The report shows that 31.5 percent of the Danish population belonged to the middle class in 2002. Seven years later that share had drop to 28.6 percent, a reduction of 111 000 people. This happened while the population as a whole has increased. The middle class is defined as those with an income equivalent to 85-115 percent of median income.
While the middle class is declining, both the lower and the higher middle class shares are relatively stable. Conversely, Danish society could see an increased polarization at both ends of the class spectrum.
The poverty rate in Denmark has increased by 1.9 percentage points (from 4.5 percent of the population to 6.4 percent) or 108 000 people during the same period, an increase that only Latvia surpasses in Europe. The poor are defined as those with an income of less than half the median income.
The proportion of rich Danes increased by 50 000 up until 2007 before dropping back again. Over the whole period, however, the rich share of the population has increased by 18,000 people. The report defines the rich as those who have an income that is twice as large as the median.
In 2001, Denmark had the lowest poverty rate in Europe. Eight years later they had fallen to 11th place. This is something that the report explains with the lower degree of economic redistribution in the last decade. The figures show that one of the most cohesive countries in the world has become more socio-economically polarized.