In 2006, public expenditure for the social area amounted to around DKK 197 billion (converted into the 2008 price and wage index), which sum corresponded to around 22% of total public expenditure.
Expenditure for the social area can be divided into expenditure for social transfer payments and social service expenditure, which in 2006 accounted for around DKK 69 billion in 2008 prices and wages. The area of old-age care accounts for the vast majority of social service expenditure. In 2006, social service expenditure distributed on DKK 31.6 billion for old-age care, DKK 21.1 billion for disabled people, DKK 12.3 billion for disadvantaged children and DKK 3.8 billion for disabled adults.
In 2006, total public expenditure for social transfer payments amounted to a total of DKK 128 billion, the major part distributing on old-age pensions and disability pensions. Social transfer payments divided into DKK 79.3 billion on old-age pensions, DKK 34.7 billion on disability pensions, DKK 11.3 billion on housing benefits, i.e. rent subsidy and pensioners' rent allowance, and DKK 2.7 billion for various additional allowances, etc., i.e. winter fuel payments, various personal allowances and other transfer payments.
Development in the size and age composition of the population impact on the demand for social services.
Declining population growth
In the latest two decades, 1988 to 2008, Denmark’s population increased by approximately 350,000. Up until 2028, the number of people residing in Denmark is expected to grow by around 290,000.
Forecast shift in age distribution
In the course of the past 20 years, a shift has become apparent in the population age distribution, the population generally becoming older.
In the next 20 years, the number of older people (aged 65 or above) is expected to increase more steeply than before, while the number of children and young people below 18 and the number of adults aged 18-65 are not expected to increase.
The forecast population development shows that the number of people aged 80 or above will, in particular, increase in the coming years. This aspect is particularly significant for assessments of how the need for services for old people will develop, as this group requires extensive services and accommodation facilities.
However, these forecasts cannot be used to deduct that the need for old-age services will increase correspondingly, as this will depend on whether older people will remain active and independent longer than today.
Population forecasts are associated with some uncertainties, as the forecast preconditions of the number of births, mortality as well as immigration and emigration may change in the course of the period. Additionally, the population’s health and welfare levels may change and reflect on the demand for social services.