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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.


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

Geographic coordinates:

56 00 N, 10 00 E


total: 43,094 sq km
land: 42,394 sq km
water: 700 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

Land boundaries:

total: 68 km
border countries: Germany 68 km


7,314 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation


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


low and flat to gently rolling plains

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Lammefjord -7 m
highest point: Yding Skovhoej 173 m

Natural resources:

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

Land use:

arable land: 52.59%
permanent crops: 0.19%
other: 47.22% (2005)

Irrigated land:

4,490 sq km (2003)

Natural hazards:

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

Environment - current issues:

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

Geography - note:

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


5,450,661 (July 2006 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 18.7% (male 523,257/female 496,697)
15-64 years: 66.1% (male 1,815,240/female 1,787,406)
65 years and over: 15.2% (male 355,656/female 472,405) (2006 est.)

Median age:

total: 39.8 years
male: 38.9 years
female: 40.7 years (2006 est.)

Population growth rate:

0.33% (2006 est.)

Birth rate:

11.13 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death rate:

10.36 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate:

2.52 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 4.51 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 4.54 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.47 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 77.79 years
male: 75.49 years
female: 80.22 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate:

1.74 children born/woman (2006 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.2% (2003 est.)

people living with HIV/AIDS:

5,000 (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

less than 100 (2003 est.)


noun: Dane(s)
adjective: Danish

Ethnic groups:

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


Evangelical Lutheran 95%, other Protestant and Roman Catholic 3%, Muslim 2%


Danish, Faroese, Greenlandic (an Inuit dialect), German (small minority)
note: English is the predominant second language


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (2003 est.)

Country name:

conventional long form: Kingdom of Denmark
conventional short form: Denmark
local long form: Kongeriget Danmark
local short form: Danmark

Government type:

constitutional monarchy



Administrative divisions:

metropolitan Denmark - 14 counties (amter, singular - amt) and 2 boroughs* (amtskommuner, singular - amtskommune); Arhus, Bornholm, Frederiksberg*, Frederiksborg, Fyn, Kobenhavn, Kobenhavn (Copenhagen)*, Nordjylland, Ribe, Ringkobing, Roskilde, Sonderjylland, Storstrom, Vejle, Vestsjalland, Viborg
note: as a result of an extensive 2005 local government reform, with 2006 being a transition year, 275 municipalities will be merged to 99 by 1 January 2007, and the 14 counties will be reorganized into five regions


first organized as a unified state in 10th century; in 1849 became a constitutional monarchy

National holiday:

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


5 June 1849 adoption of original constitution; a major overhaul of 5 June 1953 allowed for a unicameral legislature and a female chief of state

Legal system:

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


18 years of age; universal

Legislative branch:

unicameral People's Assembly or Folketinget (179 seats, including 2 from Greenland and 2 from the Faroe Islands; members are elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional representation to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 8 February 2005 (next to be held February 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - Liberal Party 29%, Social Democrats 25.9%, Danish People's Party 13.2%, Conservative Party 10.3%, Social Liberal Party 9.2%, Socialist People's Party 6%, Unity List 3.4%; seats by party - Liberal Party 52, Social Democrats 47, Danish People's Party 24, Conservative Party 18, Social Liberal Party 17, Socialist People's Party 11, Unity List 6; note - does not include the 2 seats from Greenland and the 2 seats from the Faroe Islands

Judicial branch:

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

Economy - overview:

This thoroughly modern market economy features high-tech agriculture, up-to-date small-scale and corporate industry, extensive government welfare measures, comfortable living standards, a stable currency, and high dependence on foreign trade. Denmark is a net exporter of food and energy and enjoys a comfortable balance of payments surplus. Government objectives include streamlining the bureaucracy and further privatization of state assets. The government has been successful in meeting, and even exceeding, the economic convergence criteria for participating in the third phase (a common European currency) of the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), but Denmark has decided not to join 12 other EU members in the euro. Nonetheless, the Danish krone remains pegged to the euro. Economic growth gained momentum in 2004 and the upturn accelerated through 2005. Because of high GDP per capita, welfare benefits, a low Gini index, and political stability, the Danish people enjoy living standards topped by no other nation. A major long-term issue will be the sharp decline in the ratio of workers to retirees.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$181.6 billion (2005 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):

$249.1 billion (2005 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

2.8% (2005 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$33,400 (2005 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 2.2%
industry: 24%
services: 73.8% (2005 est.)

Labor force:

2.9 million (2005 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 3%
industry: 21%
services: 76% (2004 est.)

Unemployment rate:

5.5% (2005 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 24% (2000 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

23.2 (2002)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

1.9% (2005 est.)

Investment (gross fixed):

19.5% of GDP (2005 est.)


revenues: $144 billion
expenditures: $135 billion; including capital expenditures of $4.6 billion (2005 est.)

Public debt:

35.7% of GDP (2005 est.)

Agriculture - products:

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


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

Industrial production growth rate:

4% (2005 est.)

Electricity - production:

43.32 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity - consumption:

31.68 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity - exports:

15.6 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity - imports:

7 billion kWh (2003)

Oil - production:

376,900 bbl/day (2003)

Oil - consumption:

188,300 bbl/day (2003 est.)

Oil - exports:

332,100 bbl/day (2001)

Oil - imports:

195,000 bbl/day (2001)

Oil - proved reserves:

1.23 billion bbl (1 January 2002)

Natural gas - production:

7.965 billion cu m (2003 est.)

Natural gas - consumption:

5.173 billion cu m (2003 est.)

Natural gas - exports:

3.1 billion cu m (2001 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves:

73.51 billion cu m (1 January 2002)

Current account balance:

$7.019 billion (2005 est.)


$84.95 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Exports - commodities:

machinery and instruments, meat and meat products, dairy products, fish, chemicals, furniture, ships, windmills

Exports - partners:

Germany 18%, Sweden 13.2%, UK 8.7%, US 5.8%, Netherlands 5.5%, Norway 5.4%, France 5% (2004)


$74.69 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Imports - commodities:

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

Imports - partners:

Germany 22.3%, Sweden 13.5%, Netherlands 6.8%, UK 6.1%, France 4.5%, Norway 4.5%, Italy 4.1%, China 4% (2004)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$40.05 billion (2004 est.)

Debt - external:

$352.9 billion (30 June 2005)

Economic aid - donor:

ODA, $2 billion (2004)

Currency (code):

Danish krone (DKK)

Fiscal year:

calendar year

Telephones - main lines in use:

3,487,800 (2004)

Telephones - mobile cellular:

5.168 million (2004)

Telephone system:

general assessment: excellent telephone and telegraph services
domestic: buried and submarine cables and microwave radio relay form trunk network, 4 cellular mobile communications systems
international: country code - 45; 18 submarine fiber-optic cables linking Denmark with Canada, Faroe Islands, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, and UK; satellite earth stations - 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 (1997)

Radio broadcast stations:

AM 2, FM 355, shortwave 0 (1998)

Television broadcast stations:

26 (plus 51 repeaters) (1998)

Internet country code:


Internet hosts:

2,110,002 (2005)

Internet users:

3,762,500 (2005)


97 (2005)

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 28
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 12
under 914 m: 3 (2005)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 69
914 to 1,523 m: 6
under 914 m: 63 (2005)


condensate 12 km; gas 3,892 km; oil 455 km; oil/gas/water 2 km; unknown (oil/water) 64 km (2004)


total: 2,628 km
standard gauge: 2,628 km 1.435-m gauge (595 km electrified) (2004)


total: 71,847 km
paved: 71,847 km (including 920 km of expressways) (2002)


400 km (2001)

Merchant marine:

total: 297 ships (1000 GRT or over) 7,707,196 GRT/9,469,296 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 6, cargo 69, chemical tanker 45, container 83, liquefied gas 8, livestock carrier 2, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 40, petroleum tanker 24, refrigerated cargo 7, roll on/roll off 8, specialized tanker 4
foreign-owned: 9 (Greece 1, Greenland 1, Iceland 1, India 1, Indonesia 1, Norway 3, Russia 1)
registered in other countries: 384 (Antigua and Barbuda 11, The Bahamas 65, Belgium 4, Cayman Islands 13, Egypt 1, Estonia 1, French Southern and Antarctic Lands 2, Hong Kong 6, Isle of Man 49, North Korea 1, Liberia 5, Lithuania 11, Malta 3, Marshall Islands 1, Mexico 2, Netherlands 9, Netherlands Antilles 1, Norway 31, Panama 28, Portugal 7, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 14, Singapore 44, South Africa 1, Spain 1, Sweden 3, UK 41, US 20, Vanuatu 6, Venezuela 2, Vietnam 1) (2005)

Ports and terminals:

Aalborg, Aarhus, Asnaesvaerkets, Copenhagen, Elsinore, Ensted, Esbjerg, Fredericia, Frederikshavn, Graasten, Kalundborg, Odense, Roenne

Military branches:

Defense Command: Army Operational Command, Admiral Danish Fleet, Tactical Air Command, Home Guard (Hjemmevaernet) (2005)

Disputes - international:

Iceland disputes the Faroe Islands' fisheries median line; 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; uncontested sovereignty dispute with Canada over Hans Island in the Kennedy Channel between Ellesmere Island and Greenland