Number of people living on Bornholm at a 100-year low

Less than 40,000 now call the sunshine island home

For the first time in over 100 years, the population of the island of Bornholm has dipped below 40,000. According to the latest census, just 39,922 live in what is one of the country’s most idyllic spots.

The number of residents has been dropping steadily since peaking at close to 49,000 residents in the mid-1960s. 

Breaking point
The 40,000 point has always been an unofficial ‘breaking point’ for Bornholm – a mark that would render living there nonviable for its residents.

READ MORE: Danish Crown to close Bornholm slaughterhouse

Thomas Thor, a former mayor of Bornholm Council, called the development "sad", but not surprising. The birth rate on the island has fallen in recent years from 600 births per year to about 250.

"It's a dramatic change,” Thor told DR Nyheder. “We knew the population was falling. That was one of the reasons we combined five councils into one [in 2001] – we could see that the councils were too small to fend for themselves.”

Please send money
Thor said the island continues to fight to save itself, but it cannot do it alone. He said he agrees with the islanders' request for more support from the state via block grants and other funding.

"There is no question that we are begging for money,” said Thor.

“Places in the country that are experiencing growth have an obligation to help ensure decent standards of living in an isolated place like Bornholm.”