For a small country with only 5.5 million inhabitants, the Danes have a high profile abroad. Whether it’s regarding world-class design, cinema, TV crime thrillers or new Nordic food, Denmark regularly makes international headlines. Denmark is well known for having the highest taxes in the world and one of the highest standards of living in Western Europe. It is also one of the most egalitarian countries in the world, while each year the Danes give 0.8% of their Gross National Income to foreign aid.
Yet who are the Danes and what gives them their national identity? Find out some interesting facts below and learn more by reading personal stories from Danes about their homes and lifestyles.
Jens and Peter are the most popular first names for men, while Anne and Kirsten are the most popular first names for women. Victor and Emma are the most popular names among new born children. Jensen, Nielsen and Hansen are the most popular surnames.
Danes live a shorter time than people in other European countries. In the 1960’s, Denmark had one of the highest life expectancies in Europe but now one of the lowest.
The latest life expectancy has been calculated at 77.9 years for men and 81.9 years for women. Nearly 95 per cent of Danes use the National Health Service which is state-owned and paid for by general taxation.
Denmark has very generous maternity leave for both parents. Children born in 2011 were happy to see that their parents stayed at home to look after them for 311 days after their birth. The mothers accounted for the greater part with 295 days, while the fathers had 36 days.
Immigrants and descendants
In January 2013, immigrants and descendants comprised 10.7 per cent of the total Danish population (600,674 persons) – about 8.1 per cent are immigrants and 2.6 per cent are descendants. 54 per cent of all immigrants and descendants originate from a European country.
Together they represent about 200 different countries. Turkey, Germany, and Poland represent the highest shares of immigrants and descendants.
Danes love of democracy – Electoral turnout
In connection with the first four elections in the 1970s, more than 87 per cent of the electorate exercised their right to vote. Subsequent elections have attracted fluctuating electoral turnout, with the minimum rate being 82.8 per cent in 1990.The latest general election attracted 87.7 per cent of all voters. The electoral turnout in Denmark is among the highest in Europe.