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Denmark

country danish world economy

Denmark, country in northwest Europe consisting of the Jutland Peninsula and 483 islands, of which about 100 are inhabited. The Faeroe Islands, north of Scotland, form a self-governing community within the Kingdom of Denmark; Greenland, the largest island in the world, is a former Danish county that received Home Rule on May 1, 1979. The Jutland Peninsula contains the country's only land frontier, the 42-mi (68-km) long boundary with Germany. The capital of Denmark is Copenhagen.

Land and climate

Denmark is a low-lying country. The average elevation is 100 ft (31 m) above sea level; the highest point, Yding Skovhj (Forest Mountain), in Jutland, is 568 ft (173 m) above sea level. The prevailing climate is maritime, with cool summers and mild to cold winters.

People

The modern Danes are believed to be descended from early migrant hunters and farmers of northern Europe. The Danish language belongs to the Scandinavian group of Germanic languages, with many direct loan words from German and English. Since the late 19th century, English has been the most important secondary language in the country. Over 90% of the people are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, which is supported by grants from the state.

Economy

Agriculture was the mainstay of the economy until World War II, but manufacturing now accounts for more than 60% of Denmark's total exports. Among the major products are foodstuffs (particularly dairy products), furniture, glass, silverware, leather goods, and clothing. There are important shipbuilding and agricultural engineering industries, and fishing and tourism also contribute to the economy.

History

Denmark was a center of Viking expansion from the 9th to the 11th centuries. Under the Kalmer Union (1397–1523), with Norway and Sweden, it was the dominant partner. Norway remained under Danish rule until it was taken by Sweden in 1814. Prussia and Austria wrested Schleswig-Holstein from Denmark in 1864, but North Schleswig was restored to Denmark after a plebiscite in 1920. Denmark was occupied by Germany during World War II. The country is governed as a constitutional monarchy. Queen Margaret II ascended the throne in 1972. Since 1993 Denmark is governed by a center left coalition. The welfare state has been slimmed down and the economy is developing favourably.

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