The Kingdom of Denmark is a sovereign state that comprises Denmark and two autonomous constituent countries in the North Atlantic Ocean: the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Denmark has an area of 43,094 km2 and a population of around 5.74 million inhabitants (January 2017).The country consists of a peninsula, Jutland, and 443 named islands, of which 70 are inhabited. The islands are characterized by flat, arable land and sandy coasts, low elevation and a temperate climate.
A Scandinavian nation, Denmark shares strong cultural and historic ties with its overseas neighbors Sweden and Norway. The national language, Danish, is closely related and mutually intelligible with Swedish and Norwegian.
The unified kingdom of Denmark emerged in the 10th century as a proficient seafaring nation in the struggle for control of the Baltic Sea. 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 industrialized exporter of agricultural produce in the second half of the 19th century, Denmark introduced social and labor-market reforms in the early 20th century, making the basis for the present welfare state model with a highly developed mixed economy.
The Constitution of Denmark was signed on 5 June 1849. It establishes a constitutional monarchy—the current monarch is Queen Margrethe II—organized as a parliamentary democracy. The government and national parliament are seated in Copenhagen, the nation’s capital, largest city and main commercial center. Denmark became a member of the European Union in 1973, but does not have the EURO. It is among the founding members of NATO, the Nordic Council, the OECD, OSCE, and the United Nations; it is also part of the Schengen Area.
Danes enjoy a high standard of living and the country ranks highly in numerous comparisons of national performance, including education, health care, protection of civil liberties, democratic governance, prosperity and human development. Denmark is frequently ranked as the happiest country in the world in cross-national studies of happiness. The country ranks as having the world’s highest social mobility, a high level of income equality, has one of the world’s highest per capita incomes, and has one of the world’s highest personal income tax rates. A large majority of Danes are members of the National Church, though the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion.
A bit more than 0,5 million immigrants live in Denmark and about 83% of the population can communicate in English.