Denmark may be among the world's elite when it comes to equality, but there are still huge differences in some of the nation's councils, according to new analysis from the think-tank CEPOS.
The analysis showed that Gentofte Council, just north of Copenhagen, has the greatest financial disparity – a gulf comparable to levels in the US – followed by Rudersdal Council and Hørsholm Council, also located north of Copenhagen. But that may not be negative.
”High inequality is often portrayed as something negative, but when you look at the councils in Denmark, that is a poor conclusion,” Mads Lundby Hansen, the chief economist at CEPOS, said in a press release.
”Gentofte shows that inequality doesn't necessarily translate into a poorly-functioning society.”
Worse than the US
The huge financial disparities in the three councils is down to many low-income citizens residing alongside many high-income citizens.
Gentofte has a Gini coefficient (GC) – a measure of statistical dispersion representing income distribution – of 42.3 percent, meaning that just over four out of every ten kroner earned by the residents would need to change hands for everyone to have the same income.
According to OECD figures, there are no countries in Europe that have a higher financial inequality disparity than Gentofte Council. Latvia, Lithuania and Bulgaria, which have the highest, all have a GC of around 35 percent, while Denmark as a whole has a GC of 25 percent. The US's GC is about 39 percent.
In comparison, Bornholm, Faaborg-Midtfyn and Odsherred are the Danish councils that have the least financial inequality.