Denmark is a country in Northern Europe. The southernmost of the Nordic countries, it is southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark is part of Scandinavia, together with Sweden and Norway. The Kingdom of Denmark is a sovereign state that comprises Denmark and two autonomous constituent countries in the North Atlantic Ocean: the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Denmark proper has an area of 43,094 square kilometres and a population of nearly 6 million. The country consists of a peninsula, Jutland, and an archipelago of 443 named islands, of which around 70 are inhabited. The islands are characterised by flat, arable land and sandy coasts, low elevation and a temperate climate.
The unified kingdom of Denmark emerged in the 10th century as a proficient seafaring nation in the struggle for control of the Baltic Sea. German and Danish kings of Denmark and a queen ruled the personal Kalmar Union, established in 1397 (of Denmark, Norway and Sweden), which ended with Swedish secession in 1523. Denmark and Norway remained under the same king until the union was dissolved by outside forces in 1814. The Constitution of Denmark was signed on 5 June 1849, ending the absolute monarchy which had begun in 1660.