Denmark Economy - 2021


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Economic overview

This thoroughly modern market economy features advanced industry with world-leading firms in pharmaceuticals, maritime shipping, and renewable energy, and a high-tech agricultural sector. Danes enjoy a high standard of living, and the Danish economy is characterized by extensive government welfare measures and an equitable distribution of income. An aging population will be a long-term issue.

Denmark’s small open economy is highly dependent on foreign trade, and the government strongly supports trade liberalization. Denmark is a net exporter of food, oil, and gas and enjoys a comfortable balance of payments surplus, but depends on imports of raw materials for the manufacturing sector.

Denmark is a member of the EU but not the eurozone. Despite previously meeting the criteria to join the European Economic and Monetary Union, Denmark has negotiated an opt-out with the EU and is not required to adopt the euro.

Denmark is experiencing a modest economic expansion. The economy grew by 2.0% in 2016 and 2.1% in 2017. The expansion is expected to decline slightly in 2018. Unemployment stood at 5.5% in 2017, based on the national labor survey. The labor market was tight in 2017, with corporations experiencing some difficulty finding appropriately-skilled workers to fill billets. The Danish Government offers extensive programs to train unemployed persons to work in sectors that need qualified workers.

Denmark maintained a healthy budget surplus for many years up to 2008, but the global financial crisis swung the budget balance into deficit. Since 2014 the balance has shifted between surplus and deficit. In 2017 there was a surplus of 1.0%. The government projects a lower deficit in 2018 and 2019 of 0.7%, and public debt (EMU debt) as a share of GDP is expected to decline to 35.6% in 2018 and 34.8% in 2019. The Danish Government plans to address increasing municipal, public housing and integration spending in 2018.

Real GDP growth rate

2.85% (2019 est.)

2.18% (2018 est.)

2.83% (2017 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

0.7% (2019 est.)

0.8% (2018 est.)

1.1% (2017 est.)

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: AAA (2003)

Moody's rating: Aaa (1999)

Standard & Poors rating: AAA (2001)

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$336.335 billion (2019 est.)

$327.017 billion (2018 est.)

$320.053 billion (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$350.037 billion (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$57,804 (2019 est.)

$56,444 (2018 est.)

$55,517 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

Gross national saving

31.5% of GDP (2019 est.)

29.7% of GDP (2018 est.)

29.2% of GDP (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 1.3% (2017 est.)

industry: 22.9% (2017 est.)

services: 75.8% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 48% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 25.2% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 20% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: -0.2% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 54.5% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -47.5% (2017 est.)

Ease of Doing Business Index scores

Overall score: 85.3 (2020)

Starting a Business score: 92.7 (2020)

Trading score: 100 (2020)

Enforcement score: 73.9 (2020)

Agricultural products

milk, wheat, barley, potatoes, sugar beet, pork, rye, rapeseed, oats, poultry


wind turbines, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, shipbuilding and refurbishment, iron, steel, nonferrous metals, chemicals, food processing, machinery and transportation equipment, textiles and clothing, electronics, construction, furniture and other wood products

Industrial production growth rate

2.5% (2017 est.)

Labor force

2.736 million (2020 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 2.4%

industry: 18.3%

services: 79.3% (2016 est.)

Unemployment rate

3.05% (2019 est.)

3.07% (2018 est.)

Population below poverty line

12.5% (2018 est.)

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

28.7 (2017 est.)

27.5 (2010 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 9%

highest 10%: 23.4% (2016 est.)


revenues: 172.5 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 168.9 billion (2017 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

53% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

1.1% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Public debt

35.3% of GDP (2017 est.)

37.9% of GDP (2016 est.)

note: data cover general government debt and include debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intragovernmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

$30.935 billion (2019 est.)

$24.821 billion (2018 est.)


$226.589 billion (2019 est.)

$215.725 billion (2018 est.)

$208.941 billion (2017 est.)

Exports - partners

Germany 14%, United States 11%, Sweden 10%, United Kingdom 7%, Norway 6%, Netherlands 5%, China 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

packaged medicines, electric generators, pork, refined petroleum, medical cultures/vaccines (2019)


$197.818 billion (2019 est.)

$193.107 billion (2018 est.)

$184.338 billion (2017 est.)

Imports - partners

Germany 21%, Sweden 11%, Netherlands 8%, China 7% (2019)

Imports - commodities

cars, refined petroleum, packaged medicines, crude petroleum, broadcasting equipment (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$75.25 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$64.25 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

Debt - external

$504.808 billion (2019 est.)

$517.972 billion (2018 est.)

Exchange rates

Danish kroner (DKK) per US dollar -

6.16045 (2020 est.)

6.7506 (2019 est.)

6.5533 (2018 est.)

6.7236 (2014 est.)

5.6125 (2013 est.)

NOTE: The information regarding Denmark on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Denmark 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Denmark 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.