map of DenmarkGEOGRAPHY Denmark is located in northern Europe. The country consists of a mainland, Jutland, and over 400 small islands. Jutland is a peninsula--it is bounded by the North Sea and the Baltic Sea to the east, west, and north, and Germany lies to the south. No matter where you stand in Denmark, you will not be more than 52 kilometers from the sea.

WEATHER Denmark has a temperate climate. This means that it never gets extremely cold or extremely hot in Denmark. Denmark's coldest month is usually February, with an average temperature of 31 degrees Fahrenheit. The warmest month is July, with an average temperature of 62 degrees. A breeze blows almost every day.

POPULATION Denmark's population is not very large--the entire country has about the same number of people as a large American city like New York City or Chicago. In 1996, there were 5,251,027 people living in Denmark. Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark, and it has the most people (1,339,395 in 1992). Other cities in Denmark include Arhus, Odense, and Alborg.

LANGUAGE In the United States, the most common language is English. In Denmark, most Danes speak Danish. The official name of Denmark in Danish is "Kongeriget Danmark."

RELIGION About 90 percent of all Danes belong to the Danish National Church, which follows the Lutheran tradition. The other 10 percent follow other religious traditions, including Judaism and Catholicism.

Danish flagQueen MargretheGOVERNMENT In the United States, laws are introduced in Congress and signed into action by the president. Instead of a Congress and a president, Denmark has a parliament and a monarch (a king or queen). This type of government is called a constitutional monarchy. Denmark's 179-member parliament is similar to our Congress; it meets quite often and makes decisions that affect the lives of every Dane. The Danish parliament is called the Folketinget. Denmark's parliamentary members are elected in much the same way that congressman and representatives are chosen in the United States. Danes must be eighteen years old before they can vote. Denmark's current monarch is Queen Margrethe. The queen serves as Denmark's chief-of-state. She appoints her own cabinet members; the cabinet members advise Queen Margrethe about major decisions.

SPORTS The most popular sport in Denmark is soccer. Danes also enjoy jogging, bicycling, basketball, sailing, swimming, and other sports.

SOURCE "Denmark in a Nutshell," Royal Danish Embassy, Washington, D.C. Copyright 1999 Royal Danish Embassy.

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