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The Population

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Population and Education, Social statistics
Dorthe Larsen
+45 3317 3307

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The Population 2024

The purpose of the population statistics is to focus on the size, composition and development of the population living in Denmark. The statistics create a basis for a number of analyses on demography and society and are used as a basis for planning tasks on a national, regional and municipal level. In their basic form, the statistics have been compiled since 1769 but have undergone a series of changes as society developed and legislation followed. Most of the present table series in Statbank Denmark comprise data from 2007 and forward, while a few of these go back further.

Statistical presentation

The population statistics are usually a quarterly aggregation of the population living in Denmark broken down by e.g. sex, age, ancestry, marital status and municipality of residence. In connection with COVID-19, however, the number of deceased persons was aggregated on a weekly basis broken down by date of death, age bracket and province. The population statistics show the population in figures at the reference date in terms of persons, households and families. The statistics also show changes in the population, such as births, deaths and migrations etc., in the period between the two reference dates. Similarly, the statistics contain information about fertility, life expectancy and divorce rate.

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Statistical processing

Data for the statistics is collected on a daily basis from the Civil Registration System (CPR) by means of a system-to-system solution. The civil registration number and the updating of residence information and marital status information etc. is required for a vast number of public services, which serves as continuous validation of the content of the register. The number of immigrants, descendants, households, families, marriages and divorces is assessed on the basis of data from the Civil Registration System. It is also used to calculate e.g. fertility rates, life expectancy and divorce rates. In addition, data is applied from the Birth Register and the Cause of Death Register from the Danish Health Data Authority from which data is collected annually.

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These statistics are relevant for municipalities, regions, ministries, other government organisations and private companies in analyses of a number of conditions of society and as a basis for planning of e.g. schools, roads, facilities and services for the elderly etc. Statistics Denmark also uses the basic data and results of the statistics for a vast number of other assessments.

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Accuracy and reliability

The statistics are based on the population registered in the Civil Registration System (CPR). Since correct registration in CPR is a condition for being able to lead a normal life in Denmark, the general quality and reliability of the register is regarded as very high. Failure to report immigrations and emigrations means that the published population is considered to be overestimated by 10,000 people or 0.14 per cent.

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Timeliness and punctuality

The statistics are usually published one and a half months after the end of the reference period. The statistics are released without delay according to the scheduled dates of publication. The weekly publication of the number of deaths is released five days after the reference week.

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Denmark bases its population statistics on an administrative register, which also applies for a few other countries, whereas many countries take censuses every five or ten years. The population figure for the period 1971 and onwards is based on the same source, i.e. the Civil Registration System (CPR). The population figure from before this period is based on censuses.

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Accessibility and clarity

The statistics are published in “Nyt fra Danmarks Statistik” (in Danish). Figures for the population and its movements are published in Statbank Denmark. In addition, the figures are included in the publications Befolkningens udvikling and Indvandrere i Danmark (both in Danish with summaries in English). For further information, go to the subject pages of the statistics.

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