Cities in DENMARK


Geography and Landscape


The kingdom of Denmark is located in northwestern Europe and is part of Scandinavia. Denmark has a short land border in the south with the German Schleswig-Holstein (68 km). Denmark is bordered to the west by the North Sea, to the north by the Skagerrak and to the east by the Kattegat, the Sound and the Baltic Sea.

Denmark Satellite photoDenmark Satellite photoPhoto: Public domain

Denmark has an area of 43,077 km2. It consists of the Jutland peninsula and 474 islands of which about 100 are inhabited. The coastal strips has sandy beaches, mudflats, dunes and dikes. There are many sandbanks and reefs off the coast of West Jutland. Here are also long and wide beaches. The east coast of Jutland is a fjord coast whose inlets are long and wooded. This in contrast to the Norwegian fjords, which are very steep. The easily navigable fjords penetrate deep into the country from the east coast. The very rugged coast of Denmark has a coastline of 7500 km, almost as much as the 10 times larger neighboring country Sweden.

Ejer Baunehøj, Denmark's highest pointEjer Baunehøj, Denmark's highest pointPhoto: Hans Jørn Sorgaard Andersen CC 3.0 Unportedno changes made


Although low-lying, the Danish landscape has varied wavy shapes. The highest point is Ejer Baunehøj on the Jutland ridge (172 meters). The lowest point is Lammefjord, -7 meters below sea level. Lolland is low and flat and must be protected against storm surges by dikes. The island of Bornholm does not belong geologically to Denmark; the soil is of a completely different composition from the rest of Denmark. Scattered all over the country are many small and large erratic stones, remnants of different ice ages. The longest river is Gadenå, 160 km long. Around the island of Møn and Southeast Sjælland there are steep chalk cliffs that reach a height of ± 140 meters.

Faeroe Islands in short

Village of Funningur at the foot of the Slættaretindur (left) and the Gráfeli (right), Faroe IslandsVillage of Funningur at the foot of the Slættaretindur (left) and the Gráfeli (right), Faroe IslandsPhoto: Mulder1982 in the public domain

The Faroese population is largely descended from Vikings who settled on the islands from the 9th century onwards. The Faroe Islands have been politically linked to Denmark since the 14th century. Independent administration from 1948. The Faroe Islands consist of 17 islands of which 16 are inhabited.

Location: Northern Europe, between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, halfway between Iceland and Norway.

Area: 1399 km2
Population: 45,296
Population density: ± 32 per km2
Climate: mild winters, cool summers, often cloudy or foggy and very windy
Highest point: Slaettaratindur 882 meters
Population structure:
0-14 years 23%
15-64 years 63%
65+ 14%
Average life expectancy: 78.43 years
Religion: Evangelical Lutheran
Languages: Faroese and Danish
Capital: Torshavn Faroese name: Foroyar
Gross National Product: $ 700 million
Industry: fish processing, shipbuilding, construction
Agriculture: milk, potatoes, vegetables, sheep, salmon and other fish
Export: $362 million including fish and fish products, animal food; main export partners: Denmark, England, Germany, France, Spain and Import: $315 million including machinery, transportation equipment, fuel, salt; main import partners: Denmark, Norway, Great Britain, Germany, Sweden and the United States.

Greenland in short

Gunnbjørn Fjeld, GreenlandGunnbjørn Fjeld, GreenlandPhoto: Maxim Bouev in the public domain

The world's largest island, 84% of which is covered with ice. Independent board since 1979.

Location: North North America between the Arctic Sea and North Atlantic Ocean northeast of Canada.
Surface area: 2,175,600 km2 of which 341,700 km2 ice-free
Population: 56,309
Population density: approximately 0.16 inhabitants per km2 of ice-free land
Population structure:
0-14 years 27%
15- 64 years 68%
65+ 5%
Average life expectancy: 68.07 years
Ethnic groups: Greenlanders (including Inuit) 87%, Danes and other groups 13%
Religion: Evangelical Lutheran
Languages: Greenlandic (East Inuits), Danish and English
Highest point: Gunnbjorn 3700 meters
Capital: Nuuk (Godthab)
Greenlandic name: Kalaallit Nunaat
Gross National Product: $ 945 million
Industry: fish processing (especially shrimp), pelts, shipbuilding (small ships)
Agriculture: vegetables, sheep, reindeer, fishing
Exports $ 363 million: fish and fish products (95%); main export partners: Denmark, Japan, Great Britain
Import $ 421 million: machinery and transportation equipment, food, live animals, petroleum products; main import partners: Denmark, Iceland, Japan, Norway, United States, Germany, Sweden.

Denmark stormy weatherDenmark stormy weatherPhoto: Elrond CC 4.0 International bo changes made

Denmark has a moderate maritime climate, strongly influenced by the temperature of the North Sea water. The weather type can vary from day to day, but due to the small surface of the country and because it is surrounded by the sea on almost all sides, the climate differences are very small. In the coldest month, February, the average temperature fluctuates around 0 °C. In severe winters, part of the Kattegat freezes over for a short time. Ice is more common in the Sound and in the Belts; in the Sound on average every two years.

Summers are characterized by a lot of sunshine. In July, the hottest month, the temperature fluctuates on average between 15 and 16.5 °C. The warmest regions are Bornholm, Falster, Lolland and Viborg. The coldest regions are Himmerland, Midtfyn and Nordvestjyland.

On average, the Danish land receives 600 mm of rainfall per year. Between the North Sea coast and the hills of Midtjyland an average of 700 mm falls. Less than 600 mm falls on Bornholm, Sjælland and on the coast of the Kattegat. The number of rainy days is between 120 and 200 days per year. Most rain falls from August to October.

The driest period is between the end of April and the beginning of June. When the wind blows from the east in winter, it can get very cold, down to -31 °C. In summer, the temperature can rise to more than 35 °C due to the same easterly wind. However, the wind often blows from the west. Due to the many depressions, it storms on the west coast more than 50 times a year.

Plants and Animals


Daisies DenmarkDaisies DenmarkPhoto: Carsten Wiehe CC 3.0 Unported no changes made

In a distant past, Denmark was a densely forested country. Currently, about 11% of the land area is forest.

Along the coast of the North Sea, the Skagerrak and on the south side of the Kattegat we find forests with (planted) pines and spruces. In between grows, among other things, beach grass that protects dunes. Almost all oak forests have disappeared due to deforestation. Birch forests do still exist and the green beech is the national tree of Denmark. Jutland has the largest Danish forest, consisting mainly of conifers. Common trees include elms, hazels, maples, scots pines, birches, aspen, linden and chestnuts. Extensive heathlands are found in North Jutland. About 1500 plant species occur in Denmark, roughly comparable to the Netherlands.

In the north and northwest of Jutland, extensive bogs developed as a result of poor drainage.

The special pink-white beach rose is found on the coast. The national flower is the daisy.


Swan DenmarkSwan DenmarkPhoto: Michelle Salter CC 3.0 Unported no changes made

Wildlife in Denmark has declined sharply in the 20th century. Elk, aurochs and even wild boars are no longer seen. Roe deer, red deer and the imported fallow deer and sika deer live mainly in game parks. Many hares, rabbits, partridges and pheasants live in the heather and dune areas. Small predators such as the marten, badger, otter and fox are still common but their numbers are decreasing every year. The otter in particular is highly endangered. Of the marine predators, the gray seal occurs in addition to the common seal. Porpoises and bottlenose dolphins can be seen regularly in the coastal waters. Of the bats there are only smooth noses.

In the rivers and streams you can fish for trout, snape, perch and pike. Sea fishermen catch a lot of cod, garfish, sea trout, coalfish, brill and herring.

There are about 350 species of birds in Denmark. Half of them breed in Denmark itself; the rest seek warmer regions. Common birds, in addition to the many types of shorebirds and waders, are the raven, white-tailed eagle, partridge, pheasant and duck. The number of storks has decreased significantly over the years. The national bird is the swan.

There are 68 species of native butterflies in Denmark. And there are also 11 types of frogs and toads. Due to the drying up of many wet areas, half of the breeding grounds of these animals have disappeared.


Stone Age

 Dolmen near Sømarke on the island of Møn in Denmark Dolmen near Sømarke on the island of Møn in DenmarkPhoto: Svobodat CC 3.0 Unported no changes made

Evidence suggests that the first humans roamed around Danish territory as early as 12,000 years ago. She mainly lived off reindeer hunting. After the climate got a bit warmer, the reindeer moved further north. The hunters, in turn, headed for the coast and lived off fishing. Around 4000 BC. the Danes grew their own food and kept some livestock. From around 2000 BC. date the dolmens, burial chambers consisting of large boulders that were covered with a flat stone. The glaciers of the Ice Age had left those large boulders. Denmark is dotted with burial mounds, large stones, passage graves and megalithic tombs. The tombs were sometimes more than 100 meters long.

Bronze Age

 The Trundholm sun chariot, Denmark The Trundholm sun chariot, DenmarkPhoto: Nationalmuseet CC 3.0 Unported no changes made

Bronze was added around 1800 BC. introduced in Denmark and the people soon showed themselves to be masters in making utensils and art objects. In order to obtain the precious bronze, there were already contacts with peoples in the south of Europe around that time. Important archaeological finds from these earliest times are the Gundestrup shell, the Trundholm solar chariot and the man of Tollund bog body.

Viking Age

Viking Ship DenmarkViking Ship DenmarkPhoto: Richard Mortel CC 2.0 Generic no chamges made

Around the beginning of our era, for the first time in the annals and accounts of the Romans, mention is made of the North Germanic tribes. These North Germanic tribes slowly moved south towards Central Europe. These small groups were gradually incorporated into larger tribal groups, creating principalities and kingdoms. From the first five to six centuries AD. little is known. It was not until the end of the 8th century that the Danes entered European history. On June 8, 793, the monastery island of Lindisfarne in Great Britain was attacked and looted by a suspected Danish fleet. Within a few decades, all of Western Europe suffered from the raids of the Normans or Vikings, as they were called. It is still unclear where they came from exactly, Norway, Sweden or Denmark. Yet the Normans did not only sow death and destruction in Europe. They also founded cities, hired out as soldiers, traded, and explored. One of the reasons for this expansion drive was the fact that Scandinavia back then was still an unexplored area with few opportunities for agriculture. As a result, overpopulation threatened and many Normans settled in e.g. Normandy in France or the British Isles. Particularly in Northumbria in North East England there were many Danes and they founded Danelagh, an almost independent Danish empire. Sweyn Forkbeard sent ± 1100 ships into the North Sea to conquer Danelagh and eventually all of England. After some skirmishes, this succeeded and in 1013 Sven was proclaimed king of England.

Norway had no leader at the time, and Sven's son, Knud, was crowned king there too, resulting in a great northern empire led by the Danes. However, the empire soon fell apart, because of its size it was not controllable. The appointed viceroys clashed with each other. This eventually led to an English king in England and a Norwegian king in Denmark. Attempts were made to recapture England but after the lost battle of Hastings in 1066 the Viking era came to an end.

Battle for the Baltic

Coin from the time of Valdemar the great of DenmarkCoin from the time of Valdemar the great of DenmarkPhoto: Hedning CC 3.0 Unported no changes made

Denmark at the time was probably a practically fully agrarian society that did not extend only to present-day Danish territory. Parts of Schleswig in Northern Germany and Southern Sweden were also included. Political power lay in Jutland and economic power around a trading post in Schleswig. The population consisted of clans headed by a clan chief. There was no central authority yet. Cross-clan decisions were made during a "Ting", a gathering of "free men". Once a year a "Landsting" was organized which also functioned as a court. Each region had a Landsting and the power of such a Landsting did not extend beyond its own region.

The Danes were now threatened by little German fiefdoms and by the Wends, a Slavic people living on the Baltic Sea. A domestic problem was the enormous surplus of women due to the many dead or emigrated Normans. Polygamy was common and caused complicated succession issues. The king's power was restored under Valdemar the Great. After the death of Valdemar, the bishop of Roskilde, Absalon, took power. He moved the political center of Jutland to Sjælland because the Baltic Sea became more important as a trade route than the North Sea route.

Also under Absalon a fortress was built along that important route, Havn. This village would later become the capital of Denmark, Copenhagen. From that time on, the history of Denmark was dominated by the struggle for supremacy around the Baltic Sea. Valdemar II conquered large tracts of land on Lake Kiel with the permission of the German Emperor. He also tried to conquer Estonia, but this failed.

He was even kidnapped and held for three years. Valdemar II had many (illegitimate) sons which led to a number of inheritance issues that even resulted in deaths. At that time, Schleswig was still the most powerful region and the Count of Schleswig the most powerful man after the king. In 1282 the "Håndfestning" was signed, agreeing to establish a single national parliament. Due to an empty treasury, large parts of Denmark were given up as collateral. Mutual disputes led to a kingless era from 1332 to 1340.

Denmark, Sweden and Norway together

Valdemar IV of DenmarkValdemar IV of DenmarkPhoto: Public domain

Valdemar IV was pushed forward by nobles and placed on the throne. However, this Valdemar turned out to be by no means a weak person. He conquered Gotland, which belonged to the Swedish kingdom and was an important Hanseatic city. The Hanseatic League did not accept this and sent a fleet to Denmark, which, however, was defeated near Copenhagen. During these years, Denmark was hit by a plague epidemic that killed one third of the Danish population. Valdemar became an important person in Danish history. He gave the first impetus to the union of Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Norway and Sweden were already united under King Magnus at that time. His son Haakon married Margrethe, daughter of Valdemar.

After Valdemar's death, Margrethe claimed the Danish throne. Because female heirs were not accepted, her five-year-old son Oluf became a prince under the regency of Margrethe. Oluf died at the age of 17 and Margrethe was accepted as monarch over Norway and Denmark. In 1389 the Swedish king was defeated by her at the battle of Falkøbing. It took until 1397 for the unification of the three kingdoms (Union of Kalmar). Margrethe was succeeded by her Slavic great-nephew Erik von Pommeren. In the long run the nobility did not see this as such and they started looking for a successor from the German branch of the family. Christian I was chosen, which in turn led to an alliance with the mighty Holstein. This resulted in a curious situation. As Count of Schleswig, he was loyalty to the King of Denmark, which he himself was, and as Count of Holstein he had to support the German Emperor. Sweden rejoined the Union after his death. Successor Hans suffered a heavy defeat against the Frisians in 1500. The Swedes left the Union again in 1502 due to this defeat. He was succeeded by his son Christian II, the Viceroy of Norway. He led a punitive expedition against Sweden in 1520 and initially captured Stockholm. Swedish farmers led by Gustav Vasa retaliated and Christian was eventually exiled to the Southern Netherlands. It was at this time that Luther's ideas penetrated into Denmark. It appealed to the Danes and it was Christian III who in 1536 installed Evangelical Lutheran doctrine as the state religion.

Frederick II of DenmarkFrederick II of DenmarkPhoto: Public domain

His successor Frederick II came into conflict with the Swedish monarch. This would end in the Seven Years' War (1563-1570), which, however, did not resolve the conflict. The Swedes were too strong on land, the Danes too strong at sea. The constant wars of Spain, Germany, England and France allowed Denmark to develop as a world power at sea. Under Christian IV, Denmark's weakness appeared on land. Many campaigns were lost, and when he died in 1648, he left a devastated and looted Denmark for his successor, Frederick III. Frederik also suffered a serious defeat against the Swedes and Denmark lost almost a third of its territory and sole control of the lucrative Øresund (tolls) at the Peace of Roskilde in 1658. Karl X of Sweden immediately tried to overrun the whole of Denmark, but the Danes were now helped by the Dutch, who had a great interest in ensuring that the Øresund would not be ruled by one power. The Danes and the Dutch succeeded in chasing the Swedes away and Frederik was forced to significantly reduce the tolls and grant the Swedes free passage. Strangely enough, the nobility was blamed for all these humiliations and Frederik saw his opportunity to declare himself sole ruler over Denmark and Norway. At the end of the 17th century, the beginning of the 18th century, Christian V and Frederik IV tried to regain control of the Øresund. Great defeats followed and with the end of the Great Northern War in 1721, it became clear that Denmark would never again rule the Øresund.

Eighteenth century and nineteenth century

Battle of Copenhagen 1801Battle of Copenhagen 1801Photo: Public domain

The 18th century was also a century with many weak kings and an increasing divide between the nobility and the bourgeoisie, which became increasingly powerful. The rest of Europe had to deal with the consequences of the French Revolution from 1789. In this respect, it initially remained calm in Denmark and Denmark was once again able to profile itself as an important merchant shipping nation. Due to the dangerous situation at sea, the Danes had to enter into alliances with, among others, Russia and some other countries, and were thus involved in the combat actions. Denmark was attacked on its own territory by an English fleet. The Russians then defected to the English side and the Swedes could not help either. This forced the Danes to cooperate with the French emperor Napoleon. The English were of course strongly opposed to this and sent another fleet to Denmark and this time Copenhagen was largely destroyed. Nearly 2000 soldiers and civilians were killed and the Dano-Norwegian fleet was also nearly decimated. The Danes were now forced to enter into an alliance with Napoleon but fought a hopeless battle and eventually lost all their ships! A peace treaty was signed in Kiel in 1814 under which Denmark, as punishment for its support to France, had to dissolve the union with Norway. The Faroe Islands, Iceland and Greenland were assigned to Denmark. Christian VIII inherited completely bankrupt Denmark in 1839.

In the European revolution year 1848, absolute monarchy was abolished under Frederick VII. In 1849 Denmark was given a modern constitution, a national parliament with two chambers and limited suffrage. In the mid-19th century, Denmark went to war with Germany, which made claims to Schleswig. The First Schleswig War (1848-1850) was won by Denmark. It was agreed that Schleswig and Holstein would henceforth be considered independent territories. In 1863, the Danish government decided, without the king's knowledge, to take away Schleswig's autonomy. The Second Schleswig War was a fact and was also lost by the Danes. Denmark was forced to give up Schleswig. This loss had major consequences for Jutland, which lost a lot of good agricultural land. It was forced to cultivate large tracts of barren heathland, to improve education, and a new port city, Esbjerg, was built. In short, Jutland would develop into an economically strong region within a few decades.


King Christtian X in 1940King Christtian X in 1940Photo: Public domain

It was only after the First World War that the 500-year problem was solved. A popular vote resulted in the predominantly Danish-speaking north of Schleswig joining Denmark, and the more German-speaking people in the south wishing to stay with Germany. During the First World War, only the merchant fleet suffered from the combat actions. About a hundred ships were lost. On the other hand, a lot of money was made on trade during this time.

On April 9, 1940, the Germans invaded Denmark and the country was occupied without significant resistance. Apart from Bornholm, Denmark escaped the violence of war.

After the second World War

Paul Schluter, DenmarkPaul Schluter, DenmarkPhoto: Johannes Jansson/ in the public domain

Denmark was liberated on May 5, 1945. The war did have indirect consequences for Denmark. For example, Iceland broke away from Denmark in 1944 and unilaterally declared its independence. In 1948 the Faroe Islands took on some form of domestic government. In the early 1950s, the parliament was reorganized in such a way that in 1953 only one chamber remained, the "Landsting".

The economic reconstruction after the war became a success story. Education, science and prosperity in general also reached a high level. In 1973 Denmark became a member of the European Union. In 1982, the Social Democratic government resigned to make way for a center-right coalition led by Poul Schluter of the Conservative People's Party. He would lead the country for the next 12 years. In 1993, the Social Democrats regained power, which they retained until the November 20, 2001 elections, when they were beaten by large numbers by the liberal / conservative opposition.

21th century

Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh RasmussenDanish Prime Minister Anders Fogh RasmussenPhoto: Public domain

On September 27, 2001, the Rasmussen cabinet was installed. The Liberal Party (Venstre) and the Conservative Party were part of the minority cabinet of Anders Fogh Rasmussen (Venstre). The outcome of the February 8, 2005 elections led to a second term in office for Prime Minister Rasmussen, his Liberal Party and the Conservative Party in another minority cabinet. It is the first time in history that a Liberal MP has been given a second mandate.

In 2006 Denmark faces the "Cartoon Crisis" As early as 2005, cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed were published in a Danish newspaper. Now there is a lot of commotion in many Muslim countries and there is an unofficial boycott of Danish products.

Mette Frederiksen, DenmarkMette Frederiksen, DenmarkPhoto: News oresund CC 2.0 Generic no changes made

In November 2007, Rasmussen will be given a third term after early elections. In April 2009, Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen was appointed Secretary General of Nato and succeeded by Minister of Finance Lars Lokke Rasmussen. In December 2009 Copenhagen is the host of the failed (in terms of legal agreements) climate summit of the United Nations. Helle Thorning-Schmidt wins elections with the center left coalition in September 2011, making it Denmark's first female prime minister. Same-sex marriage will become legal in June 2012. In January 2014, the small socialist people's party leaves the governing coalition. In May 2014, the Danish People's Party, the anti-immigration party of Denmark, won 27% of the vote in the European elections. In June 2015, the center-left Helle Thorning-Schmidt coalition falls. Lard Lokke Rasmussen is a right-wing minority government. In January 2016 the government will take anti-immigration measures, valuables or cash must be used to pay for housing. In November 2016, Lard Lokke Rasmussen strengthens the government by forming a coalition with the liberals and conservatives. In June 2017, parliament repealed an old basphemy law prohibiting public insults against religious beliefs. Social Democrat leader Mette Frederiksen led her party back to power in the June 2019 general election, ending four years of centre-right rule. Next elections are to be held in June 2023.


Danish football supportersDanish football supportersPhoto: CC 3.0 Unported no changes made

The kingdom of Denmark had 5,605,948 inhabitants in 2017. The average population density is about 130 per km2. Population density is higher in parts of East Jutland and on the large islands. The least densely populated districts are Viborg and Rinkøbing with only 50 inhabitants per km2. About 88% of the population lives in cities. The largest cities are Copenhagen with 1.2 million inhabitants, Aarhus (265,000), Odense (173,000) and Aalborg (155,000). In 2017, the population growth was 0.22%. The population structure is typical of a prosperous country like Denmark. The population between 0 and 14 years is 16.4%, between 15 and 64 years 64.4%, and above 65 years 19.2%. The average life expectancy is 79.5 years, men 77.1 years and women 82.1 years. (2017) The vast majority of the population of Denmark is Danish. The group of Germans and Scandinavians is the largest of the original immigrants. After the immigration wave of the 1960s, many Yugoslavs, Pakistanis and Turks continued to live in Denmark. A small minority of German-speaking Danes live in South Jutland.

Denmark is one of the richest and most economically developed countries in the world.

It is remarkable that two thirds of the population has a surname that ends in sen. The name Jensen, Hansen or Nielsen has 23% of the population.


Danish Computer KeyboardDanish Computer KeyboardPhoto: Public domain

Three languages are spoken in the Danish kingdom, Greenlandic, Danish and Faerörsk. The last two belong to the Germanic branch of the Indo-European languages. Although they have common roots, there is only a limited relationship of kinship. Trade with merchants from the Hanseatic League has made Danish receptive to German influences. Danes, Norwegians and Swedes can read each other's languages well and understand them fairly well. They mutually speak a kind of lingua franca (auxiliary language) called Scandinavisk. Many Danes also speak German, English or both.

The letters æ, ø, and å come at the very back of the alphabet, after z. The difficult thing about Danish is that it is pronounced differently than written. Pronounced Danish has sounds and pronunciation that do not occur anywhere else. Part of German is spoken in South Jutland.

Without knowing Danish, many Danish words are clear:


Roskilde Cathedral in Roskilde, DenmarkRoskilde Cathedral in Roskilde, DenmarkPhoto: CucombreLibre CC 2.0 Generic no changes made

Christianity gained a foothold on Danish soil from about 1100. Although freedom of religion has existed in Denmark since 1849, by constitution the Evangelical Lutheran Church is the national church of Denmark and is therefore largely state-funded. The Lutheran Church was established in 1536 by Hans Tavsen, a friend of Luther.

The king is the head of the church, which has nine dioceses. Each of the 2,100 Lutheran congregations is governed by a council elected by believers. A woman was first admitted to office in 1947. In 1940 the designation state church was replaced by people's church. About 87% of the population is Evangelical Lutheran.

After the 1536 reform, Roman Catholicism was little more. Not until 1953 did Denmark get a Roman Catholic bishop again. At present there are about 32,000 Roman Catholics. There are also about 6,500 Jews.

In November 2003 it was announced that Denmark officially recognized the adherents of the old pre-Christian Scandinavian religion as a religious community. Worshipers of the gods Thor and Odin thus received the right to marry and tax exemption for gifts. The 'pagan' movement Forn Sidr (The Old Tradition), 240 members strong, has been working since 1999 for recognition of its religion.


State structure

Parliament is seated in Chritiansborg SlotParliament is seated in Chritiansborg SlotPhoto: Julian Herzog CC 4.0 International no changes made

Denmark has been a kingdom since Viking times. The Kingdom of Denmark has been a parliamentary democracy since 1849. This limits the power of the head of state (king or queen). Executive power is in the hands of Parliament and the Council of Ministers (Statsraadet). Denmark has had a one-chamber legislature, the Folketing, with 179 directly elected members since 1953. Of these, 135 members are elected from 23 constituencies. 40 seats have been reserved for candidates from small parties who have not passed the electoral threshold. Furthermore, Greenland and the Faroe Islands each have two deputies. All Danish and men and women have the right to vote and stand as a candidate from the age of 18. There is no compulsory attendance. Because parties that remain below the electoral threshold can also enter parliament, Denmark has a very large number of political parties.

Denmark is divided into 14 provinces (amtskommuner) which in turn are divided into 275 municipalities. Copenhagen is a separate administrative unit.

Denmark has been a member of the European Union since 1973. For the current political situation, see chapter history.


Campus Danish design schoolCampus Danish design schoolPhoto: Danmarks Designskole CC 2.0 Generic no changes made

Denmark was the first country in the world to have an education law (19th century). Immediately afterwards, folk high schools (folkehøjskoler) were founded for adult education. Particularly in the countryside, good work was done among the peasantry. The very first folk high school dates back to 1844. Spread across the island there are about eighty. Regular education is also well and modernly organized in Denmark. For example, parents have a fairly large say in educational issues and the teaching of a classroom event increasingly focused on the individual development of the student. Compulsory education lasts from seven to sixteen years. Since 1970 there have been preparatory classes designed to prepare for primary school. There are municipal schools, private schools and home schools in the remote areas. After primary school, students can follow vocational or academic training. Eighty percent of the students do this too. Denmark has five universities, of which the University of Copenhagen is the oldest (1479). The other universities are located in Aarhus, Aalborg, Odense and Roskilde. Higher education is attended by roughly as many boys as girls.



Danish National BankDanish National BankPhoto: Public domain

In economic terms, Denmark ranks high compared to other European countries and is among the top thirty of the world's richest countries. The modern industrial Danish economy is characterized by a wide range of products and a prominent service sector. Denmark has one of the most advanced telecommunications infrastructures in Europe and has consistently been in the top 15 in recent years in the World Economic Forum's 'World Competitiveness Report'. Traditionally, Denmark has large companies in the shipping, trade and brewing sectors. Because Denmark profiles itself as the gateway to the other Scandinavian countries and the Baltic states, a lot of money has been invested in recent years to improve transport options and make connections with neighboring countries more efficient. Although Denmark does not participate in the European Monetary Union (EMU), the economic policy of the Danish government in recent years has been almost entirely dominated by the European agreements as made by the Maastricht Treaty and the subsequent amending provisions. From a formal point of view, the Danish economy is fully prepared for EMU and has met the EMU criteria for a number of years. In referendums in 1992 and 1993, the Danish population (with a small majority) showed that they can only accept the Maastricht Treaty if Denmark remains outside EMU (and outside a number of other points in the Treaty). In a referendum in September 2000, the Danish population again showed opposition to the European currency by voting against ("Nej") Danish accession to EMU (against the lifting of the Danish "opt-out").

Theme coins of Denmark with illustrations from HC Andersen's fairytalesTheme coins of Denmark with illustrations from HC Andersen's fairytalesPhoto: Toxophilus CC 4.0 International no changes made

The Danish government is aware of the problems that can arise within the Danish economy as a result of not participating in EMU. Lack of confidence in the Danish currency - the Krone - can lead to higher interest rates on international loans and a diminished attractiveness of Denmark as a location for foreign companies, which stimulate employment. The government has therefore decided to pursue its policy of a stable exchange rate, which was already started in the 1980s. This means, among other things, that the Danish economy must meet the monetary criteria for entry into EMU: low inflation, a government deficit of no more than three percent of national income and a government debt that may not exceed 60 percent of national income. amounts. The Danish krone is pegged to the euro and Denmark's monetary policy largely follows the policy of the European Central Bank.

Combating unemployment was one of the primary objectives of the Social Democratic government, which stepped down in 2001. This target has been achieved: for 2001 as a whole, the official unemployment rate was 5.1%; the lowest level in more than 25 years. Nevertheless, one of the main objectives of the first Cabinet of Anders Fogh Rasmussen was to expand the workforce by more than 67,000 people before 2010. This in order to counter the negative consequences of an aging population. In the meantime (2017), unemployment has risen to around 6% and there is a shortage of workers in some sectors.

The Danish economy is currently doing well. The high and sustained growth in private spending is the basis for economic growth. This growth in private spending was caused, among other things, by the income tax reductions introduced in 2004 and the new possibilities for taking out cheap credit. In 2004 GDP grew by more than 2%. The main explanation for this enviable situation is that DK has already started the necessary reforms years ago: flexible retirement age, an extremely flexible labor market (à la US), relatively high labor productivity, high labor participation, in addition to maintaining the high tax level, tighter control of the use of social services without however adjusting the size and level of the provision system. In recent years, Denmark has also had to deal with the credit crisis. The Danish economy grew by 2.1% in 2017.

Agriculture, livestock and fishing

Cattle DenmarkCattle DenmarkPhoto: Wolfgang Sauber CC 3.0 Unported no changes made

Two thirds of the Danish land area is used for agriculture. Agriculture is mainly focused on exports to the European Union. Most of the farms are quite small with less than 20 ha of land. The number of people employed in the agricultural sector dropped from 120,000 to 70,000 between 1961 and 2014. Agricultural land is increasingly used for tourist activities. Important products are potatoes, sugar beets and rapeseed. The grain yield is declining and is mainly used for the production of animal feed or as a raw material for beer breweries such as Tuborg and Carlsberg. Denmark is Europe's leader in organic farming. For example, 24% of the daily milk that the Danes consume is produced organically.

Horticulture mainly produces fruit, vegetables and herbs. Revenue from forestry mainly concerns the export of Christmas trees. Denmark is the world's largest exporter.

Denmark is one of the largest fishing countries in Europe, although in terms of yields it is dwarfed by income from industry and agriculture. Cod, flatfish and herring are the main species that are caught and then processed into fish oil, fish meal and canned fish. Germany purchases most fish products. Main fishing ports are Esbjerg, Hirtshalsen and Skagen.

Denmark is one of the largest producers of livestock products. Meat, leather, milk and cheese, among other things, are exported on a large scale. Fur farming is also still a significant economic activity. There are about 5000 breeding farms.

Mining, industry and trade

 Middelgrunden offshore wind farm in Denmark Middelgrunden offshore wind farm in DenmarkPhoto: Kim Hansen CC 3.0 Unported no changes made

Denmark has to import almost all raw materials. The only economic activities of importance in mining are the extraction of salt, granite, lime, clay, sandstone and sulfur, among other things. Petroleum has been extracted off the coast of Denmark since 1972. In 1984 the production of natural gas from the North Sea started. In recent years, Denmark has also been focusing on renewable energy.

After World War II, Denmark changed from an agricultural country to an industrial country with an emphasis on high-quality products. Important industrial centers are Copenhagen and the surrounding area, Odense, Aarhus, Silkeborg and Vejle. After 1970 many companies moved from the Copenhagen region to the west of the country, especially to Jutland. Copenhagen became more of a service center. Most employees are in the food industry, followed by mechanical engineering and the metal industry.

From 1960 to 1986 the trade balance was negative, but since 1988 the trade balance has been positive again. In 2017, $ 113.2 billion was exported mainly to Germany, Sweden, England, France, the Netherlands, Norway and the United States. The main exports are meat, fish and industrial machinery.

In 2017, $ 94.6 billion was imported from mainly Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, Great Britain, France, Norway and the United States.


Copenhagen central stationCopenhagen central stationPhoto: JaanMatti at English Wikipedia CC 3.0 Unported no changes made

Traffic and bridge connections play an important role in Danish traffic. 20 large bridges were built between 1966 and 1986. The largest bridge is the one over the Storstrøm between Falster and Zealand (3211 m), making it one of the longest in Europe. In 1997, a 20 km long bridge-tunnel connection was opened for rail and car traffic between the islands of Funen and Zealand. Copenhagen and Malmö have been connected since 2000 by the Oresund bridge with a length of 7.8 kilometers. There are ferry connections with Sweden, Norway, Germany and Great Britain.

The merchant fleet is one of the most modern in the world. The main ports are Copenhagen, Aarhus, Aalborg, Esbjerg and Frederikshavn.

Railways are mainly a state affair (2471 km), although there are also private lines (494 km), especially for freight. Road traffic has a very dense road network of over 70,000 km. A small part of this (approx. 7%) consists of motorways.

International air traffic uses the airport Kastrup, near Copenhagen. There are also twelve commercial airports. The Danske Luftfarsselskab is one of three Scandinavian airlines cooperating in SAS (Skandinavian Airlines System) since 1 October 1950.

Holidays and Sightseeing

Below is a selection of interesting tourist destinations in Denmark:


Denmark Coastal strip BornholmDenmark Coastal strip BornholmPhoto: Lily M CC 3.0 Unported no changes made

Nikolaus kirke van Nylarsker; Øster Lars church of Østerlarsker; baptismal font Å church in Åkirkeby; the old city center of Rønne; the Bornholm Rø Art Museum; Ols Church of Olsker; dune landscape near the Dueodde; coastal strip between Sandvig and Neksø; Dryeog Nature Park near Allinge-Sandvig; Middelaldercenter in Gudhjem

Sjælland, Falster and Lolland

Denmark Karmeliterkloster HelsingørDenmark Karmeliterkloster HelsingørPhoto: Leogs CC 3.0 Unported no changes made

Aalholm Automobilmuseum in Nysted; Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Nationalmuseet, Statens Museum for Kunst, Thorvaldsens Museum in Copenhagen; Frliluftsmuseum in Sorgenfri; Viking settlement at Slagelse; old town centers of Falster, Køge and Dragør; Carmelite Monastery in Helsingør; Vor Frue Kirke from Kalundborg; the cathedral of Roskilde; Frederiksberg castle of Frederiksberg; Grundtvigs Kirke from Copenhagen; safari park Knuthenborg near Bandholm; BonBonland amusement park near Holme-Ostrup; Tivoli in Copenhagen; amusement park Bakken in Klampenborg; Albuen peninsula near Lolland; Lake Tystrup-Bavelse near Sorø

Langeland, Ærø and Fyn

 H.C. Andersens Hus in Odense, Denmark H.C. Andersens Hus in Odense, DenmarkPhoto: Bo Jessen in the public domain

Hans Christian Andersen hus in Odense; Zoologisk Museum of Svendborg; Europæisk Automobilmuseum in Odense; prehistoric monuments at Humble on Langeland; town of Faaborg; Horne Kirke van Horne; centers of Bogense and Ærøskøbing; town hall of Odense; Zoologisk Have in Odense; Aquarium Langeland in Skrøbelev; Terrariet in Vissenbjerg (reptiles and amphibians); Fjord-og Bæltcenter (aquarium and marine mammal basin); Hindsholm peninsula near Kerteminde; Fiske- og Familiepark West in Ringkøbing; Frydenlund Fuglepark in Tommerup

North Jutland

Burial mounds of Lindholm Høje, DenmarkBurial mounds of Lindholm Høje, DenmarkPhoto: Mikkel Houmøller CC 4.0 International no changes

Fur Museum in Nederby (fossils); Danmarks Cykel Museum in Aalestrup; Nordjyllands Kunstmuseum, Marine Museum, Danmarks Tekniske Museum in Aalborg; burial mounds Lindholm Høje near Nørresundby; Viking camp Fyrkat near Hobro; city centers of Aalborg, Skagen and Nibe; Spøttrup Castle in Salling; Søndre Sogns kirke in Viborg; Børglum Kloster in Løkken; Nordjyllands Kunstmuseum in Aalborg; water park Jesperhus Feriecenter on Mors; Aalborg Zoo; Tivoliland Aalborg; Ørnens Verden in Tuen (bird of prey reserve); dune landscape near Skagen; Jydsk Rosenpark in Aalestrup; national park Rebild Bakker near Skørping

East Jutland

Silkeborg art museum, DenmarkSilkeborg art museum, DenmarkPhoto: Nico-dk CC 3.0 Unported no changes made

Silkeborg Museum; Silkeborg Art Museum; Dansk Brandværnsmuseum in Åbyhøj; Glasmuseet in Ebeltoft; Jysk Automobilmuseum in Give; burial mounds and rune stones in Jelling; half-timbered houses center Ebeltoft; Domkirken of Århus; ruin of the Øm monastery at Gammel Rye; Sønderbro kirke in Horsens; Givskud Zoo; Aqua Silkeborg; Randers Regnskov in Randers (tropical rainforest); Danmarks Saltcenter in Magiager; Kattegatcentret in Grenaa (sea aquarium); paddle steamers from Silkeborg and Magiager; botanical gardens in Kolding; sandbank Ørkenen on Anholt

West Jutland

Herning Museum of Modern Art, DenmarkHerning Museum of Modern Art, DenmarkPhoto: Iwan Baan CC 3.0 Unported no changes made

Fiskeri-og Søfartsmuseet in Esbjerg; Herning Kunstmuseum; Danmarks Photo Museum in Herning; center of Ribe; Kunstmuseet and Treenighedskirken in Esbjerg; Viking center in Ribe (Viking village); amusement parks Sommerland, Varde and Sommerland West in Hee; Legoland in Billund; Wadden Island Mandø; dune landscapes on Fanø and Holmslands Klit

South Jutland

Monastery church in Løgumkloster, DenmarkMonastery church in Løgumkloster, DenmarkPhoto: Clemensfranz CC 3.0 Unported no changes made

Sønderjyllands Kunstmuseum in Tønder; city centers of Tønder and Møgeltønder; monastery church in Løgumkloster; Brundtland Center Danmark in Toftlund (solar energy); Orion Planetarium in Jels; Hjemsted Oldtidspark near Skærbæk (prehistoric times); dune landscape on Rømø.


Little mermaid, CopenhagenLittle mermaid, CopenhagenPhoto: Adva-berlin CC 3.0 no changes made

Copenhagen has been the capital of Scandinavian Denmark for over 400 years. The most famous resident of Copenhagen was Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) who wrote many fairy tales during his lifetime, such as "The Matchstick Girl" and "The Little Mermaid". In addition to fairy tales, he also wrote novels and dramas. At the harbor you can find a bronze statue of a mermaid as a memorial to the writer. It is a small, beautifully finished statue set on a smooth stone in the harbor. Copenhagen has many beautiful monumental buildings, at least one of which you should visit during a holiday or city trip Copenhagen. For example, go to the ancient sea fortresses Flakfortet, Middelgrundsfortet and Trekroner. Many of Copenhagen's historic buildings have been restored with great care in recent years. A fun day out in Copenhagen is a trip to the Tivoli amusement park. This park is world famous because it has existed since 1843. The amusement park is located in the middle of Copenhagen at the Rádhuspladsen. There is a wooden roller coaster from 1914 that is still in use. Read more on the Copenhagen page of Landenweb.


Aarhus, DenmarkAarhus, DenmarkPhoto: Kenny Arne Lang Antonsen CC 4.0 International no changes made

Aarhus or Arhus is Denmark's second city. Aarhus has many attractions. Tourists from all over the world come to visit the city. A major tourist attraction in Aarhus is The Old City (Danish: Den Gamle By), which is actually not an old part of the city itself, but a collection of historic Danish buildings from the whole country. Aarhus is also home to the Tivoli Friheden theme park. Other tourist attractions include: Arhus Domkirke, the largest cathedral in Denmark, Telecommunication Tower and Aarhus Town Hall. Prehistoric finds can be seen in the Forhistorisk Museum Moesgård. Among other things, there is a mummified corpse of a man. This so-called Graubelle Man was found in a swamp in 1952 and is estimated to be at least 2000 years old. Read more on the Aarhus page of Landenweb.

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Bendure, G. / Denmark
Lonely Planet


Dominicus, J. / Denemarken

Europese Unie : vijftien landendocumentaties
Europees Platform voor het Nederlandse Onderwijs

Hoogendoorn, H. / Denemarken

Steinmetz, P. / Reishandboek Denemarken

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated December 2021
Copyright: Team Landenweb