112 Facts About Denmark That You Should Know

Last updated on March 12th, 2018

Denmark officially the Kingdom of Denmark is a Nordic country and a sovereign state. The kingdom of Denmark also includes Faroe Island and Greenland. With these 112 facts about Denmark let us learn more about its history, culture, people, economy, government and more…

Facts about Denmark’s history

1. Between 1397 and 1523, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden were ruled by Kalmar Union.[1]

2. The constitution of Denmark was signed on 05 June 1849.[2]

3. Between 1660 and 1849, Denmark was under the absolute monarchy. Denmark is also a part of the Schengen area.

4. The Danish flag is the oldest state flag in the world which is still in use by an independent nation.[2]

Flag of Denmark

the national flag of Denmark
The national flag of Denmark. 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. Source – CIA

5. Iceland exited from Denmark and became an independent republic in 1944.[39]

6. Denmark has the oldest monarchy in Europe – 1000 years and still going.[7]

7. Denmark remained neutral during the World War II.[23]

8. In 1792, Denmark became the first European country to abolish slavery.[8]

9. They introduced women in parliament in 1918. A total of 12 women were elected in the parliament that year. Four to the lower house and 8 to the upper house.[33]

Facts about its Geography

10. Denmark is the southernmost of the Scandinavian nations (these include Denmark, Norway, and Sweden).[40]

11. Zealand, North Jutlandic Island, and Funen are the largest of the islands in Denmark.[41]

12. Jutland is the only peninsula in Denmark, the rest are islands.[42]

13. Denmark has 406 islands. And 7314-kilometer long coastline.[31]

14. From any point in the country, one could reach ocean by traveling just 52 km.[43]

15. Denmark is almost flat. “Mollehoj” at 171 m is the highest point in Denmark.[15]

16. Football is the national sport of Denmark.[46]

17. Sydney opera house was designed by a Dane – Jorn Utzon.[47]

Bicyclists on road in Copenhagen. the fact file
Bicyclists on road in Copenhagen.

18. There are a lot of bicycles in Denmark. Interestingly, there are more bicycles in Copenhagen than there are people.[48]

19. Denmark also hosts the largest 4th July celebration outside the U.S.[50]

20. Interestingly, the U.S. tried to buy Greenland from Denmark in 1946 for a sum of 100 million. Denmark, however, denied.[34]

Map of Denmark

Some key statistics about Denmark

21. 75% of the people aged between 15 and 64 in Denmark have a paid job which is clearly above the OECD employment average of 67%.[27]

22. Denmark has the highest cancer rates in the world – 328.8 occurrences per 100,000 people. France and Australia follow Denmark by a close margin.[28]

23. Denmark is amongst the world’s leading pork exporting countries with 28 million pigs slaughtered every year. They have close to 5,000 farms. The pork meat industry has been thriving in the region for more than 100 years now. Almost 90% of the production is exported.[26]

24. Denmark has a 46 percent market share of the total amount of foreign tourists’ bednights in the Nordic Region.[51]

25. Arla Foods, headquartered in Denmark, is Britain’s largest and the world’s 7th largest dairy company. Nestle tops the list.[3]

26. Carlsberg Lager one of the worlds favorite beer has its founding father – J. C. Jacobsen – from Denmark. The beer was first exported in 1868 to Edinburgh, Scotland.[3]

27. Lego from Denmark is the largest toy manufacturing company in the world.[3]

28. Denmark’s population of 5.7 million is approximately equal to that of Singapore.[3]

29. Denmark is the most expensive European Union country to live in.[3]

30. Denmark also has one of the world’s best restaurants – Copenhagen’s Noma. Restaurant Magazine ranked it the best restaurant in the world in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014.[11]

31. Gay marriages in Denmark were made legal in 2012.[12]

32. Denmark is the first European country to allow legal changes to gender without sterilization.[13]

33. In Denmark, 1, 2, 5 Krone coins have holes in the middle. These coins are minted in a silver look. The currency was first introduced in 1875.[17]

34. There are 11 Nobel Prize winners from Denmark. Neils Bohr won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1932.[21]

35. Winston Churchill called Denmark Hitler’s Pet Canary.[23]

36. The country also has the world’s leading turbine industry.[25]

Facts about taxation in Denmark

37. Denmark has a progressive tax system. This means that the higher an individual earns, the more taxes they pay. Income tax rate in 2018 in Denmark is based at 27% for someone making 52,900 Kr. Over this income limit, the tax rate increases to 42%.[24]

38. Approx. 80% of the Danish population are members of the Danish National Evangelical Lutheran Church. They have a ‘church tax’ but it is optional. The income from this type of tax is used for the maintenance and running of the churches in the municipality.[24]

39. Green taxes are collected for using the society’s resources which include: oil, electricity, and water. High taxes on these resources are levied to discourage their usage so that the impact on the environment is limited.[24]

Facts about Danish people

40. There are more women in Denmark then men because of the high mortality rate among men in the country.[35]

41. The average age in Denmark as of January 2017, is 41.3 years. Also, at the same time, there were 1,143 people that were older than 100 years.[35]

42. As of January 2017, immigrants and descendants comprised 12.9 percent of the total
Danish population. There are people from over 200 different countries living in Denmark. The largest of these comes from Turkey.[35]

43. The country has one of the highest fertility rates in the European Union.[35]

44. One-quarter of all deaths in Denmark are caused by cancer. Breast and prostate cancer were among the most common among women and men respectively.[35,36]

45. The average age to get married for men and women in Denmark is 34.8 and 32.2 years respectively.[35]

46. Peter and Jens are the most common first names for men while Anne and Kirsten were most famous for women in Denmark.[35]

47. Denmark has world’s highest social mobility and a high level of income equality.[44]

48. The country also has the lowest perceived level of corruption in the world along with Sweden, Finland, and New Zealand.[45]

49. Use of the first name is common in Denmark.[5]

50. In Denmark pregnant ladies get a 4 week paid off before delivering the baby and 14 weeks paid off after the delivery. In total, parents in Denmark get 52 weeks of paid parental leave. Thus, the Danish enjoy a lot of support from the government and the employer.[58]

51. Interestingly, Danish babies must have a first name that is on the list of approved names. Moreover, one cannot give a boy a girl’s name or vice versa.[5]

52. An official birth certificate is supplied by the church to the newly born baby which is nearest to the place where the baby is born. This certificate is supplied even if the child is not a Christian.[5]

53. Danes are great believers in free play. They allow their kids to do whatever they want and interrupt only when they think their kids’ life is in danger or they may get injured.[5]

54. Professor of Economics Christian Bjørnskov from Aarhus Business School says that people in Denmark do not spend their money on buying big houses or expensive cars. However, they spend their money on socializing with friends.[3,9]

55. Danes work between 34 and 37 hours a week, which is also the shortest working week for employees.[10]

56. The highest number of persons employed in Denmark are employed in the service sector.[38]

57. The word ‘OverSkud’ means a kind of surplus energy. Another Danish word ‘Smask’ means an annoying noise people make when they eat something.[4]

58. Danes have the worst life expectancy in Western Europe.[29]

59. Denmark has the most living space per capita in Europe. Also, 28% of the Danes light candles every day.[30]

60. In Denmark’s countryside, people leave their cars and bikes unlocked.[4]

61. In Denmark, parents allow their kids as old as 6 or 7 years to commute to school alone on their bicycles.[4]

62. Did you know that Readers Digest did an experiment in 1996 and left some 40 wallets on streets in various locations in some countries? Only in Denmark and Norway the all 40 wallets were returned.[4]

63. The Danes are arguably the most social people on Earth. This is a big reason for their happiness.[30]

64. Denmark ranks second on the list of the happiest countries in the world based on the data accumulated by the Gallup World Poll. Norway tops the list while Switzerland stands on the 3rd spot.[4]

65. Denmark also topped the UN’s 2012 first ever happiness report. In 2017, Denmark was on the second spot after Norway on the first.[22]

66. Danes are the fourth most coffee drinkers (8.7 kg per capita) in Europe. Finland tops the list with Norway on the 2nd spot followed by Iceland on the third.[18]

67. According to 2013 OECD statistics, Danes drink 10.5 liters of pure alcohol per person per year (age 15 years or older.)[19]

68. Interestingly, Danes are happy to engage in political processes way more than any other nation. Their voter turnout stands at 86%, which is among the highest in OECD. The electoral turnout in Denmark is among the highest in Europe. [3,9,35]

69. Babies/children are safe in their strollers outside restaurants or cafes in Denmark. Parents often leave them outside because this is what most of the parents do in the country. Kidnappings are exceedingly rare in Denmark so that couple just need not worry.[14]

70. The country has an ID card system. A unique number is assigned to every Dane since 1968. It is a ten-digit number with the format DDMMYY-SSSS. This unique number is needed to open a bank account, access health care and even for renting a property.[16]

71. Smoking was banned in Danish school in 2007.[52]

72. The annual consumption of confectionery in Denmark is 8.2 kilos per person, making Danes second only to the Finns as the people who eat more sweets than anyone in the world.[53]

73. Majority of the people in Denmark have blue eyes. Scientists have established via research that blue-eyed persons are related to each other. Today, there are more than 300 million people with blue eyes on the planet. In Estonia, 99% of the people have blue eyes while in Germany almost 75% of the population has blue eyes.[32]

74. Danish people do not usually chat with strangers. However, after sometime when they get to know the stranger, they may start interacting.[5]

75. The Art museum Louisiana is the most visited museum in Denmark.[37]

76. Almost 2/3rd of Danish territory comes under agricultural area. Cultivation of cereals dominates the agricultural market in Denmark with 57% of the total area being cultivated with cereals. The production of crops for cattle feeding is the second most important agricultural; activity in the country.[38]

77. If you are a foreigner in Denmark, and you were fined 3000 Kroner or more, you would be disqualified from acquiring Danish citizenship if you had wanted one.[5]

78. In 2016, more than three-quarters of the criminal cases in Copenhagen involved foreigners.[5]

79. Tivoli is a 150 years old amusement park in downtown Copenhagen. It is one of the world’s best amusement park. Tivoli Gardens is the most visited attraction in Denmark, and it is the 3rd most visited amusement park in Europe.[57]

80. Majority of the Danes are not willing to get promoted at work and are happy with their current positions and responsibilities. This is mainly because of the tax burden which does not make it worth working the extra hours or taking the added responsibility.[5]

81. Though Christianity is the official religion of Denmark, religion is a private thing in Denmark. It is considered bad to talk openly about Jesus Christ.[5]

82. Danish names are strongly stratified by age. Thus, it is almost easy to guess a person’s age by their name. Rasmus, Maja, Sofie are the names of younger people while the names of the elderly people generally include Ole, Kinn, Khud etc.[5]

83. Some Danish words have different meanings as compared to their meaning in English speaking countries. For example, if you use the word slut in Denmark, you would mean “finished”. ‘Hug’ in Danish is a ‘Karate chop’. So if you hug someone, you will hurt them. The word ‘student’ in Danish means someone who has finished studying or someone who has passed the test. Moreover, ‘gift’ in Danish means poison. Some Danes also use the word ‘gift’ to mean ‘getting married’.[5]

84. The two words that are often confused to mean the same thing are ‘Dutch’ and ‘Danes’. The Dutch is used for referring to people of the Netherlands while the Danes refer to the people of Denmark.[5]

85. Denmark was recently occupied by Germany in 1940.[5]

86. Did you know that one could be fined by the authorities for biking aggressively in Denmark? Though, you would rarely see the police in Copenhagen.[5]

87. There are plenty of taxes in Denmark and one of these is a church tax. A church tax, however, is optional but the non-payer may be denied the services of a church. And thus, practically everybody pays it.[5]

88. Danes love to sing.[5]

89. It is also noteworthy here that doctors in Denmark are reluctant to prescribe any antibiotic, sleep medication or prescription painkillers. This is mainly due to the side effects of these drugs on a patient’s health.[5]

90. It is illegal to source medicine from another country by ordering it online or by asking someone else to send it to you. You could be fined for the offense or a police record may be opened in your name if you are found guilty.[5]

91. Dentistry is expensive in Denmark, people of the region often go to Poland or Hungary to get their teeth fixed.[5]

92. Denmark also has one of the oldest still active filmmaking company in the world – Nordisk film. It was founded on November 6, 1906, and is the third oldest film studio in the world.[59,60]

93. Bluetooth got its name from Denmark’s 2nd King – Harald Bluetooth.[6]

94. Denmark can also be called as the country of Bacons, Lego, and pastries.[3]

Facts about culture of Denmark

95. Danish people take cleanliness seriously. They like to walk slowly and take time to absorb the surrounding while commuting.[3]

96. Servants are scarce in Denmark. Majority of the population likes to do their own work without any aid. The whole family works together to get the household chores done and this usually is also the scenario in offices where the staff clear their table after lunch themselves.[5]

97. Giving compliment is not in Danish culture. Danes do not compliment each other for their looks or dressing sense.[5]

98. Vacations are a sacred time for Danish. They get more than 5 paid weeks off from their work. Some of these weeks are usually utilized during the summers while others depending on the need of the employee.[5,9]

99. Danes work short hours but they are extremely focused when they show up for work. They are hard workers, we can say.[5]

100. Danish birthdays are the most important in the world. The weather on your birthday reflects your behavior over the past year.[5]

101. Interestingly, in Denmark, it is the birthday boy who buys the cake for his friends and not otherwise. On your birthday, your college would put a Danish flag on your table. It is a tradition in the country.[5]

102. Someone’s 30th, 40th, 50th or 60th birthday is called round birthday. On these birthdays they are expected to throw a party for their friends and loved ones.[5]

103. If you are unmarried by the time you turn 25, cinnamon is sprinkled on you and if you are 30 and still unmarried, they will sprinkle pepper.[5]

104. There is a Great Prayer Day celebrated in Denmark. It usually occurs on the fourth Friday after Easter Sunday. The day was put on the Statute book in 1686. It is a tradition to take a walk on the Great Prayer Day.[54]

105. In Denmark confirmation (a kind of “entrance exam” for participation in religious and social life) at age 14 is an event when kids age 14 take responsibility in a church. Confirmation became a legal requirement after a Danish King Christian VI passed a law in its favor. People are invited to this event and giving a gift of money is the tradition for this day. However, confirmation is not a legal requirement anymore.[55]

106. The day after this day is called Blue Monday. On this day, kids usually spend the money they have collected the previous day on items that they want to buy for themselves.[56]

107. Punctuality plays a significant role in the Danish culture. If you have a meeting with someone at say 11:00 am, you should show up at 11:00 am and not 11:02 am.[5]

108. Everybody uses bikes in Denmark, even executives in grey business suits. New cars are taxed at 150% which is implemented to curb pollution and provide a clean and green environment to the people.

109. People living in Copenhagen use several bikes. Some of these are for sports purposes while others for daily commuting to the office and for other chores. Some people also carry their bike in trains from one location to the other.[5]

110. Danes are very much passionate about design.[5]

111. Hygee (pronounced hue-guh not hoo-gah) is a Danish word for acknowledging a moment or feeling as cozy or special.[20]

112. Danish houses are kept clean and tidy at all times because looking at something beautiful and well kept makes them happier. It is not surprising to learn that children in Denmark from a young age are taught the importance of functional yet beautiful designs, which reflects in Danish philosophy.[3]

Denmark – country at a glance

Independence5 June 1849 (became a parliamentary constitutional monarchy)
Capital CityCopenhagen
(55°43′N 12°34′E)
Largest CityCopenhagen
(55°43′N 12°34′E)
Total area43,094 sq km
Population5,605,948 (July 2017 est.)
Official LanguageDanish
CurrencyDanish krone (DKK)
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
DemonymDanish Dane
ReligionChurch of Norway
Life expectancy79.5 Years (2017)
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.
Climatetemperate; humid and overcast; mild, windy winters and cool summers
Terrainow and flat to gently rolling plains
National anthem"Der er et yndigt land" (There is a Lovely Land); "Kong Christian" (King Christian)
Government typeUnitary parliamentary
constitutional monarchy
MonarchMargrethe II
Prime MinisterLars Løkke Rasmussen
National colorsred, white
National symbollion, mute swan
Natural resourcespetroleum, natural gas, fish, arable land, salt, limestone, chalk, stone, gravel and sand
Agricultural land63.4%
Birth rate10.5 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Death rate10.3 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Sex ratio1.05 male(s)/female
Industrieswind turbines, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, shipbuilding and refurbishment, iron, steel, nonferrous metals, chemicals, food processing, machinery and transportation equipment, textiles and clothing, electronics, construction, furniture and other wood products
Exports$113.2 billion (2017 est.)
Imports$94.61 billion (2017 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$49,600 (2017 est.)
Time ZoneCET (UTC+1)
Summer (DST)
Internet country code.dk
Drives on theRight
Calling Code+45 (Denmark)
+298 (Faroe Islands)
+299 (Greenland)
Data sourcesCIA, Wikipedia
Table last updatedMarch 08, 2018


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