners, as well as their ratio of the total population will rise fast. This will lead to substantial social changes such as: higher payments from the pension funds and more demand for retirement homes and health services.

You'll find various population statistics for Iceland in DataMarket's data catalog.