Denmark is a European nation in the Scandinavian region. It is the southernmost and smallest of the Nordic nations, located south-west of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered by Germany to the south. The Kingdom of Denmark is a sovereign state made up of Denmark and two independent component nations in the North Atlantic Ocean, the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Denmark covers 42,924 square kilometers (16,573 square miles) and has a population of 5.7 million people. The nation is made up of a peninsula called Jutland and an archipelago of 443 designated islands, the biggest of which are Zealand and Funen. The islands are distinguished for their flat, fertile terrain and sandy beaches, as well as their low height and moderate temperature.
In the battle for control of the Baltic Sea, the united kingdom of Denmark emerged in the 10th century as a skilled maritime country. Denmark, Sweden, and Norway were governed together under the Kalmar Union, which began in 1397 and ended in 1523 with Swedish independence. Denmark and Norway were ruled by the same king until the union was broken apart by foreign forces in 1814. Denmark inherited the Faroe Islands, Iceland, and Greenland as a result of its union with Norway. Several cessions of land to Sweden began in the 17th century. There was a rise of nationalist movements in the nineteenth century, which were crushed in the Second Schleswig War in 1864. During World War I, Denmark stayed neutral. A German invasion in April 1940 resulted in short military engagements, while the Danish resistance organization was active from 1943 until the German capitulation in May 1945. Denmark, an industrialised exporter of agricultural products in the second part of the nineteenth century, implemented social and labor-market reforms in the early twentieth century, laying the groundwork for the current welfare state model with a highly developed mixed economy.
Denmark’s Constitution was signed on June 5, 1849, bringing an end to the absolute monarchy that had started in 1660. It creates a constitutional monarchy based on parliamentary democracy. Copenhagen, the nation’s capital, biggest metropolis, and major commercial center, houses the government and national parliament. Denmark has hegemonic control in the Danish Realm, delegating authority to manage domestic matters. In the Faroe Islands, home rule was established in 1948; in Greenland, home rule was established in 1979, with further autonomy granted in 2009. Denmark joined the European Economic Community (now the EU) in 1973, with specific exemptions; it maintains its own currency, the krone. It is a founding member of NATO, the Nordic Council, the OECD, the OSCE, and the United Nations, as well as a member of the Schengen Area.
Danes have a good quality of life, and the country scores well in certain national performance measures, such as education, health care, civil rights protection, democratic government, prosperity, and human development. The nation boasts the greatest social mobility in the world, a high degree of economic equality, the lowest perceived level of corruption in the world, one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, and one of the highest personal income tax rates in the world.