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Denmark
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Denmark
Overview of the education system (EAG 2021)
  • In Denmark, men are more likely than women to pursue a vocational track. In 2019, 57% of upper secondary vocational graduates were men, compared to 55% on average across OECD countries.
  • In Denmark, 56% of 25-34 year-old women had a tertiary qualification in 2019 compared to 39% of their male peers.
  • In 2018, Denmark invested a total of USD 11 551 per student on primary to tertiary institutions compared to USD 10 454 on average across OECD countries. This represents 5.2% of GDP, compared to 4.9% on average across OECD countries.
  • In 2019, 98% of 3-5 year-olds were enrolled in early childhood education and care programmes and primary education in Denmark, compared to 88% on average across OECD countries.
  • Statutory salaries of teachers with maximum qualifications at the top of their salary scales are 13% to 30% higher than those of teachers with the minimum qualifications at the start of their career at pre-primary (ISCED 02), primary and general lower and upper secondary levels in Denmark compared to 86% - 91% on average.
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    The following list displays indicators for which your selected country shows the highest and lowest values among countries. The list can be sorted by level of education or by age group. All rankings are calculated including available data from OECD and partner countries. Find out more about the methodology here.

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    Participation in education

    The percentage of students in public tertiary educational institutions is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (99.6 %, rank 3/43 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The percentage of students in government-dependent private tertiary educational institutions is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (0.3 %, rank 18/22 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The percentage of students in independent private tertiary educational institutions is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (0 %, rank 28/30 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The enrolment rate of 20-24 year-olds in Denmark is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (52.7 %, rank 4/42 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Denmark, the enrolment rate of children under 3 is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (55.8 %, rank 4/39 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The share of students enrolled in school- and work-based programmes among all upper secondary students enrolled in vocational programmes is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (100 %, rank 1/22 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Graduation expectancy

    In Denmark, the percentage of today's young people expected to graduate from a doctoral or equivalent programme before the age of 35 ranks as one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (2.1 %, rank 3/29 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Denmark has one of the highest percentages of young people expected to obtain a bachelor's or an equivalent degree before the age of 30. (44.1 %, rank 4/31 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The percentage of today's young people expected to obtain a master's or an equivalent degree before the age of 35 is one of the highest among OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (28.7 %, rank 1/29 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The proportion of young people expected to be first-time graduates from post-secondary non-tertiary education before turning 30 is one of the lowest among OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (0.1 %, rank 24/24 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Graduation

    In Denmark, the percentage of bachelor's or equivalent graduates in public institutions is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (99.9 %, rank 4/35 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Denmark, the percentage of master's or equivalent graduates in public institutions is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (100 %, rank 1/35 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The share of doctorate graduates in public institutions is relatively high in Denmark. (100 %, rank 1/35 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Denmark, the share of first-time graduates in vocational programmes at post-secondary non-tertiary level is comparatively important . (100 %, rank 1/24 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Graduation by gender

    The share of female graduates among post-secondary non-tertiary graduates from vocational programmes in Denmark is relatively low. (31.9 %, rank 23/25 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Denmark, the percentage of female post-secondary non-tertiary graduates in the field of health and welfare is relatively small. (25 %, rank 22/22 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Denmark, the percentage of female post-secondary non-tertiary graduates in the field of business, administration and law is relatively small. (44.4 %, rank 23/24 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Denmark, the share of female post-secondary non-tertiary graduates in the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (0 %, rank 24/24 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Denmark, the share of female post-secondary non-tertiary graduates in the field of services is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (36.4 %, rank 25/25 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Graduation by age

    In Denmark, the average age of post-secondary non-tertiary graduates from vocational programmes is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data (39.1 Years, rank 2/23 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Graduation by field of education

    The proportion of female tertiary graduates in education is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries. (6.6 %, rank 41/43 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The percentage of tertiary graduates in the field of education is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (5.2 %, rank 42/44 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The percentage of tertiary graduates in the field of health and welfare is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (20.5 %, rank 5/44 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The share of doctoral graduates in the field of education in Denmark is relatively small. (0 %, rank 44/44 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The share of doctoral graduates in the field of business, administration and law in Denmark is relatively small. (0 %, rank 44/44 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The share of doctoral graduates in the field of information and communication technologies in Denmark is relatively small. (0 %, rank 43/43 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The share of doctoral graduates in the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction in Denmark is relatively large. (25.4 %, rank 2/44 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Fields of education

    The share of female who enter tertiary education in the field of education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (64.3 %, rank 35/36 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The share of female who enter tertiary education in the field of business, administration and law is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (49.5 %, rank 32/36 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Denmark, the share of female among new entrants in doctoral programmes enrolled in the field of natural sciences, mathematics and statistics is relatively small. (36.2 %, rank 32/34 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Student mobility by field of education

    The percentage of students enrolled in the field of engineering, manunfacturing and construction among all international or foreign tertiary students in Denmark is relatively high. (20.9 %, rank 5/33 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Denmark, the percentage of international doctoral graduates in the field of business, administration and law is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (0 %, rank 30/33 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Adult learning

    In Denmark, the number of annual hours of participation of adults in formal and/or non-formal education and training is comparatively high (167 %, rank 2/26 , 2016) Download Indicator

    In Denmark, the number of annual hours of participation of adults without an upper secondary education in formal and/or non-formal education and training is comparatively high (186 %, rank 4/24 , 2016) Download Indicator

    In Denmark, the number of annual hours of participation of adults with tertiary education in formal education and training is comparatively low (259 %, rank 23/26 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The annual training costs per participant are one of the highest across OECD countries and partner countries. (4811.1 %, rank 1/25 , 2015) Download Indicator

    In Denmark, the annual training costs as a share of total labour costs is relatively high compared to other OECD countries and partner countries. (2.7 %, rank 1/25 , 2015) Download Indicator

    In enterprises of ver 249 employed persons, the annual training costs as a share of total labour costs is relatively high. (4.1 %, rank 1/25 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Adult participation in non-formal education

    In Denmark, the proportion of adults employed in the public sector and participating in job-related non-formal education and training not sponsored by the employer is low compared to other OECD and partner countries. (3.2 %, rank 35/36 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Expenditure per student

    Expenditure per student for ancillary services on primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education in Denmark is comparatively low. (48 USD Equivalent, rank 26/26 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Expenditure per student for ancillary services on tertiary education in Denmark is comparatively low. (4 USD Equivalent, rank 23/25 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Expenditure per student for ancillary educational services on primary to tertiary education in Denmark is comparatively low. (38 USD Equivalent, rank 23/23 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Expenditure in education and national wealth

    From 2012 to 2018, the average annual growth in total expenditure on educational institutions at primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary level is relatively low in Denmark. (-2.8 %, rank 31/31 , 2018) Download Indicator

    From 2012 to 2018, the average annual growth in total expenditure on educational institutions per full-time equivalent student at primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary level is relatively low in Denmark. (-2.4 %, rank 31/31 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Denmark, the international expenditure as a percentage of GDP from initial source of funds on primary to tertiary education is high. (0 USD Equivalent, rank 2/29 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Denmark, international expenditure as a percentage of GDP from initial source of funds on tertiary education is relatively large . (0.1 %, rank 4/30 , 2018) Download Indicator

    At tertiary level, the public expenditure as a percentage of GDP from initial source of funds is comparatively high in Denmark. (1.4 %, rank 3/27 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Teachers

    The number of hours per year upper secondary teachers spend teaching general programmes in public institutions is comparatively low in Denmark. (517 Hours, rank 28/32 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Who the teachers are

    The share of women among teaching staff in pre-primary education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (89.4 %, rank 38/39 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The share of women among teaching staff in short-cycle tertiary education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (36.5 %, rank 22/25 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The share of women among teaching staff in general upper secondary education in Denmark is relatively small. (52.5 %, rank 29/32 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Denmark, the share of women among teaching staff in vocational upper secondary education is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (45.4 %, rank 29/30 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The percentage of female teachers younger than 30 in primary education is especially low in Denmark. (58.7 %, rank 38/38 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The percentage of female teachers under 30 in lower secondary education is especially low in Denmark. (53.5 %, rank 33/35 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Denmark, the share of female teachers younger than 30 in tertiary education is relatively small . (41.7 %, rank 32/33 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Females aged 50 or more represent a small proportion of teachers in primary education in Denmark. (70.7 %, rank 34/38 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The percentage of female teachers aged 50 or more in upper secondary education is especially low in Denmark. (45.7 %, rank 33/37 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Teachers' salaries

    The average actual lower secondary teacher's salary among teachers aged between 25-64 is one of the highest per hour of net teaching time among OECD and partner countries with available data. (62156 USD Equivalent, rank 4/27 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The average actual salaries of 25-34 year-old lower-secondary teachers is one of the highest in Denmark relatively compared to OECD and partner countries with available data. (56972 USD Equivalent, rank 2/23 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The average actual salaries of 55-64 year-old lower-secondary teachers is one of the highest in Denmark. (65403 USD Equivalent, rank 4/23 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Teachers' salaries progression

    The salary progression from the start to the top of the salary scale for a lower secondary school teacher is among the least rewarding among OECD and partner countries with available data. (1.16 Ratio, rank 33/34 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Starting salaries for teachers with minimum training in primary education are especially high. (52293 USD Equivalent, rank 4/37 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Starting salaries for lower secondary teachers with minimum training are especially high. (52558 USD Equivalent, rank 4/37 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The ratio of pre-primary teachers' salaries at the top of scale to their starting salary is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (1.13 Ratio, rank 26/28 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The ratio of primary teachers' salaries at the top of scale to their starting salary is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (1.15 Ratio, rank 33/34 , 2020) Download Indicator

    It takes lower secondary teachers less time to progress through the salary scale in Denmark compared to other OECD and partner countries. (12 Years, rank 23/27 , 2020) Download Indicator

    In pre-primary education, the salary ratio of teachers with maximum qualifications at the top of the salary scale to those with minimum training and starting salaries is relatively low. (1.13 Ratio, rank 27/28 , 2020) Download Indicator

    In primary education, the salary ratio of teachers with maximum qualifications at the top of the salary scale to those with minimum training and starting salaries is comparatively low. (1.15 Ratio, rank 34/34 , 2020) Download Indicator

    In lower secondary education, the salary ratio of teachers with maximum qualifications at the top of the salary scale to those with minimum training and starting salaries is comparatively low. (1.16 Ratio, rank 34/34 , 2020) Download Indicator

    In upper secondary education, the salary ratio of teachers with maximum qualifications at the top of the salary scale to those with minimum training and starting salaries is relatively low. (1.3 Ratio, rank 32/34 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Principals' salaries

    Pre-primary school heads' salaries relative to earnings for full-time, full-year similarly educated workers with tertiary education is low in Denmark. (0.9 Ratio, rank 13/17 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Ratio of student to teaching staff

    The number of pupils per teacher in pre-primary schools is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (6.6 Ratio, rank 36/38 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Denmark, the number of students per teacher in general upper secondary education is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (9.8 Ratio, rank 30/33 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The ratio of students to teaching staff at the lower secondary level in independent private institutions is especially low in Denmark. (4 Ratio, rank 22/23 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Denmark, the number of students per teacher in private upper secondary education is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (5.9 Ratio, rank 39/40 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The ratio of students to teaching staff at the upper secondary level in government-dependent private institutions is especially low in Denmark. (5.6 Ratio, rank 20/20 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The ratio of students to teaching staff at the secondary level in government-dependent private institutions is especially low in Denmark. (9.9 Ratio, rank 15/18 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The ratio of students to teaching staff at the secondary level in independent private institutions is especially low in Denmark. (5 Ratio, rank 24/24 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Organisation of the education system

    In Denmark, total compulsory instruction time for primary and lower secondary students is one of the longest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (10600 Hours, rank 2/37 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In Denmark, total intended instruction time for primary and lower secondary students is relatively important. (10600 Hours, rank 1/29 , 2021) Download Indicator

    In Denmark, the average compulsory instruction time, in hours per year, for lower secondary students is one of the longest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (1200 Hours, rank 1/37 , 2021) Download Indicator

    The average hours per year dedicated to intended instruction time for lower secondary students in Denmark is one of the longest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (1200 Hours, rank 2/29 , 2021) Download Indicator

    Class size

    In government-dependent private institutions at primary education level, classes are relatively small in Denmark. (17 Students, rank 15/19 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Employment and educational attainment

    The employment rate among 25-64 year-olds with a vocational upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is relatively high compared to other OECD and partner countries. (83.9 %, rank 3/34 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Earnings and educational attainment

    The proportional difference in earnings between 25-64 year-old adults with tertiary education and those with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is quite low. (124 Index, rank 35/37 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Compared with other OECD and partner countries, the proportional difference in earnings between 25-64 year-old adults with a bachelor's or equivalent degree and those with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is low. (113 Index, rank 32/34 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Compared with other OECD and partner countries, the proportional difference in earnings between 25-64 year-old adults with a master's, doctoral or equivalent degree and those with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is low. (146 Index, rank 29/33 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The gap in average earnings between 25-64 year-old women with a bachelor's or equivalent degree and those with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (113 Index, rank 32/34 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The gap in average earnings between 25-64 year-old women with a master's, doctoral or equivalent degree and those with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (145 Index, rank 31/33 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Denmark, the proportional difference in earnings between 25-64 year-old men with a bachelor's or equivalent degree and those with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is low. (121 Index, rank 32/34 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Denmark, the proportional difference in earnings between 25-64 year-old men with a master's, doctoral or equivalent degree and those with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is low. (150 Index, rank 29/33 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Earnings of 25-64 year-old full and part-time workers with tertiary education are comparatively low. (128 Index, rank 33/37 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Earnings of 25-64 year-old full- and part-time workers with a Bachelor's or equivalent education are comparatively low. (110 Index, rank 32/33 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Earnings, gender and educational attainment

    The proportion of male full-time earners among all earners aged 35 to 44 without upper secondary education is comparatively low. (34.2 %, rank 28/28 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The proportion of female full-time earners among all earners aged 35 to 44 without upper secondary education is comparatively low. (19 %, rank 24/27 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The proportion of male full-time earners among all earners aged 35 to 44 with upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education is comparatively low. (58 %, rank 26/28 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The proportion of male full-time earners among all earners aged 35 to 44 with tertiary education is comparatively low. (74.7 %, rank 24/28 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The earnings of women without an upper secondary education are relatively high compared to those of women with an upper secondary education. (90 Index, rank 5/37 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The difference in earnings between 25-64 year-old men with tertiary education and those with upper secondary education is quite low. (130 Index, rank 35/37 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The difference in earnings between 25-64 year-old women with tertiary education and those with upper secondary education is quite low. (123 Index, rank 36/37 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Entrance

    The average age of new entrants in tertiary education in Denmark is comparatively old. (24.7 Years, rank 2/32 , 2019) Download Indicator


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    General findings
    
                            
    • One in five adults across the OECD has not attained upper secondary education.
    • In 2020, the unemployment rate of adults that had not completed upper secondary education was almost twice as high as those with higher qualifications, and 27% of these adults earn only at or below half the median on average across OECD countries.
    • In 2019, at least 10% of school-aged youth were not in school in about a quarter of OECD countries.
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    • In 2019, women made up 55% of new entrants to tertiary education on average. If current patterns continue, it is expected that 46% of young women will graduate with a tertiary degree for the first time before they turn 30, 15 percentage points more than men.
    • Women also earn on average about 76-78% of men’s salaries regardless of educational attainment, although the gender gap narrowed by 2 percentage points between 2013 and 2019.
    • Women are less likely than men to enter a STEM field of study, and the average share remained generally stable between 2013 and 2019.
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    • On average across countries, expenditure on educational institutions amounted to approximately USD 9 300 per student at pre-primary level; USD 10 500 at primary, secondary and post-secondary non tertiary level; and USD 17 100 at tertiary level.
    • The public sector funds 90% of total expenditure on primary and secondary institutions on average, often compulsory in most OECD countries, compared to 83% at pre-primary level and 66% at tertiary level.
    • In 2018, the OECD countries spent on average 4.9% of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on primary to tertiary educational institutions.
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    • In 2019, less than 5% of pre-primary teachers were men, compared to 18% at primary level, 40% at upper secondary level and more than 50% at tertiary level on average.
    • Between 2005 and 2020, on average across OECD countries and economies with available data for all reference years, the statutory salaries of teachers with 15 years of experience and the most prevalent qualifications increased by 3% at primary level, 4% at lower secondary level (general programmes) and 2% at upper secondary level (general programmes).
    • In most countries, teachers above 50 years of age make up more than a third of the teaching force.
    • Attracting male teachers to the profession can be difficult: While the average actual salary of female teachers is equal to or higher than the average salary of other full-time, tertiary-educated women, primary and secondary male teachers earn between 76% and 85% of the average earnings of other full-time, tertiary-educated men.
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    • On average across OECD countries, 87% of children aged 3-5 are enrolled in education on average across OECD countries compared to 25% for children below the age of 3.
    • There are 15 children for every teacher at pre-primary level on average across OECD countries.
    • Half of children enrolled in early childhood development services and a two-thirds of pre-primary children attend public institutions on average across OECD countries
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    Key
    Diagram of funding flows - Denmark

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    Key
    Country Reviews for Denmark

    Note: These values should be interpreted with care since they are influenced by countries' specific contexts and trade-offs. In education, there is often no simple most- or least-efficient model. For instance, the share of private expenditure in education must be read against other measures designed to mitigate inequities, such as loans and grants; longer learning time is an opportunity to convey more and better content to students, but may hinder investments in other important areas. If you want further information on the nature of different variables, please take the time to read the analysis and contextual information, available at the website for each publication.
    All rankings for individual variables are compiled on the basis of OECD and G20 countries for which data are available. The OECD average includes only OECD countries which are listed here: http://www.oecd.org/about/membersandpartners/

    *TALIS averages are based on all countries participating in the TALIS survey, including partner countries and economies. This explains the difference between the OECD average and the TALIS averages. Data from the TALIS survey and Education at a Glance (EAG) may differ. See Annex E of the TALIS technical report and Annex 3 of EAG 2021 for more details about the data collections.

    B-S-J-Z (China) refers to the four PISA-participating provinces/municipalities of the People's Republic of China: Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang.

    For additional notes, please refer to annexes in the list of links below the introductory country profile text.