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Where do foreigners in Denmark come from ?

A few countries dominate the list of  foreign nationals living in Denmark with the top five consisting of nationals from Poland, Romania, Germany, Turkey and Syria.

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By Bente D. Knudsen

Statistics on the provenance and number of foreigners are published by the Statistics Denmark (Danmarks Statistik) on a quarterly basis.

There is no expat definition instead all foreigners are grouped as immigrants, invandrere, according to their nationality, their reason for being in DK (work/study/accompanying family member)and again divided into a range of subgroups.

More than 200 different nationalities live in Denmark.

Six years ago, the arrival of many refugees from amongst other Syria increased the number of foreigners from non-western countries by almost 18,000.

Total number of immigrants  2020 (as at end of March 2020 from Statistikbanken Danmarks Statistik)

Western Countries:       254,308
Non-Western Countries:   356,090


Total:                   610,398

The Danish bureau’s classification, splitting countries into western and non-western, is an adaption of the UN classification of developed and undeveloped countries.

 

 

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The Danish bureau’s classification, splitting countries into western and non-western, is an adaption of the UN classification of developed and undeveloped countries.

The classification was reviewed in 2019 and, despite some reserverations about it, was evaluated as of continued relevance as the bureau formulated it in the review.

An added classification to be put in place later in 2020 will be an EU/EEA and Non EU/EEA classification of data.

These are the countries included in the two classifications:

The Western Countries are:

EU28 plus Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, the Vatican State, Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand.

Non-Western Countries:

All other

Find more details about where foreigners in Denmark come from below

The article continues below.

The largest group by far comes from Poland.

With 41,101 Polish citizens in Denmark, this group is even larger than the Syrian and Turkish groups, who respectively represent 35,600 and 33,140 citizens.

Moving to a neighbouring country is not unusual and some of Denmark’s closest neighbours also represent large groups, such as the 29,952 Germans, and more than 15,000 Norwegians and 14,000 Swedes.

The British also represent a large group with 15,406 British nationals living in Denmark.

The exception to the list are the 29,348 Romanian nationals living here, as Romania geographically is not right on Denmark’s doorstep.

The 20 largest groups of foreign nationals from western countries are:

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
Poland
Germany
Romania
Norway
UK
Sweden
Lithuania
Bulgaria
Italy
USA
Iceland
Holland
France
Spain
Latvia
Hungary
Finland
Greece
Slovakia
Portugal
41,101
29,952
29,348
15,533
15,406
14,293
13,151
9,901
8.765
8,633
7,801
6,760
6,657
6,242
5,033
5,286
3,524
3,285
2,804
2,680

For the rest of the registered nationals from western countries the numbers vary, with groups between 1,500 and 2,500 nationals and others at less than a hundred.

Ireland, Croatia, Australia and Canada each have around 2,300 national citizens registered.

The Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, and Estonia around 1,300 respectively.

New Zealand and Slovenia around 500 each, Cyprus around 145 and less than 100 are from Malta or Luxembourg, with Lichtenstein at eight and only one from Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or the Vatican State respectively.

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The non-western foreign nationals are in most cases immigrants who have come to Denmark to work.

This is the case with the large Turkish, Indian and Chinese nationals, whereas the many Syrian and Afghan nationals mostly came to Denmark as refugees.

The 20 largest groups of foreign nationals from non-western countries are:

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
Syria
Turkey
Iraq
Iran
Bosnia-Hercegovina
Pakistan
Afghanistan
Libanon
India
Ukraine
Thailand
Somalia
Philippines
Vietnam
Russia
Morocco
Eritrea
Brazil
Nepal
Macedonia
35,600
33,140
21,822
17,217
16,671
14,468
13,890
13,019
12,642
12,353
11,963
11,204
10,628
9,688
6,412
5,914
5,900
4,210
4,129
3,645

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For the non-western countries not in the top 20 list, the numbers vary a great deal.

Between 2,300 to 2,500 citizens are from countries such as Kosovo, Sri Lanka, Serbia, Myanmar and The Democratic Republic of Congo, with between 1,000 and 1,500 from Bangladesh, Japan, Ghana, Lebanon, Argentina, Nigeria, Chile and Mexico.

You will find between 500 and 1,000 citizens from countries such as Indonesia, Uganda, Egypt, Columbia, Kenya, Jordan, Cameroun, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Korea, Montenegro, Israel, South Africa, Peru and Tunisia.

Between 300 and 500 citizens from Gambia, Tanzania, Malaysia, Singapore, Cuba, Armenia, Venezuela, Burundi, Algeria or Albania.

Less than 300 are respectively from countries such as Taiwan, Senegal, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Cambodia, Kazakhstan, Rwanda, Sierra Leone or Uzbekistan.

A range of countries not listed here have less than 100 citizens living in Denmark.