'One in three' Ukrainian refugees in Denmark wants to stay after war

Ritzau/The Local
Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
'One in three' Ukrainian refugees in Denmark wants to stay after war
People gather at Copenhagen's central Rådhuspladsen during a speech to Denmark by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky in May last year. Around a third of Ukrainians said in a government survey they would like to continue their lives in Denmark after the war. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

Around a third of Ukrainian refugees currently in Denmark say they would prefer to continue their lives in the Nordic country once the war in Ukraine is over, according to a government survey.


The survey was conducted by the Ministry of Immigration and Integration, which has published the results in a press statement.

Some 37 percent of adult Ukrainians who are in Denmark as a result of the war said they want to stay.

Slightly more – 40 percent – said that they wanted to stay in Denmark for as long as there is war in Ukraine, or until the security situation there allows them to return safely.


The Danish government has in recent years followed the principle that refugees must return to their home countries once it is deemed safe for them to do so (by Danish authorities). This has led to some controversial decisions to send Syrians back to the Damascus area.

Around 30,000 Ukrainians have come to Denmark as refugees since the Russian invasion began on February 24th last year.

That number includes 17,126 adults over the age of 18 who were given residence and work permits in Denmark under a special law passed by parliament last spring.

Around 7,500 Ukrainian refugees, around 44 percent of those over 18, responded to the government survey.

The mayor of the Faaborg-Midtfyn municipality, Hans Stavnsager, told news wire Ritzau he would not be opposed to Ukrainians housed in the area remaining in the longer term. Some 321 Ukrainian refugees were allocated housing in Faaborg-Midtfyn.

“This is maybe a bit of a selfish opinion to have because in reality it’s important for as many of them as possible to come back to Ukraine and help rebuild the country,” Stavnsager said.

“But from a selfish perspective I think it would be good for the municipality if a lot of them stay. We need the labour – as a municipality and for our businesses,” he said.

The government survey found that the views of Ukrainian refugees on returning to Ukraine after the war display different trends by age. Older Ukrainians were more likely to say they want to return.

It is perhaps not surprising that the overall percentage that is keen to stay on is relatively high. The ministry survey found that Ukrainians who chose to flee to Denmark over other European countries are likely to have done so because they already had contacts or a network in the Nordic country.

Two in three of those responding to the survey said they either had a connection to Denmark before the war or that they had a network in Denmark because of the war – for example if their friends fled to Denmark before they did.

The survey was conducted in October and November 2022.

READ ALSO: Which Nordic country has taken in the most Ukrainian refugees?


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