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Geography of Denmark

Learn Information about the Scandinavian Country of Denmark


Denmark Flag

The Denmark flag is 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 (this design element was subsequently adopted by Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden).

Source: CIA World Factbook, 2007
Updated July 08, 2011

Population: 5,529,888 (July 2011 estimate)
Capital: Copenhagen
Bordering Countries: Germany
Area: 16,638 square miles (43,094 sq km)
Coastline: 4,545 miles (7,314 km)
Highest Point: Mollehoj/Ejer Bavnehoj at 561 feet (171 m)
Lowest Point: Lammefjord at -23 feet (-7 m)

Denmark is a country located in Northern Europe. It is considered a part of Scandinavia and it is officially called the Kingdom of Denmark. The Kingdom of Denmark includes the country of Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands. Denmark is the southernmost country in Scandinavia and it is known for its history, high income equality and as being one of the most stable and least corrupt countries in the world.

History of Denmark

Denmark first began to grow in power during the Viking period from the 9th to the 11th century and in the early 11th century King Canute united Denmark with England (U.S. Department of State). In the 12th century Denmark experienced Viking raids and by the 13th century the power of the king weakened and a charter, considered the first constitution of Denmark, was granted. In the 14th century Queen Margrethe I united Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Greenland as the Kalmar Union. By 1520 however this unification weakened and Finland and Sweden left it, followed by Norway in 1814.

In the 1830s a liberal movement began in Denmark and by 1849 it became a constitutional monarchy. In the late 1800s, Denmark was involved in a war with Prussia and Austria and in 1864 it ceded part of its lands to Prussia and adopted a neutrality policy (U.S. Department of State). During World War I, Denmark kept its neutral stance. It also declared neutrality during World War II but it was still invaded by Germany in 1940 and was occupied until the Allied forces liberated it in 1945.

Shortly after World War II Denmark became a member of the United Nations and was one of the first nations to sigh the North Atlantic Treaty forming NATO. In addition in 1973 it joined Britain and Ireland to form the European Economic Community which later became the European Union.

Since the 1950s, Denmark has grown into a stable country with a strong economy, organized government. It also has a strong emphasis on its cultural affairs and in 1961 the Ministry of Cultural Affairs was created to manage and maintain cultural activities throughout the country. As of 2008, about 1% of Denmark government expenditures fell under the category of culture.

Government of Denmark

Today Denmark, officially called the Kingdom of Denmark, is considered a constitutional monarchy. Its executive branch of government consists of a chief of state (Queen Margrethe II) and a head of government (the prime minister), while its legislative branch is made up of the unicameral People's Assembly whose members are elected by popular vote. Denmark's judicial branch is composed of the Supreme Court and the judges for the court are appointed for life by the Queen. Denmark is divided into five different regions (Hovedstaden, Midtjylland, Nordjylland, Sjaelland and Syddanmark) for local administration.

Economics and Land Use in Denmark

Denmark currently has a strong, modern market economy that is mostly based on its high-tech agricultural sector and other high tech industries like pharmaceuticals and renewable energy. Denmark also has a large dependence on foreign trade ("CIA World Factbook"). Other industries in Denmark include iron, steel, nonferrous metals, chemicals, food processing, machinery and transportation equipment, textiles and clothing, electronics, construction, furniture and other wood products, shipbuilding and refurbishment, windmills and medical equipment ("CIA World Factbook"). The main agricultural products produced in Denmark are barley, wheat, potatoes, sugar beets, pork, dairy products and fish.

Geography and Climate of Denmark

Denmark is located in Northern Europe on a peninsula called Jutland that is to the north of Germany. It is also located near Sweden and its area 16,638 square miles (43,094 sq km) includes the main peninsula as well as several major islands, including Sjaelland, Fyn and Bornholm. The topography of Denmark is relatively uniform and consists of low and flat to gently rolling plains. The highest point in the country is Mollehoj/Ejer Bavnehoj at just 561 feet (171 m), while the lowest is Lammefjord at -23 feet (-7 m).

The climate of Denmark is mainly temperate and as such it is humid and overcast for part of the year with cool summers and mild, windy winters ("CIA World Factbook"). Denmark's capital and largest city is Copenhagen. It has an average January low temperature of 28.4˚F (-2˚C) and an average July high 68.7˚F (20.4˚C).

To learn more about Denmark, visit the Geography and Maps page on Denmark on this website.


Central Intelligence Agency. (14 June 2011). CIA - The World Factbook - Denmark. Retrieved from: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/da.html

Infoplease.com. (n.d.). Denmark: History, Geography, Government, and Culture- Infoplease.com. Retrieved from: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0107460.html

United States Department of State. (1 March 2011). Denmark. Retrieved from: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/3167.htm

Wikipedia.com. (28 June 2011). Denmark - Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denmark

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