Copenhagen Municipality

Copenhagen Municipality (Danish: Københavns Kommune), also known in English as the Municipality of Copenhagen, located in the Capital Region of Denmark, is the largest of the four municipalities that constitute the City of Copenhagen (Byen København), the other three being Dragør, Frederiksberg, and Tårnby.[4] The Municipality of Copenhagen constitutes the historical city center and the majority of its landmarks. It is the most populous in the country with a population of 633,021 inhabitants (as of October 2019), and covers 86.4 square kilometres (33.4 sq mi) in area,.[1] Copenhagen Municipality is located at the Zealand and Amager islands and totally surrounds Frederiksberg Municipality on all sides. The strait of Øresund lies to the east. The city of Copenhagen has grown far beyond the municipal boundaries from 1901, when Frederiksberg Municipality was made an enclave within Copenhagen Municipality.[5]

Copenhagen Municipality

Københavns Kommune
Municipality of Copenhagen
Copenhagen Skyline

Coat of arms
Coordinates: 55°40′31″N 12°34′13″E
Country Denmark
SeatCopenhagen City Hall
  TypeCity council
  BodyCopenhagen City Council
  Lord MayorFrank Jensen (Social Democrats (Denmark))
  Total86.4 km2 (33.4 sq mi)
 (1 October 2019)[2]
(October 2016)
  Density7,300/km2 (19,000/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Municipal code101

The municipal seat of government is the Copenhagen City Hall (Danish: Københavns Rådhus). The Lord Mayor of Copenhagen is Frank Jensen, since 2010. The relationship between Copenhagen Municipality and the wider city of Copenhagen is one of an administrative unit within a significantly larger city, cf. the City of London or the City of Brussels.

In the Middle Ages, Copenhagen was defined as the area enclosed within the city walls. The city centre lies in the area originally defined by the old ramparts, which are still referred to as the Fortification Ring (Fæstningsringen) and kept as a partial green band around it. In 1856 the ramparts were pulled down allowing for growth and expansion. In 1901 the city expanded to include Amager and Valby, while Frederiksberg became an enclave within the municipality. The Finger Plan in the second half of the 20th century led to expansion outside the municipal boundary along the commuter lines of the S-train and the Lokaltog rail lines going i.e. to Helsingør (The Coast Line (Kystbanen) northbound) and Stevns Municipality (East Line (from Køge);southbound) along the Øresund. The Copenhagen-Ringsted Line will make Køge one of the railway hubs of Eastern Denmark. Road and rail construction is planned to relieve traffic congestion because the narrow 9-9.5 mile isthmus between Roskilde Fjord and Køge Bugt (Køge Bay) forms a bottleneck.

Copenhagen Municipality was one of the three last Danish municipalities not belonging to a county, the others being Frederiksberg Municipality and Bornholm. On 1 January 2007, the municipality lost its county privileges and became part of the Capital Region of Denmark.


Copenhagen Municipality is a political division covering the central city (Indre By) and certain additional areas. It encloses Frederiksberg Municipality and stretches east to the waterfront. Neighboring municipalities are Gentofte, Gladsaxe and Herlev to the north, Rødovre and Hvidovre to the west, and Tårnby to the south.

The City Hall Square (Danish: Rådhuspladsen) is the old centre of the city, from which an old shopping street leads northeast to Kongens Nytorv, which was laid out in the seventeenth century. Christiansborg Palace, which houses the Danish parliament, is located on the islet of Slotsholmen.


The municipality is divided into ten administrative, statistical and tax districts (Danish: bydele).:[6]

Official districts[6] Other areas

The suffix -bro in the names Østerbro, Nørrebro, Vesterbro and Amagerbro should not be confused with the Danish word for bridge, which is also bro. The term is thought to be an abbreviation or short form of the Danish word brolagt meaning "paved", referring to the roads paved with cobblestones leading to the city's former gates.


Historic population. The two figures for 1 February 1901 are before and after the municipality annexed some nearby parishes. The apparent decline since the mid-1900s are due to the figures not including the suburban and urban areas - notably Frederiksberg - outside Copenhagen municipality. With the exception of 2005, which saw a decrease of more than 1,000 people, the population of the municipality has been increasing since 1992 after having decreased from 1950 to 1992.

Date Year Population
1450 est. 4–5,000
1500 est. 10,000
1650 est. 30,000
1700 est. 65,000
15 January 1769 80,000
1 July 1787 90,032
1 February 1801 100,975
1 February 1840 120,819
1 February 1850 129,695
1 February 1860 155,143
1 February 1870 181,291
1 February 1880 234,850
1 February 1890 312,859
1 February 1901 360,787
1 February 1901 400,575
1 February 1911 462,161
1 February 1921 561,344
5 November 1930 617,069
5 November 1940 700,465
7 November 1950 768,105
26 September 1960 721,381
9 November 1970 622,773
Year Population
1971 625,671
1972 610,985
1973 595,751
1974 576,030
1975 562,405
1976 545,350
1977 529,154
1978 515,594
1979 505,974
1980 498,850
1981 493,771
1982 490,597
1983 486,593
1984 482,937
1985 478,615
1986 473,000
1987 469,706
1988 468,704
1989 467,850
1990 466,723
1991 464,773
1992 464,566
Year Population
1993 466,129
1994 467,253
1995 471,300
1996 476,751
1997 483,658
1998 487,969
1999 491,082
2000 495,699
2001 499,148
2002 500,531
2003 501,285
2004 501,664
2005 502,362
2006 501,158
2007 503,699
2008 509,861
2009 518,574
2010 528,208
2011 539,542
2012 549,050
2013 559,440
2014 569,557

Note. The two population numbers given for 1901 are the municipality's population before annexation and following annexation of neighboring municipalities, which in the process made Frederiksberg municipality an enclave within the municipality of Copenhagen.

Politics and government

Copenhagen Municipality is distinct from the wider Copenhagen urban area. The seat of Copenhagen's municipal council is the Copenhagen City Hall (Rådhus). The council is chaired by the Lord Mayor—currently Frank Jensen—who oversees the civic duties of the fifty-five representatives of the council.[7] The council usually meets every other week at 17:30 on a Thursday.[7] They discuss a range of issues including labour and employment, business growth, economics, international cooperation and IT, urban planning, housing and construction, and young, old, and disabled peoples' issues, healthcare, and traffic, with a central focus on making the city sustainable and meeting environmental and health targets.[8]

All members of the council are elected every four years. In the municipal elections in November 2013 (see below), the Social Democrats remained in first place with 27.8% of the vote (down by 2.2% from 2009), while the Red-Green Alliance was in second place with 19.5%.[9][10] The Social Democrats have claimed the office of mayor for the past 110 years.[11]

The municipal government is divided into seven administrative departments: Employment and Integration, Culture and Leisure, Health and Care, Finance, Child and Youth, Social Services, and Technical and Environmental Administration.[12] It has six political committees and a finance committee. The annual budget for the city is proposed in August and finalized in October and the annual report is published in May of every year. The accounting firm Deloitte is responsible for auditing the City of Copenhagen's accounts.[13]

Lord mayors since 1938

All lord mayors of Copenhagen have belonged to the Social Democratic party.[11]

Election results

Party political make-up of Copenhagen City Council
   Party Seats Current Council (2013–17)
1993 1997 2001 2005 2009 2013
A Social Democrats 17 16 21 17 16                                                                                          
Ø Red–Green Alliance 7 5 6 6 11                                                                                          
V Venstre 6 11 8 6 7                                                                                          
B Danish Social Liberal Party 3 5 7 5 6                                                                                          
F Socialist People's Party 8 9 7 13 6                                                                                          
O Danish People's Party 6 4 3 4 4                                                                                          
C Conservative People's Party 5 4 3 4 3                                                                                          
I Liberal Alliance 0 2                                                                                          
I Other 3 1 0 0 0                                                                                          

Environmental Policy

In 2009 the Copenhagen Municipal Council decided that Copenhagen will become the world's first carbon neutral capital by 2025. In 2012 the European Commission announced that Copenhagen will be the 2014 European Green Capital.


  1. "ARE207: Area by region". Statistics Denmark. January 2016. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
  2. FOLK1: Population 24 February 2016 database from Statistics Denmark (in Danish)
  3. "Population at the first day of the quarter by municipality, sex, age, marital status, ancestry, country of origin and citizenship". Statistics Denmark. 2016. Retrieved 17 November 2016.
  4. "Regioner, landsdele og kommuner. v 1.0: 2007-". Statistics Denmark. Retrieved 11 March 2018. See also: Provinces of Denmark.
  5. Danish National Archive at the last includings (Danish: "indlemmelser") were Brønshøj (1.January.1901) followed by Valby and Sundby (1.January.1902), see smaller headline "Bemærkninger"
  6. "Københavns bydele". Københavns Kommune. Archived from the original on 4 September 2013. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  7. "Borgerrepræsentationen" (in Danish). Københavns Kommune. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
  8. "Indsatsområder og politikker" (in Danish). Københavns Kommune. Archived from the original on 13 November 2013. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
  9. "Kommunalvalg d. 19. november 2013: København Kommune" (in Danish). KMD. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
  10. "Result of the municipal and regional election in Denmark 19th of November 2013". International Viewpoint. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
  11. "S står til dårligste valg i Kbh nogensinde". Ritzau. 18 November 2013. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  12. "Kontakt en forvaltning" (in Danish). Københavns Kommune. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
  13. "Regnskab og budget" (in Danish). Københavns Kommune. Archived from the original on 13 November 2013. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
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