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Number of people on Danish welfare benefits increases, reversing trend

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Number of people on Danish welfare benefits increases, reversing trend
File photo: Thomas Lekfeldt/Ritzau Scanpix
16:25 CEST+02:00
After several years of decreases, the number of people whose income is supported by the state has gone up in 2019.

The second quarter of this year saw the number of people receiving the various forms of social welfare support reach 701,400, according to Statistics Denmark – an increase of 6,900.

The figures encompass all forms of social welfare payments, including support paid to people out of work (kontanthjælp, dagpenge, fleksjob) and special types of pension (efterløn, førtidspension) but not the state student grant (SU) or state pension (folkepension).

But the 2019 increase is due to a raise in the retirement age from 65 years to 65.5 years as of January 1st, 2019, according to Statistics Denmark.

That meant an increase in overall size to the group which falls into categories encompassed by the welfare benefits figure.

An additional 200 people available to the labour market are out of work compared with last year. 1,000 more people are receiving the dagpenge unemployment insurance, which is partly state-funded, while 1,200 left the system.

Although the number of people receiving benefits has increased this year, it is still some 150,800 lower than it was in 2010 and is close to the lowest figure recorded since 1987.

Reductions in the total in recent years have been related to lower unemployment and fewer people receiving the special pensions.

A strong Danish economy has contributed to this, as have pension reforms meaning many have had to work longer before retiring.

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