Denmark has a high-income economy that ranks 21st in the world in terms of GDP (PPP) per capitaand 10th in nominal GDP per capita. A liberalisation of import tariffs in 1797 marked the end ofmercantilism and further liberalisation in the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century established the Danish liberal tradition in international trade that was only to be broken by the 1930s.Property rights have enjoyed strong protection. Denmark's economy stands out as one of the most free in theIndex of Economic Freedom and the Economic Freedom of the World Denmark is one of the most competitive economies in the world according to World Economic Forum 2008 report, IMD andThe Economist. The country also ranks highest in the world for workers' rights. GDP per hour worked was the 13th highest in 2009. The country has a market income inequality close to the OECDaverage, but after public cash transfers the income inequality is very low. According to the IMF, Denmark has the world's highest minimum wage. As Denmark has no minimum wage law, the high wage floor has been attributed to the power of trade unions. For example, as the result of a collective bargaining agreement between the 3F trade union and the employers group Horesta, workers at McDonald's, Burger King and other fast food chains make the equivalent of $20 an hour, which is more than double what their counterparts earn in the United States, and have access to five weeks’ paid vacation, paid maternity and paternity leave and a pension plan. The country has very high wealth inequality with a wealth Gini coefficient of 0.808. Denmark is among the countries with the highest credit rating.
As a result of its acclaimed "flexicurity" model, Denmark has the most free labour market in Europe, according to the World Bank. Employers can hire and fire whenever they want (flexibility), and between jobs, unemployment compensation is very high (security). The World Bank ranks Denmark as the easiest place in Europe to do business. Establishing a business can be done in a matter of hours and at very low costs. No restrictions apply regarding overtime work, which allows companies to operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Denmark has a competitive company tax rate of 24.5% and a special time-limited tax regime for expatriates. The Danish taxation system is broad based, with a 25% VAT, in addition to excise taxes, income taxes and other fees. The overall level of taxation (sum of all taxes, as a percentage of GDP) is estimated to be 46% in 2011.
Denmark has the fourth highest ratio of tertiary degree holders in the world. EF English Proficiency Index ranked Danes as the best non-native English speakers in the world. Once a predominantly agricultural country on account of its arable landscape, since 1945 Denmark has greatly expanded its industrial base so that by 2006 industry contributed about 25% of GDP and agriculture less than 2%. In 2013, the 20 largest companies by turnover wereA.P. Møller-Mærsk, Wrist Group, ISS, Novo Nordisk, Carlsberg, Dong Energy, Arla Foods, United Shipping & Trading Company, Danish Crown, Dansk Supermarked, Vestas Wind Systems, DLG, DSV, Coop Danmark, Danfoss, Statoil Refining Danmark, SAS Group, Skandinavisk Holding, TDC, and FLSmidth & Co.. Smaller notable companies include Grundfos and Lego Group. Denmark hasn't given birth to many young companies. As of 2013, only 3 of the 100 largest companies in Denmark were founded since 1970. For comparison, in California the number is over ten times higher.
Denmark's currency, the krone (DKK), is pegged at approximately 7.46 kroner per euro through theERM. Although a September 2000 referendum rejected adopting the euro, the country in practice follows the policies set forth in the Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union and meets the economic convergence criteria needed to adopt the euro. The majority of the political parties in the parliament are for the euro, but as yet a new referendum has not been held, despite plans; scepticism of the EU among Danish voters has historically been strong.
Support for free trade is high – in a 2007 poll 76% responded that globalisation is a good thing. 70% of trade flows are inside the European Union. As of 2011, Denmark has the 10th highest export per capita in the world. Denmark's main exports are: industrial production/manufactured goods 73.3% (of which machinery and instruments were 21.4%, and fuels (oil, natural gas), chemicals, etc. 26%); agricultural products and others for consumption 18.7% (in 2009 meat and meat products were 5.5% of total export; fish and fish products 2.9%).Denmark is a net exporter of food and energy and has for a number of years had a balance of payments surplus while battling an equivalent of approximately 39% of GNP foreign debt or more than DKK 300 billion.
StatBank is the name of a large statistical database maintained by the central authority of statistics in Denmark. Online distribution of statistics has been a part of the dissemination strategy in Denmark since 1985. In providing this service, Denmark is a leading nation in the electronic dissemination of government statistical data.