Denmark’s population shift: Zealand overtakes Jutland for first time ever

More people now live on Zealand than in Jutland – due in part to foreign residents who have relocated to Copenhagen, according to an analyst.

Denmark’s population shift: Zealand overtakes Jutland for first time ever
File photo: Claus Fisker/Ritzau Scanpix

More people now live on Zealand, Denmark’s largest island, than Jutland, the large peninsula which contains several mainland regions.

Zealand has never previously been recorded as having a larger population than Jutland.

Statistics Denmark figures show that 2,642,180 people live in Jutland, slightly fewer than Zealand which now has a population of 2,646,379.

The demographic change is related to an increase in Zealand’s population by 190,000 over the last 10 years, twice as many as the population growth in Jutland.

Population growth can particularly be felt in and around large cities, according to Jacob Hangaard, and economics consultant with the Danish Construction Association.

“In Zealand, the population has grown to a high degree in Copenhagen and its surrounding municipalities. That is in particular because more children are being born there and people are relocating from abroad,” Hangaard said.

Copenhagen Municipality alone has seen its number of residents increase by 106,103 over the last decade.

That is a greater growth than in the whole of Jutland over the same period.

Jutland’s population growth has also primarily occurred in cities in the east of the land mass, including Aarhus, Silkeborg, Skanderborg, Randers and Horsens.

Hangaard said he expects the trend of people moving to major and smaller cities to continue.

That is due to better options for both work and study compared to rural districts, he said.

“The trend of urbanization whereby people move to bigger cities will continue in the coming years,” he said.

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

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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