Danish rural areas comprise 15% of the population and the bulk of agricultural production. Compared with urban areas, rural areas have generally been lacking a little behind in terms of employment, population and income levels in recent decades. However, seen in a European perspective, the differences are rather small and have to a certain extent been leveled by the Danish welfare system, through transfer of funds from rich to poor regions. Certain remote and vulnerable areas are facing serious problems in stimulating growth. This paper describes the characteristics of Danish rural areas, and highlights the diversity found among these areas as well as differences in future development potentials.