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For other uses, see Denmark (disambiguation).

Kingdom of Denmark

Kongeriget Danmark  (Danish)


Coat of arms

Anthem: Der er et yndigt land
There is a lovely country



Kong Christian stod ved højen mast[N 1]
King Christian stood by the lofty mast



Location of the Kingdom of Denmark (green), including Greenland, the Faroe Islands(circled), and Denmark proper

Location of Denmark proper[N 2] (dark green)

– in Europe (green & dark grey)
– in the European Union (green)


and largest city

55°43′N 12°34′E

Official languages


Recognised regional languages

German[N 3]


  • Church of Denmark

  • Church of the Faroe Islands


  • Danish

  • Dane


Unitary parliamentary
constitutional monarchy

• Monarch

Margrethe II

• Prime Minister

Lars Løkke Rasmussen




• Consolidation

c. 8th century[2]

• Constitutional Act

5 June 1849

• Admitted to theUnited Nations

24 October 1945

• The unity of the Realm

24 March 1948[N 4]

• EEC accession

1 January 1973


• Denmark proper

42,933 km2(16,577 sq mi)[3](130th)

• Entire kingdom

2,220,930 km2(857,510 sq mi)


• 2018 estimate

 5,806,015[4] (112th)

• Faroe Islands


• Greenland


• Density (Denmark)

134.76/km2(349.0/sq mi)


2018 estimate

• Total

$299 billion[7][N 5](52nd)

• Per capita

$51,643[7] (19th)

GDP (nominal)

2018 estimate

• Total

$370 billion[7][N 5] (34th)

• Per capita

$63,829[7] (6th)

Gini (2017)


HDI (2017)

very high · 11th


Danish krone[N 6](DKK)

Time zone


• Summer (DST)


[N 7]

Driving side


Calling code

3 calling codes[show]

ISO 3166 code


Internet TLD

3 TLDs[show]


Denmark (DanishDanmark, pronounced [ˈdanmɑɡ] ( listen)), officially the Kingdom of Denmark,[N 9][N 2] is a Nordic country and the southernmost of the Scandinavian nations. Denmark lies southwest of Sweden and south of Norway,[N 10]and is bordered to the south by Germany. The Kingdom of Denmark also comprises two autonomous constituent countries in the North Atlantic Ocean: the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Denmark proper consists of a peninsula, Jutland, and an archipelago of 443 named islands,[N 2][10] with the largest being ZealandFunen and the North Jutlandic Island. The islands are characterised by flat, arable land and sandy coasts, low elevation and a temperate climate. Denmark has a total area of 42,924 km2 (16,573 sq mi), land area of 42,394 km2 (16,368 sq mi),[3] and the total area including Greenland and the Faroe Islands is 2,210,579 km2 (853,509 sq mi), and a population of 5.8 million (as of 2018).[11]

The unified kingdom of Denmark emerged in the 10th century as a proficient seafaring nation in the struggle for control of the Baltic Sea.[2] Denmark, Sweden, and Norway were ruled together under one sovereign ruler in the Kalmar Union, established in 1397 and ending with Swedish secession in 1523. The areas of Denmark and Norway remained under the same monarch until 1814, Denmark–Norway. Beginning in the 17th century, there were several devastating wars with the Swedish Empire, ending with large cessions of territory to Sweden. After the Napoleonic Wars, Norway was ceded to Sweden, while Denmark kept the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and Iceland. In the 19th century there was a surge of nationalist movements, which were defeated in the 1864 Second Schleswig War. Denmark remained neutral during World War I. In April 1940, a German invasion saw brief military skirmishes while the Danish resistance movement was active from 1943 until the German surrender in May 1945. An industrialised exporter of agricultural produce in the second half of the 19th century, Denmark introduced social and labour-market reforms in the early 20th century that created the basis for the present welfare state model with a highly developed mixed economy.

The Constitution of Denmark was signed on 5 June 1849, ending the absolute monarchy, which had begun in 1660. It establishes a constitutional monarchy organised as a parliamentary democracy. The government and national parliamentare seated in Copenhagen, the nation's capitallargest city, and main commercial centre. Denmark exercises hegemonicinfluence in the Danish Realmdevolving powers to handle internal affairs. Home rule was established in the Faroe Islands in 1948; in Greenland home rule was established in 1979 and further autonomy in 2009. Denmark became a member of the European Economic Community (now the EU) in 1973, but negotiated certain opt-outs; it retains its own currency, the krone. It is among the founding members of NATO, the Nordic Council, the OECDOSCE, and the United Nations; it is also part of the Schengen Area.

Denmark is considered to be one of the most economically and socially developed countries in the world.[12] Danes enjoy a high standard of living and the country ranks highly in some metrics of national performance, including educationhealth care, protection of civil libertiesdemocratic governanceprosperity, and human development.[13][14][15] The country ranks as having the world's highest social mobility,[16] a high level of income equality,[17] is among the countries with the lowest perceived levels of corruption in the world, the eleventh-most developed in the world, has one of the world's highest per capita incomes, and one of the world's highest personal income tax rates.[18]


  • 1Etymology

  • 2History

    • 2.1Prehistory

    • 2.2Viking and Middle Ages

    • 2.3Early modern history (1536–1849)

    • 2.4Constitutional monarchy (1849–present)

  • 3Geography

    • 3.1Climate

    • 3.2Ecology

    • 3.3Environment

  • 4Administrative divisions

    • 4.1Regions

    • 4.2Greenland and the Faroe Islands

  • 5Politics

    • 5.1Government

    • 5.2Law and judicial system

    • 5.3Foreign relations

    • 5.4Military

  • 6Economy

    • 6.1Public policy

    • 6.2Labour market

    • 6.3Science and technology

    • 6.4Energy

    • 6.5Transport

  • 7Demographics

    • 7.1Languages

    • 7.2Religion

    • 7.3Education

    • 7.4Health

    • 7.5Ghettos

  • 8Culture

    • 8.1Media

    • 8.2Music

    • 8.3Architecture and design

    • 8.4Literature and philosophy

    • 8.5Painting and photography

    • 8.6Cuisine

    • 8.7Sports

  • 9See also

  • 10Notes

  • 11References

  • 12External links


Main article: Etymology of Denmark

The etymology of the word Denmark, and especially the relationship between Danes and Denmark and the unifying of Denmark as one kingdom, is a subject which attracts debate.[19][20] This is centered primarily on the prefix "Dan" and whether it refers to the Dani or a historical person Dan and the exact meaning of the -"mark" ending.

Most handbooks derive the first part of the word, and the name of the people, from a word meaning "flat land",[21] related to German Tenne "threshing floor", English den "cave".[21] The -mark is believed to mean woodland or borderland (see marches), with probable references to the border forests in south Schleswig.[22]

The first recorded use of the word Danmark within Denmark itself is found on the two Jelling stones, which are runestonesbelieved to have been erected by Gorm the Old (c. 955) and Harald Bluetooth (c. 965). The larger stone of the two is popularly cited as Denmark's "baptismal certificate" (dåbsattest),[23] though both use the word "Denmark", in the form of accusative ᛏᛅᚾᛘᛅᚢᚱᚴ tanmaurk ([danmɒrk]) on the large stone, and genitive ᛏᛅᚾᛘᛅᚱᚴᛅᚱ "tanmarkar" (pronounced [danmarkaɽ]) on the small stone.[24] The inhabitants of Denmark are there called tani ([danɪ]), or "Danes", in the accusative.


Main article: History of Denmark

Also related: History of the Faroe Islands and History of Greenland


The gilded side of the Trundholm sun chariot dating from the Nordic Bronze Age

The earliest archaeological findings in Denmark date back to the Eem interglacial period from 130,000–110,000 BC.[25]Denmark has been inhabited since around 12,500 BC and agriculture has been evident since 3900 BC.[26] The Nordic Bronze Age (1800–600 BC) in Denmark was marked by burial mounds, which left an abundance of findings including lurs and the Sun Chariot.

During the Pre-Roman Iron Age (500 BC – AD 1), native groups began migrating south, and the first tribal Danes came to the country between the Pre-Roman and the Germanic Iron Age,[27] in the Roman Iron Age (AD 1–400).[26] The Roman provincesmaintained trade routes and relations with native tribes in Denmark, and Roman coins have been found in Denmark. Evidence of strong Celtic cultural influence dates from this period in Denmark and much of North-West Europe and is among other things reflected in the finding of the Gundestrup cauldron.

The tribal Danes came from the east Danish islands (Zealand) and Scania and spoke an early form of North Germanic. Historians believe that before their arrival, most of Jutland and the nearest islands were settled by tribal Jutes. The Jutes migrated to Great Britain eventually, some as mercenaries of Brythonic King Vortigern, and were granted the south-eastern territories of Kent, the Isle of Wight and other areas, where they settled. They were later absorbed or ethnically cleansed by the invading Angles and Saxons, who formed the Anglo-Saxons. The remaining Jutish population in Jutland assimilated in with the settling Danes.

A short note about the Dani in "Getica" by the historian Jordanes is believed to be an early mention of the Danes, one of the ethnic groups from whom modern Danesare descended.[28][29] The Danevirke defence structures were built in phases from the 3rd century forward and the sheer size of the construction efforts in AD 737 are attributed to the emergence of a Danish king.[30] A new runic alphabet was first used around the same time and Ribe, the oldest town of Denmark, was founded about AD 700.

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