ghettos For Members

Map: These are the areas Denmark calls 'ghettos'

The Local Denmark
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Map: These are the areas Denmark calls 'ghettos'
File photo: Malte Kristiansen/Ritzau Scanpix

28 neighbourhoods in Denmark are designated as 'ghettos' by Denmark's Ministry of Transport and Housing.


Three neighbourhoods were on Tuesday removed from the ‘ghetto list' of underprivileged areas as designated by Denmark's Ministry of Transport and Housing, while two were added.

In order to be included on the list, housing areas must have over 1,000 inhabitants and fulfil three out of five criteria:

  • Over 40 percent of adults aged 18-64 not engaged in employment or education (average over two-year period)
  • Over 50 percent of residents have non-Western nationality or heritage
  • Over 2.70 percent of residents aged 18 or over convicted for criminal, weapons or narcotics crimes (average over two-year period)
  • More than 50 percent of residents with basic school education or lower (includes undeclared education)
  • Average pre-tax income for adults aged 18-64, not including unemployed, less than 55 percent of pre-tax income for administrative region.
  • People considered not of Danish heritage are categorized into two groups: ‘immigrants' and ‘descendants' of immigrants (‘efterkommere' in Danish).

A person is considered to have Danish heritage if she or he has at least one parent who is a Danish citizen and was born in Denmark. People defined as ‘immigrants' and ‘descendants' do not fulfil those criteria. The difference between the two is that an ‘immigrant' was born outside of Denmark, while a ‘descendant' was born in Denmark.

The above map includes each of the 28 areas included in the housing ministry's List of Ghetto Areas per December 1st, 2019, with three exceptions: Ringparken, Motalavej (both Slagelse Municipality) and Lindholm (Guldborgsund Municipality)

The list has been criticized in the past for stigmatizing areas, thereby making it more difficult for them to improve socioeconomic conditions.

Inclusion on the list is significant because it can determine which neighbourhoods are encompassed by the 2018 ‘ghetto plan' law, which has the stated aim of reducing societal exclusion in neighbourhoods defined as ‘ghettos'.

Those measures include mandatory demolition of housing fitting certain criteria and compulsory daycare attendance for small children, as well as harsher punishments for specified crimes.

The ‘ghetto list' was first introduced in 2010 under then-Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen's centre-right government, while a later coalition headed by Rasmussen introduced the ‘ghetto plan' legislation in 2018.



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