From London to Copenhagen with same Salary. Worth it?


We are a family of four with children of 10 and 12 years of age. My firm has offered me a job in Copenhagen. They are providing help with relocation but no increase in pay. We live in London suburb with a rental of around £1600 for a 3bed semi detached house. A few questions :
1. Does it makes sense to move at same salary levels?
2. Children are old enough, is it worth moving at this age when the kids may need to move out again for university?
3. Wife will not have a job and will need to keep herself busy. Is there sky tv or Netflix available?

Any views will be highly appreciated?


Hi Linus

I may be wrong, but your questions leave me with the feeling that you actually don't want to move from London and most of all need some excuses for not moving? If so, I would stay where I was and say no thank you to the offer. Trust your gut feelings!

Actually, your questions aren't easy to answer. It all depends on your salary, tax, .............. and what you have to give up where you are.

As far as I know rent level is much higher in the London area than in Copenhagen, but the problem will be to find a housing at all as the housing associations all have longstanding waiting lists. I do hope that your company's relocation help includes finding a housing. If you are in a condition to impose it as a condition, then do it. If the housing shall be furnished, you'll have no choice, but have to rent a subleased one. You may also expect to commute, and how long time are you ready to spend on this?

No one can answer that question.

A simple google search would have revealed that it will not be a problem to see Sky TV or Netflix. It is just a question of pay.

But are your wife going to watch tv all the time? I would find it more relevant to focus on leisure activities, where to find people with the same interests ........

With a Brexit, other important questions will certainly emerge.



On the contrary, I am keen to move but given the age of our children need to be sure.

Would anyone with children of similar age in international schools provide some advice?

As I see it, I wouldn't see the age of the children as a problem. Still we talk about seven years before it will be relevant for your eldest child to go to university. And by that time, they might prefer to study here.

You can alse see it as a great opportunity for your children to learn another country to know.

You can also risk that your children will stay in this country when you leave again. This might also be the case. I have just learnt about such a situation.

You cannot plan for everything. If you are keen on moving, and your family have no serious objections, then go for it.

I am sorry that I cannot help you further on this issue. Neither do I think that others will be able to help you as we people are so different that you cannot use their experience.

As I see it, the challenge will be the Brexit and what it will mean for British expats in Europe.


Check out taxes. If you can pay Brit taxes then it is fine, but with Danish taxes. u have to pay more. Local taxes are also more than other countries, they are called as MOMS.

Hi Linus,

Go here for comparative costs of services Copenhagen vs. London.  On housing/rent: Denmark still has a lot of subsidized (council) housing, which pulls the average cost down in relation to the UK.  Non-subsidized housing for you and your family will be much closer to the UK level than the figures in this webpage show.

If the conversion rate is now around 9 DKK/GBP gross (you an check that), you can figure that with one wage earner, you may have to earn about 700,000/year DKK to live comfortably, with about 400,000 DK being the min.  However, you may be eligible for a tax break because you are a foreigner transferred to DK.  I've lost track of that, unfortunately, but i know that the number of years one can receive a lower tax is limited.

Your average tax rate will be somewhere between 40-45% of your income.  Your marginal rate, around 60%.

Education:  Is your stay, long or short term or permanent?  If it is = or  > say about 5 years, you might do well to put your children in danish schools, so that they can take advantage of free danish education at the Uni level.  This is rough on kids for about 9-12 months until they can learn survival danish.  International schools in the area have bad danish training and foreign kids cluster around each other.  CIS is NOT a good school.  It is a money making machine with little to offer in the way of educational value.  The kids are "here today, gone tomorrow" is the attitude of CIS management.  CIS does offer and IB program, but the one in Nørre Gymnasium in Hussum is better. 

If you are to send your kids to an International school, Rygaards International School in Hellerup is quite good.

Finally, get your wife into the integration program and have her at least take danish language courses through it.  You won't have time.

Good luck.  My son lives in London and works as a reporter for a science journal publisher. I far prefer Copenhagen and he does too, but has no opportunities in his field of Science Journalism.

Everything here is more relaxed.

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