Capital: Copenhagen; 1,066,000
Area: 43,098 square kilometers (16,640 square miles)
Language: Danish, Faroese, Greenlandic
Literacy Percent: 100
Country Dialling Code: +45
Time Zones: GMT/UTC + 1
Religion: Evangelical Lutheran
Currency: Danish krone
Life Expectancy: 77
GDP per Capita: U.S. $28,900
Highest Peak: Yding Skovhoj (173 m)
Neighbor state: Germany
Number Of Islands: 483
Climate and Weather: Mild, windy, temperatures 0-17°C
Nicest Cities: Ebeltoft, Dragor, Nordby, Svaneke
Denmark’s northernmost point is Skagens point (the north beach of the Skaw) at 57° 45’ 7" northern latitude, the southernmost is Gedser point (the southern tip of Falster) at 54° 33’ 35" northern latitude, the westernmost point is Blåvandshuk at 8° 4’ 22" eastern longitude, and the easternmost point is Østerskær at 15° 11’ 55" eastern longitude. This is in the archipelago Ertholmene 18 kilometres northeast of Bornholm. The distance from east to west is 452 kilometres, from north to south 368 kilometres.
Denmark consists of the peninsula of Jutland and 443 named islands (1419 islands above 100 m² in total (2005)). Of these, 76 are inhabited, with the largest being Zealand and Funen. The island of Bornholm is located somewhat east of the rest of the country, in the Baltic Sea. Many of the larger islands are connected by bridges; the Øresund Bridge connects Zealand with Sweden, the Great Belt Bridge connects Funen with Zealand, and the Little Belt Bridge connects Jutland with Funen. Ferries or small aircraft connect to the smaller islands. Main cities are the capital Copenhagen (on Zealand), Århus, Aalborg and Esbjerg (in Jutland) and Odense (on Funen).
Denmark is the smallest of the Scandinavian nations other than Iceland. Located between the North Sea on the west and the Baltic Sea on the southeast, Denmark is separated from Norway by the Skagerrak and from Sweden by the Kattegat and the Oresund. In the south, it shares a 68 km border with Germany. The Faeroe Islands and Greenland have been part of Denmark since the 14th century and are now self-governing units within the nation.
During the 9th century the name Denmark (Denmark: "border district of the Danes") was used for the first time. Subsequently, Denmark ruled over much of Scandinavia, which developed a common Nordic culture. At the same time, because of Denmark’s proximity to Germany, Denmark has also been influenced by German culture.
According to numbers from Statistics Denmark the majority (91,1%) of Denmark’s population of over 5.4 million as of January 1, 2007 is of Danish descent. Of the remaining 8.9% who are immigrants or descendent from recent immigrants in particular arriving since a law, Udlændingeloven (Alien law) was passed by parliament in 1983 and which allowed family (re)union immigration, many come from South Asia or the Middle East. There are also small groups of Inuit from Greenland and Faroese. During recent years, anti-immigration sentiment has resulted in some of the toughest immigration laws in the European Union. Nevertheless, the number of residence permits granted related to labour and to people from within the EU/EEA has increased since implementation of new immigration laws in 2001. However, the number of immigrants allowed into Denmark for family reunification decreased 70% between 2001 and 2006 to 4 198. During the same period the number of asylum permits granted has decreased by 82.5% to 1 095, reflecting a 84% decrease in asylum seekers to 1 960.
Regions and municipalities
Denmark is divided into five regions and a total of 98 municipalities. The regions were created on 1 January 2007 as part of the 2007 Danish Municipal Reform to replace the country’s traditional thirteen counties. At the same time, smaller municipalities were merged into larger units, cutting the number of municipalities from 270 to 98. The most important area of responsibility for the new regions is the national health service. Unlike the former counties, the regions are not allowed to levy taxes, and the health service is primarily financed by a national 8% tax combined with funds from both government and municipalities. Each Regional Council consists of 41 elected politicians elected as part of the 2005 Danish municipal elections.
Most of the new municipalities have a population of least 20,000 people, although a few exceptions were made to this rule.
Greenland and the Faroe Islands are also parts of the Kingdom of Denmark, as members of Rigsfællesskabet but have autonomous status and are largely self-governing, and are each represented by two seats in the parliament.
Denmark has a small, open, and flexible economy. The service sector makes up the vast amount of the employment and economy. Its industrialized market economy depends on imported raw materials and foreign trade. Within the European Union, Denmark advocates a liberal trade policy. Its standard of living is average among the Western European countries - and for many years the most equally distributed as shown by the Gini coefficient - in the world, and the Danes devote 0.8% of Gross National Income (GNI) to foreign aid. It is a society based on consensus (compromise) with the Danish Confederation of Trade Unions and the Confederation of Danish Employers in 1899 in Septemberforliget (The September Settlement) recognizing each others’ right to organize and thus negotiate. The employers’ right to hire and fire their employees whenever they find it necessary is recognized.
Denmark is self-sufficient in energy - producing oil, natural gas, wind- and bio-energy. Its principal exports are machinery, instruments and food products. The U.S. is Denmark’s largest non-European trading partner, accounting for around 5% of total Danish merchandise trade. Aircraft, computers, machinery, and instruments are among the major U.S. exports to Denmark. There are several hundred U.S.-owned companies in Denmark, some of them just registered for tax purposes, which is beneficial for holding companies. Among major Danish exports to the U.S. are industrial machinery, chemical products, furniture, pharmaceuticals, and canned ham and pork.
|Danish companies - source|
From 1982, a center-right government corrected accumulated economic imbalances, mainly inflation and balance-of-payments deficits, but lost power in 1993 to a Social Democratic coalition government led by Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, which remained in office following the March 1998 election. During the governments of Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, there was a drastic fall in official unemployment, which peaked at 12.4% (1993)- and at 13.8% in January 1994 (386,186 persons) - was 5.2% in 2001 and is (February 2008) 2.0%. This is the lowest level since the beginning of the 1970s, making up 55,400 persons, 3,300fewer than January 2008 and a reduction by 67% - 114,400 persons, on average 2,300 per month - since December 2003. Inflation fell from 1.9% in 2006 to 1.7% in 2007 and was 2.3% in December 2007. Average annual growth rates were less than 2% in 2007. In November 2001, a center-right government led by Anders Fogh Rasmussen won the election on wanting not to exceed the current tax level (the world’s highest), improving efficiency in the public administration and decreasing the number of immigrants and asylum seekers.
Remains from the Stone, Bronze, and Iron ages have been found in Denmark, and rich grave finds from the Viking period (c.800-1050) reveal active Danish participation in Viking explorations. By 878 the Danes had conquered northern and eastern England. In the 11th century King Canute (r. 1014-35) ruled over a vast kingdom that included present-day Denmark, England, Norway, southern Sweden, and parts of Finland. Christianity, first introduced in 826, became widespread during Canute’s reign. After his death, Canute’s empire disintegrated.
|Danish Kings - source|
During the 13th century, Waldemar II (r. 1202-41) conquered present-day Schleswig-Holstein, Pomerania, Mecklenburg, and Estonia and re-established the nation as a great power in northern Europe. Soon, however, a civil war between the nobles and the king vying for control of the country erupted. Christopher II (r. 1320-32) was forced to make major concessions to the nobles and clergy at the expense of royal power, which was also eroded by the influence of the German merchants of the Hanseatic Leauge. Waldemar IV (r. 1340-75) succeeded in restoring royal authority, however, and his daughter Margaret I (r. 1387-1412) created the Kalmar Union, which included Denmark, Norway, Sweden, the Faeroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland, and part of Finland. In 1520 Sweden and Finland revolted, seceding in 1523, but the union continued until 1814.
In 1448 the house of Oldenburg was established on the throne in the person of Christian I. During the reign (1534-59) of Christian III, the reformation brought the establishment of a national Lutheran church. In the following century Christian IV intervened in the Thirty Years’ War (1618-48) as a champion of Protestantism. A series of wars with Sweden resulted in territorial losses, but the Great Northern War (1700-21) brought some restoration of Danish power in the Baltic. The 18th century was otherwise a period of internal reform, which included the abolition of serfdom and land reforms.
In 1814, Denmark, which had sided with Napoleonic France after British attacks on Copenhagen in 1801 and 1807, was forced to cede Norway to Sweden and Helgoland to England. In 1848, a Prussian-inspired revolt in Schleswig-Holstein ended without a victor, but in 1864, Schleswig-Holstein and Lauenburg were lost in a new war with Prussia. Despite these major territorial losses, Denmark prospered economically in the 19th century and underwent further reforms. In 1849, King Frederick VII (1848-63) authorized a new constitution instituting a representative form of government. In addition, wide-ranging social and educational reforms took place.
|Battle of Copenhagen - source|
During World War I, Denmark maintained neutrality. At the war’s end, North Schleswig returned to Denmark following a plebiscite, and the present southern border with Germany was established. In 1933 great social reforms were instituted, beginning Denmark’s modern welfare state.
At the beginning of World War II, despite a declaration of neutrality, Denmark was occupied by Germany (Apr. 9, 1940). On May 5, 1945, the Germans capitulated, and the country was liberated. Iceland had become fully independent in 1944. The Faeroe Islands received home rule in 1948, and Greenland became an integral part of Denmark under the new constitution of 1953 and received home rule in 1979. Denmark joined the European Community in 1973. Under its Conservative premier, Poul Schluter, who headed a succession of minority governments beginning in 1982, the country became increasingly committed to European integration by the 1990s. Danish voters initially rejected by a narrow margin the European Community’s treaty on European union (the so-called Maastricht treaty) on June 2, 1992, but in a new round of voting on May 18, 1993, a referendum approved the treaty, with 56.8% in favour. A center-left coalition, led by Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, of the Social Democratic party, which had won power on Jan. 25, 1993, led the campaign for treaty approval.
Everybody knows it and almost everybody grew with it. Wonderful & colourful blocks called Lego are one of the most famous things connected with Denmark. And what else is typical for the world of children? Fairy-tails written by Hans Christian Andersen.
Legoland in Denmark
|H.CH. Andersen - source|
There were a lot of famous persons in the Danish history. The astronomical discoveries of Tycho de Brahe lead to understanding the theory of the principles of conversation of energy. Many programmers are also connected with Denmark. The inventor of the C++ language Bjarne Stroustrup or Andre Hejlsberg who bring in the Pascal, Delphi and C# are also Danish. Danes loves jazz music and we could find there a lot of good jazz players too. A complete list of Famous Danish’s persons and cultural specials is available here:
Danes are proud of their history and Denmark is also Land of Vikings. Don’t miss the classical Viking Market! Or do you rather prefer carnival? These and more events are available every year in the event list.
Everybody loves food. Try some specialties from the Danish national cuisine.
Are you interested in Danish society and culture? Eighty six percent of people in Denmark belong to the Evangelical Lutheran church. Danes are very open for foreigners. Did you know that almost everybody can speak English, is very kind and responsible? "Denmark is an egalitarian society. Interestingly this is reflected in their language, which employs gender-neutral words. Most Danes are modest about their own accomplishments and are more concerned about the group than their own individual needs."
With the national stereotypes are connected the questions of etiquette and social conventions.
"Privacy is a primary value in Danish etiquette. One is not supposed to invite oneself into another person’s house or look into other people’s land, property, and salary. Danes show few emotions publicly, as the open expression of feelings is considered a sign of weakness. Unless provoked, Danes avoid getting into an argument, and they dislike being interrupted during a conversation."
Do you want to know more about common manners (dining etc.), ethics and even more? We strongly recommend you to visit web pages below.
About core values and behaviours you could read above in the part allocated for etiquette and social convection. This information will be expanded there with few sentences about behaviours in work, at school or along whole society. "Informality is considered a virtue. However, informality in social interaction makes it difficult to enter new social circles. At dinner parties, meetings, and conferences, there are no formal introductions, leaving it up to people to initiate interaction." www.everyculture.com
We must mention that the working conditions for women in Denmark are compared to countries in Middle and Eastern Europe really better in many ways. Many websites include statements like: "Women are highly respected in business and generally receive equal pay and have access to senior positions. Working mothers can easily arrange flexible hours so that they can maintain both a career and a family. Danish women expect to be treated with respect in the office." www.kwintessential.co.uk.
Many Danish students have a part-time job while they are studying. Students from outside the EU/EEA can apply for a work permit as part of their residence permit, which entitles them to work for up to 15 hours a week during the semester, and full time during the summer holiday, i.e. June, July and August. www.studyindenmark.dk
The way of teaching in Denmark
The smallest Scandinavian country. Landscape created in past by melting glacier. Included Faer’s islands.
Useful portals about Denmark. Lot of information about travelling, accommodation, activities, attractions and history can be found there. Don’t miss it:
Satellite Images of Denmark, Maps and Geography.
Great Belt Bridge – one of most exciting sight seen.
Photos of Denmark on Flickr and living there.
Virtual tour in around the capital city in 3 minutes – video
Statistic about Denmark.