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Denmark, See : Flags, Maps

The Danish History, Books I-IX, by Saxo Grammaticus

Canute the Great, Laurence Marcellus Larson

Memoirs of Leonora Christina, Leonora Christina Ulfeldt

Hymns and Hymnwriters of Denmark, Jens Christian Aaberg

Stories from Hans Andersen, Hans Christian Andersen

Fairy Tales, by Hans Christian Andersen


Artist from Denmark

Denmark (Europe)

Introduction ::Denmark


Once the seat of Viking raiders and later a major north European power, Denmark has evolved into a modern, prosperous nation that is participating in the general political and economic integration of Europe. It joined NATO in 1949 and the EEC (now the EU) in 1973. However, the country has opted out of certain elements of the European Union's Maastricht Treaty, including the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), European defense cooperation, and issues concerning certain justice and home affairs.

Geography ::Denmark

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Northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, on a peninsula north of Germany (Jutland); also includes two major islands (Sjaelland and Fyn)

Geographic coordinates:
56 00 N, 10 00 E

Map references:



total: 43,094 sq km country comparison to the world: 133 land: 42,434 sq km

water: 660 sq km

note: includes the island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea and the rest of metropolitan Denmark (the Jutland Peninsula, and the major islands of Sjaelland and Fyn), but excludes the Faroe Islands and Greenland

Denmark map postcard

Area - comparative:

slightly less than twice the size of Massachusetts

Land boundaries:

total: 68 km

border countries: Germany 68 km


7,314 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation


temperate; humid and overcast; mild, windy winters and cool summers


low and flat to gently rolling plains

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Lammefjord -7 m

highest point: Mollehoj/Ejer Bavnehoj 171 m

Natural resources:

petroleum, natural gas, fish, salt, limestone, chalk, stone, gravel and sand

postcard - Denmark Castles

Land use:

arable land: 52.59%

permanent crops: 0.19%

other: 47.22% (2005)

Irrigated land:

4,490 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

6.1 cu km (2003)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 0.67 cu km/yr (32%/26%/42%)

per capita: 123 cu m/yr (2002)


Natural hazards:

flooding is a threat in some areas of the country (e.g., parts of Jutland, along the southern coast of the island of Lolland) that are protected from the sea by a system of dikes

Environment - current issues:

air pollution, principally from vehicle and power plant emissions; nitrogen and phosphorus pollution of the North Sea; drinking and surface water becoming polluted from animal wastes and pesticides

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air
Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85,
Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds,
Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental
Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping,
Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution,
Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:

controls Danish Straits (Skagerrak and Kattegat) linking Baltic and North Seas; about one-quarter of the population lives in greater Copenhagen

People ::Denmark


5,515,575 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 109

Age structure:

0-14 years: 18.1% (male 511,882/female 485,782)

15-64 years: 65.8% (male 1,817,800/female 1,798,964)

65 years and over: 16.1% (male 387,142/female 498,940) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 40.7 years

male: 39.8 years

female: 41.6 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

0.267% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 175

Birth rate:

10.4 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 186

Death rate:

10.19 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 53

Net migration rate:

2.47 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 33


urban population: 87% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 0.5% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.055 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female

total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 4.29 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 198 male: 4.34 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 4.23 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 78.47 years country comparison to the world: 47 male: 76.11 years

female: 80.97 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

1.74 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 164

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.2% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 106

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

4,800 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 124

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

fewer than 100 (2003 est.) country comparison to the world: 130


noun: Dane(s)

adjective: Danish

Ethnic groups:

Scandinavian, Inuit, Faroese, German, Turkish, Iranian, Somali


Evangelical Lutheran 95%, other Christian (includes Protestant and
Roman Catholic) 3%, Muslim 2%


Danish, Faroese, Greenlandic (an Inuit dialect), German (small minority)

note: English is the predominant second language


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 99%

male: 99%

female: 99% (2003 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 17 years

male: 16 years

female: 18 years (2007)

Education expenditures:

7.9% of GDP (2006) country comparison to the world: 12

Government ::Denmark

Country name:

conventional long form: Kingdom of Denmark

conventional short form: Denmark

local long form: Kongeriget Danmark

local short form: Danmark

Government type:

constitutional monarchy


name: Copenhagen

geographic coordinates: 55 40 N, 12 35 E

time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

note: applies to continental Denmark only, not to its North Atlantic components

Administrative divisions:

metropolitan Denmark - 5 regions (regioner, singular - region); Hovedstaden, Midtjylland, Nordjylland, Sjaelland, Syddanmark

note: an extensive local government reform merged 271 municipalities into 98 and 13 counties into five regions, effective 1 January 2007


ca. 965 (unified and Christianized under HARALD I Gormson); 5 June 1849 (becomes a constitutional monarchy)

National holiday:

none designated; Constitution Day, 5 June (1849) is generally viewed as the National Day


5 June 1953; note - constitution allowed for a unicameral legislature and a female chief of state

Legal system:

civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: Queen MARGRETHE II (since 14 January 1972); Heir Apparent Crown Prince FREDERIK, elder son of the monarch (born on 26 May 1968)

head of government: Prime Minister Lars Loekke RASMUSSEN (since 5 April 2009)

cabinet: Council of State appointed by the monarch (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: the monarchy is hereditary; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the monarch

Legislative branch:

unicameral People's Assembly or Folketing (179 seats, including 2 from Greenland and 2 from the Faroe Islands; members elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional representation to serve four-year terms unless the Folketing is dissolved earlier)

elections: last held on 13 November 2007 (next to be held in 2011)

election results: percent of vote by party - Liberal Party 26.2%, Social Democrats 25.5%, Danish People's Party 13.9%, Socialist People's Party 13.0%, Conservative People's Party 10.4%, Social Liberal Party 5.1%, New Alliance 2.8%, Red-Green Unity List 2.2%, other 0.9%; seats by party - Liberal Party 46, Social Democrats 45, Danish People's Party 25, Socialist People's Party 23, Conservative People's Party 18, Social Liberal Party 9, New Alliance 5, Red-Green Alliance 4; note - does not include the two seats from Greenland and the two seats from the Faroe Islands

Judicial branch:

Supreme Court (judges are appointed for life by the monarch)

Political parties and leaders:

Christian Democrats [Bjarne Hartung KIRKEGAARD] (was Christian
People's Party); Conservative Party [Lars BARFOED] (sometimes known
as Conservative People's Party); Danish People's Party [Pia
KJAERSGAARD]; Liberal Alliance [Anders SAMUELSEN] (formerly known as
New Alliance); Liberal Party [Lars Loekke RASMUSSEN]; Red-Green
Unity List (Alliance) [collective leadership] (bloc includes Left
Socialist Party, Communist Party of Denmark, Socialist Workers'
Party); Social Democratic Party [Helle THORNING-SCHMIDT]; Social
Liberal Party [Margrethe VESTAGER]; Socialist People's Party [Villy

Political pressure groups and leaders:

Confederation of Danish Employers or DA [President Jorn Neergaard
LARSEN]; Principal DA member organizations: Confederation of Danish
Industries [CEO Karsten DYBVAD]; Confederation of Danish Labor
Unions [President Harald BORSTING]; Danish Bankers Association [CEO
Joergen HORWITZ]; DaneAge Association [President Bjarne HASTRUP];
Danish Society for Nature Conservation [President Ella Maria

other: humanitarian relief; development assistance; human rights NGOs

International organization participation:

ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council,
Australia Group, BIS, CBSS, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, ESA, EU, FAO,
(observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, Schengen Convention,

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Peter TAKSOE-JENSEN

chancery: 3200 Whitehaven Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 234-4300
FAX: [1] (202) 328-1470

consulate(s) general: Chicago, New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Laurie S. FULTON

embassy: Dag Hammarskjolds Alle 24, 2100 Copenhagen

mailing address: PSC 73, APO AE 09716

telephone: [45] 33 41 71 00
FAX: [45] 35 43 02 23

Flag description:

red with a white cross that extends to the edges of the flag; the vertical part of the cross is shifted to the hoist side; the banner is referred to as the Dannebrog (Danish flag) and is one of the oldest national flags in the world; traditions as to the origin of the flag design vary, but the best known is a legend that the banner fell from the sky during an early-13th century battle; caught up by the Danish king before it ever touched the earth, this heavenly talisman inspired the royal army to victory; in actuality, the flag may derive from a crusade banner or ensign

note: the shifted design element was subsequently adopted by the other Nordic countries of Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden

National anthem:

name: "Der er et yndigt land" (There is a Lovely Land); "Kong Christian" (King Christian)

lyrics/music: Adam Gottlob OEHLENSCHLAGER/Hans Ernst KROYER; Johannes EWALD/unknown

note: Denmark has two national anthems with equal status; "Der er et yndigt land," adopted 1844, is a national anthem, while "Kong Christian," adopted 1780, serves as both a national and royal anthem; "Kong Christian" is also known as "Kong Christian stod ved hojen mast" (King Christian Stood by the Lofty Mast) and "Kongesangen" (The King's Anthem); within Denmark, the royal anthem is played only when royalty is present and is usually followed by the national anthem; when royalty is not present, only the national anthem is performed; outside Denmark, the royal anthem is played, unless the national anthem is requested

Economy ::Denmark

Economy - overview:

This thoroughly modern market economy features a high-tech agricultural sector, state-of-the-art industry with world-leading firms in pharmaceuticals, maritime shipping and renewable energy, and a high dependence on foreign trade. The Danish economy is also characterized by extensive government welfare measures, an equitable distribution of income, and comfortable living standards. Denmark is a net exporter of food and energy and enjoys a comfortable balance of payments surplus. After a long consumption-driven upswing, Denmark's economy began slowing in 2007 with the end of a housing boom. Housing prices dropped markedly in 2008-09. The global financial crisis has exacerbated this cyclical slowdown through increased borrowing costs and lower export demand, consumer confidence, and investment. The global financial crises cut Danish GDP by 0.9% in 2008 and 4.7% in 2009. Historically low levels of unemployment rose sharply with the recession but remain below 5%, about half the level of the EU. Denmark made a modest recovery in 2010 in part because of increased government spending. An impending decline in the ratio of workers to retirees will be a major long-term issue. Denmark maintained a healthy budget surplus for many years up to 2008, but the budget balance swung into deficit during 2009-10. Nonetheless, Denmark's fiscal position remains among the strongest in the EU. Despite previously meeting the criteria to join the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), so far Denmark has decided not to join, although the Danish krone remains pegged to the euro.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$204.1 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 52 $200.5 billion (2009 est.)

$210.4 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$304.6 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

1.8% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 155 -4.7% (2009 est.)

-0.9% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$37,000 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 30 $36,400 (2009 est.)

$38,400 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 1.1%

industry: 22.8%

services: 76.1% (2010 est.)

Labor force:

2.82 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 105

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 2.5%

industry: 20.2%

services: 77.3% (2005 est.)

Unemployment rate:

4.2% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 38 4.3% (2009 est.)

Population below poverty line:

12.1% (2007)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 1.9%

highest 10%: 28.7% (2007)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

29 (2007) country comparison to the world: 118 24.7 (1992)

Investment (gross fixed):

17.5% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 114

Public debt:

46.6% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 56 41.5% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

2.2% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 66 1.3% (2009 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

1% (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 110 3.5% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

NA% (31 December 2009 est.)

NA% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$148.1 billion (31 December 2010 est) country comparison to the world: 23 $153.1 billion (31 December 2009 est)

Stock of broad money:

$209 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 39 $226.8 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

$636.5 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 22 $671.7 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$186.9 billion (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 30 $131.5 billion (31 December 2008)

$277.7 billion (31 December 2007)

Agriculture - products:

barley, wheat, potatoes, sugar beets; pork, dairy products; fish


iron, steel, nonferrous metals, chemicals, food processing, machinery and transportation equipment, textiles and clothing, electronics, construction, furniture and other wood products, shipbuilding and refurbishment, windmills, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment

Industrial production growth rate:

4% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 83

Electricity - production:

36.4 billion kWh (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 59

Electricity - consumption:

34.3 billion kWh (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 56

Electricity - exports:

11.36 billion kWh (2008)

Electricity - imports:

12.82 billion kWh (2008)

Oil - production:

262,100 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 40

Oil - consumption:

166,500 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 61

Oil - exports:

268,500 bbl/day (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 45

Oil - imports:

173,100 bbl/day (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 50

Oil - proved reserves:

1.06 billion bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 41

Natural gas - production:

8.398 billion cu m (2009) country comparison to the world: 43

Natural gas - consumption:

4.41 billion cu m (2009) country comparison to the world: 61

Natural gas - exports:

3.98 billion cu m (2009) country comparison to the world: 29

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2008) country comparison to the world: 91

Natural gas - proved reserves:

61.3 billion cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 62

Current account balance:

$14.35 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 21 $12.43 billion (2009 est.)


$99.37 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 35 $91.51 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - commodities:

machinery and instruments, meat and meat products, dairy products, fish, pharmaceuticals, furniture, windmills

Exports - partners:

Germany 17.53%, Sweden 12.68%, UK 8.49%, US 6.05%, Norway 6.01%,
Netherlands 4.84%, France 4.57% (2009)


$90.83 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 33 $84.46 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - commodities:

machinery and equipment, raw materials and semimanufactures for industry, chemicals, grain and foodstuffs, consumer goods

Imports - partners:

Germany 21.07%, Sweden 13.18%, Norway 7%, Netherlands 6.97%, China 6.22%, UK 5.53% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$NA (31 December 2010 est.)

$76.65 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - external:

$559.5 billion (30 June 2010) country comparison to the world: 18 $588.8 billion (31 December 2008)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$149.6 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 25 $144.6 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$199.8 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 19 $186.6 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange rates:

Danish kroner (DKK) per US dollar - 5.774 (2010), 5.3609 (2009), 5.0236 (2008), 5.4797 (2007), 5.9468 (2006)

Communications ::Denmark

Telephones - main lines in use:

2.062 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 55

Telephones - mobile cellular:

7.406 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 79

Telephone system:

general assessment: excellent telephone and telegraph services

domestic: buried and submarine cables and microwave radio relay form trunk network, multiple cellular mobile communications systems

international: country code - 45; a series of fiber-optic submarine cables link Denmark with Canada, Faroe Islands, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, and UK; satellite earth stations - 18 (6 Intelsat, 10 Eutelsat, 1 Orion, 1 Inmarsat (Blaavand-Atlantic-East)); note - the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) share the Danish earth station and the Eik, Norway, station for worldwide Inmarsat access (2008)

Broadcast media:

strong public-sector television presence with state-owned Danmarks Radio (DR) operating 4 channels and publicly-owned TV2 operating roughly a half dozen channels; broadcasts of privately-owned stations are available via satellite and cable feed; DR operates 4 nationwide FM radio stations, 15 digital audio broadcasting stations, and about 15 web-based radio stations; approximately 250 commercial and community radio stations are operational (2007)

Internet country code:


Internet hosts:

4.145 million (2010) country comparison to the world: 22

Internet users:

4.75 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 48

Transportation ::Denmark


92 (2010) country comparison to the world: 65

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 28

over 3,047 m: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 7

1,524 to 2,437 m: 4

914 to 1,523 m: 12

under 914 m: 3 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 64

914 to 1,523 m: 3

under 914 m: 61 (2010)


gas 2,858 km; oil 107 km (2009)


total: 2,667 km country comparison to the world: 64 standard gauge: 2,667 km 1.435-m gauge (640 km electrified) (2008)


total: 73,197 km country comparison to the world: 64 paved: 73,197 km (includes 1,111 km of expressways) (2008)


400 km (2008) country comparison to the world: 89

Merchant marine:

total: 347 country comparison to the world: 28 by type: bulk carrier 4, cargo 56, carrier 1, chemical tanker 104, container 87, liquefied gas 4, passenger/cargo 40, petroleum tanker 38, refrigerated cargo 4, roll on/roll off 6, specialized tanker 3

foreign-owned: 32 (Germany 10, Greece 1, Iceland 3, Norway 2, Sweden 16)

registered in other countries: 592 (Antigua and Barbuda 20, Bahamas
59, Belgium 4, Brazil 3, Cyprus 6, Egypt 1, France 12, Georgia 1,
Gibraltar 6, Hong Kong 41, Isle of Man 26, Italy 4, Jamaica 1,
Liberia 4, Lithuania 8, Malaysia 1, Malta 41, Marshall Islands 7,
Mexico 2, Netherlands 36, former Netherlands Antilles 1, Norway 11,
Panama 46, Portugal 4, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 19,
Singapore 125, South Africa 1, Spain 2, Sweden 15, UK 46, Uruguay 1,
US 34, Venezuela 1, unknown 3) (2010)

Ports and terminals:

Aalborg, Aarhus, Copenhagen, Ensted, Esbjerg, Fredericia, Kalundborg

Military ::Denmark

Military branches:

Defense Command: Army Operational Command, Admiral Danish Fleet,
Arctic Command, Tactical Air Command, Home Guard (2010)

Military service age and obligation:

18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; conscripts serve an initial training period that varies from 4 to 12 months according to specialization; reservists are assigned to mobilization units following completion of their conscript service; women eligible to volunteer for military service (2004)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 1,235,947

females age 16-49: 1,221,386 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 1,013,814

females age 16-49: 1,001,411 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 37,831

female: 35,930 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

1.3% of GDP (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 114

Transnational Issues ::Denmark

Disputes - international:

Iceland, the UK, and Ireland dispute Denmark's claim that the Faroe
Islands' continental shelf extends beyond 200 nm; Faroese continue
to study proposals for full independence; sovereignty dispute with
Canada over Hans Island in the Kennedy Channel between Ellesmere
Island and Greenland


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