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Interesting facts about Denmark

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Interesting facts about Denmark

Land & People

  • Danish men marry the oldest of all Europeans - at 32 years old in average.
  • There are 443 named islands in Denmark, 76 of which are inhabited.
  • The flag of Denmark, Dannebrog, is the oldest state flag in the world still in use by an independent nation. It was adopted in 1219.
  • The country's average height above sea level is only 31 metres and the highest natural point is Møllehøj, at 170.86 metres.
  • Separate studies have ranked Danish people as the happiest in the EU (2007 Cambridge University study), and happiest people in the world (2006 Leicester University study) or 2nd happiest in the world (World Database of Happiness 2000-2009).
  • Danish people have the lowest income inequality in the world, with a Gini index of 24.7 in 1997.
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  • The World Audit ranks Denmark as the world's most democratic and least corrupted country in 2008. It is also second for freedom of press.
  • A 2007 UNICEF report on child well-being in rich countries ranked Denmark as the 3rd best country overall after the Netherlands and Sweden.
  • Denmark has had no less than 14 Nobel laureates, including 4 in Literature, 5 in Physiology or Medicine, and one Peace prize. With its population of about 5 million, it is one of the highest per capita ratio of any country in the world.
  • According to the WHO (2002 stats), Danish women have the lowest incidence of obesity in the EU.
  • History & Culture

  • Denmark is the homeland of the Germanic ethnicity and culture. The Franks, Burgundians, Jutes, and the Norses (Vikings) all trace their origin back to Denmark (as well as Norway and Sweden for the latter).
  • In the 9th and 10th centuries, Danish Vikings invaded and settled in parts of Western Europe as far as North Africa. They founded the Danelaw in Northern England, and were granted to Duchy of Normandy (named after the Norse men) by the King of France.
  • As a result of the "Danish exodus" in ancient and medieval times, most people in Germany, the Benelux, Northern and Eastern France, and Britain can claim Danish ancestry.
  • The Danish royal family is probably the oldest uninterrupted European monarchy. It traces back its roots to legendary kings in the Antiquity. Gorm the Old, the first king of the "official line", ruled from 934 C.E.
  • Between 1397 and 1524, the whole of Scandinavia (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Faroe Islands, Iceland and Greenland) as well as southern Finland was unified under Danish rule, with Copenhagen as capital. The Denmark-Norway Union (including Iceland and Greenland) lasted until 1814.
  • Dyrehavsbakken, 10 km north of Copenhagen, is the world's oldest operating amusement park. Its origins can be traced back to the late 16th century, when entertainers and artists working in this spring park attracted crowds from all over Europe. Cabarets made their appearance in 1866, and the first wooden roller coaster opened in 1932. Other modern attractions followed, and the park now features six high-speed roller coasters and over 30 other rides.
  • The Danish prince Hamlet, the fictional character of William Shakespeare's famous play, was inspired by an old Danish myth of the Viking Prince Amled of Jutland.
  • The Danish fairy tales writer Hans Christian Andersen, is well known around the Western world, notably for such tales as "The Emperor's New Clothes", "The Little Mermaid" (adapted by Disney), and "The Ugly Duckling".
  • The architect of the iconic Sydney Opera House was the Dane Jørn Utzon (1918-2008). In 2007, he became only the second person to have his work recognised as a World Heritage Site while he was still alive.
  • In 1989, Denmark became the first country to legalise same-sex unions (although same-sex marriage was not granted until 2012).
  • Business & Economy

  • Denmark has the highest employment rate in Europe (75%).
  • In 2012 Denmark enjoyed the 2nd highest nominal GDP per capita in the European Union, after Luxembourg. At purchasing power parity (PPP), Denmark was ranked in 8th position within the EU.
  • As of December 2005, Denmark had the highest percentage of broadband subscriptions in the world, with about 32% of the population connected. In 2010, Denmark ranked third, with 37.7% of the population connected.
  • Denmark has, along with other Scandinavian countries, the second highest standard V.A.T. rate in the world (25%) after Hungary.
  • The world famous building toys Lego are from Denmark.
  • The A.P. Møller-Mærsk Group (commonly known simply as Mærsk), headquartered in Copenhagen, is the largest container ship operator and supply vessel operator in the world, employing over 100,000 people in 125 countries.
  • Carlsberg and Tuborg are two of the most famous Danish beer brands.
  • The Danish company Bang & Olufsen (B&O) manufacture some of the most upscale audio products, television sets, and telephones in the world.
  • The Great Belt Fixed Link, a suspension bridge between the Danish islands of Zealand and Funen, is the longest free span bridge (1.6 km) in Europe, and the third longest in the world, after the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge in Japan and the Xihoumen Bridge in China.
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