Denmark is located in Northwestern Europe on the peninsula of Jutland and 407 islands (78 of which are inhabited) with the largest being Zealand, Funen, Bornholm, Lolland and Falster. The country has an area of 43.098,29 square kilometers.
The population is 5,6 million people more than 90% of whom are Danes. The only officially recognized minority – more than 15 thousand Germans – lives in Southern Jutland (6% of the population of the region). Most of religious Danes are Lutherans (the state religion).
The official language is Danish. Copenhagen is the capital (the population of the Copenhagen Municipality is approx. 559 thousand people; the population of the urban agglomeration is more than 1,7 million people). Other large Danish cities are Aarhus (250 thousand), Odense (168 thousand) and Aalborg (104 thousand).
The State flag is red with an asymmetric white cross. The national holidays are the birthday of the Queen (April 16) and the Constitution Day (June 5). The national currency is the Danish crone.
There are 5 regions and 98 municipalities in Denmark. Greenland and the Faroe Islands have the status of self-governing (autonomous) territories.
The Faroe Islands have been autonomous since 1948. They comprise 18 islands (17 are inhabited) with the area of approx. 1,4 thousand square kilometers. The population size is approx. 49 thousand people. Tórshavn is the administrative centre (its population size is approx. 12,5 thousand inhabitants). The local legislative authority, the Løgting, that is composed of 32 deputies, is elected for a term of 4 years. The latest elections to the Løgting took place in November 2011. The head of the government is Kaj Leo Johannesen. The issues of foreign, defense and monetary policy as well as functioning of the police and judicial authorities fall within the competence of central Danish authorities, whose representative on the Faroe Islands is the High Commissioner appointed by the Queen. In Denmark the Prime Minister's Office is in charge of the issues concerning the Faroe Islands. The Faroe Islands is outside the jurisdiction of the European Union.
Greenland is a former colony that was proclaimed a self-governing territory within the Kingdom of Denmark on May 1, 1979. Greenland's area is 2,1 million square kilometers, while only 0,4 million square kilometers are not covered with ice. The population is 56,6 thousand people, the administrative centre is Nuuk (approx.15,5 inhabitants). Greenland's self-governance is similar to the autonomy of the Faroe Islands. The latest elections to the local representative body of Greenland, that is composed of 31 deputies, took place in November 2014. The head of the Greenlandic government is Kim Kielsen.
In 1984 Greenland left the European Union thus gaining the status of one of the EU "overseas countries and territories".
The new Act on Greenland Self-Government came into force on June 21, 2009. This document has significantly extended the autonomy of Greenland in the sphere natural resources. At the same time foreign policy, security and defense issues as well as the highest judicial authority remained within the responsibility of Denmark.
Denmark is a highly developed industrial country with a highly productive agricultural sector. The GDP of the country for the first three quarters of 2014 amounted to 1,42 trillion DKK (254 billion USD).
The external trade comprise a significant part of the Danish GDP. Denmark's main trade partners are EU member states (more than 75% of the turnover) as well as USA, Norway and China. Export is mainly based on high technology and energy saving products. In 2014 the export of goods and services amounted to 1,023 trillion DKK (182 billion USD) while the import amounted to 914 billion DKK (163 billion USD). The main items of the Danish import are equipment, industrial commodities, energy and chemical products.
Industry. The leading industrial sectors of the country are the production of "green technologies", energy saving, medical industry and cargo transportation.
Agriculture. The Danish agriculture is highly productive and mostly concentrated on livestock farming. Almost two thirds of the stock raising products are exported, primarily to the EU countries. The main export goods are cheese, pork, meat, eggs and grain.
Denmark is a typical example of the Scandinavian welfare state, the main elements of which are a high level of income redistribution and a developed system of social support.
The conditions of work and income are determined by collective agreements between trade unions and entrepreneurs.
Unemployment insurance is obligatory for all members of a trade union and is financed through the payments from employees, entrepreneurs and the State.
All Danish citizens from the age of 65 are entitled to state pensions ("people's pensions") regardless of their employment record. Labour market pensions based on individual payments of employees (1/3) and entrepreneurs (2/3) are also paid; their rate depends on the employment record.
Free medical care is available under health insurance.
Science, culture, art
The Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen (founded in 1748) has a ballet, opera and drama companies.
The largest museums of Denmark are the National Museum with valuable ethnographic and archaeological collections, the Museum of National History (at Frederiksborg Castle), Thorvaldsens Museum, the National Gallery of Denmark, the Glyptotek Museum, the Maritime Museum of Denmark in Helsingør, Hans Christian Andersen Museum in Odense, the museums of modern art Louisiana and Arken.
The following outstanding Danes brought fame to their native country: astronomer Tycho Brahe, physicists Hans Christian Ørsted and Niels Bohr, sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen, composer Niels Wilhelm Gade, playwright Ludvig Holberg, poet Adam Gottlob Oehlenschläger, writers Hans Christian Andersen, Karen Blixen and Martin Andersen Nexø, philosopher Søren Kierkegaard and cartoonist Herluf Bidstrup.
The country is associated with a number of world-famous modern Danish film directors such as Lars von Trier, Thomas Vinterberg and Susanne Bier.
Eleven Danes have been awarded the Nobel Prize.