Country Summary



Greenland, the world's largest island, is about 80% ice-capped. Vikings reached the island in the 10th century from Iceland; Danish colonization began in the 18th century, and Greenland became an integral part of the Danish Realm in 1953.



total: 2,166,086 sq km
land: 2,166,086 sq km


arctic to subarctic; cool summers, cold winters

Natural resources

coal, iron ore, lead, zinc, molybdenum, diamonds, gold, platinum, niobium, tantalite, uranium, fish, seals, whales, hydropower, possible oil and gas

People and Society


57,777 (2023 est.)

Ethnic groups

Greenlandic 89.1%, Danish 7.5%, other Nordic peoples 0.9%, and other 2.5% (2022 est.)


Greenlandic (West Greenlandic or Kalaallisut is the official language), Danish, English


Evangelical Lutheran, traditional Inuit spiritual beliefs

Population growth rate

-0.04% (2023 est.)


Government type

parliamentary democracy (Parliament of Greenland or Inatsisartut)


name: Nuuk (Godthaab)

Executive branch

chief of state: King FREDERIK X of Denmark (since 14 January 2024), represented by High Commissioner Mikaela ENGELL (since April 2011) (2024)
head of government: Premier Mute B. EGEDE (since 23 April 2021)

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Parliament or Inatsisartut (31 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by party-list proportional representation vote - by the d'Hondt method - to serve 4-year terms)
Greenland elects 2 members to the Danish Parliament to serve 4-year terms


Economic overview

large self-governing Danish territorial economy; preferential EU market access; high-income economy; dependent on Danish financial support, even for whaling and sealing industries; growing tourism; hydropower-fueled but environmentally fragile economy

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$2.413 billion (2015 est.)
$2.24 billion (2014 est.)
$2.203 billion (2013 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$41,800 (2015 est.)
$38,800 (2014 est.)
$38,500 (2013 est.)

Agricultural products

sheep, cattle, reindeer, fish, shellfish


fish processing (mainly shrimp and Greenland halibut), anorthosite and ruby mining, handicrafts, hides and skins, small shipyards


$407.1 million (2015 est.)
$599.7 million (2014 est.)

Exports - partners

Denmark 55%, China 22%, Japan 6% (2019)

Exports - commodities

shrimp, halibut, fish fillets, crabs, cod, mackerel (2021)


$783.5 million (2015 est.)
$866.1 million (2014 est.)

Imports - partners

Denmark 51%, Spain 23%, Sweden 12%, Iceland 7% (2019)

Imports - commodities

fishing ships, refined petroleum, construction vehicles, crustaceans, delivery trucks (2019)

Exchange rates

Danish kroner (DKK) per US dollar -
Exchange rates:
6.287 (2021 est.)
6.542 (2020 est.)
6.669 (2019 est.)
6.315 (2018 est.)
6.603 (2017 est.)

Page last updated: Tuesday, February 27, 2024