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Infant mortality, epidemics, war and emigration, better hygiene, food, and housing influenced population changes.

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The name of the country means "Borderlands of the Danes" in reference to a political unit created during the sixth through ninth centuries.

This period was marked by a slow progression of sovereignty among the Danes, a people who originated in Skaane (today the southern part of Sweden) but eventually were based in Jutland.

After centuries of sovereign rule by the king, the first common constitution was completed and signed in 1849, initiating a government with an assembly consisting of a lower house ( Folketing ) and upper house ( Landsting ).

The making of a common constitution was an important element in the nineteenth century's political emphasis on the formation of nationhood. Beer, allotment gardens, the flag, the national anthem, democracy, Christmas, folk high schools, personal well-being, and coziness are some of the elements of the national culture, but questions of how the cultural heritage can survive and what it is emphasize the fact that Denmark is a nation of cultural borrowers.

Within a span of one-hundred fifty years, Denmark changed from an agricultural to an industrialized society.

In the late nineteenth century, two-thirds of the population lived in rural areas and engaged in agriculture; today, only 15 percent live in rural areas, and many of those people have city jobs.

Roughly eighty of its more than four hundred islands are inhabited.

Jutland, Zealand, and Funen (Fyn) are the largest and most densely populated regions.

Free abortion and sterilization rights since 1973 caused slower population growth, which in certain years was negative (1981 through 1984).

Immigration increased from 35,051 in 1988 to 50,105 in 1997.

By the ninth century the Danes had gained mastery of the area known today as Denmark and maintained control until the late medieval period, including parts of modern Sweden and Norway.

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