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Income Statistics

Contact info

Office for Personal Finances and Welfare, Social statistics
Jarl Quitzau
+45 39 17 35 94

jaq@dst.dk

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Income Statistics

The purpose of the Income Statistics - is to provide statistics on the population's incomes and tax payments as well as the distribution of incomes. The statistics are useful in the field of social sciences and form the basis for effective policymaking in areas that affect the economic situation of the households. Statistics Denmark has published statistics on incomes since 1905 and has coherent time series going back to the 1980s.

Statistical presentation

The income statistics is based on a full population register. It contains information on annual incomes at both the personal and family level as well as data on the distribution of income. The Income is available both pre- and post taxes and can be split into sub-categories such as primary incomes, transfers, property income and taxes. In the income statistics the population is divided into groups by age, Socio economic status, gender, municipalities(NUTS-3), type of family and into income intervals.

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Statistical processing

Data is collected and published yearly. The primary source is administrative data from the Danish tax authorities. Using secondary sources from the municipalities and unemployment funds the incomes are subdivided into more detailed types of income. Finally other registers in Statistics Denmark, such as the population register, provides background information.

In case of inconsistencies between data sources on the total income amounts, the data are fitted to match the level of the the tax authorities, which are assumed to be correct.

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Relevance

The primary users of the income statistics is ministries, municipalities, research institutes and the media. An annual meeting with some of the users of the main welfare statistics is held in Statistics Denmark. On a daily basis users call with questions related to the statistics or comment our publications on Social Media. Through these interactions with the users we continually assess the need for improvements of the statistics.

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Accuracy and reliability

The quality is in general considered to be very good for the income types included in the statistics as data have been validated by the Tax authorities. Undeclared incomes, winnings in lotteries etc. may result in a mismatch between actual and register incomes.

As the income statistics is based on full-population registers, there are no sampling errors.

The majority of the data in the income statistics is extracted in August. Thus revisions after this date, will not be taken into account in the income statistics. This mainly affect the self-employed.

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Timeliness and punctuality

Most tables on income statistics are published in September, nine months after after the end of the income reference year along with the annual newsletter. Socioeconomic status, imputed rent, disposable income and income distribution indicators are published in November. The statistics has always been published as planned.

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Comparability

Income statistics are quite consistent over time if you use the coherent time series on out website. The statistics were last revised in 2013. Dating back to 1987 the data has been revised.

Eurostat and OECD are the recommended sources for making international comparisons. However users should take care not to over interpret the data as minor differences in the concepts of Incomes and data sources may skew indicators.

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Accessibility and clarity

The statistics are published on our website, in an annual newsletter and via the statbank.

Furthermore there are tables on income in the publication Statistisk Tiårsoversigt (Danish only)

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