Geographic and Governmental Profile of Denmark

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.
Northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, on a peninsula north of Germany (Jutland); also includes several major islands (Sjaelland, Fyn, and Bornholm)
Geographic coordinates
56 00 N, 10 00 E
Continent / Subcontinent
43,094 sq km
42,434 sq km
660 sq km
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
Area - comparative
slightly less than twice the size of Massachusetts
Land boundaries
68 km
border countries:
Germany 68 km
7,314 km
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
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:
Mollehoj/Ejer Bavnehoj 171 m
Natural resources
petroleum, natural gas, fish, salt, limestone, chalk, stone, gravel and sand
Land use
arable land:
permanent crops:
47.22% (2005)
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Irrigated land
4,350 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
6.1 cu km (2003)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
0.67 cu km/yr (32%/26%/42%)
per capita:
123 cu m/yr (2002)
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
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
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
Geography - note
controls Danish Straits (Skagerrak and Kattegat) linking Baltic and North Seas; about one-quarter of the population lives in greater Copenhagen
Country name
conventional long form:
Kingdom of Denmark
conventional short form:
local long form:
Kongeriget Danmark
local short form:
Government type
constitutional monarchy
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
applies to continental Denmark only, not to its North Atlantic components
Administrative divisions
metropolitan Denmark - 5 regions (regioner, singular - region); Hovedstaden, Midtjylland, Nordjylland, Sjaelland, Syddanmark
an extensive local government reform merged 271 municipalities into 98 and 13 counties into five regions, effective 1 January 2007
ca. 965 (unified and Christianized under HARALD I Gormson); 5 June 1849 (became a constitutional monarchy)
National holiday
none designated; Constitution Day, 5 June (1849) is generally viewed as the National Day
5 June 1953; note - constitution allowed for a unicameral legislature and a female chief of state
Legal system
civil law; judicial review of legislative acts
International law organization participation
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
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 on 26 May 1968)
head of government:
Prime Minister Helle THORNING-SCHMIDT (since 3 October 2011)
Council of State appointed by the monarch
the monarchy is hereditary; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the monarch
Legislative branch
unicameral People's Assembly or Folketing (179 seats, including 2 from Greenland and 2 from the Faroe Islands; members elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional representation to serve four-year terms unless the Folketing is dissolved earlier)
last held on 15 September 2011 (next to be held by September 2015)
election results:
percent of vote by party - Liberal Party 26.7%, Social Democrats 24.9%, Danish People's Party 12.3%, Social Liberal Party 9.5%, Socialist People's Party 9.2%, Unity List 6.7%, Liberal Alliance 5%, Conservative People's Party 4.9%, other 0.8%; seats by party - Liberal Party 47, Social Democrats 44, Danish People's Party 22, Social Liberal Party 17, Socialist People's Party 16, Unity List 12, Liberal Alliance 9, Conservative People's Party 8; note - does not include the two seats from Greenland and the two seats from the Faroe Islands
Judicial branch
Supreme Court (judges are appointed for life by the monarch)
Political parties and leaders
Danish People's Party (Dansk Folkeparti) or DF [Pia KJAERSGAARD]; Liberal Alliance or LA [Anders SAMUELSEN]; Liberal Party (Venstre) or V [Lars LOKKE RAMUSSEN]; Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten) [collective leadership, spokesperson Johanne SCHMIDT-NIELSEN]; Social Democratic Party (Socialdemokratiet) or SDP [Helle THORNING-SCHMIDT]; Social Liberal Party (Det Radicale Venstre) or SLP [Margrethe VESTAGER]; Socialist People's Party (Socialistisk Folkeparti) or SF [Villy SOVNDAL]
Political pressure groups and leaders
Confederation of Danish Employers or DA [President Jorn Neergaard LARSEN]; Confederation of Danish Industries [CEO Karsten DYBVAD]; Confederation of Danish Labor Unions (Landsorganisationen) or LO [President Harald BORSTING]; Danish Bankers Association [CEO Joergen HORWITZ]; DaneAge Association [President Bjarne HASTRUP]; Danish Society for Nature Conservation [President Ella Maria BISSCHOP-LARSEN]
environmental groups; humanitarian relief; development assistance; human rights NGOs
International organization participation
ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council, Australia Group, BIS, CBSS, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, G-9, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MONUSCO, NATO, NC, NEA, NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Peter TAKSOE-JENSEN
3200 Whitehaven Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
[1] (202) 234-4300
[1] (202) 328-1470
consulate(s) general:
Chicago, New York
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Laurie S. FULTON
Dag Hammarskjolds Alle 24, 2100 Copenhagen
mailing address:
Unit 5280, DPO, AE 09716
[45] 33 41 71 00
[45] 35 43 02 23
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) and is one of the oldest national flags in the world; traditions as to the origin of the flag design vary, but the best known is a legend that the banner fell from the sky during an early-13th century battle; caught up by the Danish king before it ever touched the earth, this heavenly talisman inspired the royal army to victory; in actuality, the flag may derive from a crusade banner or ensign
the shifted design element was subsequently adopted by the other Nordic countries of Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden
National symbol(s)
lion; mute swan
National anthem
"Der er et yndigt land" (There is a Lovely Land); "Kong Christian" (King Christian)
Adam Gottlob OEHLENSCHLAGER/Hans Ernst KROYER; Johannes EWALD/unknown
Denmark has two national anthems with equal status; "Der er et yndigt land," adopted 1844, is a national anthem, while "Kong Christian," adopted 1780, serves as both a national and royal anthem; "Kong Christian" is also known as "Kong Christian stod ved hojen mast" (King Christian Stood by the Lofty Mast) and "Kongesangen" (The King's Anthem); within Denmark, the royal anthem is played only when royalty is present and is usually followed by the national anthem; when royalty is not present, only the national anthem is performed; outside Denmark, the royal anthem is played, unless the national anthem is requested
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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