Are you thinking about moving to Denmark, but you are unsure whether you’ll be happy living there?
We know that moving to a new country has its ups and downs. The excitement of something new can mix with the feeling of fear of the unknown. Leaving your ordinary, well-known environment behind and starting a journey in a new country takes courage. Before a change of this proportion, it might be a good idea to plan and investigate the new country and city you want to settle down to. We are here to help you with that.
In this article, we will list the pros and cons of living in Denmark. Let’s start with the good side.
1. Lifestyle in Denmark
As you probably have heard before, Denmark is one of the happiest countries in the world. That has several reasons.
Denmark has a very relaxed atmosphere, lots of people using bikes as their main transport option. When the weather is good and the sun is shining people will be outside in the parks, by the seaside or the harbors, hanging out, listening to music, barbecuing. During the cold months, it’s mainly indoor gatherings with hot tea and blankets.
Danes also enjoy the safety of financial stability, a healthy work-life balance, and a supportive government behind them.
The green lifestyle is also something that makes Denmark charming, with many green areas and forests. Also, no matter where you are within Denmark, you are never further than 50 km from the sea.
2. Average 37 working hours weekly
In Denmark, there is an emphasis on both professional and personal life, more precisely on the balance of these two. Therefore, the average working hours weekly is 37 hours instead of the usual 40 hours across Europe. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
This does not mean that Danes are not working much, or that your employer will be fine with you being lazy. Danes just simply think separating your personal and work life is resulting in better productivity.
3. Healthcare system and Governmental supports
Denmark is famous for its free healthcare system. Of course, it is only technically free, every citizen has healthcare included in their taxes, which means that you will not be charged directly when you visit the doctor.
In general, Denmark has a high rate of taxation, some would say too high. However, when you look at all the healthcare benefits and government support you receive for free, it doesn’t look that bad.
In addition to free healthcare, this is an example of a few things that Denmark offers:
- Free education
- Financial support for students (from EU member countries)
- Maternity leave and benefits
- Clean and well-maintained cities, parks, and other public spaces
- Extensive bike-lines
4. The safest country
According to the Global Place Index, Denmark is one of the happiest countries in the world. The study highlights the sense of community, high level of equality, the previously mentioned work-life balance, and the welfare system of the country.
Denmark in general is one of the safest countries to live in. Crime rates and corruption are very low compared to other countries. There is also a highlight on social equality. If you are contributing to society, then it doesn’t matter what qualifications you have or don’t have, you matter.
Denmark also has one of the lowest inequality rates in the world. This means that the income is distributed fairly evenly amongst the Danish population. They are not trying to make the wealthy even wealthier at the expense of the less fortunate. You can earn a living wage basically doing anything when you move here.
5. Professional childcare availability
It is very common in Denmark that both parents are working outside their home, even before their child turns 1 year old. Therefore, professional childcare is available to help the parents. The teachers in these childcare facilities are trained professionals. They usually highlight integration and social rules and teaching Danish to the kids from an early age.
This professional childcare system however is not for free. Depending on where you live, it could vary between 300-500 euros per month. Although, depending on how many kids you have, the price can be lowered.
Of course, living in Denmark is not only fun and games. Let’s see what most would say are the negative sides of moving to the country.
Have you ever moved to a new city or country and felt anxious, nervous, and stressed about your new situation?
Leaving to a completely new environment often causes so-called homesickness, especially in the first few weeks after moving somewhere from your home and from the people you know and feel close to. These feelings can be increased stress levels, anxiety, lack of sleep, and loneliness.
The good news is that homesickness is usually a temporary feeling, lasting until you settle into your „new” home and find new relationships. Not saying that you will never miss being home, but it is definitely something that gets better with time.
2. Language barrier
Denmark has the 2nd highest percentage of English-speaking population in the world according to the 2020 English Proficiency Index, while Copenhagen is the 1st on the list of English Proficiency Index in the capitals of the world.
In general, this means that you will have no problem coming to the country and communicating basically to anyone about anything if you speak a good level of English. However, if you are planning on staying in Denmark for more than 1-2 years, it might be a good idea to learn the language.
As Danish is the official language in the country, people prefer to speak their first language, and they are also more opened and direct when it comes to social life speaking Danish.
Learning Danish is an effort, as it is not an easy language, especially when it comes to their pronunciation. However, you will most certainly have a better experience and feel more included in society if you speak the language of the Danes.
This one you probably have heard about. Yes, the weather is not Denmark’s biggest charm. Approximately from around October, the days are getting shorter and shorter in terms of daylight, it is rainy, it is cold, and this can last until March, some years even April.
Summers are usually quite nice; however, the average temperature is usually around 23 degrees, and depending on the year, the whole summer can be rainy too.
For the ones that are used to heavy sunlight and warm weather, Denmark might be a tough one to get used to and like.
4. Difficult to establish relationships
It can be challenging at the beginning to make new friends or just, in general, establish genuine relationships, especially if you move here after finishing university. Most people form friendships during college years or prior to that, and it might be a bit challenging to establish relationships when you are an adult.
However, that doesn’t mean that Danish people are unfriendly or rude. Usually, there are tons of social events for international, especially in big cities, where you can meet a lot of people from all around the world.
This one is also something you might have heard before. Scandinavian countries have a reputation for being relatively expensive, especially for people coming from Eastern Europe, where the monetary value is significantly lower.
When you first arrive in the country, you might be overwhelmed with the high prices and taxes that come with living in Denmark. There might be some things you can’t afford that you were used to in your home country at the beginning, but as you enter the labor market in Denmark, your value system will quickly shift to your new environment.
6. Cultural Differences
Migration and population change are something that is happening all around the world, also in Europe. Unfortunately, the so-called passive racism is present in almost all countries towards especially minority racial groups.
Denmark is a country that advocates for freedom and equality; however, you might encounter high nationalism and cultural superiority when living in Denmark.
To sum it up, living in Denmark is a good experience for most people. No matter where you go, it is always extremely difficult to leave your home and create a new one somewhere else, where you will feel safe, comfortable, and happy. However, Denmark is a country with good governance, a safe and clean environment, and peaceful people.
The negative side of Denmark is balanced out by the supportive services and structure of the country. There is a chance you face failures and things you don’t like or are not used to. You might find that this country is not for you. But you also might find that it’s just the perfect place for you to be.
We hope that this article helped to shed a little more light on life in Denmark. If you are interested in a career in Denmark, check out our open positions. Don’t hesitate to contact us for any specific questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And don’t forget, life is an adventure. Make the most out of it!