Greenland

Country Summary

2022 population pyramid

Introduction

Background

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.

Geography

Area

total: 2,166,086 sq km

land: 2,166,086 sq km

Climate

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

Population

57,792 (2022 est.)

Ethnic groups

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

Languages

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

Religions

Evangelical Lutheran, traditional Inuit spiritual beliefs

Population growth rate

-0.02% (2022 est.)

Government

Government type

parliamentary democracy (Parliament of Greenland or Inatsisartut)

Capital

name: Nuuk (Godthaab)

Executive branch

chief of state: Queen MARGRETHE II of Denmark (since 14 January 1972), represented by High Commissioner Mikaela ENGELL (since April 2011)

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  - using the d'Hondt method - to serve 4-year terms)
Greenland elects 2 members to the Danish Parliament to serve 4-year terms

Economy

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.)

Real GDP per capita

$41,800 (2015 est.)

Agricultural products

sheep, cattle, reindeer, fish, shellfish

Industries

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

Exports

$407.1 million (2015 est.)

Exports - partners

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

Exports - commodities

fish, crustaceans, fishing ships (2019)

Imports

$783.5 million (2015 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 -


Page last updated: Wednesday, May 11, 2022