Cultural differences between the US and Denmark

The cultural differences between the US and Denmark have to do with the countries’ differing histories, differing climates, and different population mixes. As Kay Xander Mellish says in her book “Working with Danes: Tips for Americans”, Danes willingly pay very high taxes in order to support the Danish social welfare state.

“Danes love their cradle-to-grave welfare state. In two decades of living here, I’ve never met a single person who wanted it dismantled, ” writes Mellish, a dual citizen of the US and Denmark. “But it is a commitment, a national commitment. Everyone with the ability to work must work, and must pay substantial taxes, in order to finance the services shared by all. At the same time, everyone accepts that there will be limits on services so there is enough to go around.”

Mellish points out that, for example, annual physicals are unknown in the Danish health system, and that mammograms are given only once every two years starting at age 50, as opposed to every year starting at 40 many places in the US.