Scientific researcher Tåsinge, Denmark Solar panels and wind turbines Copenhagen Typing with keyboard Oresund bridge, Denmark, in winter Young technical professional

Living and working in Denmark

map of Europe showing country of Denmark

Denmark’s official website

More useful links:
Nine Essential Tips if you are new to Denmark About living and studying in Denmark
Visit Denmark The official site about tourism in Denmark

Denmark is a small country with a population of only 5.5 million people yet has one of the largest coast lines in Europe and is one of the world’s oldest monarchies with a history that stretches back to the Viking Age around the year 1000. Danish society rests on the foundation of the Danish constitution of 1849, and the political system has since been characterized by broad solutions across the political divide. Denmark is often cited as one of the world’s best countries to live in.

The strong welfare state ensures economic equality in society and the virtual non-existence of corruption, while polls repeatedly show that the Danes are among the happiest people in the world.

Work-life balance: the Danish way

Could it be that the Danes are always being voted the happiest people in the world because of their healthy balance between work and private life? Denmark prides itself on having a healthy work-life balance. The Danish welfare model, with its flexible working conditions and social support networks, including maternity leave and childcare facilities, not only puts Denmark at the top of the international equality league table, but also contributes to a generally high standard of living.

For some, work is a major priority, while for others family and leisure time are valued more highly. There are as many work-life balance equations as there are individuals. Yet many countries are now trying to emulate the Danish quality of life and generally high standard of living.

Denmark coast, sandunes


Denmark's weather is quite mild and the climate of Denmark is temperate, made mild by mostly west winds and by the seas surrounding Denmark almost entirely. A very popular Danish saying suggests ‘There is never bad weather, only not appropriate clothing.’ Considering the ever-shifting Danish weather, it might be quite difficult to decide what is appropriate clothing.

Quick Facts
Climate: Temperate
Weather: Mild
Winter: -13° – 0°C (9° – 32°F)
Spring: 5° – 15°C (41° – 59°F)
Summer: 18° – 26°C (64° – 79°F)
Autumn: 24° – 5°C (75° – 41°F)

Copenhagen has an average of 170 rainy days. The greatest rainfall comes between September and November. Snow is rare. Because of Denmark’s northern location in Europe, the length of the day with sunlight varies greatly. This is typical for Scandinavia.

Outdoor activities are accessible and popular


This thoroughly modern market economy features a high-tech agricultural sector, state-of-the-art industry with world-leading firms in pharmaceuticals, maritime shipping and renewable energy, and a high dependence on foreign trade.

Denmark is a net exporter of food and energy and enjoys a comfortable balance of payments surplus, but depends on imports of raw materials for the manufacturing sector. Within the EU, Denmark is among the strongest supporters of trade liberalization.

Denmark's support to families is outstanding in Europe


Education in Denmark is compulsory (undervisningspligt) for children below the age of 15 or 16, even though it is not compulsory to attend folkeskole (‘public school’). The school years up to the age of fifteen/sixteen are known as Folkeskole, since any education has to match the level offered there. About 82% of young people take further education in addition to this. Government-funded education is usually free of charge and open to all. Denmark has a tradition of private schools and about 15.6% of all children at basic school level attend private schools, which are supported by a voucher system.

Here is an overview of the levels of education in Denmark:
Primary and lower secondary education
Upper secondary education
Vocational education and training
Higher education
Adult learning.

Before starting pre-school most children in Denmark benefit from day-care services such as nurseries and kindergarten. Pre-school, which is optional, is followed by nine years of compulsory education in primary and lower secondary school. There is an optional tenth form. The upper secondary education system includes a range of opportunities. Academic programmes allow students to apply for entry to higher education. Vocational programmes are aimed at direct entry to the labour market.

The higher education sector includes:
Universities (research-based undergraduate and postgraduate programmes).
University Colleges (professional Bachelor's programmes).
Academies of Professional Higher Education (short-cycle higher education institutions offering Academy Profession and joint Bachelor's degree programmes.
Adult education. The opportunities for lifelong learning in terms of adult education are many. They are offered at all levels. Individual courses are also offered under the Act on Open Education, either at college or university.

Outdoor activities are accessible and popular


The Danes are well known for their love of cycling and cities all around the world are now looking at ways to copy this phenomenon. It really is biking heaven for the cyclist in Copenhagen with over 390 kilometers of designated bike lanes. Every morning at around 7am Copenhagen comes to life. Men in business suits, women fashionably dressed in the latest styles down to their high heel shoes and parents carrying their children in a cargo bike all hop on their bikes and get off to work or school.

Copenhagen and the Oresund bridge

Top Attractions Every year millions of tourists visit Denmark. Some come to see attractions such as Tivoli, the Little Mermaid or Legoland. Others come to enjoy Danish food culture and the New Nordic Cuisine which today dominates the world of gastronomy. And some come to enjoy the Danish countryside with its many thousands of kilometers of coastline. But regardless of why many tourists visit Denmark, studies show that the friendly Danish population is always one of the greatest attractions.

Architecture Danish architecture has a long and fine history and world famous architectural buildings can be seen right across the globe. From the iconic Sydney Opera House to the world’s best residential house in 2011 in Copenhagen.

Literature Danish is a small language with only around 5.6 million speakers. Yet Denmark has a rich literary tradition with authors such as H.C. Andersen, Søren Kierkegaard, Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen), who have all made their mark on world literature.

Copenhagen Opera House

Music The Copenhagen Opera House is the national opera house of Denmark, and among the most modern opera houses in the world. It is also one of the most expensive opera houses ever built with construction costs well over 500 million U.S. dollars. It is located on the island of Holmen in central Copenhagen.

The Opera House is a donation from the A.P. Møller and Chastine McKinney Møller Foundation to the Danish people. It totals 41,000 square meters. Five of the fourteen storeys are subterranean. The main stage of the opera seats an audience of 1400.

Roskilde Festival is the largest North European culture and music festival and has existed since 1971. It is a non-profit organization consisting of about 50 full-time employees and thousands of volunteers. Each year, The Roskilde Festival Charity Society, which is the association behind Roskilde Festival, ensures that the profits from the festival are donated directly to humanitarian and cultural purposes.

Outdoor activities are accessible and popular


Nordic food has been making something of a comeback in recent years. Following research by scientists at the University of Copenhagen that found traditional Scandinavian cuisine to be every bit as healthy as its Mediterranean counterpart, there has been a surge of interest in the scientific and gastronomic communities.

One of the driving forces behind the rising popularity of Nordic cuisine is the success of a small restaurant on the Christianshavn waterfront. Noma – a contraction of Nordic Mad (‘mad’ is food in Danish). The exclusive Michelin-starred restaurant was founded by Claus Meyer in partnership with head chef Rene Redzepi with the intention of reinventing Nordic cuisine – something he is now widely credited as having done.

Outdoor activities are accessible and popular


The Danes like sports – as participants, spectators and in front of the television. Almost two million people actively participate in sports as members of an association. Almost two thirds of all children and young people are engaged in organized sports in their leisure time.

Football is the national sport of Denmark and the most popular sport played here. Currently there are nearly 300,000 players and 1,614 clubs registered with the Danish Football Association.

Cost of living


  • A meal at an inexpensive restaurant: 14.05€
  • A three-course meal for two at a mid-ranged restaurant: 70.60€
  • 1 Liter of milk: 0.91€
  • Fresh white Bread: 2.39€
  • 1 kilogram of oranges: 2.81€
  • 1 kilogram of potatoes: 1.45€
  • 1 kilogram of chicken breasts: 9.08€


  • A monthly pass for the local transport system: 52.42€
  • 1 km with a taxi with normal tariff: 1.57€
  • 1 liter of gasoline: 1.65€


  • Monthly utilities: 131.47€
  • 1 minute of pre-paid mobile tariff: 0.11€
  • Internet access (6Mbps, Flat Rate, Cable/ADSL): 23.35€


  • The monthly fee for an adult at a fitness centre: 42.65€
  • 1 hour tennis court rent in the weekend: 16.79€
  • 1 seat in the cinema for an international release: 11.46€


  • The rent for a 1 bedroom apartment ranges from 630 to 840€
  • The rent for a 3 bedroom apartment: 1080 – 1500€
Outdoor activities are accessible and popular


Personal income tax in Denmark is calculated on the income earned in the course of the calendar year. Most of the tax is collected during the year by the employer withholding a part of the employee’s wages before payment. The amount retained by the employer is paid to the tax authorities as a provisional tax.

Married couples are taxed separately. In Denmark there are local and state taxes. Municipal income tax is levied on taxable income and varies according to the municipality, between 20.14% and 26.71%. In Copenhagen, the country’s capital, the municipal tax rate is 24%.

Taxation is based on categories of income:

Income, in DKK in Euros Tax
0 to 41,000 0 to 5,516 0%
41,000 to 279,800 5,516 to 37,641 37.48%
279,800 - 335,800 37,641 - 45,175 43.48%
335,800 + 45,175 + 59%

1DKK ≈ 7.43€

The tech industry in Denmark

Denmark is very appealing to people working in the engineering, high-tech and IT fields as the country is at the forefront of innovation and research, and provides excellent opportunities for career development with attractive salaries.

At the forefront of CleanTech

Meet Ivan Paudice, an Aerospace Engineer from Italy who shares his experience of working and living in Denmark

Denmark is a global leader in the development of environ­mentally and climate-friendly energy solutions. Cleantech is one of Denmark’s fastest growing sectors, and the country has the ambitious goal of becoming the first fossil fuel free country by 2050.

Denmark is in particular known for its wind power, fuel cells, bioenergy, recycling, waste management and solar energy.

Pioneers and world leaders in wind energy

Denmark is world famous for wind energy. Danes pioneered commercial wind power in the 1970’s and today about 30 per cent of the nation’s energy is generated from this renewable resource. 80 per cent of all global offshore turbines are Danish, with Danish companies controlling a third of the global wind market.

An oil and gas nation

Oil rig at Esbjerg harbour

Denmark is the third largest oil producer in Western Europe, with oil and gas accounting for 9 per cent of Denmark’s annual export. Large quantities of oil and gas still remain to be discovered in the Danish part of the North Sea, thus attracting engineers from all over the world to work for Danish companies as they await great career opportunities.

World leader in Life Sciences - BioTech, MedTech and Pharma

The life science industry in Denmark is one of the strongest clusters in Europe with a world leading R&D spending, clinical testing and drug development. Denmark is number two in the world for developing biotechnology and number one in Europe in number of clinical trials per capita.

Internationally acclaimed ICT sector

Denmark has a world-class IT infrastructure with one of the world’s highest ICT penetration for mobiles, broadband and PCs.
   Over the last decades Denmark has developed a very attractive and internationally acclaimed ICT sector, especially within robotics, sound technology, wireless and mobile technology, intelligent transport, and embedded software development. The ICT industry has become a key area in Denmark in terms of economic growth, innovation and entrepreneurship, and will continue to be a growing sector. Denmark is Europe’s most digital nation with citizens able to handle almost everything online.

Meet Wayne Johnson a Software Engineer & ‘Code Butcher’ from Australia, sharing his experience of life as a programmer in Denmark.

Other leading sectors in Denmark include construction, maritime, architecture and agriculture.

Top 10 reasons to move to Denmark

1. Great career possibilities – Denmark is world known for being at the forefront of innovation

2. Work-life balance

3. High quality of life

4. Safe society and low corruption

5. Green and healthy lifestyle

6. Flexible labour market and attractive salaries

7. An English-speaking society – 86% of the population speaks English

8. Family-friendly

9. Beautiful nature with forests, sandy beaches, and green parks mixed with old monuments, castles and modern architecture.

10. Easily accessible with Northern Europe’s largest international airport.