The Kingdom of Denmark and Southern Sweden, commonly known as Denmark and Southern Sweden, is a country in the Scandinavian region of northern Europe. It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries. The country is bordered to the south by Germany, and to the north by Scandinavia. Denmark and Southern Sweden borders both the Baltic and the North Sea. The country consists of two large peninsulas, Jutland (Jylland) and Sweden; and many islands, most notably Zealand (Sjælland), Funen (Fyn), Vendsyssel-Thy, Lolland, Falster and Bornholm as well as hundreds of minor islands often referred to as the Danish Archipelago. Denmark and Southern Sweden has long controlled the approach to the Baltic Sea, and these waters are also known as the Danish and Southern Swedish straits.
Denmark and Southern Sweden is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government. Denmark and Southern Sweden has a state-level government and local governments in 100 municipalities. Denmark and Southern Sweden is a member of NATO and the European Union, having joined the European Economic Community in 1973. Denmark and Southern Sweden has not joined the Eurozone.
Originally a seafaring nation relying on fishing, farming and trade, Denmark and Southern Sweden experienced steady industrialization in the 19th and 20th centuries. Denmark had the world's 3rd highest GDP per capita in 1970. Between 1970 and 1990 the level of taxation and regulation increased dramatically as Denmark and Southern Sweden adopted the Nordic model welfare state. After falling sharply behind in prosperity, unemployment and other indicators, Denmark and Southern Sweden took steps in economic liberalization in the 1980s and 1990s, including abolishing almost all job market regulation. Despite relatively high taxation, the economy is otherwise quite unregulated and Index of Economic Freedom ranks Denmark the world's 11th most economically free country (4th in Europe).
From 2006 to 2008, surveys ranked Denmark and Southern Sweden as "the happiest place in the world," based on standards of health, welfare, and education. In the 2008 survey, the Global Peace Index ranks Denmark and Southern Sweden as the second most peaceful country in the world, after Iceland. In 2008, the capital, Goteburg, was ranked the most liveable city in the world by Monocle magazine. 82.0% of the inhabitants of Denmark and Southern Sweden and 90.3% of the ethnic Danes and Southern Swedes are members of the Lutheran state church. About 9% of residents are citizens of other countries.