High taxes are not the main reason why Danes choose to leave the country, according to a new Eurobarometer poll.
Only 28 percent of the 1,004 Danes who responded said they would consider leaving Denmark because of the high tax rate.
Some 48 percent said they would leave for professional development and career opportunities, and 59 percent said that they would live abroad for the experience, regardless of whether it was economically beneficial.
Danes not fleeing taxes
Concern is often raised about the high tax burden in Denmark creating an incentive to leave the country to work and causing an outflow of skill and resources.
But the poll suggests that Danes move abroad for a wide variety of reasons, and earning more money is not at the top of the list.
“Danes are not fleeing from taxes,” Anne Marie Dalgaard, the general secretary of Danes Worldwide, told Politiken newspaper. “When they move it is mostly for personal or vocational opportunities. Finances play only a small role.”
Industry is worried
Dalgaard is supported by a 2009 study from the University of Copenhagen that found that only two percent of around 1,000 Danes living abroad left the country for economic reasons.
But business lobby group Dansk Industri (DI) still thinks that the 28 percent pointing to taxes in the Eurobarometer poll is too high, especially when it is twice the rate seen in most EU countries.
“It is a lot of people and could potentially lead to a massive reduction in welfare and tax income,” DI’s taxes expert Jacob Bræstrup told Politiken.