There is a tendency to overlook Denmark in favor of more prominent and more well-known European countries such as France and Italy. Still, the country does have its own unique identity and history. Even though you might think you are an expert in Denmark, you might not know everything. Let us tell you all about Denmark, from their healthcare to their toy exports and everything in between. If you’re here because you’re moving to Denmark, you might want to look into how you’re shipping your belongings. All you need to know about live in Denmark.
11 things to know before living in Denmark
1. Almost the happiest country on earth
According to the World Happiness Ranking from 2017-to 2019, Denmark is below Finland. The metric incorporates many factors, such as the average salary and the degree of integration with nature. Including this quote from the study: “Being poor in Denmark does not have as harsh an effect on happiness as it does in the US, where there is a much larger gap between rich and poor, and there is no similar welfare system and public services available to the poor.”
If you’re worried that you’ll miss out on the fun by not being a local, don’t be! In a study, Danish immigrants are just as happy as Danish citizens born in the country. You will have every opportunity to achieve happiness in Denmark (as long as you don’t move from Finland).
2. Culturally, they place a significant emphasis on equality
To follow up on the passage of the study we mentioned, equality doesn’t just apply to people’s happiness. There is a cultural principle of equality for everyone that no one is better than anyone else. Janteloven, The Law of Janet, is one such law that permeates Danish culture and promotes the good of the collective over the good of the few, even though it isn’t a legitimate law.
There is no word for please in this country. People often attribute this phenomenon to the emphasis on doing what you should for others.
3. Taxes there are exceptionally high.
The cultural focus on the collective means that Danish taxes are pretty high compared to taxes in other countries. There is a 25% VAT in Denmark, and the average Dane pays 45% income tax. It doesn’t matter how you slice it. A lot of money goes to the government.
Don’t be discouraged! Education and healthcare are free, or at least extremely cheap, so you can save a lot of money in the long run and won’t have to worry about an accident draining your bank account. A person who is entirely tax resident in Denmark will typically pay up to 52.07% (54.90% plus AM tax, which is also considered income tax for DTT reasons) in taxes under the conventional tax system in 2022. There are several eligible deductions. Thus the effective tax rate is typically lower.
4. The LEGO Company is Danish.
While they’re stepping away from the boring government stuff, let’s play with some toys. Many of the most famous toy brands are American, such as Barbie and Hot Wheels. One of the world’s most popular toys, LEGO, comes from Denmark. Lego has surpassed Ferrari as the world’s most powerful brand, making it one of Denmark’s most valuable assets. Their revenue was 5.16 billion euros in 2019, and while this isn’t all going to Denmark, it is an integral part of the economy.
5. Danish culture revolves around cycling.
Danish people are passionate about cycling. According to the Cycling Embassy of Denmark, Danish statistics show nine out of ten citizens own a bike. They bike so much that they have their cycling embassy. Denmark is an excellent destination for anyone who loves to exercise while being environmentally conscious. Major cities have many bike lanes, and the weather is usually pleasant enough to ride a bike outside.
6. The Danish landscape is among the flattest in the world.
Why did cycling become so integral to the Danish identity? That’s because Denmark is a country with highly narrow elevation ranges. There is only a difference of 584 feet (178 meters). Compared to Mount Everest, Denmark’s highest peak is nothing more than a stroll – the former stands at 170m, the latter at 8,848m.
7. The healthcare system is free.
This topic was discussed when we discussed taxes, but it is worth repeating. Most of Denmark’s medical costs are covered by the government. Check-ups and operations are always covered at no charge, so you don’t have to worry about spending your own money.
This system can be utilized by anyone registered as a resident of Denmark, whether through birth or from a visa. You may have to pay for prescriptions or dental check-ups in rare cases, but they won’t bankrupt you.
8. Their history is among the oldest in Europe.
While you might know some French kings or old British battles, claiming that Danish culture isn’t well known isn’t outrageous. Yet when you dig deeper, you can see that Danish history extends much further back than the history of most other European nations.
The oldest kingdom in the world is Denmark, plain and simple. Margrethe, the current queen, is descended from royal lineages dating back to 900 AD. Having a complete understanding of their family history over a millennium is something few people can claim.
9. The oldest flag in the world is theirs.
Danish icons are not just associated with the royal family. During the Battle of Lindanisse in 1219, their flag was created, making it the world’s oldest flag.
It is not easy to find a flag this old that does not have a lot of history behind it. The legend tells us that the flag miraculously fell from the sky when the Danes were on the verge of defeat, giving them the strength to fight on. We can safely say that this flag won’t be changing anytime soon, whether it was a signal from God, a mass hallucination, or some bird.
10. The water is crystal clear.
Danish cities are located along the coast, and coastal countries often lose their luster over time due to pollution. Danes, however, ensure that the water in their coastal cities stays clean and clear by taking extraordinary measures. There is a consensus that you should not swim in the Hudson or Thames. However, Copenhagen will be free of any horrifying parasitic diseases, so you can splash around the harbors without risking your life.
11. The city has hundreds of islands.
It is easy to imagine the Bahamas, Belize, Barbados, or some other place beginning with B when you think of island paradises. Although Denmark has 444 islands within its borders, you may not think of it right away. However, only 76 of these islands are inhabited by humans (including Zealand, if you’ve ever wondered where “Old Zealand” was), so if you’re adventurous, you can search some islands for lost Viking treasures!
Cost of Living In Denmark
Denmark is known for its high standard of living, which is reflected in the cost of living in the country. Despite being one of the most expensive European countries, many ex-pats and locals believe that the high cost of living is balanced by Denmark’s excellent quality of life and social services. The cost of housing in Denmark can be steep, with the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center ranging from 10,000 to 15,000 DKK per month. Groceries, dining out, and transportation are also relatively expensive.
On the bright side, taxes in Denmark are high, but they fund a comprehensive welfare state that provides free education, healthcare, and other social services to all citizens. All in all, while the cost of living in Denmark can be high, it is still considered one of the best countries in the world, and the high standards of living and quality of life more than makeup for the high cost.