Denmark i/ˈdɛnmɑrk/ (Danish: Danmark, pronounced [ˈdænmɑɡ̊] ( listen)) is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark (Danish: Kongeriget Danmark (help·info)). It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark borders both the Baltic and the North Sea. The country consists of a large peninsula, Jutland (Jylland) and many islands, most notably Zealand (Sjælland), Funen (Fyn), Vendsyssel-Thy (commonly considered a part of Jutland), Lolland, Falster and Bornholm, as well as hundreds of minor islands often referred to as the Danish Archipelago. Denmark has long controlled the approach to the Baltic Sea (dominium maris baltici); before the digging of the Kiel Canal, water passage to the Baltic Sea was possible only through the three channels known as the "Danish straits".
Denmark is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government. It has a state-level government and local governments in 98 municipalities. Denmark has been a member of the European Union since 1973, although it has not joined the Eurozone. A founding member of NATO and the OECD, it is also a member of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
Denmark, with a mixed market economy and a large welfare state, ranks as having the world's highest level of income equality. It has frequently ranked as the happiest and least corrupt country in the world. The national language, Danish, is closely related to Swedish and Norwegian, with which it shares strong cultural and historical ties.