OECD Territorial Reviews: Copenhagen, Denmark 2009

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The Copenhagen metropolitan region accounts for nearly half of Denmark's national output and plays a key role for the country as a whole.  Nevertheless, it has witnessed only modest economic growth over the last decade. This review of metropolitan area policy for Copenhagen examines key challenges including modest economic growth, scarcity of skilled workers and barriers to research and development. The report also examines how public institutions affect regional economic growth. Issues considered include: inter-municipal co-operation, local finance, public management, political leadership, and coordination mechanisms between the central government and the region.  



Assessment and Recommendations

The Copenhagen metropolitan region’s competitive position is essential to the economic health of Denmark, since it contributes nearly half of the country’s national output. With 2.4 million inhabitants, the Copenhagen metropolitan region accounts for 44% of the Danish population, in an area that includes the cities of Copenhagen and Frederiksberg, as well as five adjacent former counties. Among 78 OECD metropolitan regions with populations of more than 1.5 million inhabitants, the Copenhagen metropolitan region ranks fourth in terms of its share of national output. Metropolitan regions within the OECD often function as the engines of national economic growth: they are usually richer, more productive and more innovative. This is also true of Copenhagen. The Capital Region alone, an entity created in 2007 that has a population of 1.6 million (somewhat less than the Copenhagen metropolitan region), provided 75% of the new jobs created in Denmark in the last 10 years. The area, home of the best universities in the country, concentrates 80% of Denmark’s high-tech firms, as well as 70% of its private research and development. More than half of all Danes with higher education live within its confines, and its economic influence is felt throughout the nation. For every 100 jobs created in Copenhagen, 20 jobs are created elsewhere in Denmark, whereas for every 100 jobs created elsewhere in Denmark, seven jobs are created indirectly in Copenhagen. 


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