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date: 07 October 2022

The Economic History of Denmark, 1784–2019locked

The Economic History of Denmark, 1784–2019locked

  • Niels KærgårdNiels KærgårdProduction, Markets and Policy, Department of Food and Resource Economics (IFRO)


A change of government in 1784 started a number of reforms that became the foundation of modern Denmark. Right up until the Second World War, agriculture was the predominant sector in the Danish economy, and changes in this sector therefore determined the development in the Danish economy. These changes include the transformation from common villages to privately owned farms, starting in the 1780s; the change from cereal to animal production in the 1880s; and the movement toward a growing number of small farms from 1919 until the trend was reversed after 1960. The economic importance of the agricultural sector has declined over time, currently contributing only 3% of the gross domestic product (GDP), as economic history since 1945 has been dominated by the creation of an urban welfare state with a big public sector. As a small open economy, Denmark’s international relations have hugely impacted the overall economic development.


  • Economic History

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