macrohistory & world report

Kingdom of Denmark

Map of Denmark

Denmark with its capital Copenhagen
and neighboring countries

A two-way bike lane, car barrier, and car lane in Denmark

Bike lanes on the left, a barrior, and car lane on the right. Denmark consumed 34.857 barrels of oil per 1,000 persons in 2007; the U.S 68.672. (

World Factbook as of November 2014: "This thoroughly modern market economy features a high-tech agricultural sector, state-of-the-art industry with world-leading firms in pharmaceuticals, maritime shipping and renewable energy, and a high dependence on foreign trade. Denmark is a member of the European Union (EU); Danish legislation and regulations conform to EU standards on almost all issues. Danes enjoy a high standard of living and the Danish economy is characterized by extensive government welfare measures and an equitable distribution of income. Denmark is a net exporter of food and energy and enjoys a comfortable balance of payments surplus, but depends on imports of raw materials for the manufacturing sector."

Typical of Scandinavian countries, government extends to the nation extensive welfare paid for with high taxes. For a single worker without children, in the year 2001, including contributions to Social Security, a Dane earning an average wage paid 44.2% of his or her income for taxes.

Wikipedia: "All college education in Denmark is free; there are no tuition fees to enroll in courses."

Economic growth rate
2013: 0.1%
2012: -0.4%
2011: 1%
2010: 1.3%
2009: -5.8%

Unemployment rate
2012: 6.4%
2011: 6.2%
2010: 6%

Labor force in agriculture
2011: 2.6%

Export commodities
machinery and instruments, meat and meat products, dairy products, fish, pharmaceuticals, furniture, windmills

Export partners
2009: Germany 17.6%, Sweden 13.8%, UK 8.1%, US 5.9%, Norway 5.6%, Netherlands 4.8%, France 4.7%

Export-Import balance
2011: exports $111.1 billion, imports $96.88 billion

Income Distribution – GINI index
Ranks 133rd among 140 countries (lower rank number is less equal). More equal than Britain, which ranks 94th, and the US, which ranks 45th.

Health expenditures
2009: 7% of GDP, compared to 16.2% for the United States.

Denmark has a state-run universal health care system. A private health care system also exists, but few use it.

Denmark leads the world in per capita winners of the Nobel Prize for Physics. (

March 2010: Copenhagen has been named the world’s most livable city. It is also viewed as the best bicycle city in the world.

Military expenditures as a percentage of GDP
2007: 1.28%


Gender Gap
The World Economic Forum lists Denmark as fourth in the world in the elimination of a gender gap. 

Living in an urban area: 87% (2010)

Once the most notorious of Vikings who plundered churches and monasteries, the Danes report with some humor an observation by a British observer in 1939, as follows: "A few decades of material prosperity and the ministrations of an over-paternal Government seem to have sapped the spirit of a Viking race which can point to 1500 years of vigorous and independent history."

March 2010: Even in winter, streets are filled with commuters on bicycles undeterred by the cold, their minds on their tough Viking ancestors.

2010 figures by the Legatum Institute: In Denmark 62% of the people find others trustworthy (this compares with 31.6% for Germany and 37 percent for the United States. Feeling safe personally: Denmark 81.2%, Germany 72.6%, the US 77.4%.

Poll-takers have declared the Danes the happiest of peoples. Its happiness is not the result of a history of military victories. According to Denmark's website, "Very bluntly speaking, it can be claimed that the present configuration of Denmark is the result of 400 years of forced relinquishments of land, surrenders and lost battles."


North of Germany, on a peninsula bordering the Northern and Baltic Seas. Slightly smaller than Massachusetts. Low and flat to rolling hills.

Sixty-six percent of the country is under cultivation. Around 12 percent is deciduous or coniferous forest. Around 10 percent is meadow, heath, marshland, bogs, sandhills and lakes.

Government and Alliances

The Kingdom of Denmark is a constitutional monarchy. It is a member of NATO and the European Union.

Of Denmark's 179-seat unicameral parliament, 175 members are elected in Denmark, two in the Faroe Islands and two in Greenland. Members are elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional representation to serve four-year terms.

It was the base of the Viking raiders, organized as a unified state in the 900s, and adopted a constitution in  

Recent History

September 2000: In a referendum the Danes reject the euro as their national currency.

September 2008: Denmark's official website states that "One in five northern Jutlander parents believes that corporal punishment of children is acceptable, according to a Rambøll/Jyllands-Posten survey. Although physical reprimanding of children was made illegal in Denmark 10 years ago, 8% of all parents polled say spanking or hitting your child is an appropriate way of punishing them. The different views on child punishment gleaned by the survey were mirrored by social class – those making less than 200,000 kroner a year were five times more supportive of corporal punishment for children than those earning more than 600,000 kroner."

June 2008: Denmark is among the top three countries in Europe with the shortest waiting time in places such as banks, restaurants, train stations and supermarkets. The average line in Denmark has 3.2 persons.

February 2011: According to Chris Bowlby of BBC Radio, Denmark has tightened its immigration laws again, making it more difficult for immigration through marriage. Under the new law regarding citizenship through marriage,

Both the Danish and the foreign partner need to be at least 24 years old. The Danish partner needs to post a bond of £7,200 collateral ($11,600). The foreign partner has to pass a language and knowledge test. Both need to demonstrate a combined attachment to Denmark greater than to any other country.

Copyright © 2009-2013 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.