Copenhagen City Review


About This Report

Oct 2017

Copenhagen dominates Denmark's economy, concentrating 31% of the country's population and 40% of its GDP in 2016. Its wealth measured by GDP per capita remained among the highest in Western Europe in 2016 (21% above London's), despite subdued improvement in 2011-2016 (an increase of 0.7% in real terms). Labour productivity deteriorated by 4.6% in the same period in the city (only Milan and Rome performed worse in Western Europe).

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Copenhagen City Review


Copenhagen remained among the 10 most productive European cities in 2016: each employee generated USD110,000 on average, 6.1% more than the leading financial centre London and 31% more than the rest of Denmark. However, labour productivity in the city deteriorated by 4.6% in 2011-2016, compared with an increase of 4.7% in the rest of the country. In Western Europe, worse productivity performances were found only in the Italian cities of Milan and Rome.

Higher labour productivity boosts average household disposable income

Due to greater labour productivity, average household disposable income was higher in Copenhagen than in the remaining Danish regions (15% higher in 2016). Compared with 31% higher labour productivity, the city's productivity premium was moderate. There was also a slightly higher labour force participation rate in Copenhagen (86%) than in the rest of Denmark (81%) in 2016.

Greater consumer spending

The higher disposable incomes in the capital city helped households achieve a 19% advantage in spending (excluding housing and transport) compared with the rest of the country in 2016. The food and non-alcoholic drinks budget consumed the same portion of the total: 11% in Copenhagen and elsewhere in Denmark. The most notable proportional deviations in expenditure came in education and clothing and footwear, with households in the capital outspending their counterparts in the rest of the country by 51% and 36%, respectively, in 2016.

Housing and transport remained affordable given Copenhagen's 15% higher average disposable income

Combined household expenditure on housing and transport was 14% greater in Copenhagen than in the rest of the country in 2016. However, housing and transport remained affordable given Copenhagen's 15% higher average disposable income. The city is known for its low dependency on cars and a strong cycling tradition, which helps to drive down transport costs (8.8% lower than the rest of country in 2016). Yet housing prices are rising fast in the capital amid low interest rates, leading to 24% higher housing costs than elsewhere in Denmark in 2016.


Understanding Copenhagen Review structure
Chart 1 Overview
Key facts on Copenhagen
Summary 1 Key Facts On Copenhagen 2011, 2016, 2021


Delimitation of the metropolitan region
Chart 2 Map Of Copenhagen Metropolitan Area
Main business districts


Industrial make-up
Chart 3 Industrial Composition Of Copenhagen 2016
Chart 4 Labour Productivity: Selected Cities 2016
Recent developments and outlook
Chart 5 Dynamics Of Real GDP In Copenhagen, Denmark And Other Cities In Western Europe, 2011-2021
Summary 2 Labour Market Changes In Copenhagen 2011, 2016


City demographics
Chart 6 Population By Age 2016
Chart 7 Drivers Of Population Growth In Copenhagen 2011-2016
Household income
Chart 8 Household Distribution By Income In Copenhagen 2016 And 2021


Structure of household budget
Chart 9 Comparison Of Household Expenditure In Copenhagen And Denmark, 2016
Summary 3 Copenhagen Household Budget Structure By Consumer Expenditure Item, % of total, 2011, 2016, 2021
City lifestyle
Copenhagen Among The Fastest-Growing European Tourist Destinations
A City Built For Cyclists
City affordability
Chart 10 Household Expenditure On Housing: Selected Cities 2016
Chart 11 Household Expenditure On Transport: Selected Cities 2016



Summary 4 GDP Development, 2011, 2016, 2021
Summary 5 GDP By Origin, Current Prices, US$, Million, 2011-2016
Summary 6 Population And Labour Force, 2011-2016
Summary 7 Employed Population By Economic Sector, % of total, 2011-2016
Summary 8 Population By Sex And Broad Age Groups, ‘000, 2011-2016
Summary 9 Population Growth, 2011-2016
Summary 10 Forecast Population Growth
Summary 11 Population By Educational Attainment, 2011-2016
Summary 12 Structure Of Consumer Expenditure By Main Category, 2011-2016
Summary 13 Consumer Expenditure By Main Category, Per Household, Constant (2016) Prices, US$, 2011, 2016, 2021
Summary 14 Households By Income Band, % Of Total, Constant (2016) Prices 2011, 2016, 2021
Summary 15 Households By Income Band, ‘000, Current Prices 2011-2016
Summary 16 Inflation, 2011-2016
Summary 17 Transport Indicators, 2011-2016
Summary 18 Air Pollution, Concentration In Micrograms Per Cubic Metre, 2011-2016
Summary 19 Possession of Consumer Durables, % of Households, 2011, 2016, 2021