Denmark is the southernmost of the Scandinavian countries. The mainland is bordered to the south by Germany; Denmark is southwest of Sweden and south of Norway. Denmark borders both the Baltic and the North Sea. The Faroe Islands and Greenland are autonomous provinces of Denmark with home rule, but are not members of the European Union.
Denmark is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government. Denmark has a state-level government and local governments. Denmark has been a member of the European Union since 1973. Denmark is also a founding member of NATO.
Denmark, with a free market capitalist economy, ranks according to one measure as having the world's highest level of income equality. From 2006 to 2008, surveys ranked Denmark as "the happiest place in the world," based on standards of health, welfare, and education. The 2008 Global Peace Index survey ranks Denmark as the second most peaceful country in the world, after Iceland . Denmark was also ranked as the least corrupt country in the world in the 2008 Corruption Perceptions Index, sharing a top position with Sweden and New Zealand.
The national language, Danish, is close to Swedish and Norwegian, with which they share strong cultural and historical ties.