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Basic Information

Area: 43,094 km²

Calling code: +45

Population: 5,475,791

Official Language: Danish

Time zone: CET (UTC+1), Local time: 17:31


Denmark (officially known as the Kingdom of Denmark) is a Scadinavian country, located in Northern Europe on a peninsula north of Germany, bordering both the Baltic and North Sea.

According to the CIA Factbook, Denmark covers a total area of 43,094 square kilometres and is the 133rd largest country in the world. Estimates in 2010 put the population at 5,515,575 with the majority being comprised of Scandinavian, Inuit, Faroese, German, Turkish, Iranian and Somali people. The official language of Denmark is Danish, although English is also widely spoken.

Denmark is noted for its high level of income equality, excellent business climate and between 2006 and 2008 was ranked as the “Happiest Place in the World” in a survey carried out by the United States National Science Foundation. Denmark’s capital Copenhagen is consistently ranked in the Mercer Survey as one of the top European cities in terms of quality of life and is also famed as being one of the world’s most environmentally friendly cities.

Denmark operates a parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy and has 5 administrative divisions; Hovedstaden, Midtjylland, Nordjylland, Sjaelland, Syddanmark.

Denmark participates in a number of international organisations and was a founding member of The EU, NATO, OECD and WTO. Although they have been a member of the EU since 1973, Denmark has not adopted the Euro and continues to use the Danish Krone as its official currency.


The CIA estimated Denmark’s GDP in 2010 at $304.6 billion and a GDP (PPP) $204.1 billion. GDP per capita in 2010 stood at $37,000 ranking it the 30th richest country in the world.

Denmark enjoys a modern market economy that is characterised by highly developed welfare measures. The country has a large services sector that generates 76% of the national GDP and a strong industry sector that accounts for around 22.8% of GDP.

The country also benefits from a small but high tech agricultural sector that produces 1.1% of national GDP. Food stuffs produced include barley, wheat, potatoes, sugar beets, pork, dairy products and fish.

Denmark’s main industries include iron, steel, non ferrous metals, chemicals, food processing, machinery and transportation equipment, textiles and clothing, electronics, construction, furniture, shipbuilding and refurbishment, windmills and medical equipment. Pharmaceuticals also play a key role with the country being home to many of the world’s leading companies.

Trade with other EU countries accounts for a large proportion of Denmark’s imports and exports with commodities sent primarily to Germany 17.53%, Sweden 12.68%, UK 8.49% and Norway 6%.

Denmark also imports a number of products, primarily machinery and equipment, raw materials for industry, chemicals and food stuffs with 21% coming from Germany, Sweden 13.18%, Norway 7% and the Netherlands 7%.


Denmark’s primary transport infrastructure comprises of two main networks (roads and railways) and a number of important terminals and gateways. The country is connected by a large road system that stretches 73,197 kilometres, 1,111 kilometres of which are expressways and all of which are paved. Statistics released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs estimated that in 2008 the road network delivered 10,538 million tons of goods across Denmark.

The country has a number of companies that operate a dense network of train stations and railway lines that link Danish and other major international cities. The CIA Factbook estimates that the railways throughout the country stretch over 2,667 kilometres and are estimated to transport a total of 1,095 million tons of freight per year.

Most large Danish cities operate an extensive public transport network consisting primarily of s-trains, buses and in Copenhagen an efficient subway system. Cycling is also very popular in Denmark with major cities offering a good network of bike lanes and paths.

Denmark has several international airports, with Copenhagen’s being the largest. Other significant points of entry by air are Aarhus, Billund and Aalborg. Statistics Denmark reported that in Q3 2010 commercial aviation in the country transported over 3.938 million air passengers.

Denmark is also home to a network of waterways and ports, the busiest of which is the Port of Copenhagen.


The CIA Factbook in 2010 estimated Denmark’s labour force at 2.82 million. 77% of the labour force work in services sector which is (according to Statistics Denmark) comprised primarily of trade and transport, arts entertainment and recreation, public administration, education, health and construction.

20.2% of worlers are employed by the industrial sector which is dominated by iron, steel, non ferrous metals, chemicals, food processing, machinery and transportation equipment manufacturing. At 2.5%, the smallest proportion of the labour force work in agriculture, producing grain, dairy and meat products.

The labour force is predominantly Danish with a small proportion being made up of Inuit, Faroese, German, Turkish, Iranian and Somali people.

Denmark’s government spends an estimated 7.9% of GDP (2006) on education and it’s focus results in a skilled work force and a high literacy rate of 99%. Schooling is compulsory and free to all children from the age of 7 through to 16 years old. The system is financed through taxation, and is divided into four levels, Preschool, Basic, Youth and Higher education. The country is particularly noted for producing highly skilled technicians and engineers.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 96% of young people complete a secondary education programme whilst 35% complete higher education. The country is home to some of the world’s most highly regarded universities such as the University of Copenhagen.

In 2010 the CIA Factbook estimated Denmark’s unemployment rate at 4.2%

Business Costs

Denmark’s taxation has undergone recent reforms which has lowered levels to those in line with many other countries in Western Europe.

The Danish individual tax system is progressive and payment is divided into county municipal, church and national income taxes. National income tax works of a progressive system that comprises of three brackets from 0% to 15%. Local taxes vary from city to city bringing the total tax paid by individuals to a rate of between 45% and 56%.

Corporate taxation is set at 25% with foreign companies being taxed on profits generated in the country.

The standard rate of VAT is set at 25%, with major exemptions for rents, medicine and newspapers.

National Minimum wage across Denmark is set at approximately $16 per hour.

According to research carried out by Cushman & Wakefield in 2010, the average rental cost of an office in the Copenhagen harbour area was €315/sq.m per year significantly lower than other major European cities such as Amsterdam, Paris, Milan, Zurich and Madrid.
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