According to 800zipcodes, Denmark is an ethnically homogeneous country, the Danes representing almost all (95%) of the residents, against a small minority of Turks, Iraqis, Germans, Norwegians and others. The Denmark counted at the beginning of the 19th century. about 930,000 residents, which rose to 3,425,000 in 1925, to the point of exceeding the 5 million mark from the early 1970s to today. The average annual increase, however, has had a very varied dynamic over time: it was just 8.5 ‰ in the first decades of the 19th century, it reached a peak of 12.7 ‰ in the five-year period 1906-1911, for reduce to 3 ‰ in 1975-1978 and drop to negative values in the early 1980s. The 1990s marked a slight recovery compared to the previous fifteen years (4 ‰), but from the beginning of the 21st century. the annual growth rate is close to zero (0, 3% 2001-2006) and is leading to a consistent aging of the population, with age groups between 45 and 65 years much larger than the young ones. After the great transoceanic migratory flow, which saw 360,000 Danes heading towards the United States between 1820 and 1968, there has been an internal movement of the population, sometimes even intense, from the countryside to cities with an ancient industrial tradition and at the most recently developed poles. The urbanization of the Danish population, which reached peaks in the early 1980s, while continuing in the areas of greatest demographic concentration, has been gradually contracting since 2000. Over 85% of the population is classified as urban, and lives both in towns that function as ‘service centers’ for the countryside, and in medium and large cities with mainly secondary and tertiary functions. It emerges on the others Copenhagen, on the island of Sjælland, capital and economic heart of the state; they follow Aarhus, in Jylland; Odense, on the island of Funen and Ålborg, on the Limfjorden. The population is concentrated above all on the islands: Sjælland, in particular, which covers less than 20% of the territory, hosts over 40% of the population, while for the Jylland peninsula the relationship is inverse, with almost 70% of the land area and just over 45% of the population.
The great majority of the population is of the Lutheran religion.
Considered for a long time as a mainly agricultural country, the Denmark has gradually diversified its economic structure, focusing on a rapid expansion of high-quality industry and the strengthening of the tertiary sector. With an annual per capita income exceeding $ 37,000 (2007), the Denmark occupies a pre-eminent position in the relative world ranking and, thanks to an advanced welfare system, maintains an exceptional level of social organization.
Danish agriculture is among the most advanced in the world and its competitiveness is partly due to a cooperative organization of production and distribution. In particular, since the end of the 1980s, the primary sector has focused on a radical transformation, with the continuous decrease of employees to the advantage of the other sectors; with the reorganization of land into larger business units and the introduction of sophisticated production systems. The arable land represents about 60% of the national territory. Agricultural production sees cereals in the lead (in particular barley and wheat, followed by oats and rye); other important crops are sugar beet, vegetables, fruit, to which must be added those destined, as to a large extent cereals, to feed the cattle. The breeding is highly specialized; around 1.6 million cattle are raised (2006), which supply 4,627 t of milk, and over 12 million pigs. The transformation of the products supplies butter, cheeses, condensed and powdered milk, mostly directed to foreign markets, as is the case for fresh and preserved meats. Poultry and mink farming is also relevant. Fishing (over 900,000 tons of catch in 2006) works largely for export (D. is among the top exporters in the world) and feeds a thriving canning, oil and fish meal industry. The major shipping ports are in Esbjerg and Skagen.
Some oil fields in the Danish sector of the North Sea (over 17 million tonnes of crude oil in 2006), from which natural gas is also extracted (over 10 billion m³ in 2006), partly compensate for the historic shortage of energy sources in the Denmark and, thanks to a steadily growing exploitation, they also provide a significant share of exports. Although the production of electricity is very substantial, it does not ensure the country’s self-sufficiency and is integrated with imports from Sweden. The use of renewable energy sources, in particular wind energy, is also developed.
Next to the steel industry and metallurgy, mechanics occupy an important place, with the production of machinery of all kinds for agriculture and industry, as well as ship engines, railway equipment, refrigeration systems, cars, bicycles. Still in the engineering branch, shipbuilding plays an important role, with modern shipyards (Copenhagen, Frederikshavn, Ålborg, Odense). In the chemical industry, the production of superphosphates and other fertilizers, widely used in agriculture, has particular value. The food sector is based on farm products (frozen and sausage meats, animal fats, cheeses, etc.), on the production of sugar and beverages, among which beer stands out, and on the freezing and conservation of fish. A leading industrial activity in the Danish economy is that of furniture and wood, renowned for the production of ceramics. The outsourcing process has been remarkable and the service sector provides over 70% of the national income: the financial and insurance, transport and trade sectors are important.
The intense maritime communications, both continental and intercontinental, make use of a fleet of 8.3 million tons of gross tonnage (2006), which is headed by various ports including Copenhagen, followed by Køge, Ålborg, Aarhus, Fredericia, Esbjerg. The railway network covers 2450 km; the road is over 70,000 km, of which 1032 km of motorways. Large road and rail bridges ensure, together with ferry-boat services, the connections between the islands, with the Scandinavian peninsula and complete those with Germany. Copenhagen intercontinental airport is the busiest in Scandinavia.
The trade balance is in surplus and the largest trade relations take place with Germany, Sweden and Great Britain. The main export products come from the mechanical industry and the primary sector, with a significant role of fishing. The tourist movement has about 4.5 million visitors a year.