Copenhagen: Census

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Denmark Gotoarrow.png Copenhagen Gotoarrow.png Census

Census records are the next most important genealogical source in Denmark following church records. With such common patronymic names used over and over, the census is very important to use with church records to distinguish between families and verify family information. Finding a person in the census records of Copenhagen can be a challenge, but is not impossible. If one knows the street where a person lived, it is not difficult as the census records were arranged by street and quarter.

As mentioned above, there are indexes to the 1801 and 1845 census records and the police census 1869 -1882. You can also use directories and church records to identify the street where the family lived. There are some population lists, tax lists, and head of family counts for Copenhagen for various years among the chancery and tax records. The following are the most accessible to begin with:

Police Census


A list of the inhabitants of Copenhagen in the year 1659 can be found by quarter and street in a published book, Kjøbenhavns Borgere 1659 by E. Marquard, 1920 (FHL book 948.9ll/Kl X2m). This book includes two lists from the chancery records. One list was dated January 10, 1659 of those who are eligible to fight in the war with Sweden including citizens, farm hands, and boys. The other list was dated December 1659 and shows each household in Copenhagen according to their ability to board members of the army units. This book includes a list of students and has a street and name index.


In October 1728 a fire burned down a third of the city. A record of the burned farms and houses was made in April 1729 which included the name of the renters, owners, and mortgage holders for each property. In December 1728 a census was made of those houses which were not damaged in the fire. Between these two lists, a fairly complete listing is found by quarter and street of all the adult male inhabitants, widows, and servant people living in Copenhagen. This is found published in book form (FHL book Q 948.9ll/Kl H2k; film 0874208, item 1) or in its original form on microfilm (FHL films 0410359¬0410361).


Census of married couples, widowers, widows, listing information such as ages, how many years widowed, how many times married, and also how many surviving children for widows and widowers. Organized by quarters and then by street.

1787, 1801, 1834, 1840, 1845, 1850, 1855, 1860

These census list each person living in each household. They are listed by quarter, then by street name alphabetically, and then by household. For the years 1771, 1787, 1801, and 1845, the catalog listing shows which streets are listed in each quarter. The other years only list which quarters are on each film, however the quarters remained fairly consistent. Beginning in 1845, birthplaces are listed for each person.

1870, 1880, 1885, 1890, 1895, 1901, 1906, 1911

These census lists are organized alphabetically by street name and then by house number.

1866-1881, 1882,-1899

Police censuses were taken twice a year in May and November for the entire city. Partial indexes are available for the period 1866-1881 as discussed above. The later census records indicate if the person moved from another address in the previous census. These records were a way of keeping track of the highly mobile population of Copenhagen at that time. Often differing information will be listed in these census records from one to another. For example it might list birthplace as Sweden in one record and as Landskrona (city in Sweden) in another record. The police census lists only those over 10 years old.

Online Sources

Another resource to search Danish Census is through Arkivlieronline (for images)or the Danish Demographic Database (for indexed databases). See articles: