Denmark Voted the Most Expensive EU Country to Live In

Strøget in Denmark on a sunny day
Strøget in Denmark on a sunny day | © stanvpetersen / pixabay
Photo of Aliki Seferou
18 July 2018

Those who have lived or even travelled to Denmark won’t be surprised at all to hear that our favourite Scandinavian country ranked first in Eurostat’s latest price level index. That means that in 2017 Danes paid more for food, beverages, footwear and other goods and services than inhabitants of other European Union’s countries.

The survey, which was conducted in 38 European countries and covered the price of more than 2,000 goods and services, showed last year Denmark’s prices were 42% above the EU average. The most expensive goods in the country were food, non-alcoholic beverages, and footwear. Neighbouring Sweden had the first place for clothing prices while Ireland for alcoholic beverages and tobacco. From the 38 European countries that were included in the survey, 28 are EU Member States, three are EFTA (European Free Trade Association) countries (Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland), five are candidate countries (Montenegro, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Albania, Serbia, and Turkey), Bosnia and Herzegovina as potential candidate and finally, Kosovo.

So, even though Denmark held the first place compared to the European Member States, among all countries Switzerland was the one with the highest price level for food and non-alcoholic beverages while Iceland, which was also ranked first as the most expensive of all 38 countries, had the highest prices for alcoholic beverages, tobacco, clothing, and footwear.

People at Strøget, Copenhagen's shopping street | © Mstyslav Chernov / Wikimedia Commons

Additionally, Denmark had the highest Price Level Index among all 38 countries in electricity, gas and other fuel as well as personal transport equipment (which is due to the country’s high taxation levels on cars), while compared only to the EU Member States, Denmark had the most expensive restaurants and hotels and consumer electronics.

When it comes to the cheapest country for food, beverages, and tobacco, the last place among all 38 countries is held by the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, while for clothing and footwear Turkey was the least expensive of all participating countries.

Bulgaria had a price level of 52% below the EU average, which makes it the cheapest country to live in among all EU Member States followed by Romania, Poland, Hungary, and Lithuania.

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