Table of Contents

  • Individuals’ material conditions and quality of life and the cohesiveness of communities in the present and in the future are in part shaped by the circumstances experienced in the place where people live. Well-being indicators are an important tool for government at different scales to identify the needs of citizens and the policy domains where the demand for progress is the greatest. They are also instruments to raise awareness among citizens on the living conditions in their communities, foster their participation in the public debate and, ultimately, build trust in government.

  • Danish people have high living standards in many dimensions of life. They enjoy among the highest levels of safety, civic engagement and social network support in the OECD, and the highest levels of life satisfaction. Compared to other OECD countries, people living in Denmark today have higher educational attainments and longer lives. They also participate more in elections and are less likely to be victims of violent crimes. On the other hand, the long-term unemployment rate and housing expenditures have increased in Denmark. There are relatively small differences in people’s well-being across Danish regions, but much less is known at the smaller scale, such as that of cities and their neighborhoods, which matter most for people’s day-to-day lives.

  • This chapter provides the framework to assess people’s well-being in Danish cities. It defines the boundaries of the five cities – also called “city-regions” or “functional urban areas” – that are analysed in the report, based on the OECD methodology, which is consistently applied across countries. The chapter describes the five cities and provides basic socio-demographic statistics, both in levels and trends, over the last decade. Finally, the chapter presents the OECD framework to measure well-being at subnational level, highlighting specific issues and challenges that should be taken into account when working at the scale of cities.

  • This chapter provides an assessment of levels and trends of people’s well-being in the five major Danish cities, namely Copenhagen, Aarhus, Aalborg, Esbjerg and Odense. Cities are defined according to the OECD definition of functional urban areas and are composed of a high-density core and a commuting zone. Indicators cover 11 well-being dimensions, following the OECD Regional Well-being Framework. The different outcomes between core and commuting zone are highlighted and discussed and, when possible, outcomes are compared with those in other cities of the OECD. The chapter also presents levels and trends of income inequality within Danish cities.

  • This chapter provides an assessment of how well-being outcomes are distributed across different areas and neighbourhoods of Danish functional urban areas. It first describes what areas of cities have been growing the most in terms of population during the last decade. Subsequently, evidence on the patterns of spatial segregation by income and occupational status is provided and discussed, together with an analysis of the spatial concentration of youth unemployment.

  • This chapter provides a short summary on the challenges and way forward in using well-being measures in policy making at the local or city scale. It also present some examples of initiatives carried out in Danish regions and municipalities where a well-being framework was adopted.

  • This annex presents a snapshot of well-being for each of the five Danish cities.