Important facts about Denmark

Denmark can often be overlooked for bigger and more well-known European countries like Germany, France, and Italy, but it has its own strong identity and history that spans centuries.

Here are some important facts about Denmark:

1. Denmark has some of the oldest European histories

You might know some French kings or old British battles, but it’s not an outrageous claim to suggest that Danish culture isn’t hugely well known. However, when you look into it, you’ll find that Danish history spans back further than a lot of other historied European countries.

In fact, Denmark is the oldest kingdom in the world – full stop. The current queen, Queen Margrethe, is part of a royal lineage that can be traced back to 900 AD. Full knowledge of their family lineage over millennia is something few people can claim to have.

2. Denmark has the oldest flag in the world

It’s not just the royal family that’s an ancient Danish icon. Denmark's flag is the world’s oldest flag, being created in 1219 during The Battle of Lindanisse.

A flag this old has a lot of history and tales behind it. The legend says that as the Danes were on their last legs in the battle, the flag miraculously fell from the sky and encouraged them to push forward and win the day. Whether this was a signal from God, a mass hallucination, or some kind of bird, it’s safe to say that this flag won’t be changing any time soon.

3. Denmark has 4 seasons of weather.

Denmark has 4 seasons of weather, spring, summer, autumn, and winter.

If you know anything about geography, you’ll know that any country situated near Denmark is not going to have the best weather during the whole year. Denmark has often a cold time in the winter, and when it is not cold, then it is often rainy in wintertime.

But in the spring and summer-time when it’s not raining, it’s nice and temperate. You won’t have weeks upon weeks of heat to rely on in Denmark, but you’ll have good days in summer and spring throughout to go out swimming or have a barbeque.

4. Cycling is pivotal to the Danish way of life

People in Denmark love their bikes. In fact, nine out of ten Danes own a bike, a statistic provided by the Cycling Embassy of Denmark. Yes, the Danes bike so much that they have a cycling embassy.

Denmark is known around the world for its bike culture, and the fact that our country is quite flat is definitely an advantage in this matter. Denmark also has more than 12,000 km of cycle tracks and lanes throughout the country which makes biking in Denmark a safe and respected way to travel. We even enjoy cycling so much that 75% continue biking all through winter.

If you’re the kind of person who loves to indulge in some cardio while being environmentally friendly, Denmark is a great place to be! The major cities are fully stocked with bike lanes, and the weather is almost always nice enough to get out on a two-wheeler.

5. Denmark is one of the flattest countries in the world

How did biking become so integrated into the country’s identity ? Well, that’s because the range of elevation in Denmark is extremely small. There’s only a difference of 584 feet (178 meters) between the lowest and highest points!

Denmark’s highest mountain, Moegelhoej, is nothing more than a nice walk when compared to the world's highest place - Mount Everest – Moegelhoej is 170 m tall, Mount Everest is 8,848 m.

6. The water in Denmark is crystal clear

Denmark is very coastal, and oftentimes coastal countries lose their luster over time due to pollution. Not the case with Denmark, however, as Denmark's coastal cities take great lengths to ensure that the water stays clean and clear.

It’s generally accepted that you don’t swim in the water at the harbor of bigger cities in the world like the Hudson or the Thames. But in Copenhagen, you’ll be able to splish splash around the harbors with no risk of contracting any kind of horrifying parasitic disease.

7. You can drink water from the tap

Not only is our city harbors clean enough to swim in, but we are also used to drinking water from the tap. And you can enjoy this privilege from your home because you will find some of the world's cleanest tap water in Denmark.

8. Healthcare in Denmark is free

Denmark has a publicly funded health system that covers almost everything. From check-ups to operations, you’ll never have to spend any of your own money on making that your health is safe and secure.

Therefore, a cornerstone in the Danish welfare system is free and equal rights to benefits such as healthcare and education for all citizens.

If you’re a registered resident of Denmark, whether it’s through birth or a visa, you’ll be allowed to use this system to its fullest extent. There will be very rare occasions where you’ll need to pay for prescriptions or dental check-ups, but it will never bankrupt you.

9. Free education for all in Denmark

Free education for all is a key priority in Denmark in order to ensure growth, welfare, and competitiveness.

Combining high academic standards with innovative learning approaches, Danish institutions are preparing their students to play an active role in today’s globalized knowledge-based world.

Danish higher education has a long tradition of co‐operation with business, industry, and research institutes, creating an enriching and vibrant learning environment for their students and the Danish society.

10. Work-life balance

If a good work-life balance is important to you, you should really consider coming to Denmark to study and work, because Denmark has one of the best work-life balances in the world!

A standard working week consists of 37 hours working week. Flexible working hours are common since the majority of both men and women work.

Parents have the right to 52 weeks' leave with maternity subsistence allowance, of which 36 weeks can be divided between the mother and the father according to individual wishes.

11. The social welfare system in Denmark

Denmark’s comprehensive social welfare system offers unemployment, disability, old-age, and survivorship benefits at virtually no charge to all people living in Denmark. According to the Danish constitution, “any person unable to support himself or his dependents shall, where no other person is responsible for his or their maintenance, be entitled to receive public assistance.”

The state welfare programs of Denmark should not be thought of as institutionalized charity, however. They are recognized both legally and in public opinion as morally just social rights that have been paid for by taxes and assessments.

12. Denmark has particularly high taxes

The focus on the collective means also results in, that the taxes in Denmark are quite high when compared to other countries. Denmark has a 25% VAT, and the average Dane pays a 45% income tax. Either way, you cut it, a lot of money goes to the government administration and Social welfare for the citizens in Denmark.

Don’t be disheartened! As mentioned education and healthcare are free, or at the very least, extremely cheap, so you’ll save a lot of money in the long run, and won’t have to worry about an accident or illness in the family that could drain your bank account.

13. Religion and identity in Denmark

In Denmark, 75 % of the population are registered members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. But less than a fifth of Danes see themselves as “very religious.”

Christianity has shaped Denmark's culture, and the Danish countryside remains dotted with traditional churches. Most Danish cities offer a range of churches that include the Lutheran Evangelical state church as well as Catholic and Pentecostal congregations. However, few Danes go to church on a regular basis. In fact, many go only once a year - usually on Christmas Eve.

Churches are still popular for marking life events, such as baptisms, weddings, and funerals. Many Danes also choose to pay the optional "church tax" required to be able to hold an event in a state church, as well as to support the maintenance of the beautiful church buildings, some dating as far back as the Middle Ages (1100-1200 AD).

In many areas, churches also serve as community centers. Groups of new parents meet there with their babies for musical "baby psalm-singing", teenagers prepare for their confirmation and plan parties, and older people meet for coffee and cake.

Most Danes are very open-minded and respectful to all kinds of different religions.

14. We have a word for that cozy feeling of togetherness: "Hygge"

"Hygge" is a term that goes far in illuminating the Danish soul. In essence, "Hygge" is about creating cozy social gatherings and intimate get-togethers with family and friends. It's the feeling of wellbeing and warm atmospheres.

Therefore the word “hygge” is unique to the Danish language, and as mentioned 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 your family and others.

You can also feel the notion of hygge in the streets of our capital Copenhagen and other cities around in Denmark - literally. Walk down some of the old narrow, cobbled streets, dating back several hundred years. These streets invite you to intimate walks next to colorful houses, small coffee shops, and vintage boutiques.

15. There is an unofficial Danish law for "no one is better than the other"

It is called "Janteloven", and it plays a key part in the Danish culture and mentality where everyone is accepted and equal. Janteloven is also the main reason why Danes tend to say that it goes well for us (Denmark as a whole).

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 together with friends and in public.

16. Denmark is one of the happiest countries on Earth

Denmark is one of the top countries in the World Happiness Ranking - This metric analyzes all things from the average salary to the amount of integration with nature.

To quote an important part of the study: “Being poor in Denmark does not have an as harsh effect on happiness as in the US, where the gap between rich and poor is much larger and where there are not similar welfare services and public goods available for the poor.”

And if you’re worrying that you’ll miss out on not being a local, don’t be! The study shows that people who move to Denmark are just as happy as those born there. If you’re moving to Denmark, you’ll have every opportunity to level up in the realm of happiness.

17. To sum up — General facts about Denmark

Below we have summed up some general info such as total population, land area, biggest lake, highest mountain and other general facts about Denmark:

- Total Population (2021): 5,868.748.

- Highest Mountain: Moellehoej (approx 170 meters high).

- Land area: 42,931 km2

- Biggest Lake: Arresø – 39.5 km2

- National Day: 5 June (constitution day, not a real national day though).

- Government: Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy.

- Primary minister: Mette Frederiksen

- Currency: Danish kroner (DKK).

- Official language: Danish. But Faroese, Greenlandic, and German are also recognized as regional languages.

- Official Website:

- Member of European Union (EU): Since 1973.

- Member of Nato: Yes.

- National song: “Der er et yndigt land”

- Time zone: CET (UTC +1), summertime, CEST (UTC +2)

- Country Number/Prefix: +45

- Country Code: DK

- Capital: Copenhagen