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Denmark, officially known as the Kingdom of Denmark, is a large country in Northern Europe, with a total land area of 1.3 million square miles.  The southernmost of the Nordic countries, Denmark is situated to the south of Norway, to the north of Germany and to the southwest of Sweden.  The country also consists of a large peninsula called Jutland, major islands that include Greenland Funen, Falster, Zealand and Lolland, and hundreds of minor islands often referred to as the Danish Archipelago.  Denmark is a constitutional monarchy with three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial, and while the country is not located within the Euro zone, it is a member of the European Union and a founding member of NATO.  The country’s capital and by far its largest city is Copenhagen.
 
According to the latest available census data, Denmark has a population of approximately 5.5 million.  Statistics show that an overwhelming percentage of the population (90 percent) is made up of those of native Danish heritage, and the remaining 10 percent comprised of immigrants, primarily from neighboring countries like Bosnia and Herzegovina, and countries in South Asia and West Asia.  Many of these immigrants have arrived since the “Alien Law” was enacted in 1983—an act that allows family members of immigrants already living in the country to enter Denmark freely.  Danish is the official language of Denmark—the most widely spoken language and used for all official matters of the state.  English and German are the most oft heard foreign languages in the country.  According to the Constitution of Denmark, the Lutheran religion, or more specifically the Church of Denmark, is the official state religion, and is practiced by over 80 percent of the population.  Minority religions include Roman Catholicism and Christian Evangelical.
 
Education in Denmark
 
Education in Denmark is the responsibility of the national government and is free and compulsory for children between the ages of 6 and 16.  The system is divided between three distinct levels:  primary school, secondary school and higher education.
 
Primary school in Denmark, also called “den Danske Folkeskole,” spans 10 years and is the only free and compulsory level.  Den Danske Folkeskole, which translates to Danish Public School, runs from kindergarten through 10th grade, although the final year is optional.  Education is provided at both the public and private level, and the curriculum is designed to offer students a well-rounded educational experience in subjects such as language, history, geography, science, mathematics, computers, art, music, health and physical education.  Statistics show that over 99 percent of Danish children attend primary school, and although not mandatory, 87 percent of students go on to pursue education at the secondary level.
 
Secondary education in Denmark is carried out both gymnasiums and vocational schools.  Gymnasiums are schools that offer 2-3 year academic programs, in many of the same areas listed above, albeit more advanced.  Students who wish to pursue higher education opportunities in the country must first earn a diploma from one of these college preparatory institutions.  Vocational schools tend to cater to the more career-minded student and offer instruction and training in a number of important occupational fields, allowing young students to earn entry level certification in a job of their choosing.
 
Higher education in Denmark is carried out at one of the many public and private universities in the country.  As a member of the European Union, Denmark has recently switched to a standardized credit and degree structure—a three-tier structure with academic programs leading to a three-year (120 credits per year) Bachelor Degree, a two-year Master’s Degree, and an additional 3-6 years for a Doctorate level degree.
 
The educational system in Denmark is ranked 24th overall in the world, and the adult literacy rate in the country is 99 percent.

Map of Denmark

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