Definition of Youth

The youth policy article (2008)does not specifically define youth, but refers to the incorporation of EU Youth Programmes where youth is defined as between 15-29 years.


Marriageable Age

  • Opposite Sex
  • Same Sex
  • Without parental consent
  • with parental consent
  • Male
  • 18
  • 15
  • 18
  • Female
  • 18
  • 15
  • 18

  • Equal marriage age (with and without parental permission) for homosexual and heterosexual couples. Source: UNSD, ILGA

Candidacy Age

Criminal Responsibility

Minimum Age
Source:  UN Child Rights Periodic Report

Majority Age



Voting Age


Situation of Young People

Literacy Rates

Both sexes (15-24) %
  • -- Male (15-24) %
  • -- Female (15-24) %
  • Year: No data.
  • Source: UNESCO

Net Enrolment Rate

Secondary School
Both sexes %
  • 90.05%Male %
  • 92.29% Female %

Situation of Young People

Prevalence of HIV

Male (15-24) %
Female (15-24) %

Tobacco Use

Consumed any smokeless or smoking tobacco product at least once 30 days prior to the survey.
Both sexes (13-15) %
  • -- Male (13-15) %
  • -- Female (13-15) %
  • Year: No data.
  • Source: WHO

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?
Denmark has an integrated youth policy approach. A 2008 article and a 2012 briefing explain.

According to the youth policy article (2008), the Danish Government, "has not instituted a specific youth policy with a certain defined purpose. Every sector has its own field of responsibility regarding measures and policy for young people." Instead, youth policy is integrated throughout government and across “relevant national, regional and local authorities.” However, the article notes that the range of programmes and activities forms “the framework of our Danish youth policy.” As such,

It is an integrated part of the general policies that support Denmark as an enlightened and open, democratic welfare society that is based on social coherence and strives to give everybody equal opportunities to obtain an education, a job and social security, thus creating the basis for the participation of young people in society.

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
Although the youth policy article (2008) was published by the Ministry of Education & Children and written by the Minister for Education & Youth, the Ministry recently lost its responsibility for children and has reverted back to its previous name: The Ministry of Education. The Ministry of Social Affairs, Children and Integration has responsibility for “disadvantaged children and young people” and those in care. According to the Danish National report: First cooperation cycle of the EU Youth Strategy 2010-2012 (2012), there is no inter-ministerial working group on youth.

Youth and Representation

Does the country have a national youth organisation / association (council, platform, body)?
The Danish Youth Council (DUF) is an umbrella organisation representing 70 organisations that work with over 600,000 children and young people. The deliver a range of youth programmes including politics, scouting, religion, environment, youth clubs, theatre, exchange and international projects. The DUF distribute over DKK 100 million (USD 18.2 million) annually to youth projects and are members of the European Youth Forum. Additionally, the Network of Youth Councils (NAU) is the umbrella organisation for approximately 70 local youth councils across Denmark.

Budget & Spending

What is the budget allocated to the governmental authority (ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth and/or youth programming?
No documentation could be found online on youth spending in Denmark. According to the World Bank, Denmark spent 15.05% of its government expenditure and 8.74% of its GDP on education provision in 2009.
Total Expenditure on Education as a Percentage of Government Spending and GDP

  • % of GDP
  • % of gov. expenditure

Source: World Bank
Gaps indicate missing data from the original data source. (Accessed August 2013).

Additional Background

In 2010, it was announced that youth volunteering would recognised through an official diploma. According to a Ministry of Education press release (2010),

All students taking part in youth education are to be offered programs with at least 20 hours of volunteer work. Examples of volunteer work include work as a soccer coach or homework help in a charity. Students’ exam certificates will show that they have been offered volunteer work. And they will receive a diploma for completed voluntary work.

According to a survey from 2006, volunteer work is a popular pastime among young Danes. Two thirds of young people aged 16-25, who are not already doing volunteer work, state that they would be interested if they were encouraged.

The Ministry of Education & Youth (now Ministry of Education) youth policy article (2008) further details aspects of policy and legislation supporting young people:

The youth policy is a vital part of our endeavours to create a strong economy and full employment, securing welfare, education and job opportunities. It is taken into consideration in our housing policy, which seeks to enable young people to find a place to live; as well as playing a role in the justice, social and integration policy, aiming to prevent crime and the social marginalisation of young people and to aid in successful integration.