Why Iceland - Austurhofn

Welcome to Iceland

A unique landscape and unmatched natural beauty with the northern lights illuminating the winter nights. A thriving cosmopolitan cultural scene in the culinary capital of the North. One of the safest places on the planet to visit and to invest in. There are many reasons to want to live in Iceland, and with 29 airlines offering direct flights to over 100 destinations it is also easily accessible.

Society

Icelandic society is open and cosmopolitan and visitors can expect a heartfelt welcome. Most Icelanders speak English, and many speak a third or a fourth language. Iceland ranks third among OECD countries in income equality and has consistently ranked at the top when it comes to gender equality. Healthcare in Iceland is excellent, with Icelanders ranking fifth in life expectancy and second in happiness among OECD countries. You won’t find any old castles or roman ruins, but instead the Icelandic people are justifiably proud of their unique literary heritage. Iceland has more writers, more books published and more books read, per capita, than anywhere else in the world.

Nature and geology

Iceland is geographically and geologically unique. Almost 90% af all energy used in the country is renewable and sustainable, a staggering achievement considering the OECD avarage is 9%. It should therefore not come as a surprise that Ieland ranks first among OECD countries in water quality and lack of air pollution. The country straddles the Mid-Atlantic fault line between Europe and America and is one of the most volcanically active places on Earth. From the Capital it only takes a few hours by car to reach natural wonders like the black sands of the highland desert, Vatnajökull, Europe’s largest glacier, and one of the greatest concentration of geysers in the world.

Accessibility from abroad

Twenty nine airlines operate regular flights to and from Iceland with direct flights to over a hundred destinations in Europe and North America. Among those destinations are Paris, London, Berlin, Brussels, New York, Boston and Los Angeles. Iceland is situated midway between Europe and North America with flights from New York taking around five hours and London only three hours away.

Sound investment environment

The Icelandic economy has recovered extraordinarily well from the 2008 banking crisis and is now among the healthiest in Europe. Average annual GDP growth for the last 7 years has been 4%. Latest forecasts predict growth as well this year and the next. Employment rate is 86%, the highest in the world, while the poverty rate is only 4,6% – the lowest in the OECD, where the average is 11,4%. Youth unemployment is 8%, the fourth lowest in the world. The average salary is 56.000 USD, and around 78% of Icelanders live in their own home.

Personal safety

Iceland is the safest country on Earth according to the Global Peace Index – and has been for the last 11 years running. The crime rate is among the lowest in the world and political stability is high. Iceland has no armed forces and even police officers on the street are unarmed.