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The 15 stats you need to understand Denmark today

What is Denmark’s life expectancy? Is the population growing or declining? How many people are married when they have kids? What are prices like compared with other countries? We take a look at the latest figures from Denmark's national statistics office to show you today's Denmark in numbers.

The 15 stats you need to understand Denmark today
Højbro Plads, Copenhagen in August 2017. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen / Ritzau Scanpix

Denmark’s population is expected to reach 6 million by 2026

The latest population projection, released at the beginning of this year, shows an expected population increase of 4.6 percent – or 268,000 people – by 2030, taking the total number of people in the country over 6 million by 2026. The population reached 5.8 million in late 2018.

But populations in small towns and rural areas are declining

Most small towns and rural districts – defined as those with 2,000 residents or less – saw populations shrink by up to 5 percent between 2010 and January 1st this year.


Vesterbro in Copenhagen is the most highly populated parish in the country

Vesterbro, a trendy district of Copenhagen known for its nightlife and restaurants in areas such as Kødbyen/the Meatpacking District – but also for gentrification – is the most heavily-populated parish in Denmark.

45,576 people lived in the parish in January 2019, over 15,000 more than in second-placed Islands Brygge, on the other side of Copenhagen Harbour.

A packed Vesterbro during the Distortion festival. Photo: Ida Marie Odgaard / Ritzau Scanpix

Asylum seeker numbers were stable in 2018

2018 saw 3,559 people apply for permission to stay in Denmark as refugees, a figure very similar to the 3,500 registered in 2017. In 2015, the year in which Europe’s refugee and migration crisis peaked, 21,315 people applied for asylum in Denmark – of which 11,539 came in the final three months of the year.

The most recent year in which asylum seekers were fewer in number than in 2017 was 2008, when 2,409 were registered.

READ ALSO: Denmark's asylum figures are at their lowest since 2008. So why the election focus on refugees?

33 percent of first-time mothers are married

In 2017, 33 percent of first-time mothers were married, compared to 40 percent in 1997. The figure rises to 53 percent for women giving birth to their second child.

Life expectancy is 79 years for men and 83 years for women

Life expectancy for both men and women in Denmark has increased almost every year since the beginning of the 1990s. In 2017/2018, the life expectancy for men was 79 years, while for women it was 82.9 years.

46 percent of marriages end in divorce

A calculation of divorce figures in 2012 found that 46.5 percent of all marriages in Denmark ended in divorce. A comparison of that figure with preceding years going back to 1986 found that the worst year for failing marriages was 1989, when 47.3 percent of matrimonies didn’t last.

Photo: Rune Evensen / Ritzau Scanpix

84.5 percent of eligible citizens voted in the 2019 general election

The June 5th general election saw Denmark continue its tradition for high voter turnouts, with 84.5 percent casting their Xs at ballot stations. It was a decrease from the 2015 election, however – 85.9 percent voted four years ago.

Prices are 39 percent higher than the EU average

Figures from 2017 show Denmark as having average price levels for consumer goods at 39 percent above the average for EU countries. Only three countries in Europe have higher average prices, none of which are EU members: Norway, Iceland and Switzerland.

READ ALSO: Denmark is most expensive EU country for consumer goods

Unemployment is extremely low

The current unemployment figure is 103,000, equivalent of 3.7 percent of the workforce.

For the sake of comparison, the Italian employment (not unemployment) rate was 62.3 percent among 20-64 year-olds in 2017.

As (relatively) is the number of people who receive unemployment benefits

In March, 125,900 people received basic social welfare payments for unemployment, known broadly as kontanthjælp. The figure has been falling regularly since 2015 and has not been lower since March 2009.

READ ALSO: What’s it like to work in Denmark as a foreigner? Here's what you told us

One in three people live in apartments

A large proportion of Danes live in apartments, with a national average of one in three. The figure varies wildly depending on location, with 94 and 86 percent of people calling an apartment home in Copenhagen and Frederiksberg municipalities respectively.

0.3 percent were treated for drug addiction in 2017

2017 saw 0.3 percent of the population – or three people in every 1,000 – in 79 municipalities (out of 98) for which data was available receive treatment for drug abuse.

The proportion varied between municipalities, but was no higher than 0.5 percent in any location.

Of the total number of 14,861 who received treatment, 11,110 were men and 3,751 were women.

Traffic laws were broken 101,540 times in 2018

The total number of 189,915 crimes for which convictions were given in 2018 includes 101,540 traffic offences.

Convictions for serious crimes include 57 for murder, manslaughter or attempted murder and 77 cases of rape.

There were 12,706 instances of theft and 358 robberies.

Most Danes are satisfied with life

Is the old line about Denmark being the world’s happiest country true or a cliché? A Statistics Denmark study in late 2015 found that, on a scale of 1 to 10, Danes rated their level of satisfaction with life “here and now” at a respectable 7.5. But they expected it to increase to 8.2 over the coming five years.

Photo: Henning Bagger / Ritzau Scanpix

READ ALSO: Here are the Danish social taboos you should never break

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What changes about life in Denmark in June 2021?

Coronavirus rules, travel restrictions and car registration fees are among the areas set to see announcements, updates or rule changes in Denmark in June.

What changes about life in Denmark in June 2021?
An electric-powered harbour bus operating in Copenhagen in June 2020. Photo: Claus Bech/Ritzau Scanpix

Changes to coronavirus restrictions

Denmark initially outlined a phased plan to lift its coronavirus restrictions back in March. The plan has been updated (and accelerated) on a number of occasions, with politicians meeting regularly to discuss adjustments based on the status and progression of the epidemic.

Initially, the government said it would lift the majority of restrictions by the end of May, when it expected to have vaccinated everyone over the age of 50 (apart from those who choose not to be vaccinated). Although the vaccination calendar was pushed back, restrictions are still being lifted, with the government citing progress with vaccinations and general good control of the epidemic.

In an agreement reached earlier this month, the government said rules requiring the use of face masks and corona passports will be revoked when all people over 16 in Denmark have been offered vaccination. The end-stage of the vaccination programme is currently scheduled to be reached at the end of August. But more detail on the plans for phased lifting of these rules is expected to surface in June.

READ ALSO: When will Denmark stop requiring corona passports and face masks?

A return to offices and shared workspaces, already set out to occur in three steps, will continue. In the first phase, which began on May 21st, 20 percent capacity were allowed back at physical workplaces. Remaining staff must continue to work from home where possible. This proportion will increase to 50 percent on June 14th (and 100 percent on August 1st).

Public assembly limit to be raised indoors, lifted outdoors

The current phase of reopening, which has been in place since May 21st, limits gatherings indoors to 50 people. This is scheduled to increase to 100 on June 11th.

Outdoors gatherings, currently limited to 100 people, will be completely revoked on June 11th.

August 11th will see the end of any form of assembly limit, indoors or outdoors, according to the scheduled reopening.

Unfortunately, this does not mean festivals such as Roskilde Festival – which would normally start at the end of June – can go ahead. Large scale events are still significantly restricted, meaning Roskilde and the majority of Denmark’s other summer festivals have already been cancelled.

Eased travel restrictions could be extended to non-EU countries

Earlier this month, Denmark moved into the third phase of lifting travel restrictions , meaning tourists from the EU and Schengen countries can enter the country.

The current rules mean that foreigners resident in EU and Schengen countries rated orange on the country’s traffic light classification (yellow, orange and red) for Covid-19 levels in the relevant countries, will no longer need a worthy purpose to enter Denmark, opening the way for tourists to come to Denmark from across the region.

Denmark raised the threshold for qualifying as a yellow country from 20-30 to 50-60 cases per 100,000 people over the past week.  

However, the lower threshold only applies to EU and Schengen countries, which means that, for example, the UK does not qualify as a yellow country despite falling within the incidence threshold.


But the 27 member states of the European Union recently announced they had agreed to allow fully vaccinated travellers to enter the bloc.

A Ministry of Justice text which sets out the plan for Denmark’s phased easing of travel restrictions suggests that the fourth phase, scheduled to take effect on June 26th, will see Denmark adopt the EU’s common rules on entry for persons from outside the bloc, meaning non-EU countries could qualify for the more lenient rules for yellow regions.

New car registration fees come into effect

New rules for registration fees for new vehicles, adopted in February, take effect on June 1st.

The laws, which will be applied retroactively from December 18th 2020, mean that different criteria will be used to calculate the registrations fees applied to cars based on their carbon dioxide emissions, replacing the existing rules which used fuel consumption as the main emissions criteria.

New rules will also be introduced offering more advantages for registering electric and hybrid vehicles.

You can find detailed information via the Danish Motor Vehicle Agency.

READ ALSO: Why is it so expensive to buy a car in Denmark?