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Natural resource accounts

How much nature is there in Denmark – and how large an area is used for agricultural crops? How much oil and natural gas is there in the North Sea, and how have the Danish forests and fish stocks changed over time? The resource accounts for oil, gas, fish and forests show stocks of Danish natural resources. The land accounts show land cover and how the land is used.

Selected statistics on Natural resource accounts

This page shows selected popular statistics on the subject of Natural resource accounts. In Statbank Denmark, you can find more data and compile your own statistics.

Land cover in Denmark

Here you can see how the different types of land cover are distributed across Denmark. You can also see how the land cover has changed over time. The total area of Denmark is about 43,000 square kilometers.
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The compilation of statistics on land cover is based on a several maps on land coverage. The maps are all produced outside Statistics Denmark and are used for a variety of administrative purposes. Sources are:

  • GeoDanmark - a Danish topographical map, maintained by the municipalities and the Agency for Data Supply and Infrastructure.
  • The Danish Cadastral Map from the Danish Geodata Agency
  • Fields and field blocks, an agricultural map from the Danish Agriculture Agency.
  • Management plans state forests
  • Management plans Danish Defense
  • Map of Natura2000 habitat types
  • Map of protected habitat types

For land use, the sources used are:

  • The Danish Cadastral Map from the Danish Geodata Agency
  • The Danish register of buildings and dwellings
  • The Danish register of businesses, as well as the register of agricultural establishments
  • The civil registry
  • Municipal plans
  • The Danish Tax authorities register on properties

Number of inhabitants is from FOLK1A as of 1 Jan.

Natural gas reserves in the North Sea

Here you can see the development in the stocks of natural gas in the Danish part of the North Sea. The stocks change over time as a result of new discoveries and due to extraction. The reserves are the quantities of natural gas that can be extracted under the given economic conditions and with known technology.
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The natural resource account for oil and natural gas is based on information obtained from the Danish Energy Agency as well as the statistics Energy Accounts for Denmark and the National Accounts.

Natural aquatic resources

Here you can see Denmark’s share of fish stocks in waters where Denmark has fishing rights. The share is based on fishing quota. You can also see how the stocks are distributed among fish species of commercial interest. Changes in stocks over time are due to growth and reduction in stocks as well as catch of fish. Fish for reduction covers fish species that are used for production of fish flour and animal feed. 
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The information on quotas and catches is compiled and registered by The Danish Fisheries Agency. The information is published in "Yearbook of Fishery Statistics 20xx" or online in Dynamic tables. Information on fish stocks is developed yearly by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). The information is published as ”Advice on fishing opportunities, catch, and effort” on species level and fishing area. The reports are available here. Information aquaculture at plant level is compiled by The Danish Fisheries Agency.

Wood in Danish forests

Here you can see the growing stock in Danish forests, distributed among broadleaves and conifers, as well as the development in stocks over time. Growing stock is the living part of the volume of standing trees, excluding small branches, twigs and foliage. Year-on-year changes in stock are due to natural growth and loss as well as felling.
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Source data

The accounts are based on a number of sources:

  • The Danish National Forest Inventory which is produced and annually published by the Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen.
  • The Danish reporting on forest land under Kyoto (LULUCF). This is available at UNFCCC.
  • The statistics on felling of wood in the Danish forests, published by Statistics Denmark. This is documented here.
  • Market prices of timber products, collected from the Danish Forest Association.

On the statistics – documentation, sources and method

Gain an overview of the purpose, contents and quality of the statistics. Learn about the data sources of the statistics, the contents of the statistics and how often they are published.

See the documentation of statistics to learn more:

Forest Accounts

The forest accounts are accounts for the Danish forests as a natural resource. The accounts comprise the forest land as well as the wood (timber) resource. The forest accounts were first published in 2017, as part of the Green National Accounts for Denmark. In 2021, the accounts have been extended back in time so all data series start in 1990.

Land Accounts

These statistics concern the size of the land area of Denmark, how it is covered and how it is used. Land cover estimates how Denmark is covered by roads, buildings, crops, forests, lakes etc. Land use estimates for what purpose the land area of Denmark is used, e.g. for housing, industry, trade, recreation etc. Land accounts are part of the the Environ­mental-Economic Accounts (Green National Accounts).

Oil and natural gas in the North Sea

The purpose of this natural resource account is to analyze stocks and stock changes in oil and natural gas in the North Sea. The statistics is measured in both physical and monetary units. The time series are comparable from 1990 onwards.

Stock account for fish and shellfish

The stock account for fish and shellfish shows the development in the natural aquatic resources and in aquaculture. The accounts document the development in stocks, growth in stocks, catch/harvest of fish and shellfish for consumption and export of living fish as well as reduction in stocks.

Need more data on Natural resource accounts?

You can find more data in the Statbank, e.g. more detailed figures on land use by different industries, and estimated for the monetary value that forests, fish, oil and natural gas resources have for the Danish economy.


Michael Zörner
Phone: +45 39 17 34 87