Denmark Population and Culture

Population. – The population has increased a lot since the last century. Official censuses take place every five years; the last known (November 1925) marks 3,434,555 residents (80 per sq. Km.). Like other European countries, Denmark does not present overly populated territories alongside others sparsely populated; on the other hand, it is quite regularly inhabited in all its parts. After the first exact census (1801) the borders were moved twice: in 1864 Denmark ceded part of the territory to Germany, but following the Treaty of Versailles (1919) and the plebiscite of 1920 southern Jütland (with 176,433 residents in 1925) was returned to her. In 1801 the residents (without calculating those of southern Jütland) were 929,001. The censuses of 1901 and 1916 on that same territory gave the figures of 2,449,540, and 2,921,362 residents In the last 125 years, therefore, Denmark has grown by 3 and a half times. While the average increase from 1801 to 1834 was just 0.86%, at the beginning of the present century it exceeded 1.0% (1901-06: 1.11; 1906-11: 1.27). The main cause is to be found in the decrease in mortality. But births have also decreased, as in many other European countries; large families became rare, so that in the years 1921-25 the percentage of growth decreased (1.0506). Marriages also decreased: from 26,768 couples in 1921 to 25,786 in 1925 (8.1 and 7.5 marriages, respectively, for every 1000 residents). This is related to the economic depression that occurred after the world war. The increase in the population in 1925 can be seen from the following data: 71,897 live births,% of pop. 2.10; stillbirths 1737,% of population 0.05; deaths 37,083,% of the population 1.08; emigrants 4,578,% of residents 0.13. About 10.6% of live births and 13.1% of stillbirths were illegitimate. The frequency of births touched at the beginning of the century. XIX on average 3.1%, a constant figure until around 1890. Mortality (in 1921-25 of 1.13% on average) was instead of 2.25% at the beginning of the last century. Today only Norway, Switzerland, Holland and England have similarly low figures. The population increase was much greater in the countryside around 1801 than in the cities, but in 1860 conditions changed; especially Copenhagen experienced a significant increase. The fact is due to growing industrialization and the consequent greater job opportunities offered by cities. The trend towards urbanization has almost ceased a few years ago, both due to the economically unfavorable conditions for the industry, both for the lack of housing. In 1921 there were 1,591,628 men against 1,676,203 women; out of a thousand residents 487 men and 513 women. In 1801 the latter were 504 per thousand.

The population is thus divided by professions (census of 1921).


School organization. – Primary education has been compulsory in Denmark for children aged 7 to 14 since 1814. Of the 4485 schools existing in 1928, only 34 were state-run, 3864 depended on local administrations and 587 were private. The elementary course has a duration of five years and is followed by a secondary course of four years. The secondary schools are divided into classical, modern, scientific and at their end the students must take a special state exam. For professional teaching there are 278 technical schools, 20 master’s, 94 commercial, 22 agricultural, as well as some institutes for pharmacists, dentists, veterinarians, etc. The University of Copenhagen, founded in 1479, has five faculties and around 4500 students (for the major Danish cultural institutes see.Copenhagen).


At the origins of the Danish musical civilization, starting from the century. XVI, contributed heterogeneous influences: first the Flemish, then the Italian and the French. Dutch were Jürgen Preston, Josquin Baston, AP Coclicus, composers who flourished in the second half of 1500, at the courts of Christian III and Frederick III. In the century XVIII two Danish authors worthy of interest, M. Pederson and Hans Nielsen wrote motets, masses, psalms and madrigals. A first Danish play appeared at the end of the century. XVII, under Christian V. It is Cristiano Schindler’s The Dispute of the Gods.

However, the Italians (including Paolo Scalabrini and Giuseppe Sarti) and the French continued to reign in the musical art of Denmark, but also JPE Hartmann, JP Schulz and FLE Kunzen, all of German origin, wrote in the century. XVIII comic operas, in which the Danish popular element begins to appear. But the first two composers who oriented Danish music towards a more national direction were C. Weyse, (1774-1842) author of lieder and sacred compositions, and F. Kuhlau (1796-1892) who wrote in addition to various dramatic works, the famous “Studî” for piano. JPE Hartmann (1805-1900) can be considered, with his dramatic, choral and religious compositions, the founder of the Scandinavian school and was also considered such by Grieg. Niels Gade (1817-1890), Hartmann’s son-in-law, is however the best known and most appreciated Danish composer in the world. He wrote 8 symphonies, a Suite for strings, overtures, cantatas, concerts, sonatas and pieces for the piano, works that are sometimes influenced by Mendelssohn, but rich in a clear and easy melody and colorful instrumentation. Alongside Gade, E. Hartmann (1836-1898), F. Heies (1830-1899) were deservedly appreciated, author of well-known lieder, E. Lassen (1830) success at Liszt in the direction of the Weimar theater; A. Winding (1835-1899); E. Hannemann (1840-1906); A. Hammerich (1843); A. Enna (1860); O. Malling (1848), etc. Angul Hammerich, brother of the composer, has published essays on Swedish folk songs, as well as a History of Music at the court of Christian IV ; in 1905 a History of Music by William Behrend was also published in Copenhagen.

Numerous and very accurate, in Copenhagen, are the musical performances: periodic concerts and opera seasons are held respectively at the Conservatory, founded in 1867 by Moldenhauer, and at the Opera House.

Denmark Culture