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25 Interesting facts about Denmark

25 Interesting facts about Denmark

Photo: Shutterstock

Are you looking for facts about Denmark? Then you’ve come to the right place! Here’s a list of 25 interesting Denmark facts that you probably didn’t know about!

Further down in the article, you can also see some general facts about Denmark such as total population, highest mountain, biggest lake, government, country code, biggest cities etc. 

To make this even more fun, I want to challenge you! How many of these facts did you already know beforehand? Leave a comment at the end and share your result.

1. Denmark is reported to be the happiest country in the world

Survey after survey report that the Danes are the happiest people in the world. No matter how they measure happiness the result is almost always the same, and I can definitely agree on this as well.

Having been to Denmark many times, I always find the Danes to be talkative and smiling. Definitely one of the most interesting facts about Denmark!

happy people denmark

Photo: Shutterstock

 

2. The highest mountain in Denmark is only 170.87 meters tall

I don’t know about any other country more suitable for biking than Denmark. It’s hard to find places where you have to bike uphill and the tallest mountain is actually not very tall at all.

It measures just around 170 meters above the sea.

3. The Danes have a term called Janteloven

We have a similar thing in Sweden with the same name but in Swedish. The meaning of this can be summarized that no one is better than the other, and today, it’s an important part of the culture where everyone is accepted and equal.

However, the origin of Janteloven was to hold people down and make sure that they didn’t think that they’re better than anyone else.

4. Denmark has been inhabited since at least 12 500 BC

The earliest archeological findings are dating back to 130,000–110,000 BC. Experts say that the country has been inhabited since at least 12 500 BC, and agricultural pieces of evidence have been found dating back to 3900 BC.

5. The Danish flag is the oldest state flag still in use

The “Dannebrog” was first acknowledged back in 1219, which makes it the oldest state flag still in use by an independent nation.

facts about denmark - danish flag

6. Health Care and Education is free

Well, kind of. The health care and education is being paid for by taxes, so in a sense, it’s paid for by the people. But, it also means that not only the richest people have the opportunity to get health care and good education.

It’s something that the Danes should be very proud of.

7. Denmark is famed for its liberalism

Few countries in the world (if any) are as free and liberal as Denmark. It’s a very open society and the Danes aren’t afraid of speaking their minds.

8. Greenland is a part of the kingdom of Denmark

The giant territory of Greenland belongs to the Danish kingdom. So, in reality, the country’s area is a lot bigger than just 42,931 km2, considering the fact that Greenland’s total area is 2 166 000 km². However, Greenland is an autonomous constituent country.

The smaller island group “the Faroe Islands” is also a part of the kingdom of Denmark.

greenland - denmark facts

9. Between 1880 and 1920 about 10% of the entire Danish population emigrated to the US

A lot of people emigrated to the US during this period, but it’s quite remarkable that a total of 10% of the total Danish population emigrated.

10. Copenhagen’s harbor is so clean that you can swim in it

How about that? Swimming in a harbor is rarely considered to be a healthy idea, but in Copenhagen, it’s clean enough to swim in!

11. When crossing the road Danes typically wait for the traffic signals to change to “go”. Even if the road is clear!

This is the opposite of Swedes and how we do it in Sweden. And therefore I find it to be one of the more interesting facts about Denmark and the Danes. Jaywalking could even get you a hefty fine of 1000 DKK, which is about 130 euro!

So, of course, I understand why the Danes don’t jaywalk even though the road is clear.

12. If you’re unmarried at 25, you’ll get cinnamon thrown all over you at your birthday

I would say that this is probably the most unique facts about Denmark on this list, but I don’t know to what extent this really occurs.

But according to the Telegraph and various other sources, it is a real thing where you’ll get cinnamon thrown all over you if you’re unmarried at your 25th birthday!

Source

13. Danes have a special word “hygge”

The word “hygge” is unique to the Danish language, and it’s describing the cozy feeling of being together with other people or yourself. It means relaxing and enjoying yourself in your own company or together with others.

hygge

14. You can never be more than 52 km from the sea

You’re never far away from the sea, and it’s never more than 1 hour (52 km) away from any point in Denmark.

15. It rains on average about 170 days per year

The northern part of Europe is rainy in general, and Denmark is no exception. On an average, the country sees around 170 days per year with rain.

10 x Fun facts about Denmark and Danes

  1. Danes eat an average of 42 sausages a year
  2. They like to eat salty licorice together with a glass of cold milk
  3. LEGO is from Denmark
  4. There are more pigs than people.
  5. Denmark is an archipelago made up of over 100 islands, some of which are not even inhabited
  6. Danes are said to drink an average of 4 cups of coffee per day
  7. There are 18 different shark species living in the Danish waters
  8. Denmark is home to the oldest and second oldest amusement parks in the world
  9. The Danish language has no word for “please”
  10. Denmark is considered the “least corrupt” country in the world

lego - a danish invention

General facts about Denmark

Below are some general info such as total population, land area, biggest lake, highest mountain and other general facts about Denmark that might be interesting to know.

  • Total Population:  5,748,769.
  • Highest Mountain: Möllehǿj (approx 170 meters high).
  • Land area: 42,931 km2
  • Biggest Lake: Arresø – 39.5 km
  • National Day: 5 June (constitution day, not a real national day though).
  • Government: Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
  • Primary minister: Lars Løkke Rasmussen
  • Currency: Danish kroner (DKK)
  • Official language: Danish. But Faroese, Greenlandic, and German are also recognized as regional languages.
  • Official Website: Denmark.dk
  • Member of EU: Since 1973.
  • Member of Nato: Yes.
  • National song: “Der er et yndigt land” and “Kong Christian stod ved højen mast”
  • Time zone: CET (UTC +1), summertime, CEST (UTC +2)
  • Country Number/Prefix: +45
  • Country Code: DK
  • Capital: Copenhagen

Things to do in Copenhagen - Nyhavn

Biggest Cities

  • Copenhagen
  • Aarhus
  • Odense
  • Aalborg
  • Esbjerg
  • Randers
  • Kolding
  • Horsens
  • Vejle
  • Roskilde

Things to do in Copenhagen - Nyhavn

Book your trip


How many facts about Denmark did you already know? Leave a comment below and share your result! And if you know some more interesting Denmark facts, feel free to share them in the comment section as well. 

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Merle's ridiculous grand mother

Wednesday 27th of June 2018

But above All Denmark is known for it's interest in the wellbeing of others. I have learned in school ( yes, many years ago,) that we don't like it to have citizens forced to begging in the streets, for money, food and what have you... And that this caring is one of the reading for the wellfare system. It's cold here, specially at winter. Nobody deserve to live or even lie sting in the street. Seems people have forgotten or don't care anymore. But that is also part og bring Danish. To me.

Cecilie

Wednesday 27th of June 2018

I have never heard salty licorice with milk. I wonder where that comes from. The cinnamon tradition is very common where I grew up and live (in Jutland)! Often people will get tied up to a light post or the like, and their friends will throw water at them to make the cinnamon stick. If you're unmarried at thirty, people will build you a pepper mill and place it in front of your house. They are often quite big (sometimes built out of oil cans), not very pleasing to the eye and difficult to move, so you can "enjoy" them for quite some time. There are quite a lot of traditions revolving around weddings in Denmark. For example the one with the socks listed above. Another fun one: When the groom leaves the room at his wedding, all other men sprint to the bride to kiss her - the same goes for the women and the groom if the bride leaves the room. And sometimes people will write "newlyweds - honk!" on the road in front of your house. You can imagine what festivities that will lead to for the next couple of months until the paint wears off.

Dorthe

Tuesday 26th of June 2018

I love salty licorish, and will have it with a glass of milk if possible - the best way!! ??

Freja

Sunday 24th of June 2018

Who told you that we eat salty licorice together with a glass of cold milk?? ?? I have never heard of that!

Henrik

Tuesday 26th of June 2018

Nope! Me neither! But I have only lived here my whole life of course.

Sophia

Tuesday 26th of June 2018

I would also say the mix og salty licurice and milk is a myth. But eating salty licurice and drinking milk in separate is very much a Danish thing.

I would say that cozy is very close to our word "hygge". We just use the word more often about all kind of things.

I Think we are the happiest people in the world because we appreciate the little things in life. Like a cup of coffee on yet another rainy day, or a friendly hallo from a stranger. Be good to one another and remember how you want to be treated. And yes ofcourse Danish people also use antidepressive, but I am pretty sure we are by far not the worst. I think many of our worries is smaller because we always have a safety net, if we get unemployed, both if we are fired or quit our selves. And/or we get sick. Everything is covered. I gladly pay 50% of my salary for that insurrance that also cover the least fortunate in our society. You never know if you someday would be the least fortunate.

About the cinnamon, this is very common in Jutland. If not more common than pebber, then very close to.

Alexander Waltner

Sunday 24th of June 2018

That fact comes from the Official Tourism Organization of Denmark ;)

Michael

Friday 22nd of June 2018

Hi my name is Michael and I am an American living in Australia and I am engaged to be married to a Danish woman named Tina who also lives in Australia and 2 of her 3 grown sons who were born in Australia live in Denmark now....In all I already knew about 10 of the things you posted here...On a side note we are planning a trip to Denmark in about 2 months so I will finally get to see all these things for myself....Thanks for the informative post...