Central Government Debt

The Danish government debt has the highest possible rating (AAA/Aaa) from the largest international credit rating agencies , due to, inter alia, the low debt level. At the end of 2016, the Danish central-government debt amounted to kr. 465 billion or 23 per cent of GDP. In addition, the debt structure is very robust.

A part of the central government debt reflects borrowing on behalf of government-owned companies. Adjusted for such on-lending the central government debt amounted to 18 per cent of GDP in 2016.


Central-government debt, 1996-2016



The central government debt is calculated as the nominal value of domestic and foreign debt less the balance on the central government's account at Danmarks Nationalbank and the assets of the three government funds, cf. Table.

Composition of central government debt

Kr. billion, year-end​201420152016
Domestic debt698646635
Foreign debt593312
Pledging of collateral for swaps 1)​4​3​2
​Central government's account at Danmarks Nationalbank-213-157-111
Social Pension Fund-75-66-58
​Advanced Technology Foundation-14-14-14​
Fund for Better Working Environment and Labour Retention​​-1​-1-1​
Central-government debt​458445465
Central-government bedt, per cent of GDP24.022.422.8

Note:​ A positive figure indicates a liability; a negative figure indicates an asset.

1) Cash collateral for the market value of the swap portfolio. A positive number means the counterparties net have posted collateral.​​

EMU debt

The gross general government debt (EMU debt) is often used in international comparisons of sovereign debt. In recent years, the EMU debt has been considerably below the reference value of 60 per cent of GDP in the Stability and Growth Pact. At the end of 2015, Denmark's EMU debt amounted to 40 per cent of GDP, which is low compared with the level in other EU member states, cf. Chart. The primary difference between central government debt and EMU debt is that local government debt of around 7 per cent of GDP is included and that the balance on the central government's account of approximately 8 per cent of GDP is not offset in the EMU debt.

The net debt, including all financial assets and liabilities of the public sector, was 5.5 per cent of GDP at the end of 2015, which is also low in an international context.

EMU debt adjusted for the central government's account 2015