The Kingdom of Denmark is geographically the smallest Nordic country and is part of the European Union. It is located in Scandinavia, which is in northern Europe. Denmark borders the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, and consists of a peninsula attached to Northern Germany named Jutland (Jylland in Danish), the islands Funen (Fyn), Zealand (Sjælland), Bornholm and many smaller islands. Denmark is north of Germany and Poland, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway. Additionally, the territories of Greenland and the Faroe Islands are under the Danish crown, while enjoying political home rule.
| Motto of the Queen: Guds hjælp, Folkets kærlighed, Danmarks styrke|
(Danish: God's help, the love of the people, Denmark's strength)
|Prime Minister||Anders Fogh Rasmussen (from the Liberal Party (foreign name: Venstre))|
- % water
|Ranked 131st |
– Total (2004)
– Total (PPP)
– GDP/capita (PPP)
$170 billion (41st)
$212 billion (23rd)
| Time zone |
- in summer
| CET (UTC+1)|
|National anthem||Der er et yndigt land|
|Royal anthem||Kong Christian|
|1 Co-official with Greenlandic in Greenland, and Faroese in the Faroe Islands, as well as German, which is a recognised and protected minority language in southern Denmark.|
Table of contents
Main article: History of Denmark
The origin of Denmark is lost in prehistory. But most likely had Danmark origin in the tribe Dani, from Jutland. The oldest Danevirke is from the 7th century, at the same time as the new Runic alphabet.
Denmark was originally a union of the states: (lands:) Jutland, Funen, Langeland, Lolland, Zealand, Scania and perhaps Halland and some not well-known border districts in east and north. But the (North) Dane living outside Denmark on west coast of the peninsula of Scandinavia.
At various times Denmark has ruled England, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, and parts of the Virgin Islands, Tranquebar in India, parts of the Baltic coast and what is now northern Germany. Scania, Blekinge and Halland were part of Denmark for most of its early history, but were lost to Sweden in 1658. The union with Norway was dissolved in 1814, when Norway entered a new union with Sweden (until 1905).
After the Second War of Schleswig in 1864 Denmark was forced to cede Schleswig-Holstein to Prussia, in a defeat that left deep marks in the Danish national identity. After this point Denmark adopted a policy of neutrality, following which Denmark stayed neutral in World War I.
On April 9, 1940, Denmark was invaded by Nazi Germany (Operation Weserübung) and remained occupied throughout World War II, despite some internal resistance. After the war, Denmark became a member of NATO and, in 1973, the European Economic Community (later, the European Union).
Politics and Government
Main article: Politics of Denmark
In 1849 Denmark became a constitutional monarchy with the adoption of a new constitution. The monarch is formally head of state, a role which is mainly ceremonial, since executive power is exercised by the cabinet ministers, with the prime minister acting as the first among equals (primus inter pares). Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Danish parliament, known as the Folketing, which consists of (no more than) 179 members. The courts of Denmark are functionally and administratively independent of the executive and the legislature.
Elections for parliament must be held a least every four years; but the prime minister can call for an earlier election, if he so decides. Should parliament succeed in a vote of no confidence against the Prime Minister the entire government resigns.
Main article: Counties of Denmark
- Funen (Fyn)
- Copenhagen (København)
- North Jutland (Nordjylland)
- South Jutland (Sønderjylland)
- West Zealand (Vestsjælland)
Three municipalities have county privileges:
Copenhagen County comprises the municipalities of metropolitan Copenhagen, except Copenhagen Municipality and Frederiksberg Municipality. Bornholm Regional Municipality comprise the five former municipalities on the island Bornholm and the island's former county.
It should be noted that as of July 2004, the government is in the process of a structural reform (the Municipality Reform, Kommunalreformen). The 13 counties (amter) will in 2007 be replaced with 5 new regions (regioner), while the 271 municipalities will be consolidated into around 100 larger units of at least 20,000 inhabitants and take over most of the responsibilities of the current counties.
Main article: Geography of Denmark
Denmark consists of the peninsula of Jutland (Jylland) and 405 named islands. Of these, 82 are inhabited, with the largest being Zealand (Sjælland) and Funen (Fyn). The island of Bornholm is located somewhat east of the rest of the country, in the Baltic Sea. Many of the islands are connected by bridges; the Øresund Bridge connects Zealand with Sweden, the Great Belt Bridge connects Funen with Zealand, and the Small Belt Bridge connects Jutland with Funen.
The country is mostly flat with little elevation; the highest natural point is [Ejer Bavnehoej], at 171 metres. The climate is temperate, with mild winters and cool summers. Main cities are the capital Copenhagen (on Zealand), Aarhus, Aalborg (on Jutland) and Odense (on Fyn).
This thoroughly modern market economy features high-tech agriculture, up-to-date small-scale and corporate industry, extensive government welfare measures, comfortable living standards, a stable currency, and high dependence on foreign trade. Denmark is a net exporter of food and energy and has a comfortable balance of payments surplus.
The Danish economy is highly unionized; 75% of its labor force  are members of a union in the Danish Confederation of Trade Unions. Relationships between unions and employers are cooperative: unions have a day-to-day role in managing the workplace, and their representatives sit on most company's board of directors. Rules on work schedules and pay are negotiated between unions and employers, with minimal government involvement (there is no minimum wage, for example).
The government has been successful in meeting, and even exceeding, the economic convergence criteria for participating in the third phase (a common European currency) of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), but Denmark, in a September 2000 referendum, reconfirmed its decision not to join the 12 other EU members in the euro. Even so, the Danish currency remains pegged to the euro.
Denmark has also placed first on the Economist Intelligence Unit's "e-readiness" rankings for the past two years. "A country's "e-readiness" is a measure of its e-business environment, a collection of factors that indicate how amenable a market is to Internet-based opportunities."
Main article: Demographics of Denmark
The majority of the population is of Scandinavian descent, with small groups of Inuit (from Greenland), Faroese, and immigrants. According to official statistics in 2003 immigrants made up 6.2% of the total population.
According to official statistics from January 2002 84.3% of Danes are members of the state church, the Danish People's Church (Den Danske Folkekirke), also known as the Church of Denmark, a form of Lutheranism; the rest are primarily of other Christian denominations and also about 3% are Muslims.
Main article: Culture of Denmark
Other well known Danes include:
- Morten Andersen, NFL kicker (Only in the United States)
- Bille August, film director
- Karen Blixen, also known as Isak Dinesen, author
- Niels Bohr, physicist and Nobel Prize laureate
- Aage Niels Bohr, physicist and Nobel Prize laureate
- Victor Borge, entertainer, pianist
- Tycho Brahe, astronomer
- Ole Kirk Christiansen, inventor of LEGO
- René Dif, member of the pop band Aqua
- Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, painter
- Johannes Andreas Grib Fibiger, physician and Nobel Prize laureate
- Niels Ryberg Finsen, physician and Nobel Prize laureate
- Karl Gjellerup, author and Nobel Prize laureate
- N.F.S. Grundtvig, pioneering educationalist
- Anders Hejlsberg, computer scientist, inventor of the C# programming language
- Arne Jacobsen, architect, designer
- Georg Jensen, designer
- Johannes Vilhelm Jensen, Author and Nobel Prize laureate
- Niels Kaj Jerne, immunologist and Nobel Prize laureate
- Søren Kierkegaard, existentialist philosopher
- Schack August Steenberg Krogh, physiologist and Nobel Prize laureate
- Bent Larsen, professional chess player
- Vilhelm Lauritzen, architect
- Rasmus Lerdorf, computer scientist, inventor of the PHP programming language
- Jørgen Leth, filmmaker
- Knud Ejler Løgstrup, Christian philosopher
- Viggo Mortensen, actor
- Whigfield, singer
- Brigitte Nielsen, actress
- Connie Nielsen, actress
- Carl Nielsen, composer
- Jakob Nielsen, mathematician
- Hans Christian Ørsted, physicist, discoverer of electromagnetism
- Henrik Pontoppidan, author and Nobel Prize laureate
- Knud Rasmussen, explorer
- Jacob Riis, photographer,journalist and social activist
- Jens Christian Skou, Chemist and Nobel Prize laureate
- Niels Steensen, anatomist, Roman Catholic bishop and saint
- Bjarne Stroustrup, computer scientist, inventor of the C++ programming language
- Bertel Thorvaldsen, sculptor
- Lars von Trier, film director
- Lars Ulrich, musician, member of band Metallica
- Jørn Utzon, architect
- Courts of Denmark
- Communications in Denmark
- Danish colonization of the Americas
- Education in Denmark
- Foreign relations of Denmark
- Holidays in Denmark
- List of Danish monarchs – Danish monarchs family tree
- Danish Orders of Chivalry
- List of towns in Denmark
- Military of Denmark
- Rescue of the Danish Jews
- Stamps and postal history of Denmark
- Tourism in Denmark
- Transportation in Denmark
- Trees of Denmark
- Reporters without borders Worldwide Press Freedom Index 2004: Ranked 1 out of 166 countries (in an 8-way tie)
- Cuisine of Denmark
- Culture of Denmark
- List of Danish painters
- List of notable Danish people
- List of people on stamps of Denmark
- Music of Denmark
- Government of Denmark
- Danish Newspapers
- Information on the Danish constitution
- Satellite image of Denmark at NASA's Earth Observatory
- Old Denmark in Cyberspace – Information about Denmark and the Danes
- List of Danish cities from world-gazetteer.com
- Human rights reports from Amnesty International
- Danish military history
- Online charts and maps by the Danish survey authority
- Pictures and travelogue from a backpacker's trip through Denmark
|Countries in Europe|
|Albania | Andorra | Austria | Azerbaijan1 | Belarus | Belgium | Bosnia and Herzegovina | Bulgaria | Croatia | Cyprus2 | Czech Republic | Denmark | Estonia | Finland | France | Germany | Greece | Hungary | Iceland | Ireland | Italy | Latvia | Liechtenstein | Lithuania | Luxembourg | Republic of Macedonia | Malta | Moldova | Monaco | The Netherlands | Norway | Poland | Portugal | Romania | Russia1 | San Marino | Serbia and Montenegro | Slovakia | Slovenia | Spain | Sweden | Switzerland | Turkey1 | Ukraine | United Kingdom | Vatican City (Holy See)|
|Dependencies: Akrotiri and Dhekelia2 | Faroe Islands | Gibraltar | Guernsey | Jan Mayen | Jersey | Isle of Man | Svalbard|
|1. Country partly in Asia. 2. Usually assigned to Asia geographically, but nonetheless often thought of as European for cultural and historical reasons.|