10 Interesting Facts About Denmark

Bicycles and quaint houses: two things synonymous with Danish culture.
Bicycles and quaint houses: two things synonymous with Danish culture.

The Kingdom of Denmark is a sovereign nation in Northern Europe and one of the most well-developed countries in the world. Denmark is known for its civil liberties, environmentally-friendly policies, and high standard of living. Denmark also features stunning natural landscapes and vast tracts of pristine forest land. A series of interesting facts about Denmark are highlighted below.

10. Denmark Is the Least Corrupt Country in the World

According to Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), Denmark is the world’s least corrupt country. With a score of 88 out of 100, Denmark ranks a point higher than New Zealand, the second highest country on the index. Denmark also scored three points higher than Finland, another Scandinavian country, which ranks as the world’s third-least corrupt nation.

9. No Place in Denmark Is More Than 52 km from the Sea

Denmark encompasses a total land area of 43,094 km2. The country's territory is composed of the Jutland Peninsula and islands of the Danish Archipelago. Additionally, the country features 8,750 km of tidal shoreline, and its only land border is 68 m long. Denmark's close proximity to the sea and its peninsular shape mean that all parts of the country are located within 52 km from the sea.

8. Denmark’s Tivoli Theme Park Inspired Walt Disney’s Disneyland

Tivoli is the world’s second-oldest operating amusement park. Opened in 1843 in Copenhagen, the amusement park served as the inspiration for the hugely popular Disneyland, which opened in the United States in 1955. It is believed that Walt Disney visited Tivoli several times and made notes about everything he saw, from the rides and lights to the food and seats. Disney fell in love with what he saw at Tivoli and decided to open a theme park in California that had a family atmosphere and design. The success of Disneyland lead to the opening of Walt Disney World in the US state of Florida in 1971.

7. Denmark Is One of the World’s Happiest Countries

With a score of 7.55 according to the 2018 Happiness Index, Denmark is the third happiest country in the world, while Finland and Norway occupy the top two positions. A prosperous economy, controlled population, equitable distribution of wealth, liberal social laws, high standard of living, and healthy work environments are all factors that contribute to the happiness of the Danes.

6. Denmark Has the World’s Oldest Continuously Used National Flag

The current design of Denmark's national flag features a white Scandinavian cross set on a red background. The horizontal stripe of the cross is slightly towards the hoist side of the flag. Historical evidence indicates that the Danish flag has included a white cross on a red field since the 1370s. Its current design, however, was adopted in 1625.

5. Denmark Was the First Slave-Trading Nation to Prohibit Slavery

Denmark actively participated in the transatlantic slave trade beginning in the 1650s. However, Denmark later became the first nation to ban slavery. In 1788, Danish physician Paul Erdmann Isert published a book condemning the slave trade, and in March 1792, (then) ruler of Denmark, Christian VII, signed a decree banning the slave trade under the Danish flag. However, the law would now take effect until 1803, and during the roughly 10-year period in between, Danes could legally continue engaging in the slave trade. Between 1792 and 1803, the slave population of Denmark grew from 28,000 to 36,000. Additionally, the 1792 decree was only the beginning to the end of slavery in Denmark.

4. Denmark Contains the World’s Most Bicycle-friendly City

Copenhagen, the Danish capital, is famous for its bicycle-friendly residents and infrastructure. In fact, an estimated 62% of all citizens in Copenhagen commute to work, college, or school by bicycle, and a total of 1.2 million kilometers are cycled in the city every day. A well-designed system of cycle tracks, flat terrain, and dense urban proximities of Copenhagen make bicycling an easy mode of transport for its citizens. Cycling is also a healthier, less expensive, and more environmentally friendly mode of transport.

3. Denmark Has the Highest Cancer Rate in the World

According to a report by the World Cancer Research Fund, 326 out of every 100,000 people living in Denmark die from cancer each year. In fact, the country has the highest cancer rate in the world. Some suggest that a reason for this could be that Denmark has a strong record of diagnosing cancer. Other factors include high levels of alcohol consumption and high rates of smoking among women.

2. Denmark Has the World’s Largest Toy-Making Company

The Lego Group, which is the world’s largest toy manufacturer, is based in Billund, Denmark. Lego is a line of plastic construction toys that includes colorful interlocking plastic bricks, minifigures, gears, and other toys. Lego products are hugely popular worldwide.

1. Denmark Has the World’s Best City for Swimming

Copenhagen has been named as the best city in the world for swimming. Also regarded as one of the world’s most liveable cities, Copenhagen is surrounded by water, and contains numerous places by the waterfront and several harbor baths with diving towers. Locals enjoy swimming early in the morning, especially during the summer. These swimming areas are also popular among tourists. Copenhagen also contains Amager Beach Park, which is an artificial island and lagoon with areas specially designed for outdoor activities. Other beaches, such as Svanemølle Beach and Bellevue Beach, are also present in the city.


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