Three meals a day and money for medicine is a must-have for most Danes

Lucie Rychla
December 21st, 2016

This article is more than 7 years old.

New survey reveals what the Danes can and cannot do without in order not to feel poor

A majority of Danes believe that one should be able to afford the most basic things such as three meals a day and medicine in order not to feel poor, reveals a survey carried out by Analyse Danmark for online magazine Ugebrevet A4.

Researchers asked 2,369 Danes to tick off the things one must be able to afford, so they would not feel poor.

Only few think that smartphones for kids, a gym membership, trips abroad, eating out or having a cable TV are essential.

READ MORE: Poverty on the rise in Denmark

Importance of physical well-being
“It is rather remarkable that 18 percent believe one does not need three meals a day or medicine,” Lars Benjaminsen, a poverty researchers at SFI, told Ugebrevet A4.

Jørgen Elm Larsen, a lecturer at the department of sociology at the University of Copenhagen, contends the results suggest the Danes attach a great importance to basic physical well-being and health.

The survey has found that 82 percent must have enough money for three meals a day, 81 percent believe money for medicine is essential, while 79 percent also need money for dental care.

Clothes for each season, birthday and Christmas gifts and money for public transport are essential for about 60 percent of the respondents in order not to feel poor.

About a half also needs to have a TV and internet at home.

READ MORE: Danish teenagers spending thousands on designer school bags

Having to do without
At the bottom of the spectrum ended items such as brand clothes for kids, a night out once a month and a weekly pizza take-away – which were considered essential for 1-2 percent.

The options in the study roughly correspond to the things poverty researchers look at when they examine deprivation.

“It is not such a big deal having to do without one or two of these necessities, but if people have to do without 10, it starts to create many limitations,” noted Benjaminsen.

“That’s when it becomes a burden for people’s living conditions. Although not all these things are vital, deprivation causes that people cannot participate in society on an equal footing with other people.”





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