Country Information Database


Denmark Country Information

Flag of Denmark
Map of Denmark
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 two major islands (Sjaelland and Fyn)
Geographic coordinates:
56 00 N, 10 00 E
Map references:
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
Area - comparative:
slightly less than twice the size of Massachusetts
Land boundaries:
total: 68 km
border countries: Germany 68 km
7,314 km
Maritime claims:
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
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)
Total renewable water resources:
6.1 cu km (2003)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 0.67 cu km/yr (32%/26%/42%)
per capita: 123 cu m/yr (2002)
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
Environment - international agreements:
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
Geography - note:
controls Danish Straits (Skagerrak and Kattegat) linking Baltic and North Seas; about one-quarter of the population lives in greater Copenhagen
People Denmark
5,484,723 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 18.4% (male 516,735/female 490,532)
15-64 years: 65.9% (male 1,818,681/female 1,796,753)
65 years and over: 15.7% (male 374,388/female 487,634) (2008 est.)
Median age:
total: 40.3 years
male: 39.4 years
female: 41.2 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.295% (2008 est.)
Birth rate:
10.71 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate:
10.25 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate:
2.49 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 4.4 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 4.44 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.35 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 78.13 years
male: 75.8 years
female: 80.59 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.74 children born/woman (2008 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.2% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
5,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
fewer than 100 (2003 est.)
noun: Dane(s)
adjective: Danish
Ethnic groups:
Scandinavian, Inuit, Faroese, German, Turkish, Iranian, Somali
Evangelical Lutheran 95%, other Christian (includes 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.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 17 years
male: 16 years
female: 17 years (2006)
Education expenditures:
8.3% of GDP (2005)
Government Denmark
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
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 the North Atlantic components
Administrative divisions:
metropolitan Denmark - 5 regions (regioner, singular - region); Hovedstaden, Midtjylland, Nordjylland, Sjaelland, Syddanmark
note: an extensive local government reform merged 271 municipalities into 98 and 13 counties into five regions, effective 1 January 2007
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 1953 constitution 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
Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen MARGRETHE II (since 14 January 1972); Heir Apparent Crown Prince FREDERIK, elder son of the monarch (born 26 May 1968)
head of government: Prime Minister Anders Fogh RASMUSSEN (since 27 November 2001)
cabinet: Council of State appointed by the monarch
elections: the monarch is hereditary; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the monarch
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 13 November 2007 (next to be held in 2011)
election results: percent of vote by party - Liberal Party 26.2%, Social Democrats 25.5%, Danish People's Party 13.9%, Socialist People's Party 13.0%, Conservative People's Party 10.4%, Social Liberal Party 5.1%, New Alliance 2.8%, Red-Green Alliance 2.2%, other 0.9%; seats by party - Liberal Party 46, Social Democrats 45, Danish People's Party 25, Socialist People's Party 23, Conservative People's Party 18, Social Liberal Party 9, New Alliance 5, Red-Green Alliance 4; note - does not include the two seats from Greenland and the two seats from the Faroe Islands
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the monarch for life)
Political parties and leaders:
Christian Democrats [Bodil KORNBEK] (was Christian People's Party); Conservative Party [Bendt BENDTSEN] (sometimes known as Conservative People's Party); Danish People's Party [Pia KJAERSGAARD]; Liberal Party [Anders Fogh RASMUSSEN]; New Alliance [Naser KHADER]; Red-Green Unity List (Alliance) [collective leadership] (bloc includes Left Socialist Party, Communist Party of Denmark, Socialist Workers' Party); Social Democratic Party [Helle THORNING-SCHMIDT]; Social Liberal Party [Margrethe VESTAGER]; Socialist People's Party [Villy SOEVNDAL]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Danish Free Press Society (freedom of speech); Danish National Socialist Movement or DNSB [Jonni HANSEN] (neo-Nazi organization)
other: human rights groups
International organization participation:
ADB (nonregional members), AfDB (nonregional members), Arctic Council, Australia Group, BIS, CBSS, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, ESA, EU, FAO, G-9, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NATO, NC, NEA, NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMEE, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNMOGIP, UNOMIG, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WEU (observer), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Friis Arne PETERSEN
chancery: 3200 Whitehaven Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 234-4300
FAX: [1] (202) 328-1470
consulate(s) general: Chicago, New York
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador James P. CAIN
embassy: Dag Hammarskjolds Alle 24, 2100 Copenhagen
mailing address: PSC 73, APO AE 09716
telephone: [45] 33 41 71 00
FAX: [45] 35 43 02 23
Flag description:
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)
note: the shifted design element was subsequently adopted by the other Nordic countries of Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden
Economy Denmark
Economy - overview:
The Danish economy has in recent years undergone strong expansion fueled primarily by private consumption growth, but also supported by exports and investments. 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. Unemployment is low and capacity constraints are limiting growth potential. 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 so far Denmark has decided not to join 15 other EU members in the euro. Nonetheless, the Danish krone remains pegged to the euro. Economic growth gained momentum in 2004 and the upturn continued through 2007. The controversy over caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad printed in a Danish newspaper in September 2005 led to boycotts of some Danish exports to the Muslim world, especially exports of dairy products, but the boycotts did not have a significant impact on the overall Danish economy. Because of high GDP per capita, welfare benefits, a low Gini index, and political stability, the Danish living standards are among the highest in the world. A major long-term issue will be the sharp decline in the ratio of workers to retirees.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$203.3 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$311.9 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
1.7% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$37,200 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 1.3%
industry: 25.7%
services: 73% (2007 est.)
Labor force:
2.86 million (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 3%
industry: 21%
services: 76% (2004 est.)
Unemployment rate:
2.8% (2007 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 24% (2000 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
24 (2005)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
1.7% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
22.9% of GDP (2007 est.)
revenues: $170.6 billion
expenditures: $156.8 billion (2007 est.)
Public debt:
26% of GDP (2007 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:
0.5% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production:
43.35 billion kWh (2006)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 82.7%
hydro: 0.1%
nuclear: 0%
other: 17.3% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
34.02 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports:
13.72 billion kWh (2006)
Electricity - imports:
6.77 billion kWh (2006)
Oil - production:
342,000 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil - consumption:
171,000 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil - exports:
320,000 bbl/day (2006)
Oil - imports:
164,000 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil - proved reserves:
1.328 billion bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas - production:
9.87 billion cu m (2006 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
4.775 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
5.35 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
75.66 billion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance:
$4.279 billion (2007 est.)
$101.2 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities:
machinery and instruments, meat and meat products, dairy products, fish, pharmaceuticals, furniture, windmills
Exports - partners:
Germany 17.4%, Sweden 14.5%, UK 8%, US 6.1%, Norway 5.7%, France 4.8%, Netherlands 4.8% (2007)
$102 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, raw materials and semimanufactures for industry, chemicals, grain and foodstuffs, consumer goods
Imports - partners:
Germany 21.7%, Sweden 14.4%, Netherlands 7.1%, Norway 6%, China 5.3%, UK 5.2%, Italy 4.1%, France 4% (2007)
Economic aid - donor:
ODA, $2.236 billion (2006)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$34.32 billion (2006 est.)
Debt - external:
$492.6 billion (30 June 2007)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$149.7 billion (2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$166.6 billion (2007 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$178 billion (2005)
Currency (code):
Danish krone (DKK)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Danish kroner per US dollar - 5.4797 (2007), 5.9468 (2006), 5.9969 (2005), 5.9911 (2004), 6.5877 (2003)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Denmark
Telephones - main lines in use:
2.824 million (2007)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
6.243 million (2007)
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; 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
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 2, FM 355, shortwave 0 (1998)
6.02 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
26 (plus 51 repeaters) (1998)
3.121 million (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
3.114 million (2007)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
13 (2000)
Internet users:
3.5 million (2007)
Transportation Denmark
91 (2007)
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 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 63
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 60 (2007)
condensate 11 km; gas 4,073 km; oil 617 km; oil/gas/water 2 km (2007)
total: 2,644 km
standard gauge: 2,644 km 1.435-m gauge (636 km electrified) (2007)
total: 72,362 km
paved: 72,362 km (includes 1,032 km of expressways) (2006)
400 km (2007)
Merchant marine:
total: 309 ships (1000 GRT or over) 9,050,546 GRT/10,791,280 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 8, cargo 63, carrier 2, chemical tanker 68, container 83, liquefied gas 2, passenger/cargo 41, petroleum tanker 23, refrigerated cargo 7, roll on/roll off 8, specialized tanker 4
foreign-owned: 23 (Canada 1, Germany 9, Germany 1, Greece 4, Iceland 2, Norway 2, Sweden 4)
registered in other countries: 527 (Antigua and Barbuda 19, Bahamas 69, Belgium 4, Brazil 2, Cayman Islands 3, Cyprus 3, Egypt 1, Estonia 2, France 2, Gibraltar 7, Hong Kong 21, Isle of Man 31, Italy 3, Jamaica 1, Liberia 14, Lithuania 5, Luxembourg 1, Malta 26, Marshall Islands 16, Mexico 2, Netherlands 27, Netherlands Antilles 2, Norway 29, Panama 38, Portugal 3, Singapore 82, South Africa 1, Spain 2, St Vincent and the Grenadines 15, Sweden 4, UAE 1, UK 58, US 31, Vanuatu 1, Venezuela 1) (2008)
Ports and terminals:
Aalborg, Aarhus, Copenhagen, Ensted, Esbjerg, Fredericia, Kalundborg
Military Denmark
Military branches:
Defense Command: Army Operational Command, Admiral Danish Fleet, Island Command Greenland, Tactical Air Command, Home Guard (2008)
Military service age and obligation:
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 (2004)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 1,235,067
females age 16-49: 1,215,418 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 1,012,716
females age 16-49: 996,436 (2008 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 36,561
female: 34,603 (2008 est.)
Military expenditures:
1.5% of GDP (2006; 1.28% 2007 est.)
Transnational Issues Denmark
Disputes - international:
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

This page was last updated on 2 October, 2008 Access Time: Tue, 26 Sep 2023 02:01:24 +0000