The purpose of the income statistics - is to provide statistics on the population's incomes and tax payments as well as the distribution of incomes. The statistics are useful in the field of social sciences and form the basis for effective policymaking in areas that affect the economic situation of the households. Statistics Denmark has published statistics on income since 1905 and has coherent time series going back to the 1980’s.
The income statistics are based on a full-population register. It contains information on annual incomes at both the personal- and family level as well as data on the distribution of income. The income is available both pre- and post taxes and can be split into subcategories such as primary income, transfers, property income and taxes. In the income statistics the population is divided into groups by age, socio-economic status, gender, municipalities (NUTS-3), type of family and into income intervals.
Data is collected and published yearly. The primary source is administrative data from the Danish tax authorities. Using secondary sources from the municipalities and unemployment funds the incomes are subdivided into more detailed types of income. Finally other registers in Statistics Denmark, such as the population register, provide background information.
In case of inconsistencies between data sources on the total income amounts, the data are fitted to match the level of the tax authorities, which are assumed to be correct.
The primary users of the income statistics are ministries, municipalities, research institutes and the media. An annual meeting with some of the users of the main welfare statistics is held in Statistics Denmark. On a daily basis users call with questions related to the statistics or comment on our publications on social media. Through these interactions with the users we continually assess the need for improvements of the statistics.
The quality is in general considered to be very good for the income types included in the statistics as data have been validated by the tax authorities. Undeclared incomes, winnings in lotteries etc. may result in a mismatch between actual and registered income.
As the income statistics are based on full-population registers, there are no sampling errors.
The majority of the data in the income statistics is extracted in August. Thus revisions after this date will not be taken into account in the income statistics. This mainly affects the self-employed.
Most tables on income statistics are published in September, nine months after the end of the income reference year along with the annual newsletter. Socio-economic status, imputed rent, disposable income and income distribution indicators are published in November. The statistics have always been published as planned.
Income statistics are quite consistent over time if you use the coherent time series on our website. The statistics were last revised in 2013. Data dating back to 1987 has been revised.
Eurostat and OECD are the recommended sources for making international comparisons. However users should take care not to overinterpret the data, as the indicators may be skewed by the data sources and minor differences in the definition of income.
Furthermore there are tables on income in the publication Statistisk Tiårsoversigt (Danish only)