The semi-continental Danish lifestyle is the least healthy in the Nordics. And this shows in the country's life expectancy, concludes 2017 report "Intoxicants in Norway 2016", which surveyed Nordic health habits with a focus on drinking and smoking. Researchers from all the Nordic countries conducted the study.


Denmark stands out from the study as the Nordics' least healthy nation. One in five Danish adults (21%) are regular smokers, and the average Dane drinks alcohol 2.5 times per week.


As a result, Danish women have the shortest life expectancy (82.5) in the Nordics, and in Western Europe as a whole (WHO, 2015).


Danish men have the second shortest lives (78.6) among Nordic men, after Finns (78.3).


Source: Business Insider Nordic


The Danish population is living longer than a decade ago, but not all of these additional years are spent in good health. The Danish health system generally provides good access to high-quality care, with comparatively low levels of unmet need for medical care. Challenges remain to tackle essential risk factors for health, such as excessive alcohol consumption and rising obesity rates.


37% of Danish adults report regular heavy alcohol consumption, the highest in the EU. Almost 40% of Danish adolescents report being drunk at least twice in their life.


Although the amount of alcohol consumed per capita in 2014 was slightly below the EU average, 37% of adults in Denmark reported regularly engaging in heavy alcohol consumption, the highest proportion among all EU countries.


A substantial gender gap exists in the proportion of adults reporting such heavy alcohol consumption, with the rate among Danish men reaching 47% compared with 28% among Danish women. A much greater proportion of Danish adolescents also report having been drunk more than once in their life than in other EU countries – this proportion reached almost 40% among 15-year-olds in 2013–14 (38% among 15-year-old girls and 39% among boys), also the highest level among EU countries.


Excessive alcohol consumption and alcohol-related deaths in Denmark are much higher than in most other EU countries. More than 1 200 people died from preventable alcohol-related diseases in Denmark in 2014, and this number does not include those who died from alcohol-related accidents or violence.



A key objective of the Danish 2014 ‘Healthier life for all’ prevention policy framework is to cut the number of people who engage in harmful alcohol consumption by a third. The government financially supports two partnerships to help with achieving this target.


The ‘Partnership for a responsible alcohol culture’ involves industry stakeholders (beverage companies, hotels, restaurants, the Danish Chamber of Commerce and the Danish Merchants Association) and focuses on compliance with age limits on the sale of alcohol and on initiatives to change the alcohol culture in bars. The ‘Partnership for youth and alcohol’ involves municipalities and civil society organisations, with the aim to reduce underage drinking by initiating local activities for young people in collaboration with local authorities and civil society (OECD, 2015).


Source: State of Health in the EU. Denmark. Country Health Profile 2017