View Text Low Bandwidth Version
Download Publication
Europe :: Denmark
Page last updated on June 24, 2015
view 13 photos of
  • Introduction :: DENMARK

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

  • Northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, on a peninsula north of Germany (Jutland); also includes several major islands (Sjaelland, Fyn, and Bornholm)
    56 00 N, 10 00 E
    total: 43,094 sq km
    land: 42,434 sq km
    water: 660 sq km
    note: includes the island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea and the rest of metropolitan Denmark (the Jutland Peninsula, and the major islands of Sjaelland and Fyn), but excludes the Faroe Islands and Greenland
    slightly less than twice the size of Massachusetts
    total: 140 km
    border countries (1): Germany 140 km
    7,314 km
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    contiguous zone: 24 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation
    temperate; humid and overcast; mild, windy winters and cool summers
    low and flat to gently rolling plains
    lowest point: Lammefjord -7 m
    highest point: Mollehoj/Ejer Bavnehoj 171 m
    petroleum, natural gas, fish, arable land, salt, limestone, chalk, stone, gravel and sand
    agricultural land: 63.4%
    arable land 58.9%; permanent crops 0.1%; permanent pasture 4.4%
    forest: 12.9%
    other: 23.7%
    note: highest percentage of arable land for any country in the world (2011 est.)
    4,354 sq km (2007)
    6 cu km (2011)
    total: 0.66 cu km/yr (58%/5%/36%)
    per capita: 118.4 cu m/yr (2009)
    flooding is a threat in some areas of the country (e.g., parts of Jutland, along the southern coast of the island of Lolland) that are protected from the sea by a system of dikes
    air pollution, principally from vehicle and power plant emissions; nitrogen and phosphorus pollution of the North Sea; drinking and surface water becoming polluted from animal wastes and pesticides
    party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    controls Danish Straits (Skagerrak and Kattegat) linking Baltic and North Seas; about one-quarter of the population lives in greater Copenhagen
  • People and Society :: DENMARK

  • noun: Dane(s)
    adjective: Danish
    Scandinavian, Inuit, Faroese, German, Turkish, Iranian, Somali
    Danish, Faroese, Greenlandic (an Inuit dialect), German (small minority)
    note: English is the predominant second language
    Evangelical Lutheran (official) 80%, Muslim 4%, other (denominations of less than 1% each, includes Roman Catholic, Jehovah's Witness, Serbian Orthodox Christian, Jewish, Baptist, and Buddhist) 16% (2012 est.)
    5,569,077 (July 2014 est.)
    0-14 years: 17% (male 485,115/female 460,682)
    15-24 years: 13.1% (male 371,258/female 355,984)
    25-54 years: 39.2% (male 1,087,993/female 1,093,545)
    55-64 years: 12.4% (male 343,685/female 347,732)
    65 years and over: 18.4% (male 457,175/female 565,908) (2014 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 55.6%
    youth dependency ratio: 27.1%
    elderly dependency ratio: 28.5%
    potential support ratio: 3.5% (2014 est.)
    total: 41.6 years
    male: 40.7 years
    female: 42.5 years (2014 est.)
    0.22% (2014 est.)
    10.22 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    10.23 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    2.25 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    urban population: 87.5% of total population (2014)
    rate of urbanization: 0.6% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    COPENHAGEN (capital) 1.255 million (2014)
    at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
    29.1 (2012 est.)
    5 deaths/100,000 live births (2013 est.)
    total: 4.1 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 4.17 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 4.02 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
    total population: 79.09 years
    male: 76.68 years
    female: 81.64 years (2014 est.)
    1.73 children born/woman (2014 est.)
    10.6% of GDP (2013)
    3.49 physicians/1,000 population (2010)
    3.5 beds/1,000 population (2010)
    urban: 100% of population
    rural: 100% of population
    total: 100% of population
    urban: 0% of population
    rural: 0% of population
    total: 0% of population (2012 est.)
    urban: 100% of population
    rural: 100% of population
    total: 100% of population
    urban: 0% of population
    rural: 0% of population
    total: 0% of population (2012 est.)
    0.16% (2013 est.)
    5,800 (2013 est.)
    fewer than 100 (2013 est.)
    21% (2014)
    8.7% of GDP (2011)
    total: 19 years
    male: 18 years
    female: 19 years (2012)
    total: 14.2%
    male: 14.8%
    female: 14.1% (2012 est.)
  • Government :: DENMARK

  • conventional long form: Kingdom of Denmark
    conventional short form: Denmark
    local long form: Kongeriget Danmark
    local short form: Danmark
    constitutional monarchy
    name: Copenhagen
    geographic coordinates: 55 40 N, 12 35 E
    time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
    note: applies to continental Denmark only, not to its North Atlantic components
    metropolitan Denmark - 5 regions (regioner, singular - region); Hovedstaden (Capital), Midtjylland (Central Jutland), Nordjylland (North Jutland), Sjaelland (Zealand), Syddanmark (Southern Denmark)
    note: an extensive local government reform merged 271 municipalities into 98 and 13 counties into five regions, effective 1 January 2007
    ca. 965 (unified and Christianized under HARALD I Gormson); 5 June 1849 (became a constitutional monarchy)
    none designated; Constitution Day, 5 June (1849) is generally viewed as the National Day
    previous 1665; latest adopted 5 June 1849; amended several times, last in 2009 (2009)
    civil law; judicial review of legislative acts
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: Queen MARGRETHE II (since 14 January 1972); Heir Apparent Crown Prince FREDERIK, elder son of the monarch (born on 26 May 1968)
    head of government: Prime Minister Helle THORNING-SCHMIDT (since 3 October 2011)
    cabinet: Council of State appointed by the monarch
    elections: the monarchy is hereditary; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the monarch
    description: unicameral People's Assembly or Folketing (179 seats, including 2 representing Greenland and 2 representing the Faroe Islands; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms unless the Folketing is dissolved earlier)
    elections: last held on 15 September 2011 (next to be held by September 2015)
    election results: percent of vote by party - V 26.7%, A 24.9%, DF 12.3%, B 9.5%, F 9.2%, O 6.7%, I 5%, C 4.9%, other 0.8%; seats by party - V 47, A 44, DF 22, B 17, F 16, O 12, I 9, C 8; note - does not include the two seats from Greenland and the two seats from the Faroe Islands
    highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the court president and 18 judges)
    judge selection and term of office: judges appointed by the monarch upon the recommendation of the Minister of Justice with the advice of the Judicial Appointments Council, a 6-member independent body of judges and lawyers; judges appointed for life with retirement at age 70
    subordinate courts: Special Court of Indictment and Revision; 2 High Courts; Maritime and Commercial Court; county courts
    Conservative People's Party or C [Soren PAPE POULSEN]
    Danish People's Party or O [Kristian THULESEN DAHL]
    Liberal Alliance or I [Anders SAMUELSEN]
    Liberal Party or V [Lars LOKKE RAMUSSEN]
    Social Democratic Party or A [Helle THORNING-SCHMIDT]
    Social Liberal Party or B [Morten OSTERGAAR]
    Socialist People's Party or F [Pia OLSEN DYHR]
    Red Alliance (Unity List) [collective leadership, spokesperson Johanne SCHMIDT-NIELSEN] (includes Social Democrats, Danish Social Liberal Party, and Socialist People's Party)
    Blue Alliance [collective leadership, spokesperson Lars Lokke RASMUSSEN] (includes Conservative People's Party, Liberal Alliance, Christian Democrats, Danish People's Party, and Liberals)
    Confederation of Danish Employers or DA [President Jorn Neergaard LARSEN]
    Confederation of Danish Industries [CEO Karsten DYBVAD]
    Confederation of Danish Labor Unions (Landsorganisationen) or LO [President Harald BORSTING]
    DaneAge Association [President Bjarne HASTRUP]
    Danish Shipowners' Association [Chairman Carsten MORTENSEN]
    Danish Bankers Association [CEO Joergen HORWITZ]
    Danish Society for Nature Conservation [President Ella Maria BISSCHOP-LARSEN]
    other: environmental groups; humanitarian relief; development assistance; human rights NGOs
    ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council, Australia Group, BIS, CBSS, CD, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EITI (implementing country), ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, G-9, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSMA, NATO, NC, NEA, NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
    chief of mission: Ambassador Peter TAKSOE-JENSEN (since 1 September 2010)
    chancery: 3200 Whitehaven Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 234-4300
    FAX: [1] (202) 328-1470
    consulate(s) general: Chicago, New York
    chief of mission: Ambassador Rufus GIFFORD (since 13 September 2013)
    embassy: Dag Hammarskjolds Alle 24, 2100 Copenhagen 0
    mailing address: Unit 5280, DPO, AE 09716
    telephone: [45] 33 41 71 00
    FAX: [45] 35 43 02 23
    red with a white cross that extends to the edges of the flag; the vertical part of the cross is shifted to the hoist side; the banner is referred to as the Dannebrog (Danish flag) and is one of the oldest national flags in the world; traditions as to the origin of the flag design vary, but the best known is a legend that the banner fell from the sky during an early-13th century battle; caught up by the Danish king before it ever touched the earth, this heavenly talisman inspired the royal army to victory; in actuality, the flag may derive from a crusade banner or ensign
    note: the shifted cross design element was subsequently adopted by the other Nordic countries of Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden
    lion, mute swan; national colors: red, white
    name: "Der er et yndigt land" (There is a Lovely Land); "Kong Christian" (King Christian)
    lyrics/music: Adam Gottlob OEHLENSCHLAGER/Hans Ernst KROYER; Johannes EWALD/unknown
    note: Denmark has two national anthems with equal status; "Der er et yndigt land," adopted 1844, is a national anthem, while "Kong Christian," adopted 1780, serves as both a national and royal anthem; "Kong Christian" is also known as "Kong Christian stod ved hojen mast" (King Christian Stood by the Lofty Mast) and "Kongesangen" (The King's Anthem); within Denmark, the royal anthem is played only when royalty is present and is usually followed by the national anthem; when royalty is not present, only the national anthem is performed; outside Denmark, the royal anthem is played, unless the national anthem is requested
  • Economy :: DENMARK

  • This thoroughly modern market economy features a high-tech agricultural sector, state-of-the-art industry with world-leading firms in pharmaceuticals, maritime shipping and renewable energy, and a high dependence on foreign trade. Denmark is a member of the European Union (EU); Danish legislation and regulations conform to EU standards on almost all issues. Danes enjoy a high standard of living and the Danish economy is characterized by extensive government welfare measures and an equitable distribution of income. Denmark is a net exporter of food and energy and enjoys a comfortable balance of payments surplus, but depends on imports of raw materials for the manufacturing sector. Within the EU, Denmark is among the strongest supporters of trade liberalization. After a long consumption-driven upswing, Denmark's economy began slowing in 2007 with the end of a housing boom. Housing prices dropped markedly in 2008-09 and, following a short respite in 2010, have since continued to decline. Household indebtedness is still relatively high at more than 275% of gross disposable income in the first half of 2013. The global financial crisis has exacerbated this cyclical slowdown through increased borrowing costs and lower export demand, consumer confidence, and investment. Denmark made a modest recovery in 2010, in part because of increased government spending; however, the country experienced a technical recession in late 2010-early 2011 and has been slow to emerge from it in 2012-14 . Historically low levels of unemployment rose sharply with the recession and have remained at about 6% in 2010-13, based on the national measure, about two-thirds average EU unemployment. An impending decline in the ratio of workers to retirees will be a major long-term issue. Denmark maintained a healthy budget surplus for many years up to 2008, but the budget balance swung into deficit in 2009, where it remains. In spite of the deficits, the new coalition government delivered a modest stimulus to the economy in 2012. Despite previously meeting the criteria to join the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), Denmark has negotiated an opt-out with the EU and is not required to adopt the euro.
    $248.7 billion (2014 est.)
    $244.9 billion (2013 est.)
    $243.9 billion (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    $347.2 billion (2014 est.)
    1.5% (2014 est.)
    0.4% (2013 est.)
    -0.4% (2012 est.)
    $44,300 (2014 est.)
    $43,800 (2013 est.)
    $43,700 (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2013 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 30
    24.4% of GDP (2014 est.)
    24.6% of GDP (2013 est.)
    23.4% of GDP (2012 est.)
    household consumption: 49.3%
    government consumption: 26.9%
    investment in fixed capital: 18.9%
    investment in inventories: 0.1%
    exports of goods and services: 53.7%
    imports of goods and services: -48.9%
    (2014 est.)
    agriculture: 1.3%
    industry: 21.2%
    services: 77.5% (2014 est.)
    barley, wheat, potatoes, sugar beets; pork, dairy products; fish
    iron, steel, nonferrous metals, chemicals, food processing, machinery and transportation equipment, textiles and clothing, electronics, construction, furniture and other wood products, shipbuilding and refurbishment, windmills, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment
    -1% (2014 est.)
    2.771 million (2014 est.)
    agriculture: 2.6%
    industry: 20.3%
    services: 77.1% (2011 est.)
    6.4% (2014 est.)
    5.7% (2013 est.)
    13.4% (2011)
    lowest 10%: 1.9%
    highest 10%: 28.7% (2007)
    24.8 (2011 est.)
    24.7 (1992)
    revenues: $192.6 billion
    expenditures: $197.5 billion (2014 est.)
    55.5% of GDP (2014 est.)
    -1.4% of GDP (2014 est.)
    44.3% of GDP (2014 est.)
    43.7% of GDP (2013 est.)
    note: data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions
    calendar year
    0.6% (2014 est.)
    0.8% (2013 est.)
    0.75% (31 December 2011)
    0.75% (31 December 2010)
    3.9% (31 December 2014 est.)
    4.04% (31 December 2013 est.)
    $155.6 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $162.3 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $181.1 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $189.2 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $648.4 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $695.7 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $224.9 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    $179.5 billion (31 December 2011)
    $231.7 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
    $23 billion (2014 est.)
    $23.48 billion (2013 est.)
    $108.8 billion (2014 est.)
    $109.7 billion (2013 est.)
    machinery and instruments, meat and meat products, dairy products, fish, pharmaceuticals, furniture, windmills
    Germany 17.3%, Sweden 12.4%, UK 8.9%, US 6.2%, Norway 6.2%, Netherlands 4.7% (2013)
    $101.6 billion (2014 est.)
    $101.5 billion (2013 est.)
    machinery and equipment, raw materials and semimanufactures for industry, chemicals, grain and foodstuffs, consumer goods
    Germany 21.3%, Sweden 13.2%, Netherlands 7.8%, Norway 6.8%, China 6%, UK 5.4% (2013)
    $85.5 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $88.67 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $586.7 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    $571.4 billion (31 December 2011)
    $136 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $147.4 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $266.4 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $260 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    Danish kroner (DKK) per US dollar -
    5.59 (2014 est.)
    5.62 (2013 est.)
    5.79 (2012 est.)
    5.37 (2011 est.)
    5.62 (2010 est.)
  • Energy :: DENMARK

  • 29.85 billion kWh (2012 est.)
    32.62 billion kWh (2011 est.)
    10.38 billion kWh (2013 est.)
    11.46 billion kWh (2013 est.)
    13.51 million kW (2011 est.)
    61.5% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    0.1% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    38.4% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    178,200 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    128,400 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    74,680 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    805.1 million bbl (1 January 2014 est.)
    155,700 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    154,700 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    104,400 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    120,400 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    4.845 billion cu m (2013 est.)
    3.721 billion cu m (2013 est.)
    2.236 billion cu m (2013 est.)
    1.363 billion cu m (2013 est.)
    43.01 billion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    40.51 million Mt (2012 est.)
  • Communications :: DENMARK

  • 2.431 million (2012)
    6.6 million (2012)
    general assessment: excellent telephone and telegraph services
    domestic: buried and submarine cables and microwave radio relay form trunk network, multiple cellular mobile communications systems
    international: country code - 45; a series of fiber-optic submarine cables link Denmark with Canada, Faroe Islands, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, and UK; satellite earth stations - 18 (6 Intelsat, 10 Eutelsat, 1 Orion, 1 Inmarsat (Blaavand-Atlantic-East)); note - the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) share the Danish earth station and the Eik, Norway, station for worldwide Inmarsat access (2011)
    strong public-sector TV presence with state-owned Danmarks Radio operating 4 channels and publicly owned TV2 operating roughly a half dozen channels; broadcasts of privately owned stations are available via satellite and cable feed; DR operates 4 nationwide FM radio stations, 15 digital audio broadcasting stations, and about 15 web-based radio stations; approximately 250 commercial and community radio stations (2007)
    AM 1, FM 355, shortwave 0 (1998)
    172 (2008)
    4.297 million (2012)
    4.75 million (2009)
  • Transportation :: DENMARK

  • 80 (2013)
    total: 28
    over 3,047 m: 2
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
    914 to 1,523 m: 12
    under 914 m: 2 (2013)
    total: 52
    914 to 1,523 m: 5
    under 914 m:
    47 (2013)
    condensate 11 km; gas 4,377 km; oil 647 km; oil/gas/water 2 km (2013)
    total: 2,667 km
    standard gauge: 2,667 km 1.435-m gauge (640 km electrified) (2008)
    total: 73,929 km
    paved: 73,929 km (includes 1,143 km of expressways) (2012)
    400 km (2010)
    total: 367
    by type: bulk carrier 4, cargo 48, carrier 1, chemical tanker 125, container 94, liquefied gas 4, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 40, petroleum tanker 36, refrigerated cargo 3, roll on/roll off 8, specialized tanker 3
    foreign-owned: 27 (Germany 9, Greenland 1, Norway 2, Sweden 15)
    registered in other countries: 582 (Antigua and Barbuda 20, Bahamas 69, Belgium 4, Brazil 3, Curacao 1, Cyprus 6, Egypt 1, France 11, Gibraltar 7, Hong Kong 42, Isle of Man 30, Italy 4, Jamaica 1, Liberia 8, Lithuania 8, Luxembourg 1, Malaysia 1, Malta 34, Marshall Islands 7, Moldova 1, Netherlands 27, Norway 7, Panama 41, Philippines 2, Portugal 4, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 9, Singapore 149, Sweden 4, UK 43, Uruguay 1, US 31, Venezuela 1, unknown 4) (2010)
    major seaport(s): Baltic Sea - Aarhus, Copenhagen, Fredericia, Kalundborg; North Sea - Esbjerg,
    river port(s): Aalborg (Langerak)
    dry bulk cargo port(s): Ensted (coal)
    cruise port(s): Copenhagen
  • Military :: DENMARK

  • Defense Command: Army Operational Command, Admiral Danish Fleet, Arctic Command, Tactical Air Command, Home Guard (2010)
    18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; conscripts serve an initial training period that varies from 4 to 12 months according to specialization; reservists are assigned to mobilization units following completion of their conscript service; women eligible to volunteer for military service (2012)
    males age 16-49: 1,236,337
    females age 16-49: 1,224,182 (2010 est.)
    males age 16-49: 1,014,560
    females age 16-49: 1,003,921 (2010 est.)
    male: 37,913
    female: 35,865 (2010 est.)
    1.37% of GDP (2013)
    1.41% of GDP (2012)
    1.35% of GDP (2011)
    1.41% of GDP (2010)
  • Transnational Issues :: DENMARK

  • Iceland, the UK, and Ireland dispute Denmark's claim that the Faroe Islands' continental shelf extends beyond 200 nm; Faroese continue to study proposals for full independence; sovereignty dispute with Canada over Hans Island in the Kennedy Channel between Ellesmere Island and Greenland; Denmark (Greenland) and Norway have made submissions to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) and Russia is collecting additional data to augment its 2001 CLCS submission
    stateless persons: 4,725 (2014)