When we hear of Denmark, we think of Hans Christian Andersen, the Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen’s waterside, and the country’s enormous tax rate. The thing is, Denmark is more than these. The country features one of the best living standards and highest quality of life in the world and is home to one of the happiest people in the planet. These qualities, among others lie, parallel to the Lucky Country, so we decided it’s time we compare the two of the best migration destinations these days.
Although rife with valuable natural resources such as mature oil and gas wells in the North Sea, Denmark relies more on human resources to support its main economic sectors such as agriculture, food processing, electronics, construction, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, and tourism, among others. In a nutshell, Denmark sports a mixed-economy structure. It has an unemployment rate of 3.19% and inflation rate of 0.50%.
In the office environment, the country operates on an egalitarian convention. Superiors and subordinates are expected to work on a “horizontal” principle, i.e. the bosses working with the team rather than just handing down orders. If you are employed by the government sectors, your salary is determined by trade unions and employer associations. If you work for the private companies, it will be based on your qualifications. At 1,436 hours a year (or 28 hours a week), it has one of the lowest working hours in the world.
Australia operates on a mixed market economy structure, and the 12th largest economy in the world. The economy is primarily driven by its service sector, comprising 68% of its GDP. Other sectors (and biggest employers) include mining, manufacturing, agriculture, finance, tourism, media, education, and logistics. It is the 12th largest in the world in terms of GDP. Unemployment here is higher by a small margin at 5.8% with a lower inflation rate of 1.3%
Much like in Denmark, a culture of egalitarianism and consultancy also define the Aussies’ working style. Subordinates are required to share opinions and suggestions or even challenge their superiors’ ideas as long as executed professionally. This adheres to the Australians’ virtue of mateship, in which everybody is treated equally with respect. Australia enjoys a lower than average working hour at 36 hours a week.
The Danish health care is a public system funded though income tax at a regional and municipal level with integrated financing at the regional level. It is divided into two parts: the primary health care which is provided by general practitioners and handles general health problems and is generally the first point of contact if you ask for general medical treatment, and the hospital sector which is deals with patients who need more specialised medical treatment such as intensive care or the need for specialist equipment.
All Danish residents and European Union citizens have access to Denmark’s health care benefits.
Australia’s healthcare system functions on a centralized level, and is carried out by both private and government institutions. The state and territory governments supervise aspects of health care within their jurisdictions, such as the operation of hospitals.
It is two-pronged: the private health system and the Medicare. The latter is funded partly by a 2% Medicare levy (with exceptions for low-income earners), with the rest being supplied by government. An additional levy of 1% is imposed on high-income earners without private health insurance. To find out more about how Australia’s healthcare system works, check our blog here.
Food and Dining
Denmark might be an ultramodern wealthy country, but its cuisine originated from what the peasants’ ingenuity and local produce back in the old times. This was further developed with the cooking techniques on the 1800s as well as ingredients available during in the Industrial Revolution. Not to mention, foreign cooking methods and ingredients imported from tropical countries further contributed to the national cuisine’s enhancement. Danish cuisine is famous for its open sandwiches, cold cuts and buffets, and beers.
When dining, do not begin eating until the host says “Skol.” Always finish everything on your plate. Not doing so is a waste of food for them and Danes do not like it. Do not discuss business, follow your host’s lead. And wait to be told where to sit, as there may be a seating plan. For tipping, restaurants usually include a 12-to 15-percent gratuity in all bills already.
Australian cuisine is a fusion of native aboriginal inventiveness and British colonial contribution, with mix of Asian and Mediterranean traditions provided by wave after wave of post-colonial migrations and helped transform their cuisine. They usually take advantage of meat available in the continent, such as lamb, kangaroo, and emu, as well as pork, beef, and chickens. Like the Japanese, Aussies prefer the freshest produces as much as possible (check here for Australia’s most amazing/weirdest foods).
When dining, it is not encouraged that you talk about business or work, unless your host initiates so. Even during business lunches or dinners, it is rare that people will dive in straight on to business conversations. Always start with small talks during meals. Tipping here is usually 10 to 15 percent.
The living cost in Denmark is already expensive, so people who migrate here chose to rent than to buy a property. Danish property is of high standard is usually spacious. Rental accommodation here differs from houses with gardens in the suburbs to city apartments. Most of them, however, tends to be in the form of multi-storey buildings or terraced housing. Majority of these are clustered together in the residential parts of the major cities in the country.
Like with any country, location typically determines the price of the rent. The average monthly rent for a place outside the city is expected to be cheaper than an apartment in Copenhagen. However, this does not mean that a house located miles away from Copenhagen is going to be cheap. Finding a place to settle here can be challenging. Apartment ads are usually posted in newspaper and internet adverts.
Owning a house is also not very common in Australia. Around 33% of residents here lives in a fully owned properties, 31.4% rents their home, while 35%of homes are mortgaged.
The departments of state governments provides Public housing in Australia. It is divided into two categories: The inner-city medium to high-rise apartments and the low-density townhouses/fully detached houses located in the suburban fringes of cities and towns. The inner-city public housing is generally found in Melbourne and Sydney. They are usually 3-5 story walk-up flats and 11-22 story high-rise towers. Low-density suburban estates is located in almost every city and town in Australia.
Expectedly, rents are cheaper in rural than urban areas. It’s also lower the further a property is from a large city or town, public transport or other facilities. The average rents are highest in Sydney, Melbourne and Darwin. You may check here for a comprehensive guide on how to find an apartment in the country.
Public and Private Transport
Denmark’s public transportation and infrastructure is ultramodern, efficient, and of high standard. Three types of railway networks operate in the country: Regional (Re), InterCity (IC) and InterCity Lyn (ICL). The Regional trains connect local stations to the main national network. InterCity and InterCity Lyn trains run on the same routes, ICL trains are just faster and do not stop at as many stations. Copenhagen, however, is the only city to have a metro system, and it operates 24 hours a day 7 days a week. It utilizes unmanned, automated trains on the network.
A cheaper alternative to trains when traveling within Denmark are buses or coaches. Some of them also operate to travel to and from the country. You may ride a taxi here, but expect the fare to be expensive.
A one way train ticket here costs US$3.57, while a monthly pass is at around US$55.75. Starting taxi tariff is US$5.95 with US$2.27 for the first one kilometer. A Toyota Corolla 1.6l 97kW Comfort (or any equivalent new car) will set you back US$35,715.16. Gasoline is at US$1.56 for every litter.
The rail way system in Australia is extensive and efficient logically due to its huge size also. Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide all sport expansive electric commuter rail networks which eventually have developed and expanded over time. Trams have operated extensive across the country but have since shut down in favor of cars, except in Melbourne and Adelaide. However, partially underground transit systems still operate in Sydney, Brisbane Perth, and Melbourne. Buses and taxis also operate in the country. However, despite the very good public transport system, driving is the most used mode of transport in the country, and this number continues to rise. If you want to find out how commuting etiquette here works, check here.
Commuting costs here is less expensive that in Denmark, though. A one-way ticket here sets you back by US$2.96 while going for a monthly pass will increase it to US$96.96. A kilometer ride of taxi is US$1.62 with US$2.98 as starting tariff. If you want your own car, a Toyota Corolla 1.6l 97kW Comfort (or any equivalent new car) will cost you US$17,430.44 plus US$0.96 for every litter of gasoline.
Weather and Climate
Located between three European climatic zones, Borea influence in the north, Atlantic influence the west and Continental influence in the east, the climate throughout Denmark is a combination of these influences, and is generally described as temperate. Characterized by mild winters and cool summers, rainfall here is evenly distributed throughout the year. The western part of the country, however, features an Atlantic climate while the eastern parts sports a more continental influenced one. During summertime (May to August) the temperature is pleasant especially during the first month. Winter on the other hand, is ruled by snow, ice and icy winds.
Required clothing here includes lightweights with rainwear during summer, and a waterproof and warmer clothing during winter. Bring an umbrella and a sweater for almost any time of year.
Due to the massive land area, Australia goes through differing climates. This fact is characterized by the severely hot climate in the Kimberley region in the north-west of the continent to below zero in the Snowy Mountains in the south. Also due to its size, there just can’t be one seasonal calendar for the whole continent.
Depending upon where in the continent you are each month, the seasons will vary, whether the weather is defined by the Temperate zone seasons or the tropical seasons. To find out more what is the climate and weather patterns in each of the states in the country, check our blog here.
Despite the huge distance gap and the culture in which they thrive on, Denmark and Australia have more similarities than we can imagine. Both are home to the happiest citizens on the planet, have excellent living standards, healthy lifestyles, short working hours, egalitarian cultures, and the remarkable love for beer. Also, they share the same downsides, such as the expensive cost of living and the competitive housing market. It will just come down to matter of preference.
If you prefer a cooler climate, Denmark is your country. Also, the Scandinavian culture is very inviting. What with their very formal, humble, and laid-back way of living. There’s always something going on each day. The health care here is also superb, albeit at the cost of high income tax.
And speaking of which, as mentioned, Denmark has the second highest tax rate in Europe, so that’s another huge consideration. Also, you may have to learn Danish to survive the language barrier. And most establishment closes before eight in the evening, so you will be left with an empty street after dark.
Australia, meanwhile, has English as its main language, so you won’t have difficulties communicating here. Plus, the Aussies are warm, friendly people who will have no trouble striking a conversation with you, even the random strangers. And the climate is very warm, which is the main draw among those from Europe. The lifestyle here is very active, with everybody going for a jog, a walk, or a sport to enjoy the sun.
On the downside, Australia has a very unstable weather, and if you live in small towns, there won’t be much going on, as the entertainment and activity centers are mostly in the city (on the upside, less congestions). And traveling to other countries can be a bane, as Australia is bordered by the ocean on all sides. It’s more expensive and takes longer to get around.