|Denmark Research Topics|
|Local Research Resources|
- 1 Census Records
- 2 Online Records
- 3 Research Tutorials at FamilySearch
- 4 List of Danish Census Records
- 5 Searching Census Records
- 6 Kommunal Censuses
- 7 Census Headings with English Translations
- 8 Online Census Extractions
- 9 Online Census Strategy
- 10 References
A census is a count and description of the population. Censuses have been taken by the Danish government primarily for population studies and taxation purposes.
|You Can Use this Record to Find...|
Census records can provide personal information about family relationships, age, year of birth, description of property, religion, birthplace, and so forth. Census records are especially valuable because they list a large portion of the population. They can provide information where all or portions of other records are missing. Generally, you will find more complete family information in more recent censuses. Use the information with caution since some information may be incorrect.
The first census in Denmark with genealogical information was taken during the summer of 1787. Unfortunately, this meant that most seamen and seasonal workers were away. The next census was taken in 1801, and then again in 1834. Beginning in 1840, a census was taken every five years until 1860. After 1860, the census was taken every ten years until the end of the century. Beginning in 1901, censuses were again taken every five years.
- Arkivalieronline (DK), images. English guide
- Danish Demographical Database index. English guide.
- Danish 1700 Census: males only - index
- Danish Military Levying Rolls (Lægdsruller), census of men eligible to join military, index
- Denmark's statistics Census 1925, Parish Listers (and Faroe Islands)
The following are available at FamilySearch:
The following are available at MyHeritage ($):
- 1850 Denmark Census
- 1855 Denmark Census
- 1860 Denmark Census
- 1870 Denmark Census
- 1880 Denmark Census
- 1890 Denmark Census
- 1901 Denmark Census
- 1906 Denmark Census
- 1911 Denmark Census
- 1916 Denmark Census
- 1921 Denmark Census
- 1925 Denmark Census
- 1930 Denmark Census
- 1940 Denmark Census
Research Tutorials at FamilySearch
- Danish Census Research, Part 1: Using the Danish Demographical Database
- Danish Census Research, Part 2: Finding Censuses on Arkivalieronline
- Danish Census Research, Part 3: Extracting Genealogical Information
List of Danish Census Records
Censuses have been held in Denmark at various intervals. The first census of Denmark and Duchy of Schleswig-Holstein was 15 August 1769. The first preserved census was held in 1787, and thereafter in 1801, 1834, 1840, 1845, 1850, 1855, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1890, 1901, 1911, 1916, 1921, 1925, 1930, 1940, 1950, 1960, 1965 and 1970. Censuses for the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and South Jutland were not always held at the same time as the national census. The census of 1845 is of particular interest to genealogists as this was the first to record birth place which is often given down to the exact parish.
The enumeration date of all censuses from 1801 to 1921 was 1 February. In 1925, it was changed to 5 November.
- 1787 - 1 July
- 1801-1 February
- 1834 - 18 February
- 1840-1921-1 February
- 1925-1950 - 5 November
The most recent Danish census at the Family History Library is for 1911. Census records less than sixty-five years old are confidential and may not be searched by individuals. The most recent census which has been released is the 1916 census. The government will make limited searches in the 1920 and 1925 censuses. Census records less than 75 years old are confidential and not available to private individuals. The most recent census which has been released is 1940, which will be fully scanned and available during 2016.
The Danish government has been working to index the Danish Census records. Accordingly, the Danish Census records have been digitized and made available at: The Danish National Archives. These images can be viewed page by page. An effort is being made to index all of these digitized census records. Although indexing has not been completed, many Danish censuses have been indexed. This index is available at Danish Demographic Database census search page. A description of the information available is found at Records and Registries. Another location within the National Archives web site is Folketællinger (Census) See Online Census Strategy below for more tips on how to use these websites.
Census taking was also conducted in the other provinces and territories under Danish rule:Greenland, since 1834; the Faroe Islands, since 1801; the West Indies, (now US Virgin Islands), 1841-1916; Trankebar, India in 1835; and Frederiksnagor (now Serampore), India in 1840.
Northern Schleswig (the counties Aabenraa, Haderslev, Sønderborg and Tønder) were under German rule 1864-1920, and no censuses were held in this period in the region. For Southern Schleswig, which remained under German rule in 1920, there are census records from 1801/1803, 1834/1835, 1845, 1855 and 1860, but they are not complete.
Information in Danish Census Records
You will find the following types of information in census records:
1787, 1801, 1834, and 1840. These censuses give the names of all members of the household, their ages, sexes, occupations, relationships to the head of the household and marital statuses.
1845 and later. These censuses list the names, ages, occupations, relationships to the head of the household, religious affiliations, and birthplaces (county and parish) of all members of the household.
Searching Census Records
When searching census records, it is important to remember the following:
- Accept the ages with caution.
- Women are usually listed by their maiden surnames until the beginning of 20th century.
- Read here about Danish naming practice: Denmark Names, Personal.
- Given names Names of persons may not always be spelled exactly the same or be as complete as those recorded in vital church records, which should be consulted when in doubt.
- Information may be incorrect.
- Spelling for names and places varies.
- Search the surrounding area if you do not find a family at the expected address.
- When you find your family in one census, be sure to search that same location in the earlier and later census records for additional family members.
Searching in Big Cities
Finding your ancestors' family in the census records of a large city can be time consuming. It is helpful to know the street address. Beginning in 1870, the census is arranged alphabetically by street for the large cities in Denmark. Sometimes you can find the street address in the church records at the time of a birth, marriage, or death in the family. Other sources for street address are business directories; civil certificates of birth, marriage, or death; probate records; or court records.
To find census records in the FamilySearch Catalog, look in the Place search under—
DENMARK, [COUNTY] - CENSUS RECORDS
You will find the parishes listed in the order they appear on the microfilm.
For information on census research in Copenhagen, see the article Copenhagen Census.
Through the years, there have been a few special censuses taken at the kommune (city or parish) level in certain areas throughout Denmark. These kommunal censuses were taken whenever they were needed, usually in the bigger cities. They had the same information as the national census plus extra information. It is always good to check if there is a kommunal census for the area you are researching, as they can help fill in gaps that national censuses miss.The following are some of the communal censuses available.
|Århus||Annually from 1885-1952|
|Hobro||1727, 1811, 1847|
|Odense||1645, 1660, 1672|
The Copenhagen City Archive has two collections available to help you find persons living in Copenhagen. From 1865 to 1923 the Copenhagen police department kept a list of all adult inhabitants. Thie collection is known as the Politiets Mandtall. The lists were updated twice a year, in May and November. These lists are arranged by street address, year, and month. To locate the police district your ancestor lived in, see Copenhagen Street-Parish-Police District Index. You can learn more about this collection and search the index on the City Archive's page Politiets Mandtaller
Beginning in 1890 the police department also created a list of all persons in the city over the age of 10. You can learn more about this collection and search the index online at Politiets registerblade.
Both of these records were discontinued in 1923 with the beginning of the national population registry (folkeregistret).
Census Headings with English Translations
Danish censuses have standardized column headings, which allowed the census taker to record the requested information in the correct place. Click on the following links to bring up the census headings. The Danish wording AND the English translations will appear. By knowing what is asked for in the various census years, you will be able to better plan your research strategy.
Online Census Extractions
- 1911 - Denmark Census, 1911 at FamilySearch— index and images
- 1916 - Denmark Census, 1916 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1925 - Denmark Census, 1925 at FamilySearch — index and images
Web pages containing extracted Census records by Aurelia Clemons.
Danish Family Search - available in English and (mostly) indexed as family groups. Also includes parish church books.
MyHeritage MyHeritage puts exclusive Scandinavian records online
Online Census Strategy
Danish Demographic Database
Search the Statens Arkivers Arkivalieronline at http://www.sa.dk/ao/SoegeSider/Folketaelling.aspx for census images.
Skaaning, Jytte and Bente Klercke Rasmussen. Find Din Slægt - og Gør den Levende: Håndbog i Slægtshistorie, 2d ed. Syddansk Universitetsforlag, 2006.