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About Denmark

Denmark - Viking country

Based in Northern Europe, Denmark is the smallest of the Scandinavian countries and consists of the peninsula of Jutland (Jylland) and some 400 named islands. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark. A maritime country, Denmark borders both the Baltic and the North Sea.

Once the seat of Viking raiders, Denmark has today evolved into a prosperous, industrialized and highly developed nation who has been participating actively in the general political and economic integration of Europe.

Well known as one of the most egalitarian societies in the world, Denmark is a Constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government and a unicameral parliament. The population of Denmark is approximately 5.4 million. Danish is the principal language and fluency in English is high amongst Danes as it is a required school subject. Copenhagen is the country's capital a city rich in history and culture.

Denmark became a charter member of the United Nations and was one of the original signers of the North Atlantic Treaty and OECD. Denmark became a member of the European Union (EU) in 1973, although it has not yet joined the Eurozone. In a referendum on Denmark's participation in the third phase of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), particularly the common currency, the euro, held in September 2000, more than 53% of Danes voted "no," and Denmark retained krone as its currency unit.

Denmark boasts of a modern market economy dependent on imported raw materials and foreign trade. Its mixed market capitalist economy is characterized by a high-tech agricultural sector, state-of-the-art industry with world-leading firms in pharmaceuticals, maritime shipping and renewable energy. The booming Danish economy has resulted in Danes enjoying the highest per capita GDP in the European Union (EU).

Denmark has a large fishing industry, and possesses a merchant fleet of considerable size. The manufacturing sector's main areas of activity include food products, chemicals, machinery, metal products, electronic and transport equipment, beer and paper and wood products. Tourism is also an important economic activity.

Denmark is a net exporter of food and energy. Its main exports include machinery, instruments, animals and foodstuffs, chemicals and oil and gas.

According to World Bank Group, Denmark has the most flexible labour market in Europe (the labour market was deregulated in the 1990s). Also, according to the World Economic Forum 2008 report, IMD and The Economist, Denmark is one of the most competitive economies in the world. According to rankings by OECD, Denmark has the most free financial markets in EU-15 and also one of the most free product markets.

Like the rest of the world, Denmark was affected by the 2008-2009 global economic crisis. The recent Greek financial crisis has affected Denmark to some extent--as the euro falls in value, the krone also falls, making Danish exports more competitive. However, the Danish economy is now on its path to recovery.

Danes enjoy among the highest standards of living in the world and the Danish economy is characterized by extensive government welfare measures- its social-welfare programmes are the envy of continents, and an equitable distribution of income. Literacy is 100% since education is free and unemployment is low. Denmark has been frequently ranked as one of the happiest and least corrupt countries in the world.