(mutually intelligible languages incl. Norwegian, Swedish, Faroese,
Lutheranism (Church of Denmark)
Further details: Religion in Denmark
Related ethnic groups
Swedes, Norwegians, Germans, Frisians, English, Faroese, Icelanders
Other Germanic peoples
Danes (Danish: danskere) are the citizens of Denmark, most of whom
speak Danish and consider themselves to be of Danish ethnicity.
The first mentions of
Danes are from the 6th century in Jordanes'
Getica, by Procopius, and by Gregory of Tours. The first mention of
Danes within the Danish territory is on the Jelling Rune Stone which
Harald Bluetooth converted the
Christianity in the
Denmark has been continuously inhabited since this
period; and, although much cultural and ethnic influence and
immigration from all over the world has entered
Denmark since then,
Danes tend to see themselves as ethnic descendants of the
Danes mentioned in the historic sources. Whether this is
true or not, the
Danish Royal Family
Danish Royal Family can certainly trace their family
line back to
Gorm the Old
Gorm the Old (d. 958 AD) in the Viking Age, and perhaps
even before that to some of the preceding semi-mythical rulers.
Since the formulation of a Danish national identity in the 19th
century, the defining criteria for being Danish have been speaking the
Danish language and identifying
Denmark as a homeland. Danish national
identity was built on a basis of peasant culture and Lutheran
N. F. S. Grundtvig
N. F. S. Grundtvig and his popular movement
played a prominent part in the process.
Today, the official criterion for being a Dane is having a Danish
citizenship. However, other unofficial criteria often include having a
Danish ancestral or ethnic identity. People living outside Denmark
such as emigrants, and descendants of emigrants or members of the
Danish ethnic minority in Southern Schleswig,
Germany are sometimes
considered to be
Danes under a wider definition taking into
consideration their cultural self-identification.
1.1 Christianization of Denmark
1.2 Danish territory and its national identity
4 Danish diaspora
5 Danish nation in a political context
6 See also
8 External links
See also: History of Denmark
The first mentions of "Danes" are recorded in the mid 6th century by
Procopius (Greek: δάνοι) and
Jordanes (danī), who
both refer to a tribe related to the Suetidi inhabiting the peninsula
of Jutland, the province of
Scania and the isles in between. Frankish
annalists of the 8th century often refer to Danish kings. The Bobbio
Orosius from the early 7th century, distinguishes between South Danes
Jutland and North
Danes inhabiting the isles and the
province of Scania.
The first mention of
Danes within the Danish territory is on the
Jelling Rune Stone which mentions how
Harald Bluetooth converted the
Christianity in the 10th century. Between c. 960 and the
Harald Bluetooth established a kingdom in the lands of the
Danes, stretching from
Jutland to Scania. Around the same time, he
received a visit from a German missionary who, by surviving an ordeal
by fire according to legend, convinced Harold to convert to
The following years saw the Danish Viking expansion, which
Norway and Northern
England into the Danish kingdom.
After the death of Canute the Great in 1035,
England broke away from
Danish control. Canute's nephew Sweyn Estridson (1020–74)
re-established strong royal Danish authority and built a good
relationship with the archbishop of Bremen — at that time the
Archbishop of all of Scandinavia.
Christianization of Denmark
The Reformation, which originated in the German lands in the early
16th century from the ideas of
Martin Luther (1483–1546), had a
considerable impact on Denmark. The Danish Reformation started in the
Danes wanted access to the
Bible in their own
language. In 1524, Hans Mikkelsen and
Christiern Pedersen translated
New Testament into Danish; it became an instant best-seller. Those
who had traveled to
Wittenberg in Saxony and come under the influence
of the teachings of Luther and his associates included Hans Tausen, a
Danish monk in the Order of St John Hospitallers.
Danish territory and its national identity
The Dano-Norwegian Kingdom grew wealthy during the 16th century,
largely because of the increased traffic through the Øresund. The
Denmark could tax the traffic, because it controlled both
sides of the Sound at the time. After a failed war with Sweden, the
Treaty of Roskilde
Treaty of Roskilde in 1658 removed the areas of the Scandinavian
peninsula from Danish control, thus establishing the boundaries
between Norway, Denmark, and
Sweden that exist to this day. In the
centuries after this loss of territory, the populations of the Scanian
lands, who had previously been considered Danish, came to be fully
integrated as Swedes. Later, in the early 19th century, Denmark
suffered a defeat in the Napoleonic Wars;
Denmark lost control over
Norway and territories in what is now northern Germany. The political
and economic defeat ironically sparked what is known as the Danish
Golden Age during which a Danish national identity first came to be
fully formed. The Danish liberal and national movements gained
momentum in the 1830s, and after the European revolutions of 1848
Denmark became a constitutional monarchy on 5 June 1849. The growing
bourgeoisie had demanded a share in government, and in an attempt to
avert the sort of bloody revolution occurring elsewhere in Europe,
Frederick VII gave in to the demands of the citizens. A new
constitution emerged, separating the powers and granting the franchise
to all adult males, as well as freedom of the press, religion, and
association. The king became head of the executive branch.
Danishness (danskhed) is the concept on which contemporary Danish
national and ethnic identity is based. It is a set of values formed
through the historic trajectory of the formation of the Danish nation.
The ideology of Danishness emphasizes the notion of historical
connection between the population and the territory of
Denmark and the
relation between the 1000-year-old Danish monarchy and the modern
Danish state, the 19th century national romantic idea of "the people"
(folk), a view of Danish society as homogeneous and socially
egalitarian as well as strong cultural ties to other Scandinavian
Importantly, since its formulation, Danish identity has not been
linked to a particular racial or biological heritage, as many other
ethno-national identities have.
Grundtvig for example emphasized the
Danish language and the emotional relation to and identification with
the nation of
Denmark as the defining criteria of Danishness. This
cultural definition of ethnicity has been suggested to be one of the
Denmark was able to integrate their earliest ethnic
minorities of Jewish and Polish origins into the Danish ethnic group.
Jewishness for example was not seen as being incompatible with a
Danish ethnic identity as long as the most important cultural
practices and values were shared. This inclusive ethnicity has in turn
been described as the background for the relative lack of virulent
Denmark and the rescue of the Danish Jews, saving 99%
of Denmark's Jewish population from the Holocaust.
This ideology of Danishness has been politically important in the
formulation of Danish political relations with the EU, which has been
met with considerable resistance in the Danish population, and in
recent reactions in the Danish public to the increasing influence of
See also: Demographics of Denmark
According to the Danish statistics institute, approximately five
million people of Danish origin live in
Denmark today. In this context
"Danish origin" is defined as being born to parents who are Danish
citizens, and the number is arrived at by subtracting from the total
population (5,564,249) those who are born abroad to non-citizens who
are themselves born abroad (called immigrants), and those who are born
Denmark to parents who are either immigrants or who have foreign
Danish citizenship is granted to anyone who has one parent of Danish
citizenship, whether the child is born in or outside Denmark. Citizens
Greenland and the
Faroe islands are considered Danish citizens for
all purposes. Those who do not achieve Danish citizenship by birth (or
by Adoption) can only receive Danish citizenship through decree of
law. Danish citizenship is automatically lost if one applies for
foreign citizenship or when a 22-year-old child of Danish citizens has
never lived in
Denmark and has not formally applied for Danish
According to Danish law, a Danish citizenship may be lost due to
criminal acts if the citizen has dual citizenships, the law cannot
make a citizen stateless. The first citizen to lose his citizenship
was Said Mansour who lost it for inciting terrorism after the supreme
Denmark upheld his sentence in June 2016.
Danish diaspora consists of emigrants and their descendants,
especially those that maintain some of the customs of their Danish
culture. A minority of approx. 50,000 Danish-identifying German
citizens live in
Southern Schleswig in Germany, a former Danish
territory, forming around 10% of the local population. In Denmark, the
latter group is often referred to as "
Danes south of the border" (De
danske syd for grænsen), the "Danish-minded" (De Dansksindede) or
simply "South Schleswigers". Due to immigration there are considerable
populations with Danish roots outside
Denmark in countries such as
United States, Brazil,
Canada and Argentina.
Danish Americans (Dansk-amerikanere) are Americans of Danish descent.
There are approximately 1,500,000 Americans of Danish origin or
descent. Most Danish-Americans live in the Western
United States or
the Midwestern United States. California has the largest population of
people of Danish descent in the United States. Notable Danish
communities in the
United States are located in Solvang, California,
and Racine, Wisconsin, but these populations are not considered to be
Danes for official purposes by the Danish state, and heritage alone
can not be used to claim Danish citizenship, as it can in some
European nations (see below).
According to the 2006 Census, there were 200,035 Canadians with Danish
background, 17,650 of whom were born in Denmark.
an important destination for the
Danes during the post war period. At
one point[when?], a Canadian immigration office was to be set up in
Danish nation in a political context
Det danske folk (The Danish people) as a concept, played an important
role in 19th century ethnic nationalism and refers to
self-identification rather than a legal status. Use of the term is
most often restricted to a historical context; the historic
German-Danish struggle regarding the status of the
Duchy of Schleswig
vis-à-vis a Danish nation-state. It describes people of Danish
nationality, both in
Denmark and elsewhere. Most importantly, ethnic
Danes in both
Denmark proper and the former Danish
Duchy of Schleswig.
Excluded from this definition are people from the formerly Norwegian
Faroe Islands and
Greenland as well as members of the German minority
as well as members of other ethnic minorities.
The term should not be confused with the legal concept of nationality,
danske statsborgere (Danish nationals) i.e. individuals holding Danish
List of Danes
Culture of Denmark
History of Denmark
^ Larsen, Dorthe. "Folketal". Danmarks Statestik. Retrieved 7 April
^ a b "Find statistics - Statistics Denmark". Dst.dk. Retrieved
^  Archived 13 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
^ a b "Ethnocultural Portrait of
Canada - Data table". 2.statcan.ca.
2010-10-06. Retrieved 2015-03-11.
^ Statistics Norway. "Persons with immigrant background by immigration
category, country background and sex. 1 January 2009 (Immigrants and
Norwegian-norn to immigrant parents + Other immigrant background)".
Archived from the original on 12 November 2011. Retrieved 27 August
^ "Improved access to historical census data". Censusdata.abs.gov.au.
^  Archived 24 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
^ "Tabeller over Sveriges befolkning 2005" (PDF). Scb.se. Retrieved
^ "UK Born Abroad Denmark". BBC News. Retrieved 2015-03-11.
^  Archived 16 January 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
^ "Demografia" (PDF). Ine.es. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26
July 2008. Retrieved 2015-03-11.
^ Gynther Adolphsen. "6000-7000 danskere bor ved den franske Riviera -
Frankrig". Udvandrerne.dk. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015.
Retrieved 11 March 2015.
^ "CIA - The World Factbook -- Greenland". CIA. Archived from the
original on 4 September 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-13.
^ "Hvor mange dansker bor i udlandet". Statsborger.dk. 28 June 2010.
Archived from the original on 23 February 2015. Retrieved
^  Archived 24 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
^ "Population by country of birth 1981-2006 by country and year:
Denmark, 2006". Statistics
Iceland (English version). 31 December
2006. Retrieved 2008-03-06.
^  Archived 12 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
^ Kent Dahl. "500 danskere i Tokyo - Japan". Udvandrerne.dk. Archived
from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
^  Archived 23 November 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
^ Fler lämnade kyrkan i Danmark 3.1.2015 Kyrkans tidning
^ a b "daner Gyldendal - Den Store Danske". Denstoredanske.dk.
^ Østergård, Uffe, Peasants and Danes: The Danish National Identity
and Political Culture. Comparative Studies in Society and History,
Vol. 34, No. 1 (Jan., 1992), pp. 3-27
^ Adam of Bremen, History of the Archbishops of Hamburg-Bremen, trans.
Francis J. Tschan (New York, 2002), pp. 77–78.
^ [dead link]
^ Yael Enoch. 1994. The intolerance of a tolerant people: Ethnic
relations in Denmark. Ethnic and Racial Studies. Volume 17, Issue 2,
^ Lise Togeby (1998). “Prejudice and tolerance in a period of
increasing ethnic diversity and growing unemployment.
1970”. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 21, 6: 1137-115
^ Jens Rydgren. 2010. Radical Right-wing Populism in
Sweden: Explaining Party System Change and Stability. Volume 30,
Number 1, Winter-Spring 2010
^ "Højesteret: Boghandleren fra Brønshøj mister dansk
statsborgerskab". Berlingske Tidende. 8 June 2016. Retrieved 20 July
^ "Danish Americans". Retrieved 2011-03-10.
^ "Statistics Canada : 2006 Census Topic-based tabulations".
Statcan.ca. Retrieved 2015-03-11.
^ Bender, Henning. Danish emigration to Canada
Media related to
Danes at Wikimedia Commons
1 Russia is a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and Northern
Asia. The vast majority of its population (80%) lives in European
Russia, therefore Russia as a whole is included as a European country
2 Turkey is a transcontinental country in the Middle East and
Southeast Europe. It has a small part of its territory (3%) in
Southeast Europe called Turkish Thrace.
3 Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia are transcontinental countries.
Both have a small part of their territories in the European part of
Kazakhstan is a transcontinental country. It has a small part of its
territories located west of the Urals in Eastern Europe.
Cyprus is entirely in Southwest Asia, but has socio-political and
historical connections with Europe.
Part of the Kingdom of Denmark
Colonization of the Americas
Scandinavian Monetary Union
Duchy of Holstein
Duchy of Schleswig
World War II
Rescue of the Danish Jews
Mountains and hills
Folketing (Danish Parliament)
The unity of the Realm
2000s property bubble
Coat of arms
National (civic) anthem