Denmark - Country Commercial Guide
Market Overview

Discusses key economic indicators and trade statistics, which countries are dominant in the market, and other issues that affect trade.

Last published date: 2021-11-13
  • Denmark is a constitutional monarchy that shares a southern border with Germany and is connected by bridge to southern Sweden.  With a total area of 43,096 km2 (16,640 mi2), it is slightly smaller than Vermont and New Hampshire combined.  The total population in 2020 was 5.8 million people.  The country has been a member of the European Union (EU) since 1973.  The Kingdom of Denmark also includes Greenland and the Faroe Islands.
  • Denmark is a rich, modern society with state-of-the-art infrastructure and distribution systems, a highly skilled labor force, and a central location that makes it an excellent distribution point for the Scandinavian, Northern European, and Baltic markets.
  • The economy displays a number of strengths.  The “flexicurity” system helps adjust to shocks while limiting the social cost of unemployment and the risk that it could become entrenched.  The social welfare system ensures low poverty and low income inequality.
  • Denmark’s fiscal position is sound, and the country entered the global COVID-19 pandemic from a position of strength, highlighted by the Danish economy having a relatively low public deficit of 1.1 percent of GDP in 2020.
  • The Danish economy has emerged relatively unscathed from the pandemic, with a relatively shallow recession.
  • Denmark’s standard of living is among the highest in the world with a GDP per capita of $63,880 in 2020.
  • Denmark is a firm advocate of liberal trade and investment policies and actively encourages foreign investment. 
  • There are more than 550 American subsidiaries established in Denmark and a strong American Chamber of Commerce with approximately 275 members.
  • Denmark’s major imports from the United States are industrial machinery, capital equipment, computers and telecom products, software, aircraft, and scientific instruments. Other important U.S. exports to Denmark are military equipment, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, tobacco, wine, fresh vegetables, nuts, and forest products.
  • Imports of goods and services in Denmark in 2020 from the world (Source: Statistics Denmark)
    • Goods
      • Main Imports (% of total goods imports)
        • Machinery (excl. transport equipment): 23%
        • Manufactured goods and articles: 17.9%
        • Live animals, food, beverages and tobacco: 13.8%
        • Primary goods: 13.6%
    • Services
      • Main imports (% of total services imports)
        • Sea transport: 34.0%
        • Tourism: 13.3%
        • Telecommunications, computer and information services: 8.9%
        • Air transport: 4.7%
  • Imports of goods to Denmark in 2020 from the United States (Source: Statistics Denmark)
    • Goods
      • Main Imports (% of total goods imports)
        • Machinery (excl. transport equipment): 17.4%
        • Manufactured goods and articles: 19%
        • Live animals, food, beverages and tobacco: 7.7%
        • Primary goods: 4.3%
  • Exports of goods from Denmark to the United States have increased substantially, and in 2020 the United States surpassed Germany to become Denmark’s largest export market.
  • Exports to the United States constituted 14 percent of total Danish exports in 2020 and have increased by 5 percent since 2010.  The key category driving this increase continues to be ‘chemicals’, as one-fourth of Danish exports from this category went to the United States.
  • American-owned firms play an important role in Denmark. The largest share of U.S. investments goes to the software, information, and communications sectors. American firms are also notably present in business and financial services, pharmaceuticals, and offshore oil and gas exploration and production. 
  • Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden are advanced, high-income, and highly connected countries. While each country has its own unique market and characteristics, there are certain synergies that tie together these highly innovative marketplaces.  With an aggregate GDP of 1.47 USD trillion and combined population just shy of 27 million people, the Nordics are of genuine interest to a number of U.S. companies with products, technologies, and services that are appropriate.