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A population projection gives an estimate of the size and composition of the future population with respect to sex, age, municipality and origin. The estimate is subject to a number of conditions and assumptions on migration, mortality and fertility. The projection is based on the assumption that the development in recent years continues. Often the development in e.g. in-migration is different from what was assumed and, for that reason, the projection will typically not match the actual development exactly.
Statistics Denmark has prepared population projections since 1963. Since 2010, the projections have been produced in collaboration with DREAM (Danish Research Institute for Economic Analysis and Modelling), which is an independent institution whose purpose it is to develop and maintain tools for structural policy analysis.
Based on the projection for all of Denmark, Statistics Denmark subsequently makes projections that can be disaggregated by sex, age, provinces and municipalities. As part of the projections, figures are also available on demographic changes in terms of liveborn children, deaths, immigrants and emigrants.
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The population projections are based on historical data regarding the composition of the population in terms of sex, age and ancestry as well as fertility, mortality, immigration and emigration, and internal migration.
Assumptions on the future development in fertility, mortality and migration are necessary to be able to make the projections.
The projections are made every year using the population on 1 January. They are released in the beginning of May.
A projection is made for the whole country as well as projections for the 11 provinces and 98 municipalities.
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The projections for municipalities are widely used by the municipalities, and they create the basis for the municipalities’ own projections, which often incorporate a number of local factors that are not part of Statistics Denmark’s projections. The municipalities may use the projections in their planning of institutions, schools and the need for nursing homes in the future. Local media across the country take great interest in Statistics Denmark’s projection.
Accuracy and reliability
The population projection is built on previous years’ development and is an estimate of the population development. The estimate is subject to a number of conditions and assumptions on migration, mortality and fertility. The projection is based on the assumption that the development seen in recent years will continue. Often the development in e.g. in-migration is different from what was assumed and, for that reason, the projection will typically not match the actual development exactly.
In 2022, the projection for Denmark was 0.1 percentage points below actual population growth. To a wide extent, the uncertainty at municipal level is linked to the fact that local development plans and local decisions are not part of the model. Especially in 2020 and 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic has created uncertainty. In 2022, 73 per cent of the municipalities were within minus 0.5 percentage points of the actual population growth the first year.
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Timeliness and punctuality
Statistics have been published as announced without delay in the month of May or June.
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Each projection is a new set of statistics and must not be used for time series together with previous projections.
With the projection 2010, Statistics Denmark made the projection for all of Denmark for the first time in collaboration with DREAM, and in connection with this, a switch was made to a new projection model based on DREAM’s previous model.
Accessibility and clarity
The population projections are published in Nyt fra Danmarks Statistik (Statistics Denmark’s news series in Danish) under the subject Befolkningsfremskrivning. For further information, go to the subject page for these statistics.