Copenhagen set to keep on growing

Danish cities are expected to grow rapidly over the next eight years but there are concerns that there is not enough available housing

The rural exodus is continuing at a rapid pace according to new figures from Statistics Denmark that is predicting rapid growth for Denmark’s urban centres by 2020.

The statistics agency predicts that Copenhagen Council will grow by 79,000 inhabitants by 2020, bringing the population to 628,000.

Frederiksberg Council – not technically a part of Copenhagen despite being entirely subsumed within the city – will add another 9,000 inhabitants to the capital region, and raising its population to 109,000.

Denmark’s other major cities are also predicted to experience rapid growth. The country’s second largest council, Aarhus, is predicted to grow by 31,000 inhabitants, increasing its population to 345,000, while Aalborg will grow by 11,000 to 212,000 inhabitants, and Odense by 8,000 inhabitants.

Surprisingly, however, the council to witness the greatest level of growth will be Vallensbæk in the Copenhagen suburbs (18.7 percent increase) while councils in central Jutland are all predicted to witness modest levels of growth.

For the most part, however, councils on the fringes of Denmark will continue to witness dropping population levels, particularly the island councils of Lolland (-8.9 percent) and Bornholm (-7.1 percent).

But while the major cities continue to attract an ever greater proportion of the population (82 percent of all population growth in the next eight years will take place in Copenhagen and Aarhus), there is not necessarily room for everybody.

Yet, plans to house the increasing populations are underway with Copenhagen announcing the creation of a new district in Nordhavn harbour to house 40,000 residents this year. Aarhus too is building a new district, Lisbeth, to hold 25,000 new residents.

For now, however, the strain on the housing market is being most acutely felt by students that are flocking in increasing numbers to cities to study.

According to Torben Holm, chairman of the  Danish students’ association, DSF, students have difficulty paying the going price of between 3,000 and 5,000 kroner a month to live in Copenhagen or Aarhus city centres.

“It’s incredibly expensive and there simply aren’t enough college rooms or youth housing,” Holm told Jyllands-Posten, adding that their experience is that landlords take advantage of the pressure to demand extra cash payments in order to secure housing.

Kristian Mathes, CEO of the website Findroommate, says that students are increasingly having to turn to shared accommodation due to the difficulty in securing loans to buy apartments.

“Six or seven years ago students were much more able to take out loans for apartments in cooperative housing and that’s why people are being forced to share apartments," Mathe told Jyllands-Posten. "If you’re more people it can be economical to get a larger apartment.”

The Copenhagen Post wants to hear about any difficulties you faced entering the Danish housing market, whether it is reluctance by landlords to rent to foreigners or unreasonably high deposits and other payments. Please get in touch by emailing:

Expected population growth by 2020 (Source: Statistics Denmark)


18.7 % – Vallensbæk

14.3 % – Copenhagen

9.9 % – Aarhus

9.0 % – Frederiksberg

8.1 % – Horsens


-9.9 % – Læsø

-8.9 % – Lolland

-7.1 % – Bornholm

-6.2 % – Samsø

-5.8 % – Lemvig

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