Primary and upper secondary educationOver the past decade, the number of people aged 16 years and younger in Denmark declined, and the number of pupils in Danish schools decreased accordingly. As of 2020, 688 thousand pupils attended primary school, most of whom were enrolled in public primary schools. In fact, around 517 thousand pupils attended public primary schools, while private primary schools counted 122 thousand pupils. While attendance in public schools decreased over the years, the opposite trend was seen in private schools. Both the number of pupils in private schools and the number of private schools has been growing on an annual basis, and there were 551 private schools in Denmark in 2020.
After primary school, pupils can choose an optional tenth grade. Most pupils, however, proceed directly to upper secondary education. Around 145 thousand students attended one of the 184 upper secondary schools in Denmark in 2020. Upper secondary education is divided into general upper secondary programs, which primarily prepare for higher education, and vocational upper secondary education and training programs, focusing on careers in a specific trade or industry. The programs usually last three years, and the most common type of institution is a gymnasium, where most students afterwards proceed to higher education institutions such as universities.