Greenland

Official nameGreenland
Name in local languageKalaallit Nunaat (kl) ; Grønland (dk)
ContinentAmericas
SubcontinentNorth America
Population (ranking: 220e)56,025 inhabitants (2018)
Population growth-0.26 % / year
Area2,166,086 km²
Density0.03 inhabitants / km²
GDP (ranking: 190e)2.714 billions $USD (2016)
GDP/capita (ranking)48,296 $USD (2016)
GDP growth5.96 % / year (2016)
Life expectancy (ranking)71.89 years (2015)
Birth rate14.30 ‰ (2014)
Fertility rate1.99 children / woman (2014)
Death rate (ranking)8.30 ‰ (2014)
Infant mortality rate (ranking)8.50 ‰ (2013)
Literacy rate100.00 % (2019)
Official languagesGreenlandic (Danish spoken)
CurrencyDanish krone (DKK)
HDI (ranking: 64e)0.839 / 1 (2010)
EPI (ranking)unknown
GovernmentDevolved government within parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Head of StateQueen Margrethe II ; High Commissioner Mikaela Engell ; Premier Kim Kielsen
National Day21 June (Further autonomy and self rule in 2009)
ISO CodesGL, GRL
DemonymGreenlander, Greenlandic
Tourists (ranking)262,898 people (2017)
Groenland – petite
Slight decline in the population

Greenland is a constituent country of Denmark and an overseas territory associated with the European Union, located between the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, in northeastern North America. Although physically belonging to the North American continent, Greenland has been politically and culturally associated with Europe – especially Norway and Denmark, the colonial powers, and the neighboring island of Iceland – more than a millennium.

Greenland is the second largest island in the world. More than three quarters of its territory is covered by a very thick ice cap, which can reach 3000 meters thick! However, in summer, ice-free territory is estimated at 410,449 km2.
Administered from Denmark, the political situation is evolving towards more autonomy in more areas of local competence. Indeed, the Greenlanders want to gain, little by little, independence.
Little exploited, the natural wealth seems abundant according to preliminary studies: oil and gas, ores. The economic exploitation of the Arctic has hardly begun, and the potential reserves are enormous. What can be the consequences of this exploitation on the very well preserved environment of this country? But can we blame a people who lives in a precarious economy and climate to seek to improve their lot by the exploitation of its wealth?
The entire population lives on the coast, in small towns and encampments. Indeed, a part of the coastline remains ice-free in summer, which allows even some sheep farms in the south-west. There is even a golf course in Kangerlussuaq!
The population density is extremely low, 0.026 inhabitants per km2.
The global population has been declining in recent years as many people migrate to Denmark. Quality of life and material conditions are more advantageous than in Greenland.
Finally, the military base of the Thule US Air Force (Pituffik), in the far north, remains an important link in the NORAD radar chain and now has only 103 people (2016) in charge of monitoring the activity of possible missiles launched against North America. During the 1940-1980s and during the Cold War, there were up to 10,000 people, mostly US and Canadian military. The city of Qaanaaq was built about 100 kilometers to the north to accommodate local people who had been evicted from their ancestral lands for the construction of the base.
Finally, Greenland is the land of the northern lights, a magnificent phenomenon that attracts more and more tourists.

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Urban areas (2018)
Urban areasPopulation
Nuuk (Godthåb)17,798 inhabitants
Sisimiut5,524 inhabitants
Ilulissat4,556 inhabitants
Aasiaat3,081 inhabitants
Qaqortoq3,015 inhabitants
Maniitsoq2,593 inhabitants
Tasiilaq2,043 inhabitants
Qaanaaq (Thule)625 inhabitants
See all urban areas
Administrative divisions
MunicipalitiesPopulationArea
Avannaata10,608 inhabitants522,700 km²
Kujalleq6,573 inhabitants32,000 km²
Qeqertalik6,522 inhabitants62,400 km²
Qeqqata9,439 inhabitants115,500 km²
Sermersooq22,789 inhabitants531,900 km²
See all administrative divisions
See also