Bispebjerg efterar, Copenhagen
Copenhagen became the capital of Denmark in the 15th century and has since developed into the most important trade, institutional and cultural centre of Denmark. Today, Copenhagen has an international workforce, a large number of international visitors all year round and is home to numerous national and international companies.

Copenhagen experienced serious financial problems in the 1980s and recovered only by selling off parts of the municipality’s land and social housing properties to private investors. These actions along with rising property and land prices have been the cause of problems for the city’s administration ever since. Their challenge is about making such an expensive city a place where everyone has the opportunity to settle.

Today the living standard in Copenhagen is high. The city has twice been ranked the “Most Liveable City” by Monocle Magazine. Green areas, good public transportation and urban planning favouring pedestrian and cycling environments are among the reasons why Copenhagen is a convenient and pleasant city to live in.

Social segregation is one of the biggest challenges Copenhagen faces. As it is one of the most expensive cities to live in, low-income households must seek the most affordable parts of the city. Affluent households are concentrated in central parts of the city or in family-size apartments along the former industrial harbour. Ethnic minorities constitute approximately 20% of the population in Copenhagen and is over-represented in deprived areas.

Bispebjerg has been a part of Copenhagen for about 100 years. Today, the area is in the early stages of urban transformation, as former industrial buildings and business grounds are converted into residential housing, green areas and new service businesses. The area is dominated by small apartments with 45% of apartments being less than 60 m2. It is relatively cheap to reside in Bispebjerg. Therefore the area is popular with low-income households and students. About 35% of the housing stock in Bispebjerg is social housing. The physical quality of housing units is relatively high, but several of the housing estates are socioeconomically deprived.

Large parts of the population are unemployed and undereducated compared to the rest of Copenhagen. The population of Bispebjerg is socially and ethnically diverse, in that about 30% of the citizens are immigrants or their descendants. The ethnic minorities of Bispebjerg are concentrated in social housing and face the same social challenges as the Danish majority, along with additional difficulties such as language barriers and discrimination. The City of Copenhagen has categorized approximately half of Bispebjerg as a deprived urban area. Three specific neighbourhoods are on the list of deprived neighbourhoods published by The Ministry of Housing, Urban and Rural Affairs.

District Images

Key Statistics

COPENHAGEN Denmark Copenhagen Bispebjerg
Area (km2) 43 094 88.25 6.83
Total population [i] 5 602 628 559 440 51 488
Average household income [iii] €5 840 €5 565 €4 626
Unemployment [iv] 4.8% 5.5% 7%
Receiving state benefits [v] 28% 22% 26%
Owner-occupied housing [vi] 54% 19% 10%
Average house/apartment m2 price[vii] €1486/2583 €3300/3468 €3173/2603
Highest level of education completed [ii] Denmark Copenhagen Bispebjerg
Primary education; lower secondary education 33.5% 28% 34%
Middle vocational education; high school 40.5% 35% 37%
Higher vocational education; tertiary education 26% 37% 29%
Largest ethnic groups [viii] Denmark Copenhagen Bispebjerg
Danish 89% 77.3% 69.4%
Turkish 1% 1.4%
Polish 0.6% 0.9%
German 0.6% 0.8%
Iraqi 0.5% 1.2%
Lebanese 0.4% 0.8%
Other western (incl.EU-27) 2.7% 6.4% 7.1%
Other non-western 5.1% 11.2% 23.5%
Total 100% 100% 100%
Age Groups (ix)

Copenhagen 0-19

Copenhagen 50-69

Copenhagen 20-29

Copenhagen 70+

Copenhagen 30-49


[i] Copenhagen and Bispebjerg: Københavns Kommunes statistikbank 2013. Denmark: Danmarks statistik 1. kvartal 2013.

[ii] Copenhagen and Bispebjerg: Københavns Kommunes statistikbank 2011. Denmark: Danmarks statistik 2011
[iii] Copenhagen and Bispebjerg: Københavns Kommunes statistikbank 2010. Denmark: Danmarks statistik 2010
[iv] Copenhagen and Bispebjerg: Københavns Kommunes statistikbank 2011. Denmark: Danmarks statistik 2011.
[v] Copenhagen and Bispebjerg: Københavns Kommunes statistikbank 2007. Denmark: Danmarks statistik 2007
[vi] Copenhagen and Bispebjerg: Københavns Kommunes statistikbank 2013. Denmark: Danmarks statistik 2013
[vii] Denmark, Copenhagen and Bispebjerg: Danmarks statistik 3. kvartal 2013
[viii] Denmark and Copenhagen: Danmarks statistik 4. kvartal 2013. Bispebjerg: Københavns Kommunes statistikbank 2013
[ix] Copenhagen

Copenhagen Reports

Urban Policies on Diversity

Critical analysis of existing urban policy programmes and discourses in the case study area. Includes overview of political systems and governance structures, key shifts in national discourses, and approaches to policy over migration, citizenship, and diversity.

Governance Arrangements and Initiatives

Analysis of local governance arrangements and initiatives in the case study area that target social cohesion, social mobility and economic performance.

Work Package 5 Initiatives

Fieldwork Inhabitants

Analysis of how urban diversity and policies and arrangements affect different population groups living in cities in terms of social cohesion and social mobility.

Fieldwork Entrepreneurs

Analysis of how urban diversity and policies and arrangements with respect to urban diversity affect different population groups living in cities in terms of economic performance and to clarify who (which social groups) profit and how they profit.

Copenhagen News

Rikke with the Local Council of Bispebjerg

Rikke Skovgaard Nielsen continues the dissemination process, this time presenting knowledge from Copenhagen’s DIVERCITIES research to the Local Council of Bispebjerg and other interested actors. It was a public event organised by the council held
Copenhagen City Book


This book is focused on Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark. Copenhagen is by far the largest city in Denmark; it is also the most diverse city. The city was historically the centre of the army,
Housing Day

Diversity and Deprivation

‘Diversity and Deprivation’ was the theme at this year’s edition of the annual ‘Housing Day’ organised by the Danish Building Research Institute in Copenhagen. More than 100 practitioners and researchers from all across Denmark attended


Boligen is a Danish magazine for social housing professionals working in Denmark. The current issue includes a ten page feature on DIVERCITIES including a long interview with Rikke Skovgaard Nielsen and a shorter one with

A Big Danish Publication

The Copenhagen team has been at work over the autumn on a major DIVERCITIES publication in Danish. The book is aimed at policymakers and governance officials in municipalities as well as enterprises and organisations interested