Denmark Economy - History

Denmark Economy - History

Budget: Income .............. $62.1 Billion
Expenditure ... $66.4 Billion

Main Crops: Grain, potatoes, rape, sugar beets; beef, dairy products; fish

Natural Resources: Petroleum, natural gas, fish, salt, limestone, stone, gravel and sand .Major Industries: Food processing, machinery and equipment, textiles and clothing, chemical products, electronics, construction, furniture, and other wood products, shipbuilding

GDP (2002): $172 billion.
Annual growth rate (real terms): 1.6%.
Per capita income: $32,079.
Agriculture and fisheries (2.4% of GDP at gross value added): Products--meat, milk, grains, seeds, hides, fur skin, fish and shellfish.
Industry (21.0% of GDP at gross value added): Types--industrial and construction equipment, food processing, electronics, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, furniture, textiles, windmills, and ships.
Natural resources: North Sea--oil and gas, fish. Greenland--fish and shrimp, potential for hydrocarbons and minerals, including zinc, lead, molybdenum, uranium, gold, platinum. The Faroe Islands--fish, potential for hydrocarbons.

Trade (2002): Exports--$56.1 billion: manufactured goods 80% (of which machinery and instruments 37%); agricultural products 10% (of which pork and pork products cover 48%), fuels 2%, fish and fish products 3%, other 4%. Imports--$48.8 billion: raw materials and semi-manufactures 43%, consumer goods 28%, capital equipment 15%, transport equipment 8%, fuels 4%, other 2%. Partners (% of total trade in goods)--Germany 21%, Sweden 12%, U.K. 9%, U.S. 5%, Norway 5%, Japan 2%, east European countries 5%.
Official exchange rate: (2001 avg.): 8.32 kroner=U.S. $1; (2002 avg.): 7.88 kroner=U.S. $1

A Short History of Denmark

The first inhabitants of Denmark were nomadic hunters but present-day Denmark can trace its roots back to when the region was settled by the Danes, a tribe that possibly migrated south from Sweden around 500 AD. In the late 9th century, Norwegian Viking warriors conquered the Jutland peninsula and Danish monarchy dates back to Viking Chief Hardegon's son, Gorm the Old.

In the 16th century the Reformation swept through the country. Although the fighting ended in 1536 and a Danish Lutheran church headed by the monarchy was established, the Thirty Years War with Sweden was even more damaging for Denmark. During the Napoleonic Wars Britain attacked Copenhagen twice and the Swedes then wrested Norway from Denmark.

By the 1830s, there was a cultural revolution in Denmark. Neutral in WWI, Denmark reaffirmed its neutrality at the outbreak of WWII but, on 9 April 1940, with German warplanes flying over Copenhagen, Denmark surrendered to Germany. When Norway broke its political ties with Denmark in the early 19th century, the former Norwegian colonies of Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands stayed under Danish administration.

Economic History Of Denmark

Denmark is situated alongside the Jutland Peninsula border somewhere in Northern Europe and in between Baltic ocean and North Sea. Germany and Danish isles also lie alongside the peninsula border. The total area is somewhere close to 43,069 sq. kms. Previously, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Sweden and many more were part of the Danish territories and separated into individual units following Napoleon&rsquos defeat in 1814. The regional referendum forced North Schleswig to be part of Denmark thereby Denmark enjoying its union in 1944.

The Danish economy has been shaped due to many advantages that it faced. We all are aware that Denmark is one of the developed as well as richest nations in the world. It ranks seventh, with an income that is as close as $29.231.

One of the reasons for this nation to be performing in such a way is because of clear implementation of favorable and working policies. The neighboring territories have always played a great role in boosting the economy. Like any other nation agriculture was considered as the primary factor for the nation doing well. The manufacturing industry began only in 1950 and it eventually took over the staple occupation. This took place in 1991 and since then Denmark has made its mark felt in the export sector. Fifty years later, Denmark faced a major crisis due to the sale of almost fifty percent of Crown lands. With an increase in population and decline of mortality rates, in the eighteenth century Denmark evolved both technologically and innovation wise. The growth rate grew from 0.4 percent to 0.6 percent in the 19th century itself. In the twentieth century, Denmark made its mark in the international market.

Denmark was the only nation to be untouched by the effects of the First World War, and carried trade activities perfectly. The agricultural improvement went up to 5 percent within ten years.

Agricultural goods represent nearly eighty percent of overall exports. Certain reforms like tax deductibility did prove to be a boom to Denmark farmers. This nation presently fits itself in a category of small successful economy and its policies played a most important role in the overall world economy.

Did you know that the Danish flag is one of the oldest recognized and used one? No other nation has managed to have a flag that is old. Surrounding by controversies like the design being a replicated one, it has managed to save its integrity. The flag is red in color with white cross which somewhat looks like the Red Cross sign. More..

Denmark: Inflation records over seven-year high in May

Consumer prices rose a seasonally-adjusted 0.19% over the previous month in May, below April's 0.38% increase.

Denmark: GDP falls back to contraction in Q1

Economic activity swung back into contraction in the first quarter of 2021, with GDP declining 1.3% in seasonally-adjusted quarter-on-quarter terms, slightly above the preliminary estimate of a 1.5% drop but contrasting the 0.8% expansion recorded in Q4 2020.

Denmark: Business confidence continues to improve in May

Business confidence among firms in the manufacturing sector improved in May, with sentiment clocking in at 4—the best result since August 2018—from April’s 1.

Denmark: Consumer sentiment turns optimistic in May

Consumer confidence climbed in May and came in at plus 2.8, markedly up from April’s minus 1.1.

Biggest Industries In Denmark

The country holds a prominent position in the world economy. It is ranked 39th in the list of world’s largest national economy index with a nominal gross domestic product of 0.32 trillion dollars. At the same time, it is the world’s 60th largest economy in terms of Purchasing Power Parity (PPP). It has a diverse economy that is a mixture of agriculture, services, and industry. With more than 75% contribution by the service sector in GDP, Denmark’s economy mainly relies on Human Resources. On the other hand, the industrial sector contributes 19.1 percent to the gross domestic product of the country. This makes it the 2nd main resource that contributes to the total GDP of Denmark. With that, the following are the biggest industries that make Denmark a strong economy in the world:


More than 60 percent of the total area of Denmark is used for agricultural purposes. This allows it to produce two times more food than its total national food requirements. Denmark produces a variety of food products for both domestic use and exports including vegetables, seeds, grass, milk, meat and organic products. The significance of this industry can be understood with the fact that it accounts for more than twenty percent of total commodity exports for Denmark.


The tourism industry of Denmark contributes around 125 billion dollars of revenue in the country's economy. Rich history, natural beauty, sandy beaches and countless tourist attractions attract millions of visitors to Denmark every year. The country not only receives visitors from Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, and Norway but also welcomes global tourists as one of the top travel destinations in the world.


Denmark’s diverse energy sector plays an important role in the country’s economy. It is believed that coal power fulfills 21.6% of the country’s total energy requirements. Also, Denmark ranks 32nd amongst the countries that export crude oil, and statistics suggest that crude oil contributes a 33.4% share to cover Denmark’s energy demands. At the same time, 18% of energy supply comes from natural gas. Remaining 27% energy demand is supplied by renewable sources. This includes biomass, solar, wind power, nuclear and geothermal energy projects. Effective energy policies also helped Denmark to significantly reduce the country’s energy consumption. These policies and strategies made an overall 6% decrease in total energy consumption in Denmark.


Denmark has made major investments in the transportation sector. It has developed a modern transport network of motorways and railways. It has three major airports, namely Copenhagen Airport, Billund Airport and Aalborg Airport that serve more than 33 million passengers per year. On the other hand, five other airports provide better connectivity throughout the country. Other than the land and air routes, the country has also developed a number of ports that not only serve around fifty million passengers per year but also handle more than 100 million tons of cargo shipments each year.

Top Export Goods And Export Partners Of Denmark

In 2014, the most recent year with stats, Denmark exported $99 billion worth of goods. That makes the country the 39th largest export economy on Earth. The major exports of Denmark include packaged medicaments ($9.2B), refined petroleum ($3.79B), pig meat ($3.24B), electric generating sets ($2.33B) and human or animal blood ($2.31B). The top export partners that Denmark has are Germany ($14.3B), Sweden($11.1B), the United Kingdom ($7.78B), the United States ($7.62B) and Norway ($5.53B).

Denmark GDP Growth Rate 1961-2021

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Denmark GDP Growth Rate 1961-2021

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Denmark: Not As Socialist (Nor As Successful) As You Think

Bernie Sanders would like the United States to model itself after Denmark. Not the real Denmark, mind you, but a romanticized version of what its government does, and of how well it does it.

As Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen himself put it, in reaction to this fictionalized vision of his country: "I would like to make one thing clear. Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy."

Admittedly, it is a market economy with high taxes and an extensive welfare state. But it wasn't always so--and it might not stay that way for very much longer.

First, a bit of history. Denmark did not become wealthy through redistribution alone, obviously. In fact, as Otto Brøns-Petersen of Denmark's Center for Political Studies recently explained, it got rich under a taxation and spending regime not that different from that of the big bad United States. Danish tax levels only took off starting in the mid-1960s--and the country's process of catching up to US wealth levels soon after came to a halt. In other words, Denmark became rich first, and only then ratcheted up its tax rates.

Next, some perspective. Denmark still qualifies as a market economy today despite its high taxes and large welfare state for a number of important reasons. As Brøns-Petersen points out, property rights are well-protected, the currency is sound, international trade is relatively free, and the regulation of business, labour, and credit is light. There are few restrictions on hiring and firing, there's no legislated minimum wage, and taxpayers are not called upon to bail out their banks.

For these kinds of reasons, Denmark scores quite well when it comes to overall economic freedom: 22nd on the Fraser Institute's Economic Freedom of the World report, and 11th on the Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Freedom. It ranks even higher on the World Bank's "Doing Business" list, coming in at number 3.

Finally, Denmark's welfare state is more of a rickety derelict than a solid structure. Successive governments have had to repeatedly reform the system, scaling back its benefits. British journalist Michael Booth, who has lived in Scandinavia for over a decade and written a book about his experience there, says that the quality of the free education and health care Danes receive is far from great. Their PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) educational rankings are just average, they have the lowest life expectancy in the EU aside from former communist countries, and the highest rates of death from cancer in the world.

Booth also says there is a broad consensus that the Danish welfare state remains unsustainable, despite the many reforms of recent decades. "The Danes' dirty secret is that its public sector has been propped up by--now dwindling--oil revenues."

The lessons to draw from the Danish model are clear, even if they're not the ones Bernie Sanders would like us to draw. The Danes benefited from low taxes in order to get rich, and they remain fairly well-off thanks to a light regulatory touch, but their extensive welfare state is not the great success it's cracked up to be. Anything else is just a romanticized fairy tale.

Denmark Economy - History

Economy - 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.

Agriculture - products:
barley, wheat, potatoes, sugar beets pork, dairy products fish

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

Denmark - Country history and economic development

1871. Denmark's socialist movement is officially founded, the start of a strong and diverse socialist tradition influencing Danish politics in the years to come.

1901. Change of political system to a constitutional monarchy, creating the Government (body of ministers selected by the queen) and the Folketing (representatives elected by the people).

1914-18. Denmark remains neutral during World War I.

1915. Constitutional reform women and servants are enfranchised.

1933. Social reform movement begins, expanding the welfare and education system.

1940. Denmark occupied by Germany during World War II.

1941. United States establishes military bases in Greenland (with Danish ambassador's approval).

1945. Denmark liberated from Germany at the end of World War II.

1948. Faroe Islands, until this time part of Denmark, are granted home rule, which allows them control over domestic policy.

1949. Denmark joins North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a strategic military alliance of Western European and North American non- communist nations.

1960. Denmark joins European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA), which reduces or eliminates barriers to trade (such as tariffs ) between participants.

1967. Pornographic text and photography (excluding photos of children) is legalized, a sign of Denmark's progressive/permissive social attitudes however, response to this and the stance on abortion leads to the founding of the Danish Christian People's Party.

1973. Compulsory National Health Insurance set up (replacing sickness benefits fund).

1973. Denmark joins the European Economic Community (EEC𠅊n organization of states that lowered barriers to trade between them).

1976. Social Assistance Act introduces a unified structure of public assistance and benefits, partly needs-based.

1979. Greenland, formerly part of Denmark, is granted home rule.

1985. Greenland leaves EEC over fears of EEC regulations' effects on its fishing industry.

1985. Denmark joins the European Union.

2000. Danes reject final stage of European Monetary Union (EMU) in a referendum.

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