Emigration from Denmark increased in 2018, while population continues to grow

New figures from official agency Statistics Denmark show that, while 2018 saw an increase in people moving out of the country, the net result of migration continues to contribute to population growth.

Emigration from Denmark increased in 2018, while population continues to grow
File photo: LINDA KASTRUP /Ritzau Scanpix

In 2018, the number of people choosing to pack their bags and leave the country increased by 4,000 compared to the previous year.

Meanwhile, immigration fell, but remains significantly higher than emigration.

As such, the overall result of emigration and immigration is net migration into Denmark, the Statistics Denmark figures show.

The difference between emigration and immigration totals has decreased in recent years, however – a trend that continued in 2018.

One reason for this is an increase in the number of American citizens leaving Denmark, resulting in net emigration of Americans, in contrast to previous years.

The increase in emigration applies to almost all nationalities with the notable exception of Germans, the agency found.

With a small number of exceptions, total emigration from Denmark has increased since the mid-1990s. Since the mid-2000s, both emigration and immigration have increased.

The new figures mean that the population in Denmark as of December 31st, 2018 was 5,806,081, according to calculations made by financial services company Nykredit. That represents an increase of 25,000 on 2017.

The total net migration to Denmark in 2015 was 40,000.

“In addition, there has also been an obvious change in the age demographics of the population in recent years,” Nykredit’s head economist Tore Stramer told Ritzau in a written comment.

“There is a clear trend towards fewer people under 20 years of age and significantly more over 65,” Stramer said.

“If we look in isolation at the core supply of labour, specifically ages 20-64, there has been only a modest growth in population in recent years,” he added.

Population figures also showed that 55,000 people died in Denmark in 2018, the largest number since 2007.

Statistics Denmark noted an influenza epidemic in March last year along with the unusually warm summer as contributors to the figure.

Over 61,000 babies were born in 2018, a small increase relative to 2017.

Population growth in the Scandinavian country is not spread evenly, and is concentrated in a smaller number of municipalities than has been the case in the past.

In 2017, 72 of Denmark’s 98 municipalities saw an increase in population. Last year, only 58 municipalities saw their populations grow, according to Statistics Denmark.

READ ALSO: Here's where Denmark's foreign residents live and where they come from


Denmark expects twice as many people over 80 years old in 2050

More than twice as many people in Denmark will be over 80 years old in 2050 compared to the number of senior citizens in the country today.

Denmark expects twice as many people over 80 years old in 2050
By 2050, a much larger proportion of Denmark's population will be over 80 years old. File photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

A new population projection from national agency Statistics Denmark predicts 431,000 people of the age of 80 in Denmark in 2030.

That will increase to 617,000 by 2050, around 10 percent of the population.

Today, Denmark has around 282,000 over-80s in its population, which is around 5 percent of the population.

A large increase in the number of elderly persons is expected to present Denmark’s social welfare system with economic challenges, with larger numbers likely to need care and practical help.

In its report, Statistics Denmark writes that the “greatest (population) growth going forward is expected to take place amongst the oldest age groups”.

Other age groups are not expected to greatly change their proportion of the population during the period covered by the projection, the agency writes.

The overall population is expected to grow by 0.4 percent by 2028. After that, growth will plateau, giving a growth of 0.12 percent in 2050. It is then forecast to increase again, reaching 0.2 percent in 2060.

Major factors affecting the population size – birth rates, death rates and immigration – are all predicted to vary at different times throughout the period.

But Statistics Denmark writes that it expects a deficit in the number of births between 2044 and 2053.

The 2021 projection does not take into account the potential long-term impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the population. That is because “no sufficient basis of knowledge and experience is yet available,” the statistics bureau writes.

However, the agency noted that the biggest impact of the pandemic on population size in 2020 was its restrictive effect on immigration and emigration.

READ ALSO: Denmark’s immigration and emigration is mostly to and from Western countries