SHARE
COPY LINK

MONEY

Does ‘world’s fifth-most expensive country’ Denmark deserve its costly reputation?

Denmark has been ranked fifth on a list of the most expensive countries in the world for living costs in 2020.

Does 'world’s fifth-most expensive country' Denmark deserve its costly reputation?
File photo: Oscar Scott Carl/Ritzau Scanpix

It is often touted as one of the world’s most expensive nations, and Denmark’s placing on a 2020 index for the cost of living in countries around the world appears to reflect that.

Scandinavian neighbour Norway and fellow Nordic nation Iceland both place ahead of Denmark on the list of most expensive countries for living, as do Japan and Switzerland. The latter was ranked 1st overall.

The list, compiled by business magazine CEO World, ranks 132 countries in order of living costs based on data from a range of studies and media.

Parameters encompassed by the analysis include accommodation, clothing, taxi fares, utility, internet, the price of groceries, transport, and eating out. The data was used to compile a score for each country within five metrics: cost of living, rent, groceries, eating out and purchasing power.

The metrics were then given a value using New York City as a control: if a country has a score of over 100, it is more expensive than New York.

Three countries did in fact achieve this for their overall Cost of Living Index score: Switzerland (122.4), Norway (101.43) and Iceland (100.48).

With an index of 83, Denmark was not too far behind in 5th place.

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

Sweden was the cheapest of the three Scandinavian countries in 23rd (69.85).

The United Kingdom was placed 27th (67.28), Ireland 13th (75.91), the United States 20th (71.05), Canada 24th (67.62) and Australia 16th (73.54).


Photo: CEO World

Looking at the metrics individually, Denmark’s performance was variable.

The Nordic nation was the 17th-most expensive country on the cost of rent index.

For groceries, it was some way down the list at 21st – a surprising conclusion, given that Statistics Denmark last year found Denmark to be the most expensive country in the EU for food and drink products (excluding alcoholic drinks).

Nevertheless, cooking at home may be a good way to save money in Denmark, since it ranked as the fourth-most expensive country to eat at a restaurant – behind Switzerland, Iceland and Norway.

For local purchasing power, Denmark is 8th on the list.

READ ALSO: These are the best ways to save money in Denmark

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members

COST OF LIVING

At what time of the day is electricity cheapest in Denmark?

The electricity rate for customers in Denmark may vary hour-to-hour due to several factors and can fall way below the average price. So when is it cheapest?

At what time of the day is electricity cheapest in Denmark?

The price of electricity could defy the current era of soaring energy costs and fall to around 0 kroner (before transport and taxes are applied) for a short period around 2pm on Wednesday.

The electricity price per kilowatt hour could fall to zero on October 5th because of windy weather across Europe, which will result in huge electricity production from both on- and offshore wind turbines, broadcaster DR reports.

Combined with solar energy, which doesn’t factor in when electricity prices fall at night but does in the afternoon, this will force the market price of electricity close to zero, according to the report.

Additionally, heavy rain in Norway and Sweden, both of which have large hydropower production, can also help reduce the price of electricity in Denmark.

Before you connect everything to the grid at 2pm, keep in mind that electricity won’t be completely free to consumers. Transport costs and taxes of around 1.40 kroner still apply, DR notes.

The cost of electricity will nevertheless be low throughout Wednesday afternoon.

That sounds unexpected at a time when electricity costs this winter are expected to be far higher than they were in 2021 and the government has announced measures to help households pay bills. Cities are introducing their own saving measures to reduce electricity use.

“We actually expect [low daytime rates on Wednesday] to persist for a while. At the moment it looks like there will be wind until the weekend and we anticipate a lot of rain will fall,” Jack Kristensen, functions manager with Denmark’s largest energy company Andel Energi, told news wire Ritzau.

“It is predictably the hours where there’s not much consumption that it will be cheapest,” he said.

“Preceding days have been much higher in price,” he said.

Kristensen said he predicted hourly prices on Wednesday of 3 øre (0.03 kroner) per kilowatt hour from 1pm-2pm, followed by 0.2 øre (0.002 kroner) per kilowatt hour from 2pm-3pm.

The most expensive times of day – when people are waking up and around dinner time – have recently seen prices at around 1.10-1.20 kroner per kilowatt hour, Kristensen told Ritzau.

Taxes and transport costs should be added to these figures to get the overall price. In August, the total price of electricity per kilowatt hour hit a peak of 9.47 kroner on August 30th, according to data reported by DR.

People searching for electricity savings should also keep in mind that the rate falls at night.

Because drops in the hourly electricity price caused by increased wind production are highly dependent on weather conditions, they are not easy to predict.

However, apps can be used to monitor electricity prices. These include the ‘Min strøm’ app, which has been downloaded by tens of thousands of people in Denmark. Popular alternatives are the ‘Elpriser’ and ‘Andel Energi’ apps.

Lower nighttime prices can be taken advantage of by setting timers on thirsty appliances like dishwashers and tumble dryers and running them at night.

The autumn could bring about a general fall in Danish electricity prices compared to August and September because of windier weather, according to an industry analyst who spoke to DR.

“With robustly windy weather over Denmark, Sweden and Germany, we and our neighbours will be able to produce lots of cheap electricity and we will have hours with very low electricity prices during the course of the autumn,” said Kristian Rune Poulsen, senior consultant with industry interest organisation Green Power Denmark, in comments to the broadcaster.

High levels of sustainable energy production make electricity prices less dependent on gas prices because less gas is needed to produce the electricity Denmark needs.

The war in Ukraine is a major factor causing gas prices to go up, also affecting the electricity price.

READ ALSO: How people in Denmark are changing their energy use to keep bills down

SHOW COMMENTS