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, song =
( en, "King Christian stood by the lofty mast")
, song_type = National and royal anthem , image_map = EU-Denmark.svg , map_caption = , subdivision_type = Sovereign state , subdivision_name = Kingdom of Denmark , established_title = Consolidation , established_date = 8th century , established_title2 = Christianization , established_date2 = 965 , established_title3 = , established_date3 = 5 June 1849 , established_title4 = Faroese home rule , established_date4 = 24 March 1948 , established_title5 = EEC accession , established_date5 = 1 January 1973 , established_title6 = Greenlandic home rule , established_date6 = 1 May 1979 , official_languages = Danish , languages_type = Regional languages , languages_sub = yes , languages = GermanGerman is recognised as a protected minority language in the South Jutland area of Denmark. , demonym = , capital = Copenhagen , largest_city = capital , coordinates = , ethnic_groups = , ethnic_groups_year = 2020 , religion = , religion_year = 2020 , government_type = Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy , leader_title1 = Monarch , leader_name1 = Margrethe II , leader_title2 = Prime Minister , leader_name2 = Mette Frederiksen , leader_title3 = Speaker of the Folketing , leader_name3 = Henrik Dam Kristensen , legislature = Folketing , area_km2 = 42943 , area_rank = 130th , area_sq_mi = 16580 , percent_water = 1.74 , elevation_max_m = 170.86 , elevation_max_ft = , elevation_max_point = Møllehøj , population_estimate = 5,928,364The Kingdom has a total population of 5,958,380. ( 114th) , population_estimate_year = M10 2022 , population_density_km2 = 138.05 , GDP_PPP = $411.0 billion , GDP_PPP_year = 2022 , GDP_PPP_rank = 53nd , GDP_PPP_per_capita = $69,273 , GDP_PPP_per_capita_rank = 11th , GDP_nominal = $386.7 billion , GDP_nominal_year = 2022 , GDP_nominal_rank = 41st , GDP_nominal_per_capita = $65,713 , GDP_nominal_per_capita_rank = 10th , Gini = 27.0 , Gini_year = 2021 , Gini_change = decrease , Gini_ref = , HDI = 0.948 , HDI_year = 2021 , HDI_change = increase , HDI_ref = , HDI_rank = 6th , currency = Danish krone (kr.) ( DKK)In the Faroe Islands the currency has a separate design and is known as the króna, but is not a separate currency. , timezone = CET , utc_offset = +01:00 , timezone_DST = CEST , utc_offset_DST = +02:00 , date_format = // , electricity = 230 V–50 Hz , drives_on = right , calling_code = +45 , iso_code = DK , cctld = .dkThe top-level domain name .eu is shared with other
European Union The European Union (EU) is a supranational political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a large peninsula conventionally considered a continent in its own right because of its gre ...
countries.
Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country in
Northern Europe The northern region of Europe Europe is a large peninsula conventionally considered a continent in its own right because of its great physical size and the weight of its history and traditions. Europe is also considered a Continent#Su ...
. It is the most populous and politically central constituent of the Kingdom of Denmark, da, Kongeriget Danmark, a constitutionally
unitary state A unitary state is a sovereign state governed as a single entity in which the central government is the supreme authority. The central government may create (or abolish) administrative divisions (sub-national units). Such units exercise only ...
that includes the autonomous territories of the
Faroe Islands The Faroe Islands ( ), or simply the Faroes ( fo, Føroyar ; da, Færøerne ), are a North Atlantic island group and an autonomous territory of the Kingdom of Denmark. They are located north-northwest of Scotland Scotland (, ) ...
and
Greenland Greenland ( kl, Kalaallit Nunaat, ; da, Grønland, ) is an island country in North America North America is a continent in the Northern Hemisphere and almost entirely within the Western Hemisphere. It is bordered to the nort ...
in the North
Atlantic Ocean The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's five oceans, with an area of about . It covers approximately 20% of Earth's surface and about 29% of its water surface area. It is known to separate the " Old World" of Africa, Europe ...
.* * * European Denmark is the southernmost of the
Scandinavia Scandinavia; Sámi languages: /. ( ) is a subregion in Northern Europe, with strong historical, cultural, and linguistic ties between its constituent peoples. In English usage, ''Scandinavia'' most commonly refers to Denmark ) , son ...
n countries, lying southwest of
Sweden Sweden, formally the Kingdom of Sweden,The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names states that the country's formal name is the Kingdom of SwedenUNGEGN World Geographical Names, Sweden./ref> is a Nordic country located on ...
, south of
Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic country in Northern Europe, the mainland territory of which comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula. The remote Arctic island of Jan Mayen and ...
,The island of Bornholm is offset to the east of the rest of the country, in the Baltic Sea. and north of
Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe. It is the second most populous country in Europe after Russia, and the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is situated betwe ...
. Spanning a total area of , it consists of the peninsula of
Jutland Jutland ( da, Jylland ; german: Jütland ; ang, Ēota land ), known anciently as the Cimbric or Cimbrian Peninsula ( la, Cimbricus Chersonesus; da, den Kimbriske Halvø, links=no or ; german: Kimbrische Halbinsel, links=no), is a peninsula of ...
and an
archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster, or collection of island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as w ...
of 443 named islands, of which the largest are
Zealand Zealand ( da, Sjælland ) at 7,031 km2 is the largest and most populous island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as e ...
,
Funen Funen ( da, Fyn, ), with an area of , is the third-largest island of Denmark, after Zealand Zealand ( da, Sjælland ) at 7,031 km2 is the largest and most populous island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat th ...
and the North Jutlandic Island. Denmark's geography is characterised by flat,
arable land Arable land (from the la, arabilis, "able to be plough A plough or plow ( US; both ) is a farm tool for loosening or turning the soil before sowing Sowing is the process of planting seeds. An area or object that has had seeds plante ...
, sandy coasts, low elevation, and a
temperate climate In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia''. Combination of Greek words ‘Geo’ (The Earth) and ‘Graphien’ (to describe), literally "earth description") is a field of science Science is a systematic end ...
. As of 2022, it had a population of 5.928 million (1 October 2022), of which 800,000 live in the capital and largest city, Copenhagen. Denmark exercises hegemonic influence in the
Danish Realm The Danish Realm ( da, Danmarks Rige; fo, Danmarkar Ríki; kl, Danmarkip Naalagaaffik), officially the Kingdom of Denmark (; ; ), is a sovereign state A sovereign state or sovereign country, is a political entity represented by one cen ...
, devolving powers to handle internal affairs. Home rule was established in the Faroe Islands in 1948 and in
Greenland Greenland ( kl, Kalaallit Nunaat, ; da, Grønland, ) is an island country in North America North America is a continent in the Northern Hemisphere and almost entirely within the Western Hemisphere. It is bordered to the nort ...
in 1979; the latter obtained further autonomy in 2009. The unified kingdom of Denmark emerged in the eighth century as a proficient maritime power amid the struggle for control of the Baltic Sea. In 1397, it joined Norway and Sweden to form the
Kalmar Union The Kalmar Union ( Danish, Norwegian, and sv, Kalmarunionen; fi, Kalmarin unioni; la, Unio Calmariensis) was a personal union in Scandinavia Scandinavia; Sámi languages: /. ( ) is a subregion in Northern Europe, with strong histo ...
, which persisted until the latter's secession in 1523. The remaining Kingdom of Denmark–Norway endured a series of wars in the 17th century that resulted in further territorial cessions to the
Swedish Empire The Swedish Empire was a European great power that exercised territorial control over much of the Baltic region during the 17th and early 18th centuries ( sv, Stormaktstiden, "the Era of Great Power"). The beginning of the empire is usually ...
. Following the
Napoleonic Wars The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major global conflicts pitting the French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of European states formed into various coalitions. It produced a period of Fre ...
, Norway was absorbed into Sweden, leaving Denmark with the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and
Iceland Iceland ( is, Ísland; ) is a Nordic island country in the North Atlantic Ocean and in the Arctic Ocean The Arctic Ocean is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five major oceans. It spans an area of approximately and is k ...
. A surge of nationalist movements in the 19th century were defeated in the First Schleswig War of 1848, though the Second Schleswig War of 1864 resulted in further territorial losses to
Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian: ''Prūsa'' or ''Prūsija'' was a German state on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea The Baltic Sea is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's five oceans, w ...
. The period saw the adoption of the Constitution of Denmark on 5 June 1849, ending the
absolute monarchy Absolute monarchy (or Absolutism as a doctrine) is a form of monarchy in which the monarch rules in their own right or power. In an absolute monarchy, the king or queen is by no means limited and has absolute power, though a limited constitut ...
that was established in 1660 and introducing the current parliamentary system. An industrialised exporter of
agricultural Agriculture or farming is the practice of cultivating plants Plants are predominantly photosynthetic eukaryote Eukaryotes () are organisms whose cells have a nucleus. All animals, plants, fungi, and many unicellular organisms ...
produce in the second half of the 19th century, Denmark introduced social and labour-market reforms in the early 20th century, which formed the basis for the present
welfare state A welfare state is a form of government in which the state (or a well-established network of social institutions) protects and promotes the economic and social well-being of its citizens, based upon the principles of equal opportunity Equa ...
model and advanced mixed economy. Denmark remained neutral during
World War I World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe Europe is a large peninsula conventionally considered a continent in ...
but regained the northern half of Schleswig in 1920. Danish neutrality was violated in World War II following a swift German invasion in April 1940. During occupation, a
resistance movement A resistance movement is an organized effort by some portion of the civil population of a country to withstand the legally established government or an occupying power and to disrupt civil order and stability. It may seek to achieve its objective ...
emerged in 1943 while Iceland declared independence in 1944; Denmark was liberated in May 1945. In 1973, Denmark, together with
Greenland Greenland ( kl, Kalaallit Nunaat, ; da, Grønland, ) is an island country in North America North America is a continent in the Northern Hemisphere and almost entirely within the Western Hemisphere. It is bordered to the nort ...
but not the
Faroes The Faroe Islands ( ), or simply the Faroes ( fo, Føroyar ; da, Færøerne ), are a North Atlantic island group and an autonomous territory of the Kingdom of Denmark. They are located north-northwest of Scotland Scotland (, ) ...
, became a member of what is now the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a supranational political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a large peninsula conventionally considered a continent in its own right because of its gre ...
, but negotiated certain opt-outs, such as retaining its own currency, the krone. Denmark is a highly developed country with a high
standard of living Standard of living is the level of income, comforts and services available, generally applied to a society or location, rather than to an individual. Standard of living is relevant because it is considered to contribute to an individual's quality ...
: the country performs at or near the top in measures of
education Education is a purposeful activity directed at achieving certain aims, such as transmitting knowledge or fostering skills and character traits. These aims may include the development of understanding, rationality, kindness, and honest ...
,
health care Health care or healthcare is the improvement of health via the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, amelioration or cure of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in people. Health care is delivered by healt ...
,
civil liberties Civil liberties are guarantees and freedoms that governments commit not to abridge, either by constitution A constitution is the aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, ...
, democratic governance and LGBT equality. Denmark is a founding member of
NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 30 member states – 28 European and two N ...
, the Nordic Council, the
OECD The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD; french: Organisation de coopération et de développement économiques, ''OCDE'') is an intergovernmental organisation with 38 member countries, founded in 1961 to stimulate ...
, OSCE, and the
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization Globalization is social change associated with increased connectivity among societies and their elements and the explosive evolution of transportation and telecommunication ...
; it is also part of the Schengen Area. Denmark maintains close political, cultural, and linguistic ties with its Scandinavian neighbours, with the
Danish language Danish (; , ) is a North Germanic language spoken by about six million people, principally in and around Denmark ) , song = ( en, "King Christian stood by the lofty mast") , song_type = National and royal anthem , image_map = EU-De ...
being partially mutually intelligible with both Norwegian and Swedish.


Etymology

The etymology of the name "Denmark", the relationship between "Danes" and "Denmark", and the emergence of Denmark as a unified kingdom are topics of continuous scholarly debate. This is centred primarily on the prefix ''"Dan"'' and whether it refers to the Dani or a historical person Dan and the exact meaning of the -''"mark"'' ending. Most etymological dictionaries and handbooks derive "Dan" from a word meaning "flat land", related to German "threshing floor", English ''den'' "cave". J. de Vries, ''Altnordisches etymologisches Wörterbuch'', 1962, 73; N. Å. Nielsen, ''Dansk etymologisk ordbog'', 1989, 85–96. The element ''mark'' is believed to mean
woodland A woodland () is, in the broad sense, land covered with trees, or in a narrow sense, synonymous with wood (or in the U.S., the '' plurale tantum'' woods), a low-density forest A forest is an area of land dominated by trees. Hundreds of ...
or
border Borders are usually defined as geographical boundaries, imposed either by features such as oceans and terrain, or by political entities such as governments, sovereign state A sovereign state or sovereign country, is a political entity ...
land (see marches), with probable references to the border forests in south Schleswig. The first recorded use of the word ''Danmark'' within Denmark itself is found on the two
Jelling stones The Jelling stones ( da, Jellingstenene) are massive carved runestones from the 10th century, found at the town of Jelling in Denmark ) , song = ( en, "King Christian stood by the lofty mast") , song_type = National and royal anthem , ...
, which are runestones believed to have been erected by Gorm the Old () and Harald Bluetooth (). The larger of the two stones is popularly cited as the "baptismal certificate" () of Denmark, though both use the word "Denmark", in the accusative () on the large stone, and the genitive "tanmarkar" (pronounced ) on the small stone, while the
dative In grammar In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species of primate, characterized by bipedalism and exceptional cognitive skills due to ...
form ''tąnmarku'' (pronounced ) is found on the contemporaneous Skivum stone. The inhabitants of Denmark are there called (), or "Danes", in the accusative.


History


Prehistory

The earliest archaeological finds in Denmark date back to the Eem interglacial period from 130,000 to 110,000 BC. Denmark has been inhabited since around 12,500 BC and agriculture has been evident since 3900 BC. The Nordic Bronze Age (1800–600 BC) in Denmark was marked by burial mounds, which left an abundance of findings including lurs and the Sun Chariot. During the Pre-Roman Iron Age (500 BC – AD 1), native groups began migrating south, and the first tribal Danes came to the country between the Pre-Roman and the Germanic Iron Age, in the Roman Iron Age (AD 1–400). The
Roman province The Roman provinces (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) ar ...
s maintained trade routes and relations with native tribes in Denmark, and Roman coins have been found in Denmark. Evidence of strong Celtic cultural influence dates from this period in Denmark and much of North-West Europe and is among other things reflected in the finding of the Gundestrup cauldron. The tribal Danes came from the east Danish islands (
Zealand Zealand ( da, Sjælland ) at 7,031 km2 is the largest and most populous island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as e ...
) and
Scania Scania, also known by its native name of Skåne (, ), is the southernmost of the historical provinces (''landskap'') of Sweden Sweden, formally the Kingdom of Sweden,The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names states t ...
and spoke an early form of North Germanic. Historians believe that before their arrival, most of
Jutland Jutland ( da, Jylland ; german: Jütland ; ang, Ēota land ), known anciently as the Cimbric or Cimbrian Peninsula ( la, Cimbricus Chersonesus; da, den Kimbriske Halvø, links=no or ; german: Kimbrische Halbinsel, links=no), is a peninsula of ...
and the nearest islands were settled by tribal
Jutes The Jutes (), Iuti, or Iutæ ( da, Jyder, non, Jótar, ang, Ēotas) were one of the Germanic tribes who settled in Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest ...
. The Jutes migrated to
Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's five oceans, with an area of about . It covers approximately 20% of Earth's surface and about 29% of its water surface ...
eventually, some as mercenaries of Brythonic King
Vortigern Vortigern (; owl, Guorthigirn, ; cy, Gwrtheyrn; ang, Wyrtgeorn; Old Breton: ''Gurdiern'', ''Gurthiern''; gle, Foirtchern; la, Vortigernus, , , etc.), also spelled Vortiger, Vortigan, Voertigern and Vortigen, was a 5th-century warlord ...
, and were granted the south-eastern territories of
Kent Kent is a county in South East England and one of the home counties. It borders Greater London Greater may refer to: * Greatness, the state of being great *Greater than, in inequality * ''Greater'' (film), a 2016 American film * Greater ...
, the
Isle of Wight The Isle of Wight ( ) is a Counties of England, county in the English Channel, off the coast of Hampshire, from which it is separated by the Solent. It is the List of islands of England#Largest islands, largest and List of islands of England#Mo ...
and other areas, where they settled. They were later absorbed or ethnically cleansed by the invading Angles and
Saxons The Saxons ( la, Saxones, german: Sachsen, ang, Seaxan, osx, Sahson, nds, Sassen, nl, Saksen) were a group of Germanic * * * * peoples whose name was given in the early Middle Ages to a large country ( Old Saxony, la, Saxonia) near the No ...
, who formed the
Anglo-Saxons The Anglo-Saxons were a cultural group who inhabited England in the Early Middle Ages The Early Middle Ages (or early medieval period), sometimes controversially referred to as the Dark Ages, is typically regarded by historians as lasting ...
. The remaining Jutish population in Jutland assimilated in with the settling Danes. A short note about the ''Dani'' in ''
Getica ''De origine actibusque Getarum'' (''The Origin and Deeds of the Getae oths'), commonly abbreviated ''Getica'', written in Late Latin by Jordanes in or shortly after 551 AD, claims to be a summary of a voluminous account by Cassiodorus of th ...
'' by the historian
Jordanes Jordanes (), also written as Jordanis or Jornandes, was a 6th-century Eastern Roman bureaucrat widely believed to be of Goths, Gothic descent who became a historian later in life. Late in life he wrote two works, one on Roman history (''Romana ...
is believed to be an early mention of the Danes, one of the
ethnic group An ethnic group or an ethnicity is a grouping of people A person ( : people) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousness, and being a part of a culturally established ...
s from whom modern Danes are descended. The Danevirke defence structures were built in phases from the 3rd century forward and the sheer size of the construction efforts in AD 737 are attributed to the emergence of a Danish king.Michaelsen (2002), pp. 122–23. A new runic alphabet was first used around the same time and Ribe, the oldest town of Denmark, was founded about AD 700.


Viking and Middle Ages

From the 8th to the 10th century the wider Scandinavian region was the source of
Vikings Vikings ; non, víkingr is the modern name given to seafaring people originally from Scandinavia Scandinavia; Sámi languages: /. ( ) is a subregion in Northern Europe, with strong historical, cultural, and linguistic ties bet ...
. They colonised, raided, and traded in all parts of Europe. The Danish Vikings were most active in the eastern and southern
British Isles The British Isles are a group of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean off the north-western coast of continental Europe, consisting of the islands of Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean The ...
and
Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe Europe is a large peninsula conventionally considered a continent in its own right because of its great physical size and the weight of its history and traditions. Europe is also considered ...
. They settled in parts of
England England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Europe, off the north-western coast of the Europ ...
(known as the
Danelaw The Danelaw (, also known as the Danelagh; ang, Dena lagu; da, Danelagen) was the part of England England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known ...
) under King
Sweyn Forkbeard Sweyn Forkbeard ( non, Sveinn Haraldsson tjúguskegg ; da, Svend Tveskæg; 17 April 963 – 3 February 1014) was King of Denmark from 986 to 1014, also at times King of the English and King of Norway. He was the father of King Harald II o ...
in 1013, and in
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
where Danes and Norwegians were allowed to settle in what would become
Normandy Normandy (; french: link=no, Normandie ; nrf, Normaundie, Nouormandie ; from Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French: ) was the language spoken in most of the northern half of France from approximately the 8th to the 14th centuries. Ra ...
in exchange of allegiance to Robert I of France with Rollo as first ruler. Some
Anglo-Saxon The Anglo-Saxons were a cultural group who inhabited England in the Early Middle Ages The Early Middle Ages (or early medieval period), sometimes controversially referred to as the Dark Ages, is typically regarded by historians as lasting ...
pence of this period have been found in Denmark.* Denmark was largely consolidated by the late 8th century and its rulers are consistently referred to in Frankish sources as kings (''reges''). Under the reign of Gudfred in 804 the Danish kingdom may have included all the lands of Jutland,
Scania Scania, also known by its native name of Skåne (, ), is the southernmost of the historical provinces (''landskap'') of Sweden Sweden, formally the Kingdom of Sweden,The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names states t ...
and the Danish islands, excluding Bornholm. The extant Danish monarchy traces its roots back to Gorm the Old, who established his reign in the early 10th century. As attested by the
Jelling stones The Jelling stones ( da, Jellingstenene) are massive carved runestones from the 10th century, found at the town of Jelling in Denmark ) , song = ( en, "King Christian stood by the lofty mast") , song_type = National and royal anthem , ...
, the Danes were Christianised around 965 by Harald Bluetooth, the son of Gorm. It is believed that Denmark became Christian for political reasons so as not to get invaded by the
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire was a political entity in Western, Central, and Southern Europe Southern Europe is the southern region of Europe Europe is a large peninsula conventionally considered a continent in its own right because of ...
. A rising Christian power in Europe, the Holy Roman Empire was an important trading partner for the Danes. As a deterrent against this threat, Harald built six fortresses around Denmark called Trelleborg and built a further Danevirke. In the early 11th century, Canute the Great won and united Denmark, England, and
Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic country in Northern Europe, the mainland territory of which comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula. The remote Arctic island of Jan Mayen and ...
for almost 30 years with a Scandinavian army. Throughout the High and
Late Middle Ages The Late Middle Ages or Late Medieval Period was the Periodization, period of European history lasting from AD 1300 to 1500. The Late Middle Ages followed the High Middle Ages and preceded the onset of the early modern period (and in much of Eur ...
, Denmark also included Skåneland (the areas of Scania, Halland, and Blekinge in present-day south Sweden) and Danish kings ruled Danish Estonia, as well as the
duchies A duchy, also called a dukedom, is a medieval In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the late 5th to the late 15th centuries, similar to the post-classical period of global history. It ...
of Schleswig and
Holstein Holstein (; nds, label= Northern Low Saxon, Holsteen; da, Holsten; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in t ...
. Most of the latter two now form the state of
Schleswig-Holstein Schleswig-Holstein (; da, Slesvig-Holsten; nds, Sleswig-Holsteen; frr, Slaswik-Holstiinj) is the northernmost of the 16 states of Germany, comprising most of the historical duchy of Holstein Holstein (; nds, label= Northern Low Saxon, ...
in northern Germany. In 1397, Denmark entered into a
personal union A personal union is the combination of two or more states that have the same monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a state Foakes, pp. 110–1 ...
with
Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic country in Northern Europe, the mainland territory of which comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula. The remote Arctic island of Jan Mayen and ...
and
Sweden Sweden, formally the Kingdom of Sweden,The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names states that the country's formal name is the Kingdom of SwedenUNGEGN World Geographical Names, Sweden./ref> is a Nordic country located on ...
, united under Queen Margaret I. The three countries were to be treated as equals in the union. However, even from the start, Margaret may not have been so idealistic—treating Denmark as the clear "senior" partner of the union.Lauring, Palle (1960) ''A History of the Kingdom of Denmark'', Host & Son Co.: Copenhagen, p. 108. Thus, much of the next 125 years of Scandinavian history revolves around this union, with Sweden breaking off and being re-conquered repeatedly. The issue was for practical purposes resolved on 17 June 1523, as Swedish King Gustav Vasa conquered the city of
Stockholm Stockholm () is the capital and largest city of Sweden Sweden, formally the Kingdom of Sweden,The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names states that the country's formal name is the Kingdom of SwedenUNGEGN World G ...
. The
Protestant Reformation The Reformation (alternatively named the Protestant Reformation or the European Reformation) was a major movement within Western Christianity in 16th-century Europe that posed a religious and political challenge to the Catholic Church and in ...
spread to Scandinavia in the 1530s, and following the Count's Feud civil war, Denmark converted to
Lutheranism Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism, identifying primarily with the theology of Martin Luther, the 16th-century German monk and reformer whose efforts to reform the theology and practice of the Catholic Church ...
in 1536. Later that year, Denmark entered into a union with Norway.


Early modern history (1536–1849)

After Sweden permanently broke away from the personal union, Denmark tried on several occasions to reassert control over its neighbour. King Christian IV attacked Sweden in the 1611–1613 Kalmar War but failed to accomplish his main objective of forcing it to return to the union. The war led to no territorial changes, but Sweden was forced to pay a war indemnity of 1 million
silver Silver is a chemical element A chemical element is a species of atoms that have a given number of protons in their nuclei, including the pure substance consisting only of that species. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical elements ...
riksdaler to Denmark, an amount known as the '' Älvsborg ransom''. King Christian used this money to found several towns and fortresses, most notably Glückstadt (founded as a rival to
Hamburg (male), (female) en, Hamburger(s), Hamburgian(s) , timezone1 = Central (CET) , utc_offset1 = +1 , timezone1_DST = Central (CEST) , utc_offset1_DST = +2 , postal ...
) and Christiania. Inspired by the
Dutch East India Company The United East India Company ( nl, Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie, the VOC) was a chartered company established on the 20th March 1602 by the States General of the Netherlands amalgamating existing companies into the first joint-stock ...
, he founded a similar Danish company and planned to claim Ceylon as a colony, but the company only managed to acquire Tranquebar on India's
Coromandel Coast The Coromandel Coast is the southeastern coastal region of the Indian subcontinent The Indian subcontinent is a physiographical region in Southern Asia. It is situated on the Indian Plate, projecting southwards into the Indian Ocea ...
. Denmark's large colonial aspirations included a few key trading posts in
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia Asia (, ) is one of the world's most notable geographical regions, which is either considered a continent in its own right or a subcontinent of ...
and
India India, officially the Republic of India ( Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country, and the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on th ...
. While Denmark's trading posts in India were of little note, it played an important role in the highly lucrative
Atlantic slave trade The Atlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, or Euro-American slave trade involved the transportation by slave traders of Slavery in the Americas, enslaved African people, mainly to the Americas. The slave trade regularly used the tria ...
, through its trading outposts in Fort Christiansborg in Osu,
Ghana Ghana (; tw, Gaana, ee, Gana), officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country in West Africa. It abuts the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's five oceans, with an area of ...
through which 1.5 million slaves were traded. While the Danish colonial empire was sustained by trade with other major powers, and
plantation A plantation is an agricultural estate, generally centered on a plantation house, meant for farming that specializes in cash crops, usually mainly planted with a single crop, with perhaps ancillary areas for vegetables for eating and so on. Th ...
s – ultimately a lack of resources led to its stagnation. In the
Thirty Years' War The Thirty Years' War was one of the longest and most destructive conflicts in European history, lasting from 1618 to 1648. Fought primarily in Central Europe, an estimated 4.5 to 8 million soldiers and civilians died as a result of batt ...
, Christian tried to become the leader of the
Lutheran Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism, identifying primarily with the theology of Martin Luther, the 16th-century German monk and Protestant Reformers, reformer whose efforts to reform the theology and practice of the Cathol ...
states in Germany but suffered a crushing defeat at the Battle of Lutter. The result was that the Catholic army under Albrecht von Wallenstein was able to invade, occupy, and pillage Jutland, forcing Denmark to withdraw from the war. Denmark managed to avoid territorial concessions, but King
Gustavus Adolphus Gustavus Adolphus (9 December Old_Style_and_New_Style_dates">N.S_19_December.html" ;"title="Old_Style_and_New_Style_dates.html" ;"title="/nowiki>Old Style and New Style dates">N.S 19 December">Old_Style_and_New_Style_dates.html" ;"title="/now ...
' intervention in Germany was seen as a sign that the military power of Sweden was on the rise while Denmark's influence in the region was declining. Swedish armies invaded Jutland in 1643 and claimed Scania in 1644. In the 1645 Treaty of Brømsebro, Denmark surrendered Halland,
Gotland Gotland (, ; ''Gutland'' in Gutnish), also historically spelled Gottland or Gothland (), is Sweden's largest island. It is also a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country A country is a dist ...
, the last parts of Danish Estonia, and several provinces in Norway. Seeing an opportunity to tear up the Treaty of Brømsebro, King
Frederick III of Denmark Frederick III ( da, Frederik; 18 March 1609 – 9 February 1670) was King of Denmark ) , song = ( en, "King Christian stood by the lofty mast") , song_type = National and royal anthem , image_map = EU-Denmark.svg , map_caption = ...
, in 1657, declared war on Sweden, the latter being deeply involved in the Second Northern War (1655–1660), and marched on Bremen-Verden. This led to a massive Danish defeat as the armies of King Charles X Gustav of Sweden conquered
Jutland Jutland ( da, Jylland ; german: Jütland ; ang, Ēota land ), known anciently as the Cimbric or Cimbrian Peninsula ( la, Cimbricus Chersonesus; da, den Kimbriske Halvø, links=no or ; german: Kimbrische Halbinsel, links=no), is a peninsula of ...
and, following the Swedish March across the frozen Danish straits, occupied
Funen Funen ( da, Fyn, ), with an area of , is the third-largest island of Denmark, after Zealand Zealand ( da, Sjælland ) at 7,031 km2 is the largest and most populous island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat th ...
and much of
Zealand Zealand ( da, Sjælland ) at 7,031 km2 is the largest and most populous island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as e ...
before signing the Peace of Roskilde in February 1658, which gave Sweden control of Scania, Blekinge,
Bohuslän Bohuslän (; da, Bohuslen; no, Båhuslen) is a Swedish province in Götaland, on the northernmost part of the country's west coast. It is bordered by Dalsland to the northeast, Västergötland to the southeast, the Skagerrak arm of the Nort ...
,
Trøndelag Trøndelag (; sma, Trööndelage) is a county in the central part of Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic country in Northern Europe, the mainland territory of which comprises the western and northernmost p ...
, and the island of Bornholm. Charles X Gustav quickly regretted not having ruined Denmark and in August 1658, he launched a second attack on Denmark, conquered most of the Danish islands, and began a two-year-long siege of Copenhagen. King Frederick III actively led the defence of the city, rallying its citizens to take up arms, and repelled the Swedish attacks. The siege ended following the death of Charles X Gustav in 1660. In the ensuing peace settlement, Denmark managed to maintain its independence and regain control of Trøndelag and Bornholm. Attaining great popularity following the war, Frederick III used this to disband the elective monarchy in favour of
absolute monarchy Absolute monarchy (or Absolutism as a doctrine) is a form of monarchy in which the monarch rules in their own right or power. In an absolute monarchy, the king or queen is by no means limited and has absolute power, though a limited constitut ...
, which lasted until 1848 in Denmark. Denmark tried but failed to regain control of Scania in the Scanian War (1675–1679). After the Great Northern War (1700–21), Denmark managed to regain control of the parts of Schleswig and
Holstein Holstein (; nds, label= Northern Low Saxon, Holsteen; da, Holsten; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in t ...
ruled by the house of
Holstein-Gottorp Holstein-Gottorp or Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp () is the historiographical name, as well as contemporary shorthand name, for the parts of the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein, also known as Ducal Holstein, that were ruled by the dukes of Schl ...
in the 1720 Treaty of Frederiksborg and the 1773 Treaty of Tsarskoye Selo, respectively. Denmark prospered greatly in the last decades of the 18th century due to its neutral status allowing it to trade with both sides in the many contemporary wars. In the
Napoleonic Wars The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major global conflicts pitting the French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of European states formed into various coalitions. It produced a period of Fre ...
, Denmark traded with both
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
and the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Europe, off the north-western coast of the European mainland, continental mainland. It comprises England, Scotlan ...
and joined the League of Armed Neutrality with
Russia Russia (, , ), or the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is the largest country in the world, with its internationally recognised territory covering , and encompassing one-ei ...
, Sweden, and
Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian: ''Prūsa'' or ''Prūsija'' was a German state on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea The Baltic Sea is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's five oceans, w ...
. The British considered this a hostile act and attacked Copenhagen in 1801 and
1807 Events January–March * January 7 – The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland issues an Order in Council prohibiting British ships from trading with France or its allies. * January 20 – The Sierra Leone Company, faced wit ...
, in one case carrying off the Danish fleet, in the other, burning large parts of the Danish capital. This led to the so-called Danish-British Gunboat War. British control of the waterways between Denmark and Norway proved disastrous to the union's economy and in 1813 Denmark–Norway went
bankrupt Bankruptcy is a legal process through which people or other entities who cannot repay debts to creditors may seek relief from some or all of their debts. In most jurisdictions, bankruptcy is imposed by a court order, often initiated by the deb ...
. The union was dissolved by the Treaty of Kiel in 1814; the Danish monarchy "irrevocably and forever" renounced claims to the Kingdom of Norway in favour of the Swedish king. Denmark kept the possessions of
Iceland Iceland ( is, Ísland; ) is a Nordic island country in the North Atlantic Ocean and in the Arctic Ocean The Arctic Ocean is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five major oceans. It spans an area of approximately and is k ...
(which retained the Danish monarchy until 1944), the
Faroe Islands The Faroe Islands ( ), or simply the Faroes ( fo, Føroyar ; da, Færøerne ), are a North Atlantic island group and an autonomous territory of the Kingdom of Denmark. They are located north-northwest of Scotland Scotland (, ) ...
and
Greenland Greenland ( kl, Kalaallit Nunaat, ; da, Grønland, ) is an island country in North America North America is a continent in the Northern Hemisphere and almost entirely within the Western Hemisphere. It is bordered to the nort ...
, all of which had been governed by Norway for centuries. Apart from the Nordic colonies, Denmark continued to rule over Danish India from 1620 to 1869, the Danish Gold Coast (Ghana) from 1658 to 1850, and the Danish West Indies from 1671 to 1917.


Constitutional monarchy (1849–present)


Liberal movement and cession of Schleswig and Holstein

A nascent Danish liberal and national movement gained momentum in the 1830s; after the European
Revolutions of 1848 The Revolutions of 1848, known in some countries as the Springtime of the Peoples or the Springtime of Nations, were a series of political upheavals throughout Europe starting in 1848. It remains the most widespread revolutionary wave in Euro ...
, Denmark peacefully became a constitutional monarchy on 5 June 1849. A new constitution established a two-chamber parliament. Denmark faced war against both
Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian: ''Prūsa'' or ''Prūsija'' was a German state on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea The Baltic Sea is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's five oceans, w ...
and
Austrian Empire The Austrian Empire (german: link=no, Kaiserthum Oesterreich, modern spelling , ) was a Central- Eastern European multinational great power from 1804 to 1867, created by proclamation out of the realms of the Habsburgs. During its existenc ...
in what became known as the Second Schleswig War, lasting from February to October 1864. Denmark was defeated and obliged to cede Schleswig and Holstein to
Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian: ''Prūsa'' or ''Prūsija'' was a German state on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea The Baltic Sea is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's five oceans, w ...
. This loss came as the latest in the long series of defeats and territorial losses that had begun in the 17th century. After these events, Denmark pursued a policy of neutrality in Europe.


Industrialization

Industrialisation Industrialisation ( alternatively spelled industrialization) is the period of social and economic change that transforms a human group from an agrarian society An agrarian society, or agricultural society, is any community whose economy is ...
came to Denmark in the second half of the 19th century. The nation's first railways were constructed in the 1850s, and improved communications and overseas trade allowed industry to develop in spite of Denmark's lack of natural resources.
Trade union A trade union (labor union in American English), often simply referred to as a union, is an organization of workers intent on "maintaining or improving the conditions of their employment Employment is a relationship between two partie ...
s developed, starting in the 1870s. There was a considerable migration of people from the countryside to the cities, and Danish agriculture became centred on the export of dairy and meat products.


Denmark in World War I

Denmark maintained its neutral stance during
World War I World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe Europe is a large peninsula conventionally considered a continent in ...
. After the defeat of Germany, the Versailles powers offered to return the region of Schleswig-Holstein to Denmark. Fearing German irredentism, Denmark refused to consider the return of the area without a
plebiscite A referendum (plural: referendums or less commonly referenda) is a direct vote by the electorate on a proposal, law, or political issue. This is in contrast to an issue being voted on by a representative. This may result in the adoption o ...
; the two Schleswig Plebiscites took place on 10 February and 14 March 1920, respectively. On 10 July 1920, Northern Schleswig was recovered by Denmark, thereby adding some 163,600 inhabitants and . The country's first social democratic government took office in 1924.


German Non-aggression pact and invasion

In 1939 Denmark signed a 10-year non-aggression pact with
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany (lit. "National Socialist State"), ' (lit. "Nazi State") for short; also ' (lit. "National Socialist Germany") (officially known as the German Reich from 1933 until 1943, and the Greater German Reich from 1943 to 1945) was ...
but Germany invaded Denmark on 9 April 1940 and the Danish government quickly surrendered. World War II in Denmark was characterised by economic co-operation with Germany until 1943, when the Danish government refused further co-operation and its navy scuttled most of its ships and sent many of its officers to Sweden, which was neutral. The Danish resistance performed a rescue operation that managed to evacuate several thousand
Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים, , ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a combination of shared features such as language, history, ethnicity, culture an ...
and their families to safety in Sweden before the Germans could send them to death camps. Some Danes supported
Nazism Nazism ( ; german: Nazismus), the common name in English for National Socialism (german: Nationalsozialismus, ), is the far-right totalitarian political ideology and practices associated with Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party (NSDAP) i ...
by joining the Danish Nazi Party or volunteering to fight with Germany as part of the Frikorps Danmark. Iceland severed ties with Denmark and became an independent republic in 1944; Germany surrendered in May 1945. In 1948, the Faroe Islands gained home rule. In 1949, Denmark became a founding member of
NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 30 member states – 28 European and two N ...
. Denmark was a founding member of
European Free Trade Association The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) is a regional trade organization and free trade area consisting of four European states: Iceland Iceland ( is, Ísland; ) is a Nordic island country in the North Atlantic Ocean and ...
(EFTA). During the 1960s, the EFTA countries were often referred to as the Outer Seven, as opposed to the Inner Six of what was then the European Economic Community (EEC). In 1973, along with Britain and Ireland, Denmark joined the European Economic Community (now the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a supranational political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a large peninsula conventionally considered a continent in its own right because of its gre ...
) after a public referendum. The
Maastricht Treaty The Treaty on European Union, commonly known as the Maastricht Treaty, is the foundation treaty of the European Union The European Union (EU) is a supranational political and economic union of member states that are located primar ...
, which involved further European integration, was rejected by the Danish people in 1992; it was only accepted after a second referendum in 1993, which provided for four opt-outs from policies. The Danes rejected the euro as the national currency in a referendum in 2000. Greenland gained home rule in 1979 and was awarded
self-determination The right of a people to self-determination is a cardinal principle in modern international law (commonly regarded as a ''peremptory norm, jus cogens'' rule), binding, as such, on the United Nations as authoritative interpretation of the Charter ...
in 2009. Neither the
Faroe Islands The Faroe Islands ( ), or simply the Faroes ( fo, Føroyar ; da, Færøerne ), are a North Atlantic island group and an autonomous territory of the Kingdom of Denmark. They are located north-northwest of Scotland Scotland (, ) ...
nor
Greenland Greenland ( kl, Kalaallit Nunaat, ; da, Grønland, ) is an island country in North America North America is a continent in the Northern Hemisphere and almost entirely within the Western Hemisphere. It is bordered to the nort ...
are members of the European Union, the Faroese having declined membership of the EEC in 1973 and Greenland in 1986, in both cases because of fisheries policies. Constitutional change in 1953 led to a single-chamber parliament elected by proportional representation, female accession to the Danish throne, and Greenland becoming an integral part of Denmark. The centre-left Social Democrats led a string of coalition governments for most of the second half of the 20th century, introducing the Nordic welfare model. The
Liberal Party The Liberal Party is any of many political parties A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's elections. It is common for the members of a party to hold similar ideas about politi ...
and the Conservative People's Party have also led centre-right governments.


Geography

Located in
Northern Europe The northern region of Europe Europe is a large peninsula conventionally considered a continent in its own right because of its great physical size and the weight of its history and traditions. Europe is also considered a Continent#Su ...
, Denmark), or simply "Denmark". In this article, usage of "Denmark" excludes Greenland and the Faroe Islands., name="proper", group="N" consists of the peninsula of
Jutland Jutland ( da, Jylland ; german: Jütland ; ang, Ēota land ), known anciently as the Cimbric or Cimbrian Peninsula ( la, Cimbricus Chersonesus; da, den Kimbriske Halvø, links=no or ; german: Kimbrische Halbinsel, links=no), is a peninsula of ...
and 443 named islands (1,419 islands above in total). Of these, 74 are inhabited (January 2015), with the largest being
Zealand Zealand ( da, Sjælland ) at 7,031 km2 is the largest and most populous island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as e ...
, the North Jutlandic Island, and
Funen Funen ( da, Fyn, ), with an area of , is the third-largest island of Denmark, after Zealand Zealand ( da, Sjælland ) at 7,031 km2 is the largest and most populous island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat th ...
. The island of Bornholm is located east of the rest of the country, in the
Baltic Sea The Baltic Sea is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's five oceans, with an area of about . It covers approximately 20% of Earth's surface and about 29% of its water surface area. It is kno ...
. Many of the larger islands are connected by bridges; a bridge-tunnel across the Øresund connects Zealand with Sweden; the Great Belt Fixed Link connects Funen with Zealand; and the Little Belt Bridge connects Jutland with Funen. Ferries or small aircraft connect to the smaller islands. The four cities with populations over 100,000 are the capital Copenhagen on Zealand; Aarhus and
Aalborg Aalborg (, , ) is Denmark ) , song = ( en, "King Christian stood by the lofty mast") , song_type = National and royal anthem , image_map = EU-Denmark.svg , map_caption = , subdivision_type = Sovereign state , subdivision_name = K ...
in Jutland; and Odense on Funen. The country occupies a total area of . The area of inland water is , variously stated as from 500 to 700 km2 (193–270 sq mi). Lake Arresø northwest of Copenhagen is the largest lake. The size of the land area cannot be stated exactly since the ocean constantly erodes and adds material to the coastline, and because of human
land reclamation Land reclamation, usually known as reclamation, and also known as land fill (not to be confused with a waste landfill A landfill site, also known as a tip, dump, rubbish dump, garbage dump, or dumping ground, is a site for the disposal ...
projects (to counter erosion).
Post-glacial rebound Post-glacial rebound (also called isostatic rebound or crustal rebound) is the rise of land masses after the removal of the huge weight of ice sheets during the last glacial period, which had caused isostatic depression. Post-glacial rebound ...
raises the land by a bit less than per year in the north and east, extending the coast. A circle enclosing the same area as Denmark would be in diameter with a
circumference In geometry Geometry (; ) is, with arithmetic, one of the oldest branches of mathematics Mathematics is an area of knowledge that includes the topics of numbers, formulas and related structures, shapes and the spaces in which they ...
of (land area only: and respectively). It shares a border of with
Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe. It is the second most populous country in Europe after Russia, and the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is situated betwe ...
to the south and is otherwise surrounded by of tidal shoreline (including small bays and
inlet An inlet is a (usually long and narrow) indentation of a shoreline, such as a small arm, bay, sound In physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its fundamental constituents, its motion and behavior thro ...
s). No location in Denmark is farther from the coast than . On the south-west coast of Jutland, the tide is between , and the tideline moves outward and inward on a stretch. Denmark's territorial waters total . Denmark's northernmost point is Skagen point (the north beach of the Skaw) at 57° 45' 7" northern latitude; the southernmost is Gedser point (the southern tip of Falster) at 54° 33' 35" northern latitude; the westernmost point is Blåvandshuk at 8° 4' 22" eastern longitude; and the easternmost point is Østerskær at 15° 11' 55" eastern longitude. This is in the small Ertholmene archipelago north-east of Bornholm. The distance from east to west is , from north to south . The country is flat with little elevation, having an average height
above sea level Height above mean sea level is a measure of the vertical distance ( height, elevation The elevation of a geographic location is its height above or below a fixed reference point, most commonly a reference geoid, a mathematical model ...
of . The highest natural point is Møllehøj, at . Although this is by far the lowest high point in the Nordic countries and also less than half of the highest point in Southern Sweden, Denmark's general elevation in its interior is generally at a safe level from rising sea levels. A sizeable portion of Denmark's terrain consists of rolling
plain In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia''. Combination of Greek words ‘Geo’ (The Earth) and ‘Graphien’ (to describe), literally "earth description") is a field of science Science is a systematic endeavor ...
s whilst the coastline is sandy, with large dunes in northern Jutland. Although once extensively forested, today Denmark largely consists of
arable land Arable land (from the la, arabilis, "able to be plough A plough or plow ( US; both ) is a farm tool for loosening or turning the soil before sowing Sowing is the process of planting seeds. An area or object that has had seeds plante ...
. It is drained by a dozen or so rivers, and the most significant include the Gudenå, Odense, Skjern, Suså and Vidå—a river that flows along its southern border with Germany. The Kingdom of Denmark includes two overseas territories, both well to the west of Denmark: Greenland, the world's largest island, and the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic Ocean. These territories are self-governing under their own parliaments (the
Løgting The Løgting (pronounced ; da, Lagtinget) is the unicameral parliament of the Faroe Islands, an autonomous territory within the Danish Realm. The name literally means "''Law Thing''"—that is, a law assembly—and derives from Old No ...
and Inatsisartut) and form, together with continental Denmark, part of the
Danish Realm The Danish Realm ( da, Danmarks Rige; fo, Danmarkar Ríki; kl, Danmarkip Naalagaaffik), officially the Kingdom of Denmark (; ; ), is a sovereign state A sovereign state or sovereign country, is a political entity represented by one cen ...
.


Climate

Denmark has a temperate climate, characterised by mild winters, with mean temperatures in January of , and cool summers, with a mean temperature in August of . Figures, labelled in Danish: First plot is the whole country; Nedbør=Precipitation, Nedbørdage=Precipitation days (>1 mm), (Dag/Middel/Nat)temp.=(Daytime/Average/Nighttime) temperature, Solskinstimer=Hours of sunshine. The most extreme temperatures recorded in Denmark, since 1874 when recordings began, was in 1975 and in 1982. Denmark has an average of 179 days per year with precipitation, on average receiving a total of per year; autumn is the wettest season and spring the driest. The position between a continent and an ocean means that the weather is often unstable. Because of Denmark's northern location, there are large seasonal variations in daylight. There are short days during the winter with sunrise coming around 8:45 am and sunset 3:45 pm (standard time), as well as long summer days with sunrise at 4:30 am and sunset at 10 pm (
daylight saving time Daylight saving time (DST), also referred to as daylight savings time or simply daylight time (United States, Canada, and Australia), and summer time (United Kingdom, European Union The European Union (EU) is a supranational polit ...
).


Ecology

Denmark belongs to the Boreal Kingdom and can be subdivided into two
ecoregion An ecoregion (ecological region) or ecozone (ecological zone) is an ecology, ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than a bioregion, which in turn is smaller than a biogeographic realm. Ecoregions cover relatively large a ...
s: the Atlantic mixed forests and Baltic mixed forests. Almost all of Denmark's primeval temperate forests have been destroyed or fragmented, chiefly for agricultural purposes during the last millennia. The deforestation has created large swaths of
heathland A heath () is a shrubland habitat In ecology, the term habitat summarises the array of resources, physical and biotic factors that are present in an area, such as to support the survival and reproduction of a particular species. A spe ...
and devastating sand drifts. In spite of this, there are several larger second growth woodlands in the country and, in total, 12.9% of the land is now forested.
Norway spruce ''Picea abies'', the Norway spruce or European spruce, is a species of spruce A spruce is a tree of the genus ''Picea'' (), a genus of about 35 species of coniferous evergreen trees in the family Pinaceae, found in the northern temperat ...
is the most widespread tree (2017); an important tree in the Christmas tree production. Denmark holds a Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 0.5/10, ranking it 171st globally out of 172 countries—behind only
San Marino San Marino (, ), officially the Republic of San Marino ( it, Repubblica di San Marino; ), also known as the Most Serene Republic of San Marino ( it, Serenissima Repubblica di San Marino, links=no), is the fifth-smallest country in the world an ...
.
Roe deer The roe deer (''Capreolus capreolus''), also known as the roe, western roe deer, or European roe, is a species of deer. The male of the species is sometimes referred to as a roebuck. The roe is a small deer, reddish and grey-brown, and well-adap ...
occupy the countryside in growing numbers, and large-antlered red deer can be found in the sparse woodlands of Jutland. Denmark is also home to smaller mammals, such as polecats,
hare Hares and jackrabbits are mammals belonging to the genus Genus ( plural genera ) is a taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms as well as virus A virus is a submicroscopic infectious ...
s and hedgehogs. Approximately 400 bird species inhabit Denmark and about 160 of those breed in the country. Large marine mammals include healthy populations of Harbour porpoise, growing numbers of
pinniped Pinnipeds (pronounced ), commonly known as seals, are a widely distributed and diverse clade A clade (), also known as a monophyletic group or natural group, is a group of organisms that are monophyletic – that is, composed of a comm ...
s and occasional visits of large whales, including
blue whale The blue whale (''Balaenoptera musculus'') is a marine mammal and a baleen whale. Reaching a maximum confirmed length of and weighing up to , it is the largest animal known to have ever existed. The blue whale's long and slender body can b ...
s and orcas. Cod,
herring Herring are forage fish, mostly belonging to the family of Clupeidae. Herring often move in large schools around fishing banks and near the coast, found particularly in shallow, temperate waters of the North Pacific and North Atlantic Oce ...
and plaice are abundant culinary fish in Danish waters and form the basis for a large fishing industry.


Environment

Denmark stopped issuing new licences for oil and gas extraction in December 2020. Land and water pollution are two of Denmark's most significant
environmental issue Environmental issues are effects of human activity on the biophysical environment, most often of which are harmful effects that cause environmental degradation. Environmental protection is the practice of protecting the natural environment o ...
s, although much of the country's household and industrial waste is now increasingly filtered and sometimes recycled. The country has historically taken a progressive stance on environmental preservation; in 1971 Denmark established a Ministry of Environment and was the first country in the world to implement an
environmental law Environmental law is a collective term encompassing aspects of the law that provide protection to the environment. A related but distinct set of regulatory regimes, now strongly influenced by environmental legal principles, focus on the manage ...
in 1973. To mitigate environmental degradation and
global warming In common usage, climate change describes global warming—the ongoing increase in global average temperature—and its effects on Earth's climate system. Climate change in a broader sense also includes previous long-term changes to ...
the Danish Government has signed the Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol. However, the national ecological footprint is 8.26 global hectares per person, which is very high compared to a world average of 1.7 in 2010. Contributing factors to this value are an exceptional high value for cropland but also a relatively high value for grazing land, which may be explained by the substantially high meat production in Denmark ( meat annually per capita) and the large economic role of the meat and dairy industries. In December 2014, the Climate Change Performance Index for 2015 placed Denmark at the top of the table, explaining that although emissions are still quite high, the country was able to implement effective climate protection policies. In 2020, Denmark was placed first in the index again. In 2021 Denmark, with Costa Rica, launched the "Beyond Oil and Gas alliance" for stopping use fossil fuels. Denmark's territories, Greenland and the
Faroe Islands The Faroe Islands ( ), or simply the Faroes ( fo, Føroyar ; da, Færøerne ), are a North Atlantic island group and an autonomous territory of the Kingdom of Denmark. They are located north-northwest of Scotland Scotland (, ) ...
, catch approximately 650 whales per year. Greenland's quotas for the catch of whales are determined according to the advice of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), having quota decision-making powers.


Government and politics

Politics in Denmark operate under a framework laid out in the Constitution of Denmark. First written in 1849, it establishes a sovereign state in the form of a constitutional monarchy, with a representative
parliamentary system A parliamentary system, or parliamentarian democracy, is a system of democratic governance Governance is the process of interactions through the laws, norms, power or language Language is a structured system of communication. ...
. The monarch officially retains executive power and presides over the Council of State (
privy council A privy council is a body that advises the head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a state Foakes, pp. 110–11 " he head of statebeing an embodiment of the State itself or r ...
). In practice, the duties of the monarch are strictly representative and ceremonial,The Constitution refers to "the King" ( da, kongen), rather than the gender-neutral term "monarch". In light of the restriction of powers of the monarchy, this is best interpreted as referring to the government Cabinet. such as the formal appointment and dismissal of the Prime Minister and other Government ministers. The Monarch is not answerable for his or her actions, and their
person A person ( : people) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousness, and being a part of a culturally established form of social relations such as kinship In anthropo ...
is sacrosanct. Hereditary monarch Queen Margrethe II has been head of state since 14 January 1972.


Government

The Danish parliament is
unicameral Unicameralism (from ''uni''- "one" + Latin ''camera'' "chamber") is a type of legislature, which consists of one house or assembly, that legislates and votes as one. Unicameral legislatures exist when there is no widely perceived need for mult ...
and called the Folketing ( da, Folketinget). It is the
legislature A legislature is an assembly with the authority to make laws for a political entity such as a country A country is a distinct part of the world, such as a state, nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis o ...
of the Kingdom of Denmark, passing acts that apply in Denmark and, variably, Greenland and the Faroe Islands. The Folketing is also responsible for adopting the state's budgets, approving the state's accounts, appointing and exercising control of the Government, and taking part in international co-operation. Bills may be initiated by the Government or by members of parliament. All bills passed must be presented before the Council of State to receive
Royal Assent Royal assent is the method by which a monarch formally approves an act of the legislature, either directly or through an official acting on the monarch's behalf. In some jurisdictions, royal assent is equivalent to promulgation, while in oth ...
within thirty days in order to become law. Denmark is a
representative democracy Representative democracy, also known as indirect democracy, is a type of democracy where elected people represent a group of people, in contrast to direct democracy. Nearly all modern Western-style democracies function as some type of repres ...
with universal suffrage. Membership of the Folketing is based on
proportional representation Proportional representation (PR) refers to a type of electoral system under which subgroups of an electorate are reflected proportionately in the elected body. The concept applies mainly to geographical (e.g. states, regions) and political divi ...
of political parties, with a 2% electoral threshold. Denmark elects 175 members to the Folketing, with Greenland and the Faroe Islands electing an additional two members each—179 members in total. Parliamentary elections are held at least every four years, but it is within the powers of the prime minister to ask the monarch to call for an election before the term has elapsed. On a
vote of no confidence A motion of no confidence, also variously called a vote of no confidence, no-confidence motion, motion of confidence, or vote of confidence, is a statement or vote Voting is a method by which a group, such as a meeting or an electorate, c ...
, the Folketing may force a single minister or an entire government to resign. The Government of Denmark operates as a cabinet government, where executive authority is exercised—formally, on behalf of the monarch—by the prime minister and other cabinet ministers, who head ministries. As the executive branch, the Cabinet is responsible for proposing bills and a budget, executing the laws, and guiding the foreign and internal policies of Denmark. The position of prime minister belongs to the person most likely to command the confidence of a majority in the Folketing; this is often the current leader of the largest
political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's elections. It is common for the members of a party to hold similar ideas about politics, and parties may promote specific ideological or ...
or, more effectively, through a coalition of parties. A single party generally does not have sufficient political power in terms of the number of seats to form a cabinet on its own; Denmark has often been ruled by coalition governments, themselves usually
minority government A minority government, minority cabinet, minority administration, or a minority parliament is a government and cabinet formed in a parliamentary system A parliamentary system, or parliamentarian democracy, is a system of democratic gove ...
s dependent on non-government parties. Following a general election defeat, in June 2015 Helle Thorning-Schmidt, leader of the Social Democrats ('), resigned as prime minister. She was succeeded by Lars Løkke Rasmussen, the leader of the
Liberal Party The Liberal Party is any of many political parties A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's elections. It is common for the members of a party to hold similar ideas about politi ...
('). Rasmussen became the leader of a cabinet that, unusually, consisted entirely of ministers from his own party. In November 2016, Liberal Alliance and the Conservatives joined the government. Liberal Prime Minister, Lars Løkke Rasmussen held the office between 2009 and 2011, and again between 2015 and 2019, with backing from the Danish People's Party (DF). Following the 2019 general election the Social Democrats, led by leader Mette Frederiksen, formed a single-party government with support from the left-wing coalition. Frederiksen became prime minister on 27 June 2019.


Law and judicial system

Denmark has a civil law system with some references to Germanic law. Denmark resembles Norway and Sweden in never having developed a case-law like that of
England England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Europe, off the north-western coast of the Europ ...
and the United States nor comprehensive codes like those of France and Germany. Much of its law is customary. The judicial system of Denmark is divided between courts with regular civil and criminal jurisdiction and administrative courts with jurisdiction over litigation between individuals and the public administration. Articles sixty-two and sixty-four of the Constitution ensure judicial independence from government and Parliament by providing that judges shall only be guided by the law, including acts, statutes and practice. The Kingdom of Denmark does not have a single unified judicial system – Denmark has one system, Greenland another, and the Faroe Islands a third. However, decisions by the highest courts in Greenland and the Faroe Islands may be appealed to the Danish High Courts. The Danish Supreme Court is the highest civil and criminal court responsible for the administration of justice in the Kingdom.


Danish Realm

The Kingdom of Denmark is a
unitary state A unitary state is a sovereign state governed as a single entity in which the central government is the supreme authority. The central government may create (or abolish) administrative divisions (sub-national units). Such units exercise only ...
that comprises, in addition to Denmark proper, two autonomous territories in the North Atlantic Ocean:
Greenland Greenland ( kl, Kalaallit Nunaat, ; da, Grønland, ) is an island country in North America North America is a continent in the Northern Hemisphere and almost entirely within the Western Hemisphere. It is bordered to the nort ...
and the
Faroe Islands The Faroe Islands ( ), or simply the Faroes ( fo, Føroyar ; da, Færøerne ), are a North Atlantic island group and an autonomous territory of the Kingdom of Denmark. They are located north-northwest of Scotland Scotland (, ) ...
. They have been integrated parts of the Danish Realm since the 18th century; however, due to their separate historical and cultural identities, these parts of the Realm have extensive political powers and have assumed
legislative A legislature is an assembly with the authority to make laws for a political entity such as a country A country is a distinct part of the world, such as a state, nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis o ...
and administrative responsibility in a substantial number of fields. Home rule was granted to the Faroe Islands in 1948 and to Greenland in 1979, each having previously had the status of counties.The unity of the Realm
– Statsministeriet – stm.dk. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
Greenland and the Faroe Islands have their own home governments and parliaments and are effectively self-governing in regards to domestic affairs apart from the judicial system and monetary policy. High Commissioners (') act as representatives of the Danish government in the Faroese
Løgting The Løgting (pronounced ; da, Lagtinget) is the unicameral parliament of the Faroe Islands, an autonomous territory within the Danish Realm. The name literally means "''Law Thing''"—that is, a law assembly—and derives from Old No ...
and in the Greenlandic Parliament, but they cannot vote. The Faroese home government is defined to be an equal partner with the Danish national government, while the Greenlandic people are defined as a separate people with the right to
self-determination The right of a people to self-determination is a cardinal principle in modern international law (commonly regarded as a ''peremptory norm, jus cogens'' rule), binding, as such, on the United Nations as authoritative interpretation of the Charter ...
.


Administrative divisions

Denmark, with a total area of , is divided into five administrative regions ( da, regioner). The regions are further subdivided into 98 municipalities ('). The easternmost land in Denmark, the Ertholmene archipelago, with an area of 39 hectares (0.16 sq mi), is neither part of a municipality nor a region but belongs to the Ministry of Defence. The provinces of Denmark are statistical divisions of Denmark, positioned between the administrative regions and municipalities. They are not administrative divisions, nor subject for any kind of political elections, but are mainly for statistical use. The regions were created on 1 January 2007 to replace the 16 former counties. At the same time, smaller municipalities were merged into larger units, reducing the number from 270. Most municipalities have a population of at least 20,000 to give them financial and professional sustainability, although a few exceptions were made to this rule. The administrative divisions are led by directly elected councils, elected proportionally every four years; the most recent Danish local elections were held on 16 November 2021. Other regional structures use the municipal boundaries as a layout, including the police districts, the court districts and the electoral wards.


Regions

The governing bodies of the regions are the regional councils, each with forty-one councillors elected for four-year terms. The councils are headed by regional district chairmen ('), who are elected by the council. The areas of responsibility for the regional councils are the
national health service The National Health Service (NHS) is the umbrella term for the publicly funded healthcare systems of the United Kingdom (UK). Since 1948, they have been funded out of general taxation. There are three systems which are referred to using the " ...
,
social services Social services are a range of public services intended to provide support and assistance towards particular groups, which commonly include the disadvantaged. They may be provided by individuals, private and independent organisations, or adminis ...
and regional development. Unlike the counties they replaced, the regions are not allowed to levy taxes and the health service is partly financed by a national health care contribution until 2018 ('), partly by funds from both government and municipalities. From 1 January 2019 this contribution will be abolished, as it is being replaced by higher income tax instead. The
area Area is the quantity that expresses the extent of a region on the plane or on a curved surface. The area of a plane region or ''plane area'' refers to the area of a shape or planar lamina, while '' surface area'' refers to the area of an ...
and populations of the regions vary widely; for example, the Capital Region, which encompasses the Copenhagen metropolitan area with the exception of the subtracted province East Zealand but includes the
Baltic Sea The Baltic Sea is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's five oceans, with an area of about . It covers approximately 20% of Earth's surface and about 29% of its water surface area. It is kno ...
island of Bornholm, has a population three times larger than that of North Denmark Region, which covers the more sparsely populated area of northern Jutland. Under the county system certain densely populated municipalities, such as Copenhagen Municipality and Frederiksberg, had been given a status equivalent to that of counties, making them first-level administrative divisions. These '' sui generis'' municipalities were incorporated into the new regions under the 2007 reforms.


Foreign relations

Denmark wields considerable influence in Northern Europe and is a middle power in international affairs. In recent years, Greenland and the Faroe Islands have been guaranteed a say in foreign policy issues such as fishing,
whaling Whaling is the process of hunting of whales for their usable products such as meat Meat is animal Animals are multicellular, eukaryotic organisms in the biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals consume ...
, and geopolitical concerns. The foreign policy of Denmark is substantially influenced by its membership of the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a supranational political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a large peninsula conventionally considered a continent in its own right because of its gre ...
(EU); Denmark including Greenland joined the European Economic Community (EEC), the EU's predecessor, in 1973.The Faroese declined membership in 1973; Greenland chose to leave the EEC in 1985, following a referendum. Denmark held the Presidency of the Council of the European Union on seven occasions, most recently from January to June 2012. Following
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great powers—forming two opposi ...
, Denmark ended its two-hundred-year-long policy of neutrality. It has been a founding member of the
North Atlantic Treaty Organization The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental organization, intergovernmental military alliance between 30 Member sta ...
(NATO) since 1949, and membership remains highly popular. As a member of
Development Assistance Committee The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD; french: Organisation de coopération et de développement économiques, ''OCDE'') is an intergovernmental organi ...
(DAC), Denmark has for a long time been among the countries of the world contributing the largest percentage of gross national income to development aid. In 2015, Denmark contributed 0.85% of its gross national income (GNI) to foreign aid and was one of only six countries meeting the longstanding UN target of 0.7% of GNI.As measured in official development assistance (ODA). Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom exceeded the United Nations' ODA target of 0.7% of GNI. The country participates in both bilateral and multilateral aid, with the aid usually administered by the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs In many countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the government department responsible for the state's diplomacy, bilateral, and multilateral relations affairs as well as for providing support for a country's citizens who are abroad. The ent ...
. The organisational name of Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) is often used, in particular when operating bilateral aid.


Military

Denmark's
armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, with its members identifiable by their distinct ...
are known as the Danish Defence ( da, Forsvaret). The Minister of Defence is commander-in-chief of the Danish Defence, and serves as chief diplomatic official abroad. During peacetime, the Ministry of Defence employs around 33,000 in total. The main military branches employ almost 27,000: 15,460 in the Royal Danish Army, 5,300 in the Royal Danish Navy and 6,050 in the Royal Danish Air Force (all including conscripts). The Danish Emergency Management Agency employs 2,000 (including conscripts), and about 4,000 are in non-branch-specific services like the Danish Defence Command and the Danish Defence Intelligence Service. Furthermore, around 44,500 serve as volunteers in the Danish Home Guard. Denmark is a long-time supporter of international peacekeeping, but since the
NATO bombing of Yugoslavia The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) carried out an aerial bombing campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia during the Kosovo War. The air strikes lasted from 24 March 1999 to 10 June 1999. The bombings continued until a ...
in 1999 and the War in Afghanistan in 2001, Denmark has also found a new role as a warring nation, participating actively in several wars and invasions. This relatively new situation has stirred some internal critique, but the Danish population has generally been very supportive, in particular of the War in Afghanistan. The Danish Defence has around 1,400 staff in international missions, not including standing contributions to NATO SNMCMG1. Danish forces were heavily engaged in the former Yugoslavia in the UN Protection Force ( UNPROFOR), with IFOR, and now SFOR. Between 2003 and 2007, there were approximately 450 Danish soldiers in
Iraq Iraq,; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq officially the Republic of Iraq, '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, the Persian Gulf a ...
. Denmark also strongly supported American operations in
Afghanistan Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,; prs, امارت اسلامی افغانستان is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central Asia and South Asia South Asia is the southern subregion of ...
and has contributed both monetarily and materially to the ISAF. These initiatives are often described by the authorities as part of a new "active foreign policy" of Denmark.


Economy

Denmark has a developed mixed economy that is classed as a high-income economy by the
World Bank The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans and grants to the governments of low- and middle-income countries for the purpose of pursuing capital projects. The World Bank is the collective name for the Int ...
. In 2017, it ranked 16th in the world in terms of gross national income (PPP) per capita and 10th in nominal GNI per capita. Denmark's economy stands out as one of the most free in the Index of Economic Freedom and the Economic Freedom of the World. It is the 10th most competitive economy in the world, and 6th in Europe, according to the
World Economic Forum The World Economic Forum (WEF) is an international non-governmental and lobbying organisation based in Cologny, canton of Geneva, Switzerland. It was founded on 24 January 1971 by German engineer and economist Klaus Schwab. The foundation ...
in its ''Global Competitiveness Report 2018''. Denmark has the fourth highest ratio of tertiary degree holders in the world. The country ranks highest in the world for workers' rights. GDP per hour worked was the 13th highest in 2009. The country has a market income inequality close to the
OECD The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD; french: Organisation de coopération et de développement économiques, ''OCDE'') is an intergovernmental organisation with 38 member countries, founded in 1961 to stimulate ...
average, but after taxes and public cash transfers the income inequality is considerably lower. According to
Eurostat Eurostat ('European Statistical Office'; DG ESTAT) is a Directorate-General of the European Commission located in the Kirchberg quarter of Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. Eurostat's main responsibilities are to provide statistical information ...
, Denmark's Gini coefficient for disposable income was the 7th-lowest among EU countries in 2017. According to the
International Monetary Fund The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is a major financial agency of the United Nations, and an international financial institution, headquartered in Washington, D.C., consisting of 190 countries. Its stated mission is "working to foster gl ...
, Denmark has the world's highest minimum wage. As Denmark has no minimum wage legislation, the high wage floor has been attributed to the power of
trade union A trade union (labor union in American English), often simply referred to as a union, is an organization of workers intent on "maintaining or improving the conditions of their employment Employment is a relationship between two partie ...
s. For example, as the result of a collective bargaining agreement between the 3F trade union and the employers group Horesta, workers at McDonald's and other fast food chains make the equivalent of US$20 an hour, which is more than double what their counterparts earn in the United States, and have access to five weeks' paid vacation, parental leave and a pension plan. Union density in 2015 was 68%. Once a predominantly
agricultural Agriculture or farming is the practice of cultivating plants Plants are predominantly photosynthetic eukaryote Eukaryotes () are organisms whose cells have a nucleus. All animals, plants, fungi, and many unicellular organisms ...
country on account of its arable landscape, since 1945 Denmark has greatly expanded its industrial base and
service sector The tertiary sector of the economy, generally known as the service sector, is the third of the three economic sectors in the three-sector model (also known as the economic cycle). The others are the primary sector (raw material A raw mate ...
. By 2017 services contributed circa 75% of GDP, manufacturing about 15% and agriculture less than 2%. Major industries include
wind turbine A wind turbine is a device that converts the kinetic energy In physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its fundamental constituents, its motion and behavior through space and time, and the related enti ...
s,
pharmaceuticals A medication (also called medicament, medicine, pharmaceutical drug, medicinal drug or simply drug) is a drug A drug is any chemical substance that causes a change in an organism's physiology or psychology Psychology is the ...
, medical equipment, machinery and transportation equipment,
food processing Food processing is the transformation of agricultural products into food, or of one form of food into other forms. Food processing includes many forms of processing foods, from grinding grain to make raw flour Flour is a Powder (s ...
, and
construction Construction is a general term meaning the art and science Science is a systematic endeavor that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe. Science may be as old as ...
. Circa 60% of the total export value is due to export of goods, and the remaining 40% is from service exports, mainly sea transport. The country's main export goods are: wind turbines, pharmaceuticals, machinery and instruments, meat and meat products, dairy products, fish, furniture and design. Denmark is a net exporter of food and energy and has for a number of years had a balance of payments surplus which has transformed the country from a net debitor to a net creditor country. By 1 July 2018, the net international investment position (or net foreign assets) of Denmark was equal to 64.6% of GDP. A liberalisation of import tariffs in 1797 marked the end of mercantilism and further liberalisation in the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century established the Danish liberal tradition in international trade that was only to be broken by the 1930s. Even when other countries, such as Germany and France, raised protection for their agricultural sector because of increased American competition resulting in much lower agricultural prices after 1870, Denmark retained its free trade policies, as the country profited from the cheap imports of cereals (used as feedstuffs for their
cattle Cattle (''Bos taurus'') are large, domesticated, cloven-hooved, herbivores. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae and the most widespread species of the genus '' Bos''. Adult females are referred to as cows and adult ...
and pigs) and could increase their exports of
butter Butter is a dairy product made from the fat and protein Proteins are large biomolecules and macromolecules that comprise one or more long chains of amino acid residues. Proteins perform a vast array of functions within organisms, inc ...
and meat of which the prices were more stable. Today, Denmark is part of the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a supranational political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a large peninsula conventionally considered a continent in its own right because of its gre ...
's internal market, which represents more than 508 million consumers. Several domestic commercial policies are determined by agreements among European Union (EU) members and by EU legislation. Support for
free trade Free trade is a trade policy that does not restrict imports or exports. It can also be understood as the free market idea applied to international trade. In government, free trade is predominantly advocated by political parties that hold ...
is high among the Danish public; in a 2016 poll 57% responded saw globalisation as an opportunity whereas 18% viewed it as a threat. 70% of trade flows are inside the European Union. , Denmark's largest export partners are Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. Denmark's currency, the '' krone'' (DKK), is pegged at approximately 7.46 kroner per euro through the ERM II. Although a September 2000 referendum rejected adopting the
euro The euro ( symbol: €; code: EUR) is the official currency of 19 out of the member states of the European Union (EU). This group of states is known as the eurozone or, officially, the euro area, and includes about 340 million citize ...
, the country follows the policies set forth in the Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union (EMU) and meets the economic convergence criteria needed to adopt the euro. The majority of the political parties in the Folketing support joining the EMU, but since 2010 opinion polls have consistently shown a clear majority against adopting the euro. In May 2018, 29% of respondents from Denmark in a Eurobarometer opinion poll stated that they were in favour of the EMU and the euro, whereas 65% were against it. Ranked by turnover in Denmark, the largest Danish companies are: A.P. Møller-Mærsk (international shipping), Novo Nordisk (pharmaceuticals), ISS A/S (facility services), Vestas (
wind turbine A wind turbine is a device that converts the kinetic energy In physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its fundamental constituents, its motion and behavior through space and time, and the related enti ...
s), Arla Foods (dairy), DSV (transport), Carlsberg Group (beer), Salling Group (retail), Ørsted A/S (power), Danske Bank.


Public policy

Danes enjoy a high standard of living and the Danish economy is characterised by extensive government welfare provisions. Denmark has a corporate tax rate of 22% and a special time-limited tax regime for expatriates. The Danish taxation system is broad based, with a 25% value-added tax, in addition to excise taxes, income taxes and other fees. The overall level of taxation (sum of all taxes, as a percentage of GDP) was 46% in 2017. The tax structure of Denmark (the relative weight of different taxes) differs from the OECD average, as the Danish tax system in 2015 was characterised by substantially higher revenues from taxes on personal income and a lower proportion of revenues from taxes on corporate income and gains and property taxes than in OECD generally, whereas no revenues at all derive from social security contributions. The proportion deriving from payroll taxes, VAT, and other taxes on goods and services correspond to the OECD average , 6% of the population was reported to live below the
poverty line The poverty threshold, poverty limit, poverty line or breadline is the minimum level of income deemed adequate in a particular country. The poverty line is usually calculated by estimating the total cost of one year's worth of necessities for ...
, when adjusted for taxes and transfers. Denmark has the 2nd lowest relative poverty rate in the
OECD The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD; french: Organisation de coopération et de développement économiques, ''OCDE'') is an intergovernmental organisation with 38 member countries, founded in 1961 to stimulate ...
, below the 11.3% OECD average. The share of the population reporting that they feel that they cannot afford to buy sufficient food in Denmark is less than half of the OECD average.


Labour market

Like other Nordic countries, Denmark has adopted the Nordic Model, which combines
free market In economics Economics () is the social science that studies the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. Economics focuses on the behaviour and interactions of economic agents and how economies work. ...
capitalism with a comprehensive
welfare state A welfare state is a form of government in which the state (or a well-established network of social institutions) protects and promotes the economic and social well-being of its citizens, based upon the principles of equal opportunity Equa ...
and strong worker protection. As a result of its acclaimed "flexicurity" model, Denmark has the freest labour market in Europe, according to the World Bank. Employers can hire and fire whenever they want (flexibility), and between jobs, unemployment compensation is relatively high (security). According to OECD, initial as well as long-term net replacement rates for unemployed persons were 65% of previous net income in 2016, against an OECD average of 53%. Establishing a business can be done in a matter of hours and at very low costs. No restrictions apply regarding overtime work, which allows companies to operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. With an employment rate in 2017 of 74.2% for people aged 15–64-years, Denmark ranks 9th highest among the OECD countries, and above the OECD average of 67.8%. The unemployment rate was 5.7% in 2017, which is considered close to or below its structural level. The level of unemployment benefits is dependent on former employment and normally on membership of an unemployment fund, which is usually closely connected to a trade union, and previous payment of contributions. Circa 65% of the financing comes from earmarked member contributions, whereas the remaining third originates from the central government and hence ultimately from general taxation.


Science and technology

Denmark has a long tradition of scientific and technological invention and engagement, and has been involved internationally from the very start of the
scientific revolution The Scientific Revolution was a series of events that marked the emergence In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the systematized study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence, reason, knowledge ...
. In current times, Denmark is participating in many high-profile international science and technology projects, including
CERN The European Organization for Nuclear Research, known as CERN (; ; ), is an intergovernmental organization that operates the largest particle physics laboratory in the world. Established in 1954, it is based in a northwestern suburb of Gene ...
,
ITER ITER (initially the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, ''iter'' meaning "the way" or "the path" in Latin) is an international nuclear fusion Nuclear fusion is a reaction in which two or more atomic nuclei are combi ...
, ESA, ISS and
E-ELT The Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) is an astronomical observatory currently under construction. When completed, it is planned to be the world's largest optical/ near-infrared extremely large telescope. Part of the European Southern Observa ...
. Denmark was ranked 10th in the Global Innovation Index in 2022, down from 6th in 2020 and from 7th in 2019. In the 20th century, Danes have also been innovative in several fields of the technology sector. Danish companies have been influential in the shipping industry with the design of the largest and most energy efficient container ships in the world, the Maersk Triple E class, and Danish engineers have contributed to the design of MAN Diesel engines. In the software and electronic field, Denmark contributed to design and manufacturing of
Nordic Mobile Telephone NMT (''Nordic Mobile Telephony'') is an automatic cellular phone system specified by Nordic telecommunications administrations ( PTTs) and opened for service on 1 October 1981. NMT is based on analogue technology (first generation or 1G) and ...
s, and the now-defunct Danish company DanCall was among the first to develop GSM mobile phones.
Life science Life is a quality that distinguishes matter that has biological processes, such as signaling and self-sustaining processes, from that which does not, and is defined by the capacity for growth, reaction to stimuli, metabolism, energ ...
is a key sector with extensive research and development activities. Danish engineers are world-leading in providing
diabetes Diabetes, also known as diabetes mellitus, is a group of metabolic disorders characterized by a high blood sugar level (hyperglycemia Hyperglycemia is a condition in which an excessive amount of glucose Glucose is a simple sugar with the ...
care equipment and medication products from Novo Nordisk and, since 2000, the Danish biotech company Novozymes, the world market leader in enzymes for first generation starch-based bioethanol, has pioneered development of enzymes for converting waste to cellulosic ethanol. '' Medicon Valley'', spanning the
Øresund Region The Øresund Region ( da, Øresundsregionen ; sv, Öresundsregionen ), also known as Greater Copenhagen for marketing purposes, is a metropolitan region that comprises eastern Denmark and Skåne in southern Sweden. Centred around the Øres ...
between Zealand and Sweden, is one of Europe's largest life science clusters, containing a large number of life science companies and research institutions located within a very small geographical area. Danish-born computer scientists and software engineers have taken leading roles in some of the world's programming languages: Anders Hejlsberg ( Turbo Pascal,
Delphi Delphi (; ), in legend previously called Pytho (Πυθώ), in ancient times was a sacred precinct that served as the seat of Pythia Pythia (; grc, Πυθία ) was the name of the high priestess of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. She ...
, C#); Rasmus Lerdorf ( PHP); Bjarne Stroustrup ( C++); David Heinemeier Hansson ( Ruby on Rails); Lars Bak, a pioneer in virtual machines ( V8, Java VM, Dart). Physicist Lene Vestergaard Hau is the first person to stop light, leading to advances in quantum computing, nanoscale engineering, and linear optics.


Energy

Denmark has considerably large deposits of oil and natural gas in the
North Sea The North Sea lies between Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's five oceans, with an area of about . It covers approximately 20% of Eart ...
and ranks as number 32 in the world among net exporters of
crude oil Petroleum, also known as crude oil, or simply oil, is a naturally occurring yellowish-black liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible fluid that conforms to the shape of its container but retains a (nearly) constant volume independent ...
and was producing 259,980 barrels of crude oil a day in 2009. Denmark is a long-time leader in
wind power Wind power or wind energy is mostly the use of wind turbines to generate electricity. Wind power is a popular, sustainable Specific definitions of sustainability are difficult to agree on and have varied in the literature and over time. ...
: In 2015
wind turbine A wind turbine is a device that converts the kinetic energy In physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its fundamental constituents, its motion and behavior through space and time, and the related enti ...
s provided 42.1% of the total electricity consumption. Denmark derived 3.1% of its gross domestic product from renewable (clean) energy technology and energy efficiency, or around €6.5 billion ($9.4 billion). Denmark is connected by electric transmission lines to other European countries. Denmark's electricity sector has integrated energy sources such as wind power into the national grid. Denmark now aims to focus on intelligent battery systems ( V2G) and plug-in vehicles in the transport sector. The country is a member nation of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Denmark exported roughly 460 million GJ of energy in 2018.


Transport

Significant investment has been made in building road and rail links between regions in Denmark, most notably the Great Belt Fixed Link, which connects
Zealand Zealand ( da, Sjælland ) at 7,031 km2 is the largest and most populous island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as e ...
and
Funen Funen ( da, Fyn, ), with an area of , is the third-largest island of Denmark, after Zealand Zealand ( da, Sjælland ) at 7,031 km2 is the largest and most populous island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat th ...
. It is now possible to drive from Frederikshavn in northern
Jutland Jutland ( da, Jylland ; german: Jütland ; ang, Ēota land ), known anciently as the Cimbric or Cimbrian Peninsula ( la, Cimbricus Chersonesus; da, den Kimbriske Halvø, links=no or ; german: Kimbrische Halbinsel, links=no), is a peninsula of ...
to Copenhagen on eastern Zealand without leaving the motorway. The main railway operator is DSB for passenger services and DB Cargo for freight trains. The railway tracks are maintained by Banedanmark. The North Sea and the Baltic Sea are intertwined by various, international ferry links. Construction of the Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link, connecting Denmark and Germany with a second link, Started in 2021. Copenhagen has a
rapid transit Rapid transit or mass rapid transit (MRT), also known as heavy rail or metro, is a type of high-capacity public transport generally found in urban areas. A rapid transit system that primarily or traditionally runs below the surface may be ...
system, the
Copenhagen Metro The Copenhagen Metro ( da, Københavns Metro, ) is a 24/7 rapid transit system in Copenhagen Copenhagen ( or .; da, København ) is the capital and most populous city of Denmark, with a proper population of around 815.000 in the las ...
, and an extensive electrified suburban railway network, the
S-train The S-Bahn is the name of hybrid urban- suburban rail systems serving a metropolitan region in German-speaking countries. Some of the larger S-Bahn systems provide service similar to rapid transit systems, while smaller ones often resemble ...
. In the four largest cities – Copenhagen, Aarhus, Odense,
Aalborg Aalborg (, , ) is Denmark ) , song = ( en, "King Christian stood by the lofty mast") , song_type = National and royal anthem , image_map = EU-Denmark.svg , map_caption = , subdivision_type = Sovereign state , subdivision_name = K ...
light rail systems are planned to be in operation around 2020. Cycling in Denmark is a very common form of transport, particularly for the young and for city dwellers. With a network of bicycle routes extending more than 12,000 km and an estimated 7,000 km of segregated dedicated bicycle paths and lanes, Denmark has a solid bicycle infrastructure. Private vehicles are increasingly used as a means of transport. Because of the high registration tax (150%), VAT (25%), and one of the world's highest income tax rates, new cars are very expensive. The purpose of the tax is to discourage car ownership. In 2007, an attempt was made by the government to favour environmentally friendly cars by slightly reducing taxes on high mileage vehicles. However, this has had little effect, and in 2008 Denmark experienced an increase in the import of fuel inefficient old cars, as the cost for older cars—including taxes—keeps them within the budget of many Danes. , the average car age is 9.2 years. With Norway and Sweden, Denmark is part of the Scandinavian Airlines flag carrier. Copenhagen Airport is Scandinavia's busiest passenger airport, handling over 25 million passengers in 2014. Other notable airports are Billund Airport, Aalborg Airport, and Aarhus Airport.


Demographics


Population

The population of Denmark, as registered by Statistics Denmark, was 5.825 million in April 2020. Denmark has one of the oldest populations in the world, with the average age of 41.9 years, with 0.97 males per female. Despite a low birth rate, the population is growing at an average annual rate of 0.59% because of net immigration and increasing longevity. The World Happiness Report frequently ranks Denmark's population as the happiest in the world.Helliwell, John; Layard, Richard; Sachs, Jeffre
World Happiness Report
. '' The Earth Institute'' at
Columbia University Columbia University (also known as Columbia, and officially as Columbia University in the City of New York) is a Private university, private research university in New York City. Established in 1754 as King's College on the grounds of Trinity ...
, p. 8. See also
World Happiness Report 2013
, p. 23.

''
Huffington Post ''HuffPost'' (formerly ''The Huffington Post'' until 2017 and sometimes abbreviated ''HuffPo'') is an American progressive news website, with localized and international editions. The site offers news, satire, blogs, and original content, and ...
.'' 22 October 2013.
Stokes, Buce (8 June 2011)
The Happiest Countries in the World
. ''
The Atlantic ''The Atlantic'' is an American magazine and multi-platform publisher. It features articles in the fields of politics, foreign affairs, business and the economy, culture and the arts, technology, and science. It was founded in 1857 in Boston, ...
.'' Retrieved 20 September 2013
This has been attributed to the country's highly regarded education and
health care Health care or healthcare is the improvement of health via the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, amelioration or cure of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in people. Health care is delivered by healt ...
systems, and its low level of income inequality. Denmark is a historically
homogeneous Homogeneity and heterogeneity are concepts often used in the science Science is a systematic endeavor that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe. Science may be as ...
nation. However, as with its Scandinavian neighbours, Denmark has recently transformed from a nation of net emigration, up until World War II, to a nation of net immigration. Today, residence permits are issued mostly to immigrants from other EU countries (54% of all non-Scandinavian immigrants in 2017). Another 31% of residence permits were study- or work-related, 4% were issued to asylum seekers and 10% to persons who arrive as family dependants. Overall, the net migration rate in 2017 was 2.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population, somewhat lower than the United Kingdom and the other Nordic countries. There are no official statistics on
ethnic group An ethnic group or an ethnicity is a grouping of people A person ( : people) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousness, and being a part of a culturally established ...
s, but according to 2020 figures from Statistics Denmark, 86.11% of the population in Denmark was of Danish descent (including '' Faroese'' and '' Greenlandic''), defined as having at least one parent who was born in the
Kingdom of Denmark The Danish Realm ( da, Danmarks Rige; fo, Danmarkar Ríki; kl, Danmarkip Naalagaaffik), officially the Kingdom of Denmark (; ; ), is a sovereign state A sovereign state or sovereign country, is a political entity represented by one cen ...
and holds Danish Nationality.This data is for Denmark proper only. For data relevant to
Greenland Greenland ( kl, Kalaallit Nunaat, ; da, Grønland, ) is an island country in North America North America is a continent in the Northern Hemisphere and almost entirely within the Western Hemisphere. It is bordered to the nort ...
and the
Faroe Islands The Faroe Islands ( ), or simply the Faroes ( fo, Føroyar ; da, Færøerne ), are a North Atlantic island group and an autonomous territory of the Kingdom of Denmark. They are located north-northwest of Scotland Scotland (, ) ...
see their respective articles.
The remaining 13.89% were of foreign background, defined as immigrants or descendants of recent immigrants. With the same definition, the most common countries of origin were
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Türkiye ( tr, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, links=no ), is a transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia, with a small portion on the Balkan Peninsula ...
,
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative provinces called voivodeships, covering an area of . Poland has a population of over 38 million and is the fifth-most populo ...
,
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or سُورِيَة, translit=Sūriyā), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, الجمهورية العربية السورية, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-Sūrīyah), is a Western Asian country lo ...
,
Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe. It is the second most populous country in Europe after Russia, and the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is situated betwe ...
,
Iraq Iraq,; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq officially the Republic of Iraq, '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, the Persian Gulf a ...
,
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country located at the crossroads of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe. It borders Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria,, ) is a co ...
,
Lebanon Lebanon ( , ar, لُبْنَان, translit=lubnān, ), officially the Republic of Lebanon () or the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia. It is located between Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or سُورِيَة, tra ...
,
Pakistan Pakistan ( ur, ), officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan ( ur, , label=none), is a country in South Asia South Asia is the southern subregion of Asia Asia (, ) is one of the world's most notable geographical regions, ...
,
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina ( sh, / , ), abbreviated BiH () or B&H, sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina and often known informally as Bosnia, is a country at the crossroads of south and southeast Europe, located in the Balkans. Bosnia and ...
, and
Somalia Somalia, , Osmanya script: 𐒈𐒝𐒑𐒛𐒐𐒘𐒕𐒖; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of SomaliaThe ''Federal Republic of Somalia'' is the country's name per Article 1 of thProvisional Constitut ...
. The
Inuit Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples are culturally distinct ethnic groups whose members are directly descended from the earlie ...
are indigenous to Greenland in the Kingdom and have traditionally inhabited Greenland and the northern parts of Canada and Alaska in the
Arctic The Arctic ( or ) is a polar region located at the northernmost part of Earth. The Arctic consists of the Arctic Ocean, adjacent seas, and parts of Canada ( Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut), Danish Realm (Greenland Greenlan ...
. From the 18th century up to the 1970s, the Danish government (Dano-Norwegian until 1814) have through time tried to assimilate the Greenlandic Inuit, encouraging them to adopt the majority language, culture and religion. Because of this "Danization process", several persons of Inuit ancestry now identify their mother tongue as Danish.


Languages

Danish is the ''de facto'' national language of Denmark. Faroese and Greenlandic are the official languages of the Faroe Islands and Greenland respectively. German is a recognised
minority language A minority language is a language Language is a structured system of communication. The structure of a language is its grammar and the free components are its vocabulary. Languages are the primary means by which human Humans ('' ...
in the area of the former South Jutland County (now part of the
Region of Southern Denmark The Region of Southern Denmark ( da, Region Syddanmark, ; german: Region Süddänemark, ; frr, Regiuun Syddanmark) is an administrative region of Denmark ) , song = ( en, "King Christian stood by the lofty mast") , song_type = Nationa ...
), which was part of the German Empire prior to the
Treaty of Versailles The Treaty of Versailles (french: Traité de Versailles; german: Versailler Vertrag, ) was the most important of the peace treaties of World War I World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was one of ...
. Danish and Faroese belong to the North Germanic (Nordic) branch of the
Indo-European languages The Indo-European languages are a language family native to the overwhelming majority of Europe, the Iranian plateau The Iranian plateau or Persian plateau is a geological feature in Western Asia, Central Asia, and South Asia ...
, along with Icelandic, Norwegian, and Swedish. There is a limited degree of mutual intelligibility between Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish. Danish is more distantly related to German, which is a
West Germanic The West Germanic languages constitute the largest of the three branches of the Germanic family of language Language is a structured system of communication. The structure of a language is its grammar and the free components are its vo ...
language. Greenlandic or "Kalaallisut" is an Inuit language, and is entirely unrelated to Danish. A large majority (86%) of Danes speak English as a second language, generally with a high level of proficiency. German is the second-most spoken foreign language, with 47% reporting a conversational level of proficiency. Denmark had 25,900 native speakers of German in 2007 (mostly in the South Jutland area).


Religion

Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion Religion is usually defined as a social- cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, morals, beliefs, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or o ...
is the dominant religion in Denmark. In January 2020, 74.3% of the population of Denmark were members of the Church of Denmark (), the officially established church, which is
Protestant Protestantism is a branch of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion Religion is usually defined as a social- cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, morals, beliefs, worldviews, text ...
in classification and
Lutheran Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism, identifying primarily with the theology of Martin Luther, the 16th-century German monk and Protestant Reformers, reformer whose efforts to reform the theology and practice of the Cathol ...
in orientation.The Church of Denmark is the established church (or state religion) in Denmark and Greenland; the Church of the Faroe Islands became an independent body in 2007. The membership percentage have been in steadily decline since the 1970s, mainly as fewer newborns are being baptised into it. Only 3% of the population regularly attend Sunday services and only 19% of Danes consider religion to be an important part of their life. The
Constitution A constitution is the aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of entity An entity is something that exists as itself, as a subject or as an ...
states that the sovereign must have the Lutheran faith, though the rest of the population is free to adhere to other faiths.Freedom of religion and religious communities in Denmark
– The Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs – May 2006
In 1682 the state granted limited recognition to three religious groups dissenting from the Established Church:
Roman Catholicism The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptized Baptism (from grc-x-koine, βάπτισμα, váptisma) is a form of ritual purification—a character ...
, the Reformed Church and Judaism, although conversion to these groups from the Church of Denmark remained illegal initially. Until the 1970s, the state formally recognised "religious societies" by royal decree. Today, religious groups do not need official government recognition, they can be granted the right to perform weddings and other ceremonies without this recognition. Denmark's Muslims make up approximately 4.4% of the population and form the country's second largest religious community and largest minority religion. The Danish Foreign Ministry estimates that other religious groups comprise less than 1% of the population individually and approximately 2% when taken all together. According to a 2010 Eurobarometer Poll, 28% of Danish nationals polled responded that they "believe there is a God", 47% responded that they "believe there is some sort of spirit or life force" and 24% responded that they "do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God or life force". Another poll, carried out in 2009, found that 25% of Danes believe
Jesus Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew Hebrew (; ; ) is a Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is one of the spoken languages of the Israelites and ...
is the son of God, and 18% believe he is the saviour of the world.


Education

All educational programmes in Denmark are regulated by the Ministry of Education and administered by local municipalities. '' Folkeskole'' covers the entire period of compulsory education, encompassing primary and lower
secondary education Secondary education or post-primary education covers two phases on the International Standard Classification of Education scale. Level 2 or lower secondary education (less commonly junior secondary education) is considered the second and final ph ...
. Most children attend ''folkeskole'' for 10 years, from the ages of 6 to 16. There are no final examinations, but pupils can choose to sit an exam when finishing ninth grade (14–15 years old). The test is obligatory if further education is to be attended. Alternatively pupils can attend an
independent school An independent school is independent in its finances and governance. Also known as private schools, non-governmental, privately funded, or non-state schools, they are not administered by local, state or national governments. In British ...
(), or a private school (), such as Christian schools or Waldorf schools. Following graduation from compulsory education, there are several continuing educational opportunities; the Gymnasium (STX) attaches importance in teaching a mix of humanities and science, Higher Technical Examination Programme (HTX) focuses on scientific subjects and the Higher Commercial Examination Programme emphasises on subjects in economics. Higher Preparatory Examination (HF) is similar to ''Gymnasium (STX)'', but is one year shorter. For specific professions, there is
vocational education Vocational education is education Education is a purposeful activity directed at achieving certain aims, such as transmitting knowledge or fostering skills and character traits. These aims may include the development of understan ...
, training young people for work in specific trades by a combination of teaching and apprenticeship. The government records upper secondary school completion rates of 95% and
tertiary Tertiary ( ) is a widely used but obsolete term for the geologic period The geologic time scale, or geological time scale, (GTS) is a representation of time based on the rock record of Earth. It is a system of chronological dating that ...
enrollment and completion rates of 60%. All
university A university () is an institution of higher (or tertiary) education and research which awards academic degrees in several academic disciplines. Universities typically offer both undergraduate and postgraduate programs. In the United Sta ...
and college (tertiary) education in Denmark is free of charges; there are no tuition fees to enrol in courses. Students aged 18 or above may apply for state educational support grants, known as '' Statens Uddannelsesstøtte (SU)'', which provides fixed financial support, disbursed monthly. Danish universities offer international students a range of opportunities for obtaining an internationally recognised qualification in Denmark. Many programmes may be taught in the
English language English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family, with its earliest forms spoken by the inhabitants of early medieval England. It is named after the Angles, one of the ancient Germanic peoples that migrated to t ...
, the academic
lingua franca A lingua franca (; ; for plurals see ), also known as a bridge language, common language, trade language, auxiliary language, vehicular language, or link language, is a language Language is a structured system of communication. The stru ...
, in
bachelor's degree A bachelor's degree (from Middle Latin ''baccalaureus'') or baccalaureate (from Modern Latin ''baccalaureatus'') is an undergraduate academic degree awarded by colleges and universities upon completion of a course of study lasting three to si ...
s,
master's degree A master's degree (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) arou ...
s,
doctorate A doctorate (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around pr ...
s and student exchange programmes.


Health

, Denmark has a
life expectancy Life expectancy is a statistical measure of the average time an organism is expected to live, based on the year of its birth, current age, and other demographic Demography () is the statistical study of population Popula ...
of 80.6 years at birth (78.6 for men, 82.5 for women), up from 76.9 years in 2000. This ranks it 27th among 193 nations, behind the other
Nordic countries The Nordic countries (also known as the Nordics or ''Norden''; lit. 'the North') are a geographical and cultural region in Northern Europe and the North Atlantic. It includes the sovereign state A sovereign state or sovereign country ...
. The ''National Institute of Public Health'' of the University of Southern Denmark has calculated 19 major risk factors among Danes that contribute to a lowering of the life expectancy; this includes smoking, alcohol,
drug abuse Substance abuse, also known as drug abuse, is the use of a drug in amounts or by methods which are harmful to the individual or others. It is a form of substance-related disorder. Differing definitions of drug abuse are used in public health, ...
and physical inactivity. Although the obesity rate is lower than in North America and most other European countries, the large number of Danes becoming overweight is an increasing problem and results in an annual additional consumption in the health care system of DKK 1,625 million. In a 2012 study, Denmark had the highest cancer rate of all countries listed by the World Cancer Research Fund International; researchers suggest the reasons are better reporting, but also lifestyle factors like heavy alcohol consumption,
smoking Smoking is a practice in which a substance is burned and the resulting smoke is typically breathed in to be tasted and absorbed into the bloodstream. Most commonly, the substance used is the dried leaves of the tobacco plant, which have bee ...
and physical inactivity. Denmark has a universal health care system, characterised by being publicly financed through taxes and, for most of the services, run directly by the regional authorities. ''One'' of the sources of income is a national health care contribution (') (2007–11:8%; '12:7%; '13:6%; '14:5%; '15:4%; '16:3%; '17:2%; '18:1%; '19:0%) but it is being phased out and will be gone from January 2019, with the income taxes in the lower brackets being raised gradually each year instead. Another source comes from the municipalities that had their income taxes raised by 3 percentage points from 1 January 2007, a contribution confiscated from the former county tax to be used from 1 January 2007 for health purposes by the municipalities instead. This means that most health care provision is free at the point of delivery for all residents. Additionally, roughly two in five have complementary private insurance to cover services not fully covered by the state, such as physiotherapy. , Denmark spends 11.2% of its GDP on health care; this is up from 9.8% in 2007 (US$3,512 per capita). This places Denmark above the
OECD The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD; french: Organisation de coopération et de développement économiques, ''OCDE'') is an intergovernmental organisation with 38 member countries, founded in 1961 to stimulate ...
average and above the other Nordic countries.


Ghettos

Denmark is the only country to have officially used the word 'ghetto' in the 21st century to denote certain residential areas. From 2010 to 2021, the Danish Ministry of Transport, Building and Housing published ''ghettolisten'' (List of ghettos) which in 2018 consisted of 25 areas. As a result, the term is widely used in the media and common parlance. The legal designation is applied to areas based on the residents' income levels, employment status, education levels, criminal convictions and non-Western ethnic background. In 2017, 8.7% of Denmark's population consisted of non-Western immigrants or their descendants. The population proportion of 'ghetto residents' with non-Western background was 66.5%. In 2018, the government has proposed measures to solve the issue of integration and to rid the country of parallel societies and ghettos by 2030. The measures focus on physical redevelopment, control over who is allowed to live in these areas, crime abatement and education. These policies have been criticised for undercutting 'equality before law' and for portraying immigrants, especially Muslim immigrants, in a bad light. While some proposals like restricting 'ghetto children' to their homes after 8 p.m. have been rejected for being too radical, most of the 22 proposals have been agreed upon by a parliamentary majority. In 2021, the term ghetto was dropped and replaced by parallel society and vulnerable region.


Culture

Denmark shares strong cultural and historic ties with its
Scandinavia Scandinavia; Sámi languages: /. ( ) is a subregion in Northern Europe, with strong historical, cultural, and linguistic ties between its constituent peoples. In English usage, ''Scandinavia'' most commonly refers to Denmark ) , son ...
n neighbours
Sweden Sweden, formally the Kingdom of Sweden,The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names states that the country's formal name is the Kingdom of SwedenUNGEGN World Geographical Names, Sweden./ref> is a Nordic country located on ...
and
Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic country in Northern Europe, the mainland territory of which comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula. The remote Arctic island of Jan Mayen and ...
. It has historically been one of the most socially progressive cultures in the world. In 1969, Denmark was the first country to legalise pornography, and in 2012, Denmark replaced its "Registered partnership in Denmark, registered partnership" laws, which it had been the first country to introduce in 1989, with gender-neutral marriage, and allowed same-sex marriages to be performed in the Church of Denmark. Modesty and social equality are important parts of Danish culture. In a 2016 study comparing empathy scores of 63 countries, Denmark ranked 4th world-wide having the highest empathy among surveyed European countries. The astronomical discoveries of Tycho Brahe (1546–1601), Ludwig A. Colding's (1815–1888) neglected articulation of the principle of conservation of energy, and the contributions to atomic physics of Niels Bohr (1885–1962) indicate the range of Danish scientific achievement. The fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen (1805–1875), the philosophical essays of Søren Kierkegaard (1813–1855), the short stories of Karen Blixen (penname Isak Dinesen), (1885–1962), the plays of Ludvig Holberg (1684–1754), and the dense, aphoristic poetry of Piet Hein (scientist), Piet Hein (1905–1996), have earned international recognition, as have the symphonies of Carl Nielsen (1865–1931). From the mid-1990s, Danish films have attracted international attention, especially those associated with Dogme 95 like those of Lars von Trier. A major feature of Danish culture is Jul (Denmark), Jul (Danish Christmas). The holiday is celebrated throughout December, starting either at the beginning of Advent or on 1 December with a variety of traditions, culminating with the Christmas Eve meal. There are seven heritage sites inscribed on the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites in Northern Europe, World Heritage list in Northern Europe: Christiansfeld, a Moravian Church Settlement, the Jelling stones, Jelling Mounds (Runic Stones and Church), Kronborg Castle, Roskilde Cathedral, and Par force hunting landscape in North Zealand, The par force hunting landscape in North Zealand and 3 in the List of World Heritage Sites in North America, World Heritage list in North America: Ilulissat Icefjord, Aasivissuit — Nipisat Island, Nipisat, Kujataa within the Kingdom of Denmark.


Human rights

Denmark has been considered a progressive country, which has adopted legislation and policies to support women's rights, minority rights, and LGBT rights in Denmark, LGBT rights. Human rights in Denmark are protected by the state's Constitution of the Realm of Denmark, Realm ''(Constitution of Denmark, Danmarks Riges Grundlov)''; applying equally in Denmark proper,
Greenland Greenland ( kl, Kalaallit Nunaat, ; da, Grønland, ) is an island country in North America North America is a continent in the Northern Hemisphere and almost entirely within the Western Hemisphere. It is bordered to the nort ...
and the
Faroe Islands The Faroe Islands ( ), or simply the Faroes ( fo, Føroyar ; da, Færøerne ), are a North Atlantic island group and an autonomous territory of the Kingdom of Denmark. They are located north-northwest of Scotland Scotland (, ) ...
, and through the ratification of international human rights treaties. Denmark has held a significant role in the adoption of both the European Convention on Human Rights and in the establishment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). In 1987, the Folketing, Kingdom Parliament (''Folketinget'') established a national human rights institution, the Danish Centre of Human Rights, now the Danish Institute for Human Rights. In 2009, a referendum on changing the Danish Act of Succession were held to grant absolute primogeniture to the Danish throne, meaning that the eldest child, regardless of gender, takes precedence in the line of succession. As it was not retroactive, the current successor to the throne is the eldest son of the King, rather than his eldest child. The Danish constitution Article 2 states that "The monarchy is inherited by men and women". The Inuit have for decades been the subject of discrimination and abuse by the dominant colonisers from Danish colonization of the Americas, Europe, those countries claiming possession of Inuit lands. The Inuit have never been a single community in a single region of Inuit. From the 18th century up to the 1970s, the Danish government (Dano-Norwegian until 1814) have through time tried to assimilate the indigenous people of Greenland, the Greenlandic Inuit, encouraging them to adopt the majority language, culture and religion. Denmark has been greatly criticised by the Greenlandic community for the politics of ''Danization'' (50's and 60's) of and discrimination against the indigenous population of the country. Critical treatment paying non-Inuit workers higher wages than the local people, the relocation of entire families from their traditional lands into settlements, and separating children from their parents and sending them away to Denmark for schooling has been practised. Nevertheless, Denmark ratified, in 1996, to recognise the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989, ILO-convention 169 on indigenous people recommended by the UN. In regard to LGBT rights, Denmark was the first country in the world to grant legal recognition to same-sex unions in the form of civil union, registered partnerships in 1989. On 7 June 2012, the law was replaced by a new Same-sex marriage in Denmark, same-sex marriage law, which came into effect on 15 June 2012.The Copenhagen Post, 7 June 2012: ''Gay marriage legalised''
Retrieved 19 September 2012
Greenland Greenland ( kl, Kalaallit Nunaat, ; da, Grønland, ) is an island country in North America North America is a continent in the Northern Hemisphere and almost entirely within the Western Hemisphere. It is bordered to the nort ...
and the
Faroe Islands The Faroe Islands ( ), or simply the Faroes ( fo, Føroyar ; da, Færøerne ), are a North Atlantic island group and an autonomous territory of the Kingdom of Denmark. They are located north-northwest of Scotland Scotland (, ) ...
legalised same-sex marriage in April 2016, and in July 2017 respectively. In January 2016, a resolution was implemented by the Folketing, Danish parliament which prevented transgender being classified as a Mental disorder, mental health condition. In doing so, Denmark became the first country in Europe to go against the World Health Organization, World Health Organisation (WHO) standards, which classified transgender identity as being a mental health issue until June 2018.


Media

Danish mass media date back to the 1540s, when handwritten fly sheets reported on the news. In 1666, Anders Bording, the father of Danish journalism, began a state media, state paper. In 1834, the first liberal, factual newspaper appeared, and the 1849 Constitution established lasting freedom of the press in Denmark. Newspapers flourished in the second half of the 19th century, usually tied to one or another political party or trade union. Modernisation, bringing in new features and mechanical techniques, appeared after 1900. The total circulation was 500,000 daily in 1901, more than doubling to 1.2 million in 1925.Kenneth E. Olson, ''The history makers: The press of Europe from its beginnings through 1965'' (LSU Press, 1966) pp 50 – 64, 433 The German occupation of Denmark, German occupation during World War II brought informal censorship; some offending newspaper buildings were simply blown up by the Nazis. During the war, the underground produced 550 newspapers—small, surreptitiously printed sheets that encouraged sabotage and resistance. Danish cinema dates back to 1897 and since the 1980s has maintained a steady stream of productions due largely to funding by the state-supported Danish Film Institute. There have been three big internationally important waves of Danish cinema: erotic melodrama of the silent film, silent era; the increasingly explicit sex films of the 1960s and 1970s; and lastly, the Dogme 95 movement of the late 1990s, where directors often used hand-held cameras to dynamic effect in a conscious reaction against big-budget studios. Danish films have been noted for their realism, religious and moral themes, sexual frankness and technical innovation. The Danish filmmaker Carl Theodor Dreyer, Carl Th. Dreyer (1889–1968) is considered one of the greatest directors of early cinema. Other Danish filmmakers of note include Erik Balling, the creator of the popular ''Olsen-banden'' films; Gabriel Axel, an Academy Awards, Oscar-winner for ''Babette's Feast'' in 1987; and Bille August, the Academy Awards, Oscar-, Palme d'Or- and Golden Globe Award, Golden Globe-winner for ''Pelle the Conqueror'' in 1988. In the modern era, notable filmmakers in Denmark include Lars von Trier, who co-created the Dogme movement, and multiple award-winners Susanne Bier and Nicolas Winding Refn. Mads Mikkelsen is a world-renowned Danish actor, having starred in films such as ''King Arthur (2004 film), King Arthur'', ''Casino Royale (2006 film), Casino Royale'', the Danish film ''The Hunt (2012 film), The Hunt'', and the American TV series ''Hannibal (TV series), Hannibal''. Another renowned Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is internationally known for playing the role of Jaime Lannister in the HBO series ''Game of Thrones''. Danish mass media and news programming are dominated by a few large corporations. In printed media JP/Politikens Hus and Berlingske Media, between them, control the largest newspapers ''Politiken'', ''Berlingske Tidende'' and ''Jyllands-Posten'' and major tabloids ''B.T. (tabloid), B.T.'' and ''Ekstra Bladet''. Television in Denmark, In television, publicly owned stations DR (broadcaster), DR and TV 2 (Denmark), TV 2 have large shares of the viewers. DR in particular is famous for its high quality TV-series often sold to foreign broadcasters and often with leading female characters like internationally known actresses Sidse Babett Knudsen and Sofie Gråbøl. In radio, DR has a near monopoly, currently broadcasting on all four nationally available FM broadcasting, FM channels, competing only with local stations.


Music

Denmark and its multiple outlying islands have a Danish traditional music, wide range of folk traditions. The country's most famous classical composer is Carl Nielsen (1865–1931), especially remembered for his six symphonies and his Wind Quintet (Nielsen), Wind Quintet, while the Royal Danish Ballet specialises in the work of the Danish choreographer August Bournonville. The Royal Danish Orchestra is among the world's oldest orchestras. Danes have distinguished themselves as jazz musicians, and the Copenhagen Jazz Festival has acquired international recognition. The modern pop music, pop and rock scene has produced a few names of international fame, including Aqua (band), Aqua, Alphabeat, D-A-D, King Diamond, Kashmir (band), Kashmir, Lukas Graham, Mew (band), Mew, Michael Learns to Rock, MØ, Oh Land, The Raveonettes and Volbeat, among List of Danish bands, others. Lars Ulrich, the drummer of the band Metallica, has become the first Danish musician to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Roskilde Festival near Copenhagen is the largest music festival in Northern Europe since 1971 and Denmark has many List of festivals in Denmark, recurring music festivals of all genres throughout, including Aarhus International Jazz Festival, Skanderborg Festival, The Blue Festival in Aalborg, Esbjerg International Chamber Music Festival and Skagen Festival among many others. Denmark has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest since 1957 and has won the contest three times, in Eurovision Song Contest 1963, 1963, Eurovision Song Contest 2000, 2000 and Eurovision Song Contest 2013, 2013.


Architecture and design

Denmark's architecture became firmly established in the Middle Ages when first Romanesque style, Romanesque, then Gothic style, Gothic churches and cathedrals sprang up throughout the country. From the 16th century, Dutch and Flemish designers were brought to Denmark, initially to improve the country's fortifications, but increasingly to build magnificent royal castles and palaces in the Renaissance architecture, Renaissance style. During the 17th century, many impressive buildings were built in the Baroque architecture, Baroque style, both in the capital and the provinces. Neoclassical architecture, Neoclassicism from France was slowly adopted by native Danish architects who increasingly participated in defining architectural style. A productive period of Historicism (art), Historicism ultimately merged into the 19th-century National Romantic style. The 20th century brought along new architectural styles; including expressionist architecture, expressionism, best exemplified by the designs of architect Peder Vilhelm Jensen-Klint, which relied heavily on Scandinavian brick Gothic traditions; and Nordic Classicism, which enjoyed brief popularity in the early decades of the century. It was in the 1960s that Danish architects such as Arne Jacobsen entered the world scene with their highly successful Danish Functionalist style, Functionalist architecture. This, in turn, has evolved into more recent world-class masterpieces including Jørn Utzon's Sydney Opera House and Johan Otto von Spreckelsen's Grande Arche de la Défense in Paris, paving the way for a number of contemporary Danish designers such as Bjarke Ingels to be rewarded for excellence both at home and abroad. Danish design is a term often used to describe a style of Functionalism (architecture), functionalistic design and architecture that was developed in the mid-20th century, originating in Denmark. Danish design is typically applied to industrial design, furniture and household objects, which have won many international awards. The Royal Copenhagen, Royal Porcelain Factory is famous for the quality of its ceramics and export products worldwide. Danish design is also a well-known brand, often associated with world-famous, 20th-century designers and architects such as Børge Mogensen, Finn Juhl, Hans Wegner, Arne Jacobsen, Poul Henningsen and Verner Panton. Other designers of note include Kristian Solmer Vedel (1923–2003) in the area of industrial design, Jens Quistgaard (1919–2008) for kitchen furniture and implements and Ole Wanscher (1903–1985) who had a classical approach to furniture design.


Literature and philosophy

The first known Danish literature is myths and Danish folklore, folklore from the 10th and 11th century. Saxo Grammaticus, normally considered the first Danish writer, worked for bishop Absalon on a chronicle of History of Denmark, Danish history (''Gesta Danorum''). Very little is known of other Danish literature from the Middle Ages. With the Age of Enlightenment came Ludvig Holberg whose comedy plays are still being performed. In the late 19th century, literature was seen as a way to influence society. Known as the Modern Breakthrough, this movement was championed by Georg Brandes, Henrik Pontoppidan (awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature) and Jens Peter Jacobsen, J. P. Jacobsen. Romanticism influenced the renowned writer and poet Hans Christian Andersen, known for his stories and fairy tales, e.g. ''The Ugly Duckling'', ''The Little Mermaid'' and ''The Snow Queen''. In recent history Johannes Vilhelm Jensen was also awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Karen Blixen is famous for her novels and short stories. Other Danish writers of importance are Herman Bang, Gustav Wied, William Heinesen, Martin Andersen Nexø, Piet Hein (Denmark), Piet Hein, Hans Scherfig, Klaus Rifbjerg, Dan Turèll, Tove Ditlevsen, Inger Christensen and Peter Høeg. Danish philosophy has a long tradition as part of Western philosophy. Perhaps the most influential Danish philosopher was Søren Kierkegaard, the creator of Christian existentialism. Kierkegaard had a few Danish followers, including Harald Høffding, who later in his life moved on to join the movement of positivism. Among Kierkegaard's other followers include Jean-Paul Sartre who was impressed with Kierkegaard's views on the individual, and Rollo May, who helped create humanistic psychology. Another Danish philosopher of note is N. F. S. Grundtvig, Grundtvig, whose philosophy gave rise to a new form of non-aggressive nationalism in Denmark, and who is also influential for his theological and historical works.


Painting and photography

While Danish art was influenced over the centuries by trends in Germany and the Netherlands, the 15th and 16th century church frescos in Denmark, church frescos, which can be seen in many of the country's older churches, are of particular interest as they were painted in a style typical of native Danish painters. The Danish Golden Age, which began in the first half of the 19th century, was inspired by a new feeling of nationalism and romanticism, typified in the later previous century by History painting, history painter Nicolai Abildgaard. Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg was not only a productive artist in his own right but taught at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts where his students included notable painters such as Wilhelm Bendz, Christen Købke, Martinus Rørbye, Constantin Hansen, and Wilhelm Marstrand. In 1871, Holger Drachmann and Karl Madsen visited Skagen in the far north of
Jutland Jutland ( da, Jylland ; german: Jütland ; ang, Ēota land ), known anciently as the Cimbric or Cimbrian Peninsula ( la, Cimbricus Chersonesus; da, den Kimbriske Halvø, links=no or ; german: Kimbrische Halbinsel, links=no), is a peninsula of ...
where they quickly built up one of Scandinavia's most successful Skagen Painters, artists' colonies specialising in Naturalism (arts), Naturalism and Realism (arts), Realism rather than in the traditional approach favoured by the academy. Hosted by Michael Ancher, Michael and his wife Anna Ancher, Anna, they were soon joined by P.S. Krøyer, Carl Locher and Laurits Tuxen. All participated in painting the natural surroundings and local people. Similar trends developed on Funen with the ''Fynboerne'' who included Johannes Larsen, Fritz Syberg and Peter Hansen (painter), Peter Hansen,"The Funish Art Colony"
, ''Johannes Larsen Museet''. Retrieved 12 August 2011.
and on the island of Bornholm with the Bornholm school of painters including Niels Lergaard, Kræsten Iversen and Oluf Høst. Painting has continued to be a prominent form of artistic expression in Danish culture, inspired by and also influencing major international trends in this area. These include impressionism and the modernist styles of expressionism, abstract painting and surrealism. While international co-operation and activity has almost always been essential to the Danish artistic community, influential art collectives with a firm Danish base includes De Tretten (1909–1912), Linien (1930s and 1940s), COBRA (avant-garde movement), COBRA (1948–1951), Fluxus (1960s and 1970s), Junge Wilde, De Unge Vilde (1980s) and more recently Superflex (founded in 1993). Most Danish painters of modern times have also been very active with other forms of artistic expressions, such as sculpting, ceramics, art installations, activism, film and experimental architecture. Notable Danish painters from modern times representing various art movements include Theodor Philipsen (1840–1920, impressionism and naturalism), Anna Klindt Sørensen (1899–1985, expressionism), Franciska Clausen (1899–1986, Neue Sachlichkeit, cubism, surrealism and others), Henry Heerup (1907–1993, naivism), Robert Jacobsen (1912–1993, abstract painting), Carl Henning Pedersen (1913–2007, abstract painting), Asger Jorn (1914–1973, Situationist, abstract painting), Bjørn Wiinblad (1918–2006, art deco, orientalism), Per Kirkeby (b. 1938, neo-expressionism, abstract painting), Per Arnoldi (b. 1941, pop art), Michael Kvium (b. 1955, neo-surrealism) and Simone Aaberg Kærn (b. 1969, superrealism). Danish photography has developed from strong participation and interest in the very beginnings of the history of photography, art of photography in 1839 to the success of a considerable number of Danes in the world of photography today. Pioneers such as Mads Alstrup and Georg Emil Hansen paved the way for a rapidly growing profession during the last half of the 19th century. Today Danish photographers such as Astrid Kruse Jensen and Jacob Aue Sobol are active both at home and abroad, participating in key exhibitions around the world.


Cuisine

The traditional cuisine of Denmark, like that of the other Nordic countries and of Northern Germany, consists mainly of meat, fish and potatoes. Danish dishes are highly seasonal, stemming from the country's agricultural past, its geography, and its climate of long, cold winters. The open sandwiches on rye bread, known as ''smørrebrød'', which in their basic form are the usual fare for lunch, can be considered a national speciality when prepared and decorated with a variety of fine ingredients. Hot meals traditionally consist of ground meats, such as ''frikadeller'' (meat balls of veal and pork) and ''hakkebøf'' (minced beef patties), or of more substantial meat and fish dishes such as ''flæskesteg'' (roast pork with crackling) and ''kogt torsk'' (poached cod) with mustard sauce and trimmings. Denmark is known for its Carlsberg Group, Carlsberg and Tuborg beers and for its akvavit and bitters. Since around 1970, chefs and restaurants across Denmark have introduced gourmet cooking, largely influenced by French cuisine. Also inspired by continental practices, Danish chefs have recently developed a new innovative cuisine and a series of gourmet dishes based on high-quality local produce known as New Danish cuisine. As a result of these developments, Denmark now has a considerable number of internationally acclaimed restaurants of which several have been awarded Michelin Guide, Michelin stars. This includes Geranium (restaurant), Geranium and Noma (restaurant), Noma in Copenhagen.


Sports

Sports are popular in Denmark, and its citizens participate in and watch a wide variety. The national sport is association football, football, with over 320,000 players in more than 1600 football club (association football), clubs. Denmark qualified six times consecutively for the UEFA European Football Championship, European Championships between 1984 and 2004, and were crowned European champions in 1992 UEFA European Football Championship, 1992; other significant achievements include winning the Confederations Cup in 1995 and reaching the quarter-final of the 1998 World Cup. Notable Danish footballers include Allan Simonsen, named the best player in Europe in 1977, Peter Schmeichel, named the "World's Best Goalkeeper" in 1992 and 1993, and Michael Laudrup, named the best Danish player of all time by the Danish Football Union. There is much focus on handball, too. The Denmark women's national handball team, women's national team celebrated great successes during the 1990s and has won a total of 13 medals – seven gold (in 1994, 1996 (2), 1997, 2000, 2002 and 2004), four silver (in 1962, 1993, 1998 and 2004) and two bronze (in 1995 and 2013). On the Denmark men's national handball team, men's side, Denmark has won 12 medals—four gold (in 2008, 2012, 2016 and 2019), four silver (in 1967, 2011, 2013 and 2014) and four bronze (in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2007)—the most that have been won by any team in European Men's Handball Championship, European Handball Championship history. In 2019, the Danish men's national handball team won their first Denmark men's national handball team#2019 World Championship, World Championship title in the tournament that was co-hosted between Germany and Denmark. In recent years, Denmark has made a mark as a strong cycle sport, cycling nation, with Michael Rasmussen (cyclist), Michael Rasmussen reaching King of the Mountains status in the Tour de France in 2005 and 2006. Other popular sports include golf—which is mostly popular among those in the older demographic; tennis—in which Denmark is successful on a professional level; basketball—Denmark joined the international governing body FIBA in 1951; rugby—the Danish Rugby Union dates back to 1950;Bath, Richard (ed.) ''The Complete Book of Rugby'' (Seven Oaks Ltd, 1997 ) p66. Archived from July 2007 and Retrieved June 2012. ice hockey— often competing in the top division in the Men's World Championships; rowing—Denmark specialise in lightweight rowing and are particularly known for their lightweight coxless four, having won six gold and two silver World Championship medals and three gold and two bronze Olympic Games, Olympic medals; and several indoor sports—especially badminton, table tennis and gymnastics, in each of which Denmark holds World Championships and Denmark at the Olympics, Olympic medals. Denmark's numerous beaches and resorts are popular locations for fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and many other water-themed sports.


See also

* Index of Denmark-related articles * Outline of Denmark *Religion in Denmark


Explanatory notes


Citations


General and cited sources

* * Busck, Steen and Poulsen, Henning (ed.), "Danmarks historie  – i grundtræk", Aarhus Universitetsforlag, 2002, * * * * * * Michaelsen, Karsten Kjer, "Politikens bog om Danmarks oldtid", Politikens Forlag (1. bogklubudgave), 2002, * Nationalencyklopedin, vol. 4, Bokförlaget Bra Böcker, 2000, .


External links


Denmark.dk

Denmark
''The World Factbook''. Central Intelligence Agency.
Denmark
entry at ''Britannica.com''. * * * *
Denmark profile
from the BBC News.
Key Development Forecasts for Denmark
from International Futures. {{Authority control Denmark, Barbarian kingdoms Christian states Countries in Europe Danish-speaking countries and territories Danish monarchy Member states of NATO Member states of the European Union Member states of the Union for the Mediterranean Member states of the United Nations Members of the Nordic Council Metropolitan or continental parts of states NUTS 2 statistical regions of the European Union Northwestern European countries Scandinavian countries Member states of the Council of Europe States and territories established in the 8th century OECD members