Denmark's Digital Timeline

But, before we start. Let us start out with some background and context.

We did lay some groundwork before digitizing our society.

Adoption of technology

In 1968 Denmark introduced the CPR-register, a central database of every person residing in Denmark. The register has a major impact on digitization in Denmark. The register is amongst other things used to identify all citizens when they use their digital ID and login "MyID".

Danish citizens have adopted technology and citizens expect government services to be digital by default, supporting web and mobile in parallel.


Digital by default

In Denmark it is mandatory to communicate with the public sector through a service called ‘Digital Post’. This means that all interaction between citizens and the public is done electronically by using secure email instead of sending letters. Digital Post is also available for the private sector to use - e.g. insurance companies, financial institutions and schools

Connected and online

There is a high degree of internet penetration; 94% have internet at home, 89% use the internet daily, and over a 12-month period, 88% of citizens interact digitally with public authorities at least once.

These numbers are among the highest in the EU ranking 2nd on the OECD list.




Push for a digital public sector

The more recent push for digital in the public sector started about 15 years ago led by the Danish Agency of Digitisation under the Danish Ministry of Finance. There have been five major intiatives in this period.

Denmark's Digital Timeline

But, before we start. Let us start out with some background and context.

We did lay some groundwork before digitizing our society.

Adoption of technology

In 1968 Denmark introduced the CPR-register, a central database of every person residing in Denmark. The register has a major impact on digitization in Denmark. The register is amongst other things used to identify all citizens when they use their digital ID and login "MyID".

Danish citizens have adopted technology and citizens expect government services to be digital by default, supporting web and mobile in parallel.


Digital by default

In Denmark it is mandatory to communicate with the public sector through a service called ‘Digital Post’. This means that all interaction between citizens and the public is done electronically by using secure email instead of sending letters. Digital Post is also available for the private sector to use - e.g. insurance companies, financial institutions and schools

Connected and online

There is a high degree of internet penetration; 94% have internet at home, 89% use the internet daily, and over a 12-month period, 88% of citizens interact digitally with public authorities at least once.

These numbers are among the highest in the EU ranking 2nd on the OECD list.




Push for a digital public sector

The more recent push for digital in the public sector started about 15 years ago led by the Danish Agency of Digitisation under the Danish Ministry of Finance. There have been five major intiatives in this period.

Supported by law

First digitization strategy in the world

The first Danish national digitization strategy was formulated in 1996. The strategy was probably one of the first national strategies in the world, and it has been revised several times over the years. In parallel, the national digitization strategies have been supported by several hundred laws, which is very unique compared to most other countries.

A common public sector

Towards a digitised society

The government’s digital ambitions include all levels of government, from central government to regions and municipalities - i.e. both the administrative institutions such as ministries, agencies, public sector institutions, and municipal and regional administrations, and hospitals, schools, universities, etc.

Denmark's digital timeline

Denmark's digitalization efforts went through five major stages
  • 2001 - Digital Signature

    In 2001, a digital signature was created; all public sector bodies were obliged to be open to receiving emails, and authorities started communicating digitally internally.

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  • 2004 - "Easy Account"

    In 2004, an “Easy Account” was created; and the public sector required eInvoicing from their suppliers. Cross-government portals were developed for the healthcare sector and for company interaction with the public sector.

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  • 2007 - Digital ID

    In 2007, the cornerstones of the digital infrastructure were launched. A cross-government identity verification “EasyID” was created.

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  • 2007 - Citizen.dk

    2007 was a great year for digitalization in Denmark. The "Borger.dk" (citizen.dk) portal was launched. Through this portal the citizens have access to more than 2000 self-services. In other words, this is your gateway to the public sector in Denmark.

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  • 2011 - Digital Post

    Then in 2012 came the big channel shift, where Digital Post for citizens and businesses was made mandatory the following years. Similarly, online self-service became mandatory for both citizens and businesses.

    Read the case  

Uptake on digital services

Denmark's digitalization efforts focus on the citizens' experience. The numbers show that

OECD digital public services

The result of these initiatives is that Denmark now has the highest take-up of digital public services in the OECD – around 70%. Interestingly, this is not only amongst the highly educated. They may be more likely to use digital services, but in Denmark even people with no or low education have a take-up rate of 60%.


95%%

Pension


Even application for state pension has an uptake rate of 95% - digital is not only for the younger generation.
97%

Education


Registration for primary and lower-secondary education has a take-up rate of 97%
100%

Maternity benefits


Application for maternity benefits has a digital take-up rate of 100%
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