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Labour Market, Social Statistics.
Kristine Mulvad Jensen
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Home to work commuting

The statistic is an annually and individual based count of the employed persons commuting between residence and work place in the last working day in November. Including a calculation of the distance between the commuters residence and work place i kilometers (km). The commuting statistic is published in the Statbank where the statistic besides from residence, work place and commuting distance also is divided on sex, industry (DB07) and socioeconomic status. Data is also available trough the Division of Research Services and DST Consulting.

Data description

The commuting statistic is published once year with information about residence and work place and the distance between those for commuters in Denmark. The statistic is made on the basis of the Register-Based Labour Force Statistic (RAS). RAS contains information about the primary connection to the labour market on the last working day of November for persons resident in Denmark. RAS contains among others information about employed persons home address and work address. These to information is the foundation of the commuting statistic. In the Statbank the statistic is besides from residence, work place, and commuting distance also divided on sex, industry (DB07) and socioeconomic status. Since RAS contains a number of other information about e.g. age, heritage, and education, other background information can as required be connected to the commuting statistic. Read more in the documentation of RAS.

Classification system

The commuting statistic is made on the basis of the Register-Based Labour Force Statistic (RAS). In RAS a short reference period are used - the last week of November. This point of time is chosen partly because information about wage earner jobs historically has referred to the situation at the end of November, and partly because December is an atypical month from a employment related point of view. RAS is compiled according to the international guidelines from ILO (International Labour Organization) for classification of the population’s affiliation to the labour market. The classification is called ICSE (International Classification of Status in Employment). The ILO guidelines is focuses on survey based statistics. The guidelines are therefore operationalized to use for RAS since it is a register-based statistics. The ILO guidelines consist of e.g. a set of rules for prioritizing the main connection to the labour market. The guidelines prescribes that employment has higher priority than unemployment, while unemployment has higher priority than activities outside of the labour force. On the basis of these guidelines the key variable in RAS socioeconomic status is thus formed and divides the population in three groups:

  • Employed persons
  • Unemployed persons
  • Persons outside the labour force

Since the commuting statistic is a count of place of residence and work place, and the distance between these two, only residence who are employed in RAS are included.

Employed persons in RAS consists first of all of persons with a job. That means people who in the reference period are doing paid work for at least an hour. Besides of that the group of employed also includes persons who are temporarily absent from a job. That means persons who in the reference period are absent (temporarily absent less than 45 days or absent due to sickness, childcare or maternity leave), but have a permanent attachment to an employer.

Second of all self-employed or assisting spouses are included in the group of employed persons. Self-employed and assisting spouses also consist of persons working at least one hour with pay in the reference period. Besides the group consists of self-employed and assisting spouses who are temporarily absent from the job. Self-employed are persons who owns a personally owned business, which is typically a one man-company or a partnership. Assisting spouses are persons who are getting surplus from the company transferred from the spouse. Assisting spouses with wage agreement are included as employees.

Activated persons who are in supported employment and receive payment (A-income) are also calculated as employed. That is e.g. persons in wage subsidies, flex jobs, sheltered jobs or rehabilitation. Persons, who are working as trainees, are not receiving wages and are therefore not calculated as employed.

Persons who have what is equivalent to one hour of paid work in the reference week, and at the same time have other activities not relating to work (like education or unemployment), are classified as employed and are therefore included in the commuting statistic. A commuter is besides from that defined as a person who is not working and living on the same address. The commuting distance is calculated as the shortest road distance between the persons home address and of workplace address. The return distance is therefore not included in the calculation. Most often commuting is a daily journey between home and workplace, but it can also be a rarer journey.

Industrial Classification DB07

The statistic follows the Danish Industrial Classification of all Economic Activities 2007 DB07 (NACE rev. 2/ISIC rev. 4). A description of the classification is available in Danish here.

A conversion into DB07 codes has been made back to 2000.

  • In the period Nov. 2003-Nov. 2007 the statistic follows the Danish Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities 2003 (NACE rev. 1.1./ISIC rev. 3.1.)
  • In the period Nov. 1992-Nov. 2002 the statistic follows the Danish Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities 1993 (NACE rev. 1/ISIC rev. 3).
  • In the period Nov. 1980-Nov. 1992 the statistic follows the Danish Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities DSE77 (ISIC rev. 3).


The commuting statistic is published on municipality level in the Statbank. From November 2006 the statistic is published on municipalities as they are after the structural reform which was implemented January 2007. In the period November 1980-November 2006 RAS is published on municipalities as they were before the structural reform. In November 2006 the statistic can both be distributed on municipalities as they were before the structural reform or municipalities as they are after the structural reform.

Sector coverage

The statistic covers all sectors.

Statistical concepts and definitions

Commuter: A person who is employed on a workplace address that is different from the residential address. In the statistic commuters is thereby defined as employed persons who has a commuting distance between workplace and residence that is different from zero. Employed persons whose workplace and residential address are the same will have a commuting distance that is zero and will therefore not be defined as commuters. Employed persons without commuting distance are included in tables in the Statbank with the value "no commuting".

Commuting distance: The shortest road distance from the employed persons residential address and workplace address. The return journey is not included in the commuting distance.

Statistical unit

The statistical unit is persons and distance in km.

Statistical population

The population is residents who are defined as employed in the Register-based Labour Force Statistics (RAS) at the end of November.

Reference area


Time coverage

The end of November 2008-

Base period

Not relevant for these statistics.

Unit of measure

Number of persons and distance in km.

Reference period

RAS is counted on the last workday of November - i.e. the 30th. of November 2016.

Frequency of dissemination

The statistic is published annually.

Legal acts and other agreements

§6 in Law about Statistics Denmark.

Cost and burden

RAS is exclusively compiled on the basis of administrative and statistical registers. Therefore there is no response burden.


More information about commuting can be located on the subject page. More information about the data foundation on the subject page for employment.