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.

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

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5,515,575 (July 2010 est.)
Age structure: 
0-14 years: 18.1% (male 511,882/female 485,782)
15-64 years: 65.8% (male 1,817,800/female 1,798,964)
65 years and over: 16.1% (male 387,142/female 498,940) (2010 est
Median age:
total: 40.7 years
male: 39.8 years
female: 41.6 years (2010 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.267% (2010 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 4.29 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 4.34 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.23 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 78.47 years
male: 76.11 years
female: 80.97 years (2010 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.)

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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
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 Lars Løkke RASMUSSEN (since April 2009)
cabinet: Council of State appointed by the monarch
elections: none; 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
election results: percent of vote by party - Liberals 26.2%, Social Democrats 25.5%, Danish People's Party 13.9%, Socialist People's Party 13%,Conservative Party 10.4%, Social Liberal Party 5.1%, New Alliance 2.8%, Red-Green Alliance 2.2%, Christian Democrats 0.9%; seats by party - Liberals 46, Social Democrats 45, Danish People's Party 25, Socialist People's Party 23, Conservative 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 [Bjarne Hartung KIRKEGAARD]; Conservative Party People's Party [Lene ESPERSEN]; Danish People's Party [Pia KJAERSGAARD]; Liberals [Anders Fogh RASMUSSEN]; Liberal Alliance (former New Alliance) [Anders SAMUELSEN]; Red-Green Alliance [collective leadership] (bloc includes Left Socialist Party, Communist Party of Denmark, Socialist Workers' Party); Social Democrats [Helle THORNING-SCHMIDT]; Social Liberal Party [Margrethe VESTAGER]; Socialist People's Party [Villy SOEVNDAL]

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Economy - overview:
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. The Danish economy is also characterized by extensive government welfare measures, an equitable distribution of income, and comfortable living standards. Denmark is a net exporter of food and energy and enjoys a comfortable balance of payments surplus. After a long consumption-driven upswing, Denmark's economy began slowing in early 2007 with the end of a housing boom. The global financial crisis has exacerbated this cyclical slowdown through increased borrowing costs and lower export demand, consumer confidence, and investment. The global financial crises cut Danish GDP by 0.9% in 2008 and 4.3% in 2009. Historically low levels of unemployment have risen sharply with the recession. Denmark is likely to make a slow and modest recovery, though unemployment is likely to rise through 2010. 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 during 2009. Nonetheless, Denmark's fiscal position remains among the strongest in the EU. Despite previously meeting the criteria to join the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), so far Denmark has decided not to join, although the Danish krone remains pegged to the euro.
GDP (purchasing power parity):

$197.5 billion (2009 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):

$310.1 billion (2009 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
-4.7% (2009 est.)
1.7% (2007)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$35,900 (2009 est.)
Unemployment rate:
4.3% (2009 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
1.3% (2009 est.)
revenues: $172.5 billion
expenditures: $181.2 billion (2009 est.)
Public debt:
41.5% of GDP (2009 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
Currency (code):
Danish krone (DKK)

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Telephones - main lines in use:

2.062 million (2009)
Telephones - mobile cellular:

7.406 million (2009)
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
Internet users:
4.579 million (2008
92 (2010)
total: 2,667 km
total: 73,197 km
paved: 72,362 km (includes 1,032 km of expressways) (2006)


400 km (2008)
Ports and terminals:
Aalborg, Aarhus, Asnaesvaerkets, Copenhagen, Elsinore, Ensted, Esbjerg, Fredericia, Frederikshavn, Kalundborg, Odense, Roenne

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