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  Introduction Back To Top

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 Back To Top

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 0.67 cu km/yr (32%/26%/42%)
per capita: 123 cu m/yr (2002)

Total renewable water resources:
6.1 cu km (2003)

Land boundaries:
total: 68 km
border countries: Germany 68 km

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

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

Map references:

Geographic coordinates:
56 00 N, 10 00 E

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

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

low and flat to gently rolling plains

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

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

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)

7,314 km

Area - comparative:
slightly less than twice the size of Massachusetts

Irrigated land:
4,490 sq km (2003)

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

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

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

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

  People Back To Top

Total fertility rate:
1.74 children born/woman (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.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.2% (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
5,000 (2003 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 78.13 years
male: 75.8 years
female: 80.59 years (2008 est.)

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

Net migration rate:
2.49 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Ethnic groups:
Scandinavian, Inuit, Faroese, German, Turkish, Iranian, Somali

Median age:
total: 40.3 years
male: 39.4 years
female: 41.2 years (2008 est.)

5,484,723 (July 2008 est.)

Education expenditures:
8.3% of GDP (2005)

Population growth rate:
0.295% (2008 est.)

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

Death rate:
10.25 deaths/1,000 population (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.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
fewer than 100 (2003 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 17 years
male: 16 years
female: 17 years (2006)

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.)

Birth rate:
10.71 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Evangelical Lutheran 95%, other Christian (includes Protestant and Roman Catholic) 3%, Muslim 2%

noun: Dane(s)
adjective: Danish

  Government Back To Top

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

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

18 years of age; universal

Government type:
constitutional monarchy

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

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

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, MONUC, NATO, NC, NEA, NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNMOGIP, UNOMIG, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WEU (observer), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

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 unless the Folketinget is dissolved earlier)
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

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

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

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

Country name (Goverment):
conventional long form: Kingdom of Denmark
conventional short form: Denmark
local long form: Kongeriget Danmark
local short form: Danmark

Political parties and leaders:
Christian Democrats [Bjarne Hartung KIRKEGAARD] (was Christian People's Party); Conservative Party [Lene ESPERSEN] (sometimes known as Conservative People's Party); Danish People's Party [Pia KJAERSGAARD]; Liberal Party [Anders Fogh RASMUSSEN]; Liberal Alliance [Naser KHADER](formerly known as New Alliance); 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]

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

5 June 1953 constitution allowed for a unicameral legislature and a female chief of state

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

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

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

  Economy Back To Top

Exports - partners:
Germany 17.4%, Sweden 14.5%, UK 8%, US 6.1%, Norway 5.7%, France 4.8%, Netherlands 4.8% (2007)

Electricity - consumption:
34.68 billion kWh (2006 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
4% (31 December 2007)

Electricity - imports:
10.43 billion kWh (2007 est.)

Current account balance:
$4.333 billion (2008 est.)

Debt - external:
$492.6 billion (30 June 2007)

Unemployment rate:
2% (2008 est.)

Oil - exports:
320,000 bbl/day (2006)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$38,900 (2008 est.)

Investment (gross fixed):
22.4% of GDP (2008 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$684.7 billion (31 December 2007)

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$213.6 billion (2008 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):
$369.6 billion (2008 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:
24 (2005)

Exchange rates:
Danish kroner (DKK) per US dollar - 5.0236 (2008 est.), 5.4797 (2007), 5.9468 (2006), 5.9969 (2005), 5.9911 (2004)

GDP - real growth rate:
0.3% (2008 est.)

Stock of money:
$148.7 billion (31 December 2007)

Labor force:
2.86 million (2008 est.)

Imports - partners:
Germany 21.6%, Sweden 14.4%, Netherlands 7.1%, Norway 6%, China 5.4%, UK 5.3%, Italy 4.1%, France 4% (2007)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
3.5% (2008 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 1.4%
industry: 25.9%
services: 72.7% (2008 est.)

Oil - imports:
164,000 bbl/day (2006 est.)

$119.5 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Natural gas - consumption:
4.555 billion cu m (2007 est.)

Currency (code):
Danish krone (DKK)

Economy - overview:
After a long consumption-driven unswing, Denmark's economy began slowing in early 2007 with the end of a housing boom. This cyclical slowdown has been exacerbated by the global financial crisis through increased borrowing costs and lower export demand, consumer confidence, and investment. 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. 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. Denmark's fiscal position is among the strongest in the EU. Economic growth gained momentum in 2004 and the upturn continued through 2006. A slowing global economy cut growth to 0.3% in 2008. 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.

Economic aid - donor:
ODA, $2.236 billion (2006)

Natural gas - exports:
4.517 billion cu m (2007 est.)

Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, raw materials and semimanufactures for industry, chemicals, grain and foodstuffs, consumer goods

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

Electricity - exports:
11.38 billion kWh (2007 est.)

Population below poverty line:

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

Stock of quasi money:
$81.64 billion (31 December 2007)

Electricity - production:
36.99 billion kWh (2007 est.)

$120.7 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Oil - proved reserves:
1.188 billion bbl (1 January 2008 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 2.9%
industry: 23.8%
services: 72.7% (2005 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves:
70.51 billion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$34.32 billion (2006 est.)

Oil - consumption:
190,600 bbl/day (2007 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$163.2 billion (2008 est.)

Public debt:
21.8% of GDP (2008 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$133.6 billion (2008 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$277.7 billion (31 December 2007)

Currency code:

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 24% (2000 est.)

Exports - commodities:
machinery and instruments, meat and meat products, dairy products, fish, pharmaceuticals, furniture, windmills

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 82.7%
hydro: 0.1%
nuclear: 0%
other: 17.3% (2001)

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - production:
9.223 billion cu m (2007 est.)

revenues: $192 billion
expenditures: $177.6 billion (2008 est.)

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Oil - production:
313,800 bbl/day (2007 est.)

  Communications Back To Top

Internet users:
3.5 million (2007)

Telephones - main lines in use:
2.824 million (2007)

3.121 million (1997)

Internet country code:

Radio broadcast stations:
AM 2, FM 355, shortwave 0 (1998)

6.02 million (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular:
6.243 million (2007)

Television broadcast stations:
26 (plus 51 repeaters) (1998)

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 Service Providers (ISPs):
13 (2000)

Internet hosts:
3.642 million (2008)

  Transportation Back To Top

400 km (2008)

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)

Ports and terminals:
Aalborg, Aarhus, Copenhagen, Ensted, Esbjerg, Fredericia, Kalundborg

Merchant marine:
total: 327
by type: bulk carrier 8, cargo 63, carrier 2, chemical tanker 78, container 84, liquefied gas 2, passenger/cargo 42, petroleum tanker 29, refrigerated cargo 7, roll on/roll off 8, specialized tanker 4
foreign-owned: 26 (Canada 1, Germany 1, Germany 9, Greece 4, Iceland 2, Norway 3, Sweden 6)
registered in other countries: 534 (Antigua and Barbuda 19, Bahamas 67, Belgium 4, Brazil 2, Cayman Islands 3, Cyprus 4, Egypt 1, Estonia 1, France 2, Germany 1, Gibraltar 7, Hong Kong 24, Isle of Man 29, Italy 3, Jamaica 2, Liberia 12, Lithuania 5, Luxembourg 1, Malta 30, Marshall Islands 10, Mexico 2, Netherlands 29, Netherlands Antilles 2, Norway 25, Panama 40, Portugal 3, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 16, Singapore 87, South Africa 1, Spain 1, Spain 1, Sweden 4, Togo 1, UAE 1, UK 62, US 31, Venezuela 1) (2008)

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)

total: 72,362 km
paved: 72,362 km (includes 1,032 km of expressways) (2006)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 63
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 60 (2007)

91 (2007)

  Military Back To Top

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.)

Military branches:
Defense Command: Army Operational Command, Admiral Danish Fleet, Island Command Greenland, Tactical Air Command, Home Guard (2008)

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 Back To Top

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

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