Denmark is a northern European country spread across more than 400 islands, about 70 of which are inhabited, and a small peninsula on the European mainland, directly north of Germany. It is west of Sweden and separated from Norway to the north by the Skagerrak strait. Despite its small size and population, Denmark is well known for its high degree of political and economic freedom, high quality of life, and robust economy. It has been a member of the EU since 1973, although it continues to use the Danish krone as its currency, rather than the euro. Denmark is a major exporter of meat, fish, dairy, and other agricultural products. It also has highly developed chemical, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology industries and is a world leader in renewable energy. Trade and transport are also important parts of the Danish economy; Denmark is one of the largest shipping operators in the world.