Map: Where do Denmark-based Brits live, and how many have become Danish citizens?

There are 18,835 Brits living in Denmark, according to data provided to The Local by Statistics Denmark. Here's a look at where they have settled as well as their occupations, income and types of residency.

Map: Where do Denmark-based Brits live, and how many have become Danish citizens?
755 British citizens live in Gentofte Municipality. File photo: Sofie Mathiassen/Ritzau Scanpix

According to the national stats agency, Copenhagen is by far the favourite city for Brits who've chosen to live in Denmark. The capital is followed by second-largest city Aarhus, also a university city. Copenhagen has almost six times as many British citizens as Aarhus, with 5,920 in Copenhagen, and 1,097 in Aarhus.

The next-most populous municipalities for Britons are Gentofte, with 755, and Frederiksberg with 661. These are also considered part of the greater Copenhagen area.

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These are followed by Odense with 563, 367 in Aalborg, 356 in Esbjerg, 278 in Lyngby-Taarbæk and 262 in Rudersdal.

The municipality with the fewest number of Brits is Læsø with only 3.

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As shown in the map above, Brits have spread quite far across the country and live in each of its 98 different municipalities.

Reasons for why they have chosen to live where they do vary and are reflected in part by the type of occupations they have.

“I moved to Denmark in 2010 after meeting a Danish man, but that’s not the reason I stayed. I live in Sengeløse which is (in) Høje-Taastrup Kommune, and I live there because the house prices are cheap and it’s only a 25-minute drive into central Copenhagen,” Dawn Wall, a British actress based in Denmark, said in a written comment.

Employment and income of Brits living in Denmark

British citizens who have made Denmark their home are registered as working in 37 different professions, according to data provided to The Local by Statistics Denmark. Of these, the top ten are: teaching, trade, hotels and restaurants, social institutions, consultancy, transport, IT and information services, construction, healthcare and culture and leisure.

In 2015, British citizens were among the nationalities with the highest income, according to a 2017 article published by Statistics Denmark on its website.

At the same time, there was also a large percentage recorded as being on low income or unemployed. The data shows that there were 1,711 Brits in the high-income bracket, 4,563 in the 'other wage' bracket, and 2,545 unemployed.

“An article we wrote in 2017 shows that Brits in Denmark more often than Danes are self-employed or have a high income. Brits are also more likely to be out of work, which is reflected in the fact that Brits are represented in both high and low-income groups,” Theis Stenholt Engmann, a journalist with Statistics Denmark, told The Local.

Interestingly, the number of self-employed Britons is relatively high compared to Danes.

Statistics Denmark figures show that there are currently 650 Brits who are self-employed. As a percentage of the population in Denmark, this is 6.3 percent of all Brits here, while 4.3 percent of Danes are self-employed.

Types of residency Brits have in Denmark

Based on statistics from January 1st, 2018, the majority of Brits living in Denmark do so under EU freedom of movement rules. To be exact, there are 8,455 Brits here based on EU free movement, and they are primarily here for work or study.

There is also a considerable group, 3,975 Brits, whose residency permits pre-date 1997, putting them into a different category in the Statistics Denmark figures. Other types of permits include family reunification, work permits and few who have a non-EU study permit.

Brits who have become Danish citizens

Data on the number of British citizens who have been awarded Danish citizenship shows a notable trend over the last ten years.

In 2008, 30 Britons became Danish citizens. The following year, the number increased to 49, but did not increase further and then dropped, staying between 20 and 25 between 2012 and 2015.

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In 2016, the year the UK voted to leave the EU, the number of Brits awarded Danish citizenship increased to 85, before almost doubling to 164 in 2017. Last year, 143 Britons became Danish citizens.

Although Brexit is a possible and arguably likely factor in this trend, it should also be noted that Denmark began allowing dual citizenship in 2015. Many who may previously have qualified to become nationalised in Denmark, but did not want to give up their British passport, may therefore have waited until this time to begin applying.

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

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Meet the group building bridges between Danes and foreign residents

Moving to Denmark as an expat often turns out to be more difficult than you would expect. Snigdha Bansal, a student at Aarhus University's Mundus Journalism program, writes about the Facebook group trying to build bridges with Danes.

Meet the group building bridges between Danes and foreign residents
The group has six active admins, from both Denmark and elsewhere. Photo: Tine H. Jorgensen
Moving to Denmark as an expat, one looks forward to embracing Danish culture and getting integrated into one of the world’s happiest societies. However, it often turns out to be more difficult than you would expect. 
Established in 2019, ‘Beyond Stereotypes: Danes & Internationals’ seeks to facilitate interactions between expats and locals in Denmark
‘Difficult to integrate with the Danes’
Poulomi Deb Bose, 33, moved to Denmark from India with her husband in June 2019. She says Danes have been very helpful in everyday interactions – at supermarkets, or at bus stops, helping her find her way in English. However, it has been integrating with them that has proved difficult.
“My interaction with Danes is limited to my landlord or people at the local kommune. It’s even difficult to spot them around, unless at the gym, where it never goes beyond a smile. It is a lot easier to talk to other internationals”, she says.
A couple months ago, a friend told her about a Facebook group with not just internationals but also Danes. Up until then, she had only been part of the groups with Internationals and this was the first of its kind where both communities were encouraged to interact with each other.
‘Building bridges’
Beyond Stereotypes: Danes & Internationals is a Facebook group with over 2,400 members.
The group was formed by Tine H. Jorgensen, a 56-year old academic and practitioner. While it acts as a meeting point for expats in Denmark and Danes, members are also invited to share their own unique experiences of interactions within the community to inspire and help others.
The idea of the group was sparked in early 2019 by a conversation Jorgensen had after a radio show in Aarhus where she was performing clairvoyance on air. The host of the show, Houda Naji from Morocco, and Enas Elgarhy, another invitee from Egypt, told her of their experiences of getting married to Danes and settling in Denmark.
“They talked about how difficult it was to make Danish friends, how long it took to get a CPR number which was needed for basic things like going to the gym, and other issues that made me realise how ridiculous it was for internationals. I asked myself what I could do about this.”
She decided the least she could do was to start a Facebook group, and invited both Naji and Elgarhy to join her as admins.
As the group has grown, its “bridge-building” role has become clearer, says Jorgensen, as more International and Danish admins come on board. 
The group organises monthly meet-ups for members to interact. Photo: Tine H. Jorgensen
‘Challenging our own biases’
Marta Gabriela Rodriguez-Karpowicz is a 38-year old life coach from Poland who recently started her own practice after working at the Danish corporation Vestas for almost 10 years.
She recently became a Danish citizen after 12 years of living in the country and is also an admin of the group. She took on the role because she believed that it would be “a worthwhile effort to build bridges between Danes and Internationals, which doesn’t appear to be happening naturally.” She wanted to be a part of this initiative owing to her own struggles to integrate and her experience of having grown past that phase, using which she could help others. 
“I also wanted to identify which biases I still had myself, so I could challenge them and grow beyond stereotypes”, she says.
‘Overcoming challenges’
The group connects people across Denmark by organising hobby-based meet-ups, providing a platform to discuss travel stories around Denmark as well as social issues such as racism. Job postings and job-seeking posts are also welcome, which some would say is the biggest challenge. 
Both Bose and Rodriguez-Karpowicz accompanied their husbands who found jobs in Denmark, and did not expect the difficulties they would face while finding jobs for themselves.
Bose associates it with the trust factor that is deeply ingrained in Danes. “I have realised they can be quite rigid in trusting outsiders for jobs or with references”, she says. 
This is also an area Rodriguez-Karpowicz believes she can help members with, since she found it difficult to get a job despite being “highly educated and experienced”, but eventually managed.
Integration in a new country can be difficult, but expats shouldn’t give up, according to Jorgensen. 
She acknowledges that racism does exist in Denmark, but at the same time, there are a lot of Danes who are very welcoming, and that’s the Danish attitude she wanted to highlight.
“I wanted to do my little bit to bring that forward, and connect people in a practical way.”