The Legatum Institute, a London-based think tank, release their global Prosperity Index annually. The survey ranks the most prosperous countries in the world. Many assume prosperity is used in reference to the financial standing of a country and, while this is included, the Legatum Institute considers more factors in its ranking.
Ranking in 7th place in their most recent study (out of 149 countries) was Denmark. This puts Denmark in the top 6%, with its rankings for Social Capital (4th), Economic Quality (5th) and Governance (8th) helping the country secure a top spot. Denmark’s lowest positions were for Health (21st) and Natural Environment (19th).
Whilst Denmark offers the perfect blend of cultural cities and untouched landscapes, what is the true cost of living there?
Denmark has a modern market economy, with much of its trade being in high-tech agriculture, renewable energy, pharmaceuticals and maritime shipping. It is a main exporter of food, oil and gas.
Most citizens of Denmark enjoy a high standard of living, with the Danish government putting money into welfare for the country. Due to this, people in Denmark are living longer and longer.
The official currency of Denmark is the Danish krone. Each krone is divided into 100 ore.
The Danish krone is available in the following denominations:
Notes: 50, 100, 200, 500, 2000 kroner
Coins: 50 ore, 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 kroner
Expat accommodation in Denmark
Typically, expats in Denmark can expect to live in a mix of apartments and houses. In Danish cities most people tend to live in apartment blocks which aren’t often suited to family life. Professional couples and individuals tend to live in this style of home. The suburbs is where expats will find more family friendly homes, most of which have gardens, making them popular with children.
Expat healthcare in Denmark
Like most Scandinavian countries, the healthcare offered in Denmark is world-class. Taxes in Denmark are considered high, but this means that those living in the country can benefit from a high level of ‘free’ healthcare. Visitors from European countries can gain access to this care with an EHIC card.
Visitors from outside of Europe are encouraged to invest in private medical cover before taking residence in Denmark. Expats should also register at the local National Register office for a National Health Insurance Card which should be presented when being given any treatment.
Expat education in Denmark
Students in Denmark are publicly funded up to degree level. Children in the country are some of the most highly educated in the world and school is compulsory from age 7 to age 16. However most students carry on to college and university as it is provided by the state.
Whilst all Danish schools provide free Danish lessons to expat children, there are English speaking international schools available. These are also funded by the government so expat parents face very few costs when it comes to schooling their children in Denmark.
Jobs in Denmark for expats
The working environment in Denmark is praised for its encouragement of a well-balanced family and work life. As well as a strong business climate and an effective government, many expats are drawn to Denmark for its employment opportunities.
You can work in Denmark without knowing Danish as many companies use English as their primary language. Typical areas of expat employment are:
- Building and construction
- Business services
Comparison to UK
The world’s largest database, Numbeo, has a vast selection of user contributed data in regard to Denmark.
The tables below provide an over view of the differences in costs between Denmark and the UK. Please note that all Danish prices have been converted into British pounds.
|Groceries||UK Price (£)||Danish Price (£)||Cheaper Country?|
|White bread (500g)||£0.95||£1.84||UK|
|Local Cheese (1kg)||£6.04||£8.73||UK|
|Transport||UK Price (£)||Danish Price (£)||Cheaper Country?|
|Utilities (Monthly)||UK Price (£)||Danish Price (£)||Cheaper Country?|
|Electricity/Heating/Water for 85m2 apartment||£150.49||£136.46||Denmark|
|1 minute of PAYG talk time||£0.07||£0.10||Denmark|
|Internet (10 Mbps, unlimited data, cable/ADSL)||£24.39||£27.52||UK|
|Clothing||UK Price (£)||Danish Price (£)||Cheaper Country?|
|Jeans (Levi or similar)||£56.61||£82.20||UK|
|Dress (chain store)||£29.07||£33.29||UK|
|Nike running shoe||£55.00||£88.66||UK|
|Leather business shoes||£61.56||£116.33||UK|
|Eating Out||UK Price (£)||Danish Price (£)||Cheaper Country?|
|Fast food meal||£5.00||£8.33||UK|
|3 course, mid-range, 2 people||£55.00||£60.00||UK|