source: CIA World Factbook 1998
[Country Flag of Denmark]
[Country map of Denmark]

Denmark Government, History, Population & Geography


[Top of Page]

Location: Northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, on a peninsula north of Germany

Geographic coordinates: 56 00 N, 10 00 E

Map references: Europe

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, but excludes the Faroe Islands and Greenland

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

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

Coastline: 7,314 km

Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 4 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 3 nm

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

Terrain: low and flat to gently rolling plains

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Lammefjord -7 m
highest point: Ejer Bavnehoj 173 m

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

Land use:
arable land: 60%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 5%
forests and woodland: 10%
other: 25% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 4,350 sq km (1993 est.)

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-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Law of the Sea

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


[Top of Page]

Population: 5,333,617 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 18% (male 496,886; female 471,891)
15-64 years: 67% (male 1,807,384; female 1,760,353)
65 years and over: 15% (male 330,385; female 466,718) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.49% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 12.18 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 11.08 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: 3.77 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 5.17 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 76.31 years
male: 73.64 years
female: 79.12 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.68 children born/woman (1998 est.)

noun: Dane(s)
adjective: Danish

Ethnic groups: Scandinavian, Eskimo, Faroese, German

Religions: Evangelical Lutheran 91%, other Protestant and Roman Catholic 2%, other 7% (1988)

Languages: Danish, Faroese, Greenlandic (an Eskimo dialect), German (small minority)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99% (1980 est.)
male: NA%
female: NA%


[Top of Page]

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

Data code: DA

Government type: constitutional monarchy

National capital: Copenhagen

Administrative divisions: metropolitan Denmark—14 counties (amter, singular—amt) and 2 kommunes*; (stad); Arhus, Bornholm, Fredericksberg*, Frederiksborg, Fyn, Kobenhavn, Kobenhavn*, Nordjylland, Ribe, Ringkobing, Roskilde, Sonderjylland, Storstrom, Vejle, Vestsjalland, Viborg
note: see separate entries for the Faroe Islands and Greenland, which are part of the Danish realm and self-governing administrative divisions

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

National holiday: Birthday of the Queen, 16 April (1940)

Constitution: 1849 was the original constitution; there was a major overhaul 5 June 1953, allowing for a unicameral legislature and a female chief of state

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

Suffrage: 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 queen (born 26 May 1968)
head of government: Prime Minister Poul Nyrup RASMUSSEN (since 25 January 1993)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the queen
elections: none; the queen is a constitutional monarch; prime minister appointed by the queen

Legislative branch: unicameral Parliament or Folketing (179 seats; members are elected on the basis of proportional representation to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 11 March 1998 (next to be held NA 2002)
election results: percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—progovernment parties: Social Democrats 65, Socialist People's Party 13, Radical Liberal Party 7, Unity Party 5; opposition: Progress Party 42, Conservative People's Party 16, Danish People's Party 13, Center Democrats 8, other parties 10

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

Political parties and leaders: Social Democratic Party [Poul Nyrup RASMUSSEN]; Conservative Party [Torben RECHENDORFF]; Liberal Party [Uffe ELLEMANN-JENSEN]; Socialist People's Party [Holger K. NIELSEN]; Progress Party [Kirsten JAKOBSEN]; Center Democratic Party [Mimi JAKOBSEN]; Social Liberal Party [Marianne JELVED]; Unity Party [none]; Danish People's Party [Pia KJAERSGAARD]; Radical Liberal Party [Margrethe VESTAGER]; Conservative People's Party [Torben RECHENDORFF]


Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Knud-Erik TYGESEN
chancery: 3200 Whitehaven Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 234-4300
FAX: [1] (202) 328-1470
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Edward E. ELSON
embassy: Dag Hammarskjolds Alle 24, 2100 Copenhagen
mailing address: PSC 73, APO AE 09716
telephone: [45] (31) 42 31 44
FAX: [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, and that design element of the Dannebrog (Danish flag) was subsequently adopted by the other Nordic countries of Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden


[Top of Page]

Economy—overview: This thoroughly modern market economy features high-tech agriculture, up-to-date small-scale and corporate industry, extensive government welfare measures, comfortable living standards, and high dependence on foreign trade. Denmark is a net exporter of food. The center-left coalition government will concentrate on reducing the persistently high unemployment rate and the budget deficit as well as following the previous government's policies of maintaining low inflation and a current account surplus. The coalition also vows to maintain a stable currency. The coalition has lowered marginal income taxes while maintaining overall tax revenues; boosted industrial competitiveness through labor market and tax reforms and increased research and development funds; and improved welfare services for the neediest while cutting paperwork and delays. Prime Minister RASMUSSEN's reforms focus on adapting Denmark to the criteria for European integration by 1999; Copenhagen has won from the European Union (EU) the right to opt out of the European Monetary Union (EMU). Denmark is, in fact, one of the few EU countries likely to fit into the EMU on time. Growth may fall off slightly to 2.8% in 1998, and inflation may rise to 2.5%.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$122.5 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 3% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$23,200 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 4%
industry: 27%
services: 69% (1995)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 2.2% (1997 est.)

Labor force:
total: 2,895,950
by occupation: private services 40%, government services 30%, manufacturing and mining 19%, construction 6%, agriculture, forestry, and fishing 5% (1995)

Unemployment rate: 7.9% (1997 est.)

revenues: $62.1 billion
expenditures: $66.4 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1996 est.)

Industries: food processing, machinery and equipment, textiles and clothing, chemical products, electronics, construction, furniture, and other wood products, shipbuilding

Industrial production growth rate: 1.3% (1996)

Electricity—capacity: 10.604 million kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 34.244 billion kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 6,432 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: grain, potatoes, rape, sugar beets; meat, dairy products; fish

total value: $48.8 billion (f.o.b., 1996)
commodities: machinery and instruments 25%, meat and meat products, fuels, dairy products, ships, fish, chemicals
partners: Germany 22.5%, Sweden 9.7%, UK 7.9%, Norway 5.9%, France 5.4%, Netherlands 4.4%, US 4.0% (1995)

total value: $43.2 billion (c.i.f., 1996)
commodities: machinery and equipment, petroleum 25%, chemicals, grain and foodstuffs, textiles, paper
partners: Germany 21.7%, Sweden 11.7%, Netherlands 7.0%, UK 6.6%, France 5.2%, Norway 4.9%, US 4.7%, Japan 3.5%, FSU 1.7% (1995)

Debt—external: $44 billion (1996 est.)

Economic aid:
donor: ODA, $1.34 billion (1993)

Currency: 1 Danish krone (DKr) = 100 oere

Exchange rates: Danish kroner (DKr) per US$1—6.916 (January 1998), 6.604 (1997), 5.799 (1996), 5.602 (1995), 6.361 (1994), 6.484 (1993)

Fiscal year: calendar year


[Top of Page]

Telephones: 4.025 million (1995 est.), of which 822,000 are mobile telephones

Telephone system: excellent telephone and telegraph services
domestic: buried and submarine cables and microwave radio relay form trunk network, four cellular radio communications systems
international: 18 submarine fiber-optic cables linking Denmark with Norway, Sweden, Russia, Poland, Germany, Netherlands, UK, Faroe Islands, Iceland, and Canada; satellite earth stations—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 world-wide Inmarsat access

Radio broadcast stations: AM 2, FM 3, shortwave 0

Radios: NA

Television broadcast stations: 50 (1996 est.)

Televisions: 3 million (1996 est.)


[Top of Page]

total: 3,358 km (510 km privately owned and operated)
standard gauge: 3,358 km 1.435-m gauge (440 km electrified; 760 km double track) (1996)

total: 71,600 km
paved: 71,600 km (including 880 km of expressways)
unpaved: 0 km (1996 est.)

Waterways: 417 km

Pipelines: crude oil 110 km; petroleum products 578 km; natural gas 700 km

Ports and harbors: Alborg, Arhus, Copenhagen, Esbjerg, Fredericia, Grena, Koge, Odense, Struer

Merchant marine:
total: 327 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 4,972,331 GRT/6,894,091 DWT
ships by type: bulk 14, cargo 118, chemical tanker 16, container 76, liquefied gas tanker 24, livestock carrier 6, oil tanker 25, railcar carrier 1, refrigerated cargo 14, roll-on/roll-off cargo 22, short-sea passenger 9, specialized tanker 2
note: Denmark has created its own internal register, called the Danish International Ship register (DIS); DIS ships do not have to meet Danish manning regulations, and they amount to a flag of convenience within the Danish register (1997 est.)

Airports: 118 (1997 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 28
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 13
under 914 m: 3 (1997 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 90
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 7
under 914 m: 82 (1997 est.)


[Top of Page]

Military branches: Royal Danish Army, Royal Danish Navy, Royal Danish Air Force, Home Guard

Military manpower—military age: 20 years of age

Military manpower—availability:
males age 15-49: 1,324,150 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—fit for military service:
males: 1,137,563 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—reaching military age annually:
males: 32,918 (1998 est.)

Military expenditures—dollar figure: $2.9 billion (1997 est.)

Military expenditures—percent of GDP: 1.6% (1997 est.)

Transnational Issues

[Top of Page]

Disputes—international: Rockall continental shelf dispute involving Iceland, Ireland, and the UK (Ireland and the UK have signed a boundary agreement in the Rockall area)

source: CIA World Factbook 1998

home history stats embassies

home vital stats history listings embassy listings guide books faq