Regions of Denmark

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ISO 3166-2 Newsletter II-3 is dated 2011-12-15. For Denmark, it only adjusts the spellings of some of the region names.

I checked the Danmarks Statistik website (source [1]) for populations as of 2005-01-01, and there were some small discrepancies with the figures I already had. A total of 273 people has been counted in the wrong region. I'm not sure whether this was because of a mistake that was later rectified, or because of small areas being transferred from one region to the next and the population data being adjusted proleptically, but in any case I've changed the table to show Danmarks Statistik's current data.

Denmark has undertaken a complete reorganization. The counties were dissolved and replaced by five regions, effective 2007-01-01. The sole administrative function of these regions will be to oversee health services. More information can be found at the Nordic local government website (source [2]), and in Wikipedia (source [3]).

The FIPS 10-4 standard published codes for the new regions in Change Notice 12, dated 2007-06-11. ISO 3166-2 recognized them in its second edition, dated 2007-12-15.

Erratum: In "Administrative Divisions of Countries", page 105, the ISO codes for Copenhagen (county) and Copenhagen City were reversed. The correct codes appear in the last table under Change history.

Country overview: 

Short nameDENMARK
ISO codeDK
LanguageDanish (da)
Time zone+1 ~


Denmark remained neutral in World War I. At the end of the war, a plebiscite was held in Schleswig. As a result, the northern part of Schleswig (Danish: Slesveg) was transferred from Germany to Denmark on 1920-02-10. It corresponds fairly well with the modern county of South Jutland. In World War II, Denmark was occupied by Germany, but its pre-war borders were restored in the peace.

Spelling note: The Danes carried out a spelling reform in 1948. In this reform, "aa" was replaced by "å". However, according to address expert Graham Rhind , the official Danish naming board says that "aa" is still allowed in place names and personal names. The city of Aalborg prefers that spelling.

Other names of country: 

  1. Danish: Danmark, Kongeriget Danmark (formal)
  2. Dutch: Denemarken, Koninkrijk Denemarken (formal)
  3. English: Kingdom of Denmark (formal)
  4. Finnish: Tanska
  5. French: Danemark m
  6. German: Dänemark n
  7. Icelandic: Danmörk
  8. Italian: Danimarca f
  9. Norwegian: Danmark, Kongeriket Danmark (formal)
  10. Portuguese: Dinamarca, Reino m da Dinamarca f (formal)
  11. Russian: Королевство Дания (formal)
  12. Spanish: Dinamarca, Reino m de Dinamarca f (formal)
  13. Swedish: Danmark
  14. Turkish: Danimarka Krallığı (formal)

Origin of name: 

Dansk (ethnic name) + mark: field

Primary subdivisions: 

Denmark is divided into five regioner (regions; singular: region).

CapitalDK.HS84DA17DK011,631,6352,561989HillerødHovedstadenBO, FR, KH, SF, SK
Central JutlandDK.MJ82DA18DK041,212,78713,0535,040ViborgMidtjyllandAR, RK, VB (part), VJ (part)
North JutlandDK.ND81DA19DK05577,2788,0203,097AalborgNordjyllandNJ, VB (part)
South DenmarkDK.SD83DA21DK031,183,75112,1914,707VejleSyddanmarkFY, RB, SJ, VJ (part)
ZealandDK.SL85DA20DK02805,9547,2732,808SorøSjællandRS, ST, VS
5 regions5,411,40543,09816,640
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
  • ISO: Codes from ISO 3166-2:2007.
  • FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4.
  • NUTS: Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics.
  • Population: 2005-01-01, according to Danmarks Statistik.
  • Danish: Region name in Danish.
  • Former: HASC codes (last two letters) of corresponding counties.


Populations and areas were provided by Celvin Ruisdael.

Postal codes: 

Danish postal codes (postnumre, sing. postnummer) are four digits.

Further subdivisions:

See the Municipalities of Denmark page.

The counties are further subdivided into 99 municipalities.

Territorial extent: 

  1. Århus lies mostly on Jutland, but also includes some islands, such as Anholt and Samsø.
  2. Bornholm includes the island of Bornholm and the smaller Ertholmene Islands (Christiansø, Frederiksø, and others). (In fact, the Ertholmene islands belong directly to the state and not to any municipality or county. I have assigned them to Bornholm because they lie immediately adjacent to it. I haven't seen any list of primary subdivisions of Denmark that lists Ertholmene separately.)
  3. Copenhagen occupies part of the island of Sjælland (Zealand), most of Amager, and all of Saltholm.
  4. Copenhagen City lies mainly on the islands of Sjælland and Amager. It surrounds Frederiksberg, and in return it is surrounded by Copenhagen (the county), if water territory is taken into account.
  5. Frederiksberg is entirely surrounded by Copenhagen City. It has no direct relationship to Frederiksborg.
  6. Frederiksborg is almost entirely on the island of Sjælland.
  7. Fyn contains the islands of Fyn, Æbelø, Ærø (on the Bay of Kiel), Bågø, Brandsø, Langeland, Romsø, Tåsinge, and other smaller ones.
  8. North Jutland includes only a few islands. The largest is Læsø in the Kattegat. It also includes an area known as Vendsyssel. Vendsyssel and Thy (see Viborg) are connected to one another, but separated from the rest of Jutland by a variable strip of water called Limfjorden. Nonetheless, they are considered part of Jutland.
  9. Ribe contains the North Sea islands of Fanø and Mandø; the rest of it is part of Jutland.
  10. Ringkøbing is part of Jutland, containing only a few islands in fjords.
  11. Roskilde is almost entirely on Sjælland.
  12. South Jutland is mostly on Jutland, but includes some islands, such as Als, Årø, and Barsø in the Little Belt, and Rømø in the North Sea.
  13. Storstrøm occupies part of Sjælland, and the entirety of a number of islands, such as Bogø, Falster, Fejø, Femø, Lolland, Møn, and Vejrø.
  14. Vejle is mostly on Jutland, but includes a few islands, such as Endelave and Hjarnø.
  15. Vestsjælland lies almost entirely on Sjælland, but also contains some small islands, such as Hesselø in the Kattegat, Orø in Isefjord, Agersø, Omø, Sejerø, Sprogø, etc.
  16. Viborg contains part of Jutland, including Thy (see North Jutland) and some islands in Limfjorden, notably Mors.
  17. The Faroe Islands and Greenland, remote territories of Denmark with limited home rule, are treated as separate countries by ISO 3166-1, so they are not included here. Iceland had a similar status at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1918 it nominally became a sovereign state, but it remained subordinate to Denmark in international affairs. On 1944-06-17, it officially became an independent republic.

The UN LOCODE page  for Denmark lists locations in the country, some of them with their latitudes and longitudes, some with their ISO 3166-2 codes for their subdivisions. This information can be put together to approximate the territorial extent of subdivisions.

Origins of names: 

  1. Ålborg: probably from Old Norse áll: channel, borg: fort
  2. Århus: from Old Danish å: river and os: mouth
  3. Bornholm: Old Danish for Islet of the Burgundar (ethnic name, also found in the old province of Burgundy in France)
  4. Copenhagen: Danish køben: merchant, havn: port (merchants' port)
  5. Fyn: from Old Norwegian fjón: pasturage
  6. Jutland: land of the Jutes, an ethnic name
  7. Roskild: Old Danish Hroarskilde: origin of Hroar (a king)
  8. Vestsjælland = West Zealand, from Old Danish sjæ: sea, land: land (Zealand is the island on which most of Copenhagen sits)

Change history: 

In 1900, Denmark contained 18 counties and one municipality (Staden Kjöbenhaven, or Copenhagen City). The data in the following table come from source [4]. Denmark also held the Faroes, Greenland, Iceland, and the Danish Virgin Islands as possessions. The Statistical Yearbook also divided Denmark proper (excluding possessions) into two general areas and further into seven sections. Jylland (Jutland in English) consisted of Nordlige Jylland, Sydøstlige Jylland, and Sydvestlige Jylland (Northern, Southeastern, and Southwestern Jutland). Øerne (Islands) consisted of Bornholm, Fyn, Lolland-Falster, and Sjælland (Zealand).

Aalborg45,62760,68476,58295,338104,790128,6562,902.1Nordlige Jylland
Aarhus53,31880,841109,045140,886157,191186,4402,483.5Sydøstlige Jylland
Copenhagen City100,975120,819155,143234,850312,859378,23568.6Sjælland
Hjørring45,32765,26584,464101,414110,361119,3852,811.8Nordlige Jylland
Randers49,85866,18785,763104,321110,444118,5862,426.0Sydøstlige Jylland
Ribe34,54645,93057,97373,25778,62395,6823,033.2Sydvestlige Jylland
Ringkjøbing40,34655,39068,28787,40698,623111,4744,530.4Sydvestlige Jylland
Thisted30,03244,51054,74464,00769,40771,4381,750.9Nordlige Jylland
Vejle44,50670,62891,791108,513111,904125,5232,328.7Sydøstlige Jylland
Viborg41,56455,70571,55793,369100,777106,6083,024.4Sydvestlige Jylland
19 counties929,0011,289,0751,608,3621,969,0392,172,3802,449,54038,455.4
  • County: Copenhagen City is a municipality.
  • Section: as listed in the Statistical Yearbook.
  1. It appears that Aarhus, Kjöbenhaven, Odense, and (after 1920) Aabenraa counties were each subdivided into two districts. Some sources show the counties without the districts; others show the districts as if they were counties. The districts are listed below, under their counties.
  2. 1917-01-25: Denmark sold the Danish West Indies (De dansk-vestindiske Øer) to the United States, which renamed them the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  3. 1918-12-01: Iceland became an independent country, but retained its allegiance to the Danish crown.
  4. 1920-02-10: Northern Schleswig, consisting of the counties of Aabenraa, Haderslev, and Tönder, transferred from Germany to Denmark.
  5. ~1923: Frederiksborg province and its capital renamed to Hilleröd.
  6. 1944-06-17: Iceland became a republic with no organic ties to Denmark.
  7. 1948: Spelling reform changed Aa to Å, ö to ø, Kjöbenhaven to København, and Ringkjöbing to Ringkøbing.
ÅbenråÅbenrå48,676790South Jutland
Sønderborg49,604441South Jutland
Ålborg232,8852,914North Jutland
ÅrhusÅrhus210,409804Århus, *Vejle
Skanderborg136,4951,719Århus, Vejle
Frederiksborg162,8891,344Frederiksborg, *Vestsjælland
Haderslev71,7151,342South Jutland
Hjørring173,2332,865North Jutland
Holbæk127,1271,752Vestsjælland, Århus
KøbenhavnKøbenhavn1,269,366584Copenhagen, Copenhagen City, Frederiksberg
Præstø122,9191,693Storstrøm, Roskilde
Randers170,8022,466Århus, *North Jutland
Ribe178,5013,069Ribe, *South Jutland
Thisted86,7031,774Vejle, *North Jutland
Tønder42,8421,390South Jutland
Vejle207,8812,348Vejle, *Ribe, *Ringkøbing, *South Jutland
Viborg160,0183,050Viborg, *Århus, *Ringkøbing
21 counties4,448,40143,042
  • County, District: divisions before the reorganization
  • Population: 1955 census
  • Disposition: new county or counties formed from the old county.
    * only a very small part (usually a single municipality or less) of the
    old county went into this new county.
  • Capitals have the same name as their counties or districts, except
    for Bornholm (capital Rønne).
  1. 1953-06-05: Greenland became constitutionally an overseas county of Denmark.
  2. 1970-04-01: The 21 counties were reorganized into 14 amter (counties) and two kommuner (municipalities), as shown in the following table. Some sources called Frederiksberg a borough, or omit it completely.
CountyHASCISOFIPSNUTSPopulationArea(km.²)Area(mi.²)CapitalPostal codes
ÅrhusDK.AR070DA01DK00D640,6374,5611,761Århus80-86, 89
Copenhagen CityDK.SK101DA06DK001499,1488834Copenhagen10-17, 21-25
North JutlandDK.NJ080DA07DK00F494,8336,1732,383Ålborg90-99
RingkøbingDK.RK065DA09DK00C273,5174,8531,874Ringkøbing68-69, 74-76
RoskildeDK.RS025DA10DK004233,212891344Roskilde40-41, 46
South JutlandDK.SJ050DA11DK009253,2493,9381,521Åbenrå61-66
StorstrømDK.ST035DA12DK006259,6913,3981,312Nykøbing (Falster)47-49
VejleDK.VJ060DA13DK00B349,1862,9971,157Vejle60, 70-73, 87
ViborgDK.VB076DA15DK00E233,9214,1221,592Viborg77-79, 88
16 divisions5,349,21243,09216,638
  • County: Copenhagen City and Frederiksberg are municipalities.
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
  • ISO: Codes from ISO 3166-2.
  • FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4.
  • NUTS: Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics
  • Population: 2001-01-01 census
  • Postal codes: See note below


Note: Ranges of postal codes shown in the table above are for the first two digits. County boundaries don't exactly coincide with postcode areas, so there are some exceptions. Codes beginning with 39 are for Greenland, which is part of the Danish system. Postal codes for Danish addresses can be identified by prefixing them with "DK-".

In "Administrative Subdivisions of Countries", I provided a rough mapping of postal code ranges to counties. Examining the postal codes of the municipalities, I find that the actual mapping is even less distinct, and in quite a few cases, the first two digits of the postal code are not sufficient to identify the county.

  1. 1993-11-01: Under the Maastricht Treaty, the European Union replaced the European Communities, of which Denmark was a member.
  2. 2003-01-01: Status of Bornholm changed from county to regionskommune (regional municipality). Previously, it had been subdivided into municipalities. They were dissolved.
  3. 2007-01-01: The counties were abolished and replaced by the five regions shown in the main table.

Other names of subdivisions: 

  1. Århus: Arósar (Icelandic); Aarhus (Danish-obsolete)
  2. Bornholm: Borgundarhólmur (Icelandic); Bornholms (variant)
  3. Copenhagen: Copenaghen (Italian); Copenhague (French, Portuguese, Spanish); Kaupmannahöfn (Icelandic); Kjöbenhavn (Danish-obsolete); København, Københavns (Danish); Kööpenhamina (Finnish); Kopenhagen (German); Köpenhamn (Swedish); Копенгаген (Russian)
  4. Copenhagen City: Staden København (Danish)
  5. Fyn: Fionia (Spanish); Fionie (French); Fjón (Icelandic); Fünen (German); Fyen (Danish-obsolete); Fyns (variant)
  6. North Jutland: Nord-Jütland (German); Nordjylland, Nordjyllands (Danish); Norður-Jótland (Icelandic)
  7. Ringkøbing: Ringkjöbing (Danish-obsolete)
  8. Roskilde: Roschild (German); Roskild (French)
  9. South Jutland: Sønderjylland, Sønderjyllands (Danish); Süd-Jütland (German); Suður-Jótland (Icelandic)
  10. Storstrøm: Storstrøms (variant)
  11. Vestsjælland: Vestsjaland (Icelandic); Vestsjællands (variant); West-Seeland (German)


  1. [1] StatBank Denmark  interactive data retrieval (English version, retrieved 2009-07-11).
  2. [2] Per Jørgen Olafsen's website on Nordic local government  (partly in English, retrieved 2005-11-10).
  3. [3] Wikipedia article on Regions of Denmark  (retrieved 2005-11-10).
  4. [4] Statistisk Årbog 1902, retrieved from on the Danmarks Statistik website about 2004-04-16 (now a dead link).
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