Denmark Country Performance, Nation Brand Strength and Reputation

Denmark: how good is the country’s business environment for investors? How competitive is it in terms of talent? What about its soft power internationally? Learn about this and more in our summary of global reports, studies and rankings on country performance, brand strength and reputation.

Let’s take a closer look at:

  • Doing business in Denmark
  • Talent competitiveness
  • Denmark’s soft power
  • Healthcare and environmental performance
  • Quality of life and contribution to global well-being

With thanks to our friends and knowledge partners Bloom Consulting and Brand Finance for supporting our country profiles by contributing latest research insights and benchmarking data.

Doing business in Denmark

Denmark has a very good economic performance, as The Global Competitiveness Index shows. The index ranks Denmark in the 12th position, the same as in the previous report, stressing the country’s economic stability.

The Ease of Doing Business report, created by the World Bank, places Denmark in the 3rd position overall and considers it among the best countries to invest in. This index also considers Denmark as 1st in the category of trading across borders (mainly because of it being a member of the European Union); 9th in paying taxes; 6th in resolving insolvency; and 4th in dealing with construction permits. These areas clearly show a friendly environment for investors.

Talent in Denmark

As the Global Talent Competitiveness study shows, Denmark is one of the most talented countries in the world, being ranked 7th out of 119 countries. It performs especially well in terms of enabling (3rd) and retaining talent (6th), and talent growth (8th).


Denmark is one of the most transparent countries globally, according to the Transparency International Index. The country has held top positions for transparency throughout the last decade, alternating between the first and the second position.

Denmark’s global presence and soft power

According to the Elcano Global Presence Index, which measures soft presence, economic presence and military presence, Denmark is ranked 28th among 110 countries. Its soft presence ranks 24th; in military presence the country ranks 47th; and in economic presence it is ranked 26th. Economic presence is the area that contributes the most to the ranking in its case.

The Soft Power 30 index shows Denmark in the 11th position, gaining two places since the last report and maintaining a stable performance in the last three reports. This index gives Denmark a very high score in the areas of government (6th), education (6th) and enterprises (6th).

Comparatively looking at the Global Soft Power Index 2020 by Brand Finance, Denmark is ranked at the 15th position ahead of Spain and Norway (respectively). Denmark’s strengths are similar to those mentioned above in fellow indexes, performing most strongly in business & trade and governance.

Interstingly, the Elcano Global Presence, Soft Power 30 and Global Soft Power studies differ considerably in their assessment of Denmark’s global presence and soft power.

Denmark in web searches

In the Digital Country Index, Denmark does not rank well (39th position) when it comes to number of online searches (compared to other countries in the region). However, it’s performance seems to be getting better, as the country gained five positions since the last report.

Denmark’s competitiveness as tourist destination

The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index by the OECD shows that Denmark is relatively low ranked when compared to other countries in Europe, placed in the 31st position. This means a loss of four positions, compared to the 2015 edition.

Whereas it ranks 3rd for human resources and labour market, 2nd for ICT readiness and 11th for international openness, it only makes it to 129th place for price competitiveness, and 80th in prioritization of travel and tourism.

Life quality and liveability in Denmark

Denmark has a very good performance in the Better Life Index in most of the areas: work-life balance, social connections, environmental quality, and civic engagement. It ranks below the average in housing.

Life satisfaction also ranks very high, as Denmark scored 9.9/10, and climbed up to the second position of the ranking. It also has one of the highest life expectancies of the world (81 years on average for women).

The World Happiness Report ranks Denmark as the 3rd happiest country in the world. It has been in the top five positions in the last three reports. In the same report, Denmark is ranked 2nd for happiness of foreign-born citizens, which is directly associated with migration.

Out of 140 countries, Denmark is ranked 32nd in the Happy Planet Index. As shown in the index, the country is a top performer in wellbeing (6th) and equality (8th). However, the index gives Denmark a weak 116th spot for its ecological footprint.

Curiously, Denmark is considered a top performer in the Environmental Performance Index, which places the country in the 3rd position, overall. This strong position is mostly due to Denmark’s high marks for environmental health (3rd), air quality (5th) and Agriculture (7th). In other areas the country has some catching up to do, especially in the areas of fisheries (87th), forests (94th) and air pollution (37th).

Contribution to global wellbeing

The Good Country Index ranks Denmark 3rd overall, a stable performance compared to the previous reports. The nation ranks especially well for contributions to global prosperity & equality (2nd), health and wellbeing (3rd) and science and technology (6th). Its contribution to international peace and security scores lower, 64th.

Denmark is the 5th nation in the Global Peace Index 2018, maintaining the same position as in the last report. The country is ranked 5th in the safety and security area. However, some areas impacted its score, especially public perception towards violence in the country.

Nation brand value

The Nation Brand Index considers Denmark the 32nd most valuable nation brands in the world: a very poor performance if we compare it to other European countries, and even more within the Nordic region.

Last updated November 2018.

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