Denmark Economy in the 1940’s

By | December 18, 2021

Population. – According to the census of November 5, 1940, the population of Denmark (excluding the Faeroes) was 3,844,322 residents, distributed as follows:

The summary results of the June 1, 1945 census gave a population of 4,045,232 residents distributed as follows: Copenhagen (927.404), Islands (1.291.722), Jütland (1.826.056).

In the period 1940-45 the population had an increase of 1.11% per year. The centralized population from 2,459,571 in 1940 rose to 2,634,231 in 1945 (65% of the total), while the rural population increased from 1,384,741 in 1940 to 1,411,001 in 1945. The estimated population on 10 July 1947, was 4,116,000 residents According to the census of June 10, 1945, the population of the Faroes was 29,198. For Denmark economics and business, please check

Also on 1 June 1945 the population of the main cities was as follows: Copenhagen 927.404, Aarhus 107.393, Odense 92.436, Aalborg 60.880, Esbjerg 43.241, Randers 36.434, Horsens 32.400.

Economic conditions. – World War II left the country without major ruins. But Denmark could not escape the consequences of the changing currents of international traffic; in fact it is the European country in which, in normal times, foreign trade draws the highest volume per resident, which at the same time reveals the deficit of raw materials and the high standard of living of its population. The Danish economy, however, remains centered on agriculture and livestock, which alone accounts for more than 2/3 in value of exports. The following table shows the data relating to the main agricultural products.

The Danish livestock herd as of July 26, 1947 was as follows: horses, 594,000; cattle and sheep, 2,987,000; pigs, 1,823,000; hens, 19,271,000. The main industrial products have reached the data shown in the following table.

Commerce. – The following table shows the values ​​for the period 1941-46, which reveal the imbalance which occurred in the Danish economy after 1945.

In 1946 exports went mainly to Great Britain, Sweden, Belgium, Norway and Finland; while among the suppliers there are, besides these countries (and in the first place Great Britain), the United States. The Italian-Danish trade was reduced to insignificant figures.

Communications. – As of January 1, 1947, Denmark had 8138 km. of highways and 45,000 km. of secondary roads; 5,200 km. railways open to traffic, about half of which are state-run; as of December 31, 1945, the size of the merchant navy was 977 ships exceeding 20 tonnes in the register, with a total of 827,000 tonnes. registered.

Constitution. – For the question of Iceland, Faroe Islands and Greenland, see the respective entries in this Appendix.

Finance. – The figures of the financial statements from 1939-40 to 1947-48 are shown below: (financial years from April 1st to March 30th):

The German occupation, while leaving the production potential of the country almost intact, caused serious damage to the internal financial situation, especially following the financing of employment expenses and export surpluses to Germany (for a total of 7.6 billion crowns), carried out by the National Bank on behalf of the state, with funds taken in part through the use of ticketing. As soon as the war was over, however, a courageous monetary and financial reorganization was undertaken, the main stages of which were: the exchange of the currency, carried out at the end of July 1945 with partial blocking of circulation and deposits; the reporting, for tax purposes, of securities and assets exceeding 10,000 crowns; L’ application of an extraordinary tax on assets, the majority of which proceeds were devolved to the repayment of the aforementioned state debt to the National Bank (which at 30 September 1947 was reduced to 5.8 billion). The results achieved can be defined as flattering, as the government managed to stabilize traffic at a level just over two and a half times the pre-war level, and to balance the budget, starting from the 1946-47 financial year.

On the other hand, the currency situation has yet to be resolved, which worsened compared to the pre-war period due to heavy imports to replenish depleted stocks, the proportionately greater increase in the prices of imported goods, the loss of the German market and the decrease in revenue for freight. ; to cope with this, commercial credits and loans were used especially by Great Britain, the United States, Sweden and the International Bank, as well as a commercial policy aimed at reducing imports to the minimum necessary and maximizing exports..

The gold parity of the crown, approved by the International Monetary Fund (in which Denmark participates with a share of 68 million dollars) is gr. 0.185178 fine and corresponds to an exchange rate of 4.80 crowns per dollar.

At 30 June 1948, circulation amounted to 1,554 million (December 1939 = 644 million) and was covered by a gold and equivalent reserve of 370 million. At the same date, deposits with the National Bank and commercial banks rose to 5.8 billion, 4 of which on demand.

Denmark Finance