Denmark Geography

(Kongeriget Danmark). Northern European State (43,098 km²). Capital: Copenhagen. Administrative division: regions (5). Population: 5,511,451 (2009 estimate). Language: Danish (official). Religion: Protestants 84.3%, Muslims 3.7%, non-religious / atheist 6.9%, others 5.1%. Currency unit: Danish krone (100 øre). Human Development Index: 0.952 (13th place). Borders: North Sea (N and W), Baltic Sea (E), Germany (S). Member of: Council of Europe, Nordic Council, EBRD, NATO, OCDE, UN, OSCE, EU and WTO. Visit for Denmark – a maritime small country.


Denmark is a hereditary constitutional monarchy; head of state is the sovereign who, on the basis of the Constitution of 5 June 1953, exercises legislative power jointly with the unicameral Parliament (Folketing), whose 179 members (of which two from the Faroe Islands and two from Greenland) are elected every 4 years with universal suffrage. The sovereign also has executive power, which he exercises through the ministers appointed by him, but which require the confidence of Parliament. Since 1 January 2007, the country has been administratively divided into 5 regions: Syddanmark (Southern Denmark), Midtjylland (Central Jylland), Nordjylland (Northern Jylland), Hovedstaden (capital region) and Sjælland. The Supreme Court, based in Copenhagen, plays the role of the Constitutional Court. The defense is made up of land, sea, air force and a National Guard. The latter body is composed exclusively of professionals. There is compulsory conscription with a duration of 9-12 months. Education is compulsory between the ages of 7 and 16, preceded by one year of preschool education and followed by an optional year.


The Danish territory is formed by a peninsular section, the Jylland, which appears as the extreme offshoot of the Germanic territory, and from ca. 500 islands (the largest are Sjælland, where the capital is located, Fyn or Fionia, Lolland) which for the most part arise in the sea arms in front of the southwestern Swedish coast; rather marginalized compared to the others is only the island of Bornholm, in the Baltic Sea. Only a small part of these islands is inhabited by man. Structurally, there is no substrate discontinuity between southern Sweden and Denmark: it is a rigid plate, marginal to the Baltic shield and to the Central European Paleozoic massifs, which has undergone alternating subsidence movements over the geological eras, with consequent ingressions or sea ​​regressions. Hence the geological constitution of the Danish earth, which sees the subsequent superimposition of sedimentary layers starting from the beginning of the Mesozoic, and whose overall power seems to reach 1000 meters. Most of the sedimentation dates back to the Cretaceous period and is represented by different limestones, in relation to the sedimentation cyclesin more or less deep seas; peculiar is the Limsten, a hard limestone that emerges in some areas of Jylland. The Mesozoic formations are followed by layers of marl, clays and sands from the Cenozoic era, corresponding to different phases of submersion and emergence of the territory which, during the periods of emergence, was more or less intensely subjected to subaerial denudation. In the Quaternary, the glaciations directly affected the country with the great expansions coming from the Scandinavian massifs. The glacial deposits represent the most superficial formations of the Danish territory; the last glaciation, that of Würm, left its deposits along a line that cuts the Jylland Peninsula from NW to SE. The morphology of Denmark is the result of these geological events; the country is mainly flat, but, given the presence of moraine deposits, there are undulations, slight depressions, isolated hills (Bakkøer) that rise 100-150 m above the sandy plains: the highest peak, Ejer Bavnehøj, touches the 171 meters. The current coastal contour, whose very high development is 7314 km, derives from a regression of the sea that has continued until today and that from the Bronze Age, i.e. in approx. 4000 years, it recorded a lowering of the level of 25 m, with consequent increase of the territory. The action of the glaciations on the territory is also visible in the jagged pattern that follows the coastal coastline. The Limfjorden, which crosses the peninsula from side to side, is 180 km deep. An insular and fragmented country, Denmark is, as a consequence of this, all open to the sea, but at the same time it is largely defended, especially on the eastern side, where the major ports are located in the stretches of sea between island and island. On the western side of Jylland, the coast, on the other hand, presents wild and changing aspects with sandy creases, dune alignments, lagoons and amphibious lands, according to a morphology reminiscent of the Flemish coast. On the eastern side, the coast rises to form rocky cliffs.


Hydrography is linked to glacialism, which develops in correspondence with the river courses that once came out of the glaciers or that flowed under the glaciers themselves (tunnel rivers). Given the flat character of Denmark, water drainage is obviously difficult and this has created lakes (the largest being the Arresø) and swampy areas, although today the land is entirely reclaimed. Furthermore, due to the limited extension and fragmentation of the country, rivers have a very modest development; the longest, the Gudenå, which flows into Jylland and flows into Randers Fjord, does not reach 150 km.

Denmark Geography