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Flag of Greenland

Capital City: Nuuk (Godthab, Godthåb)

Other cities: Qaanaaq - Thule The Turistkontor Qaanaaq, the most northern touristoffice in the world

Internet Links

Official Sites of Greenland

Greenland Home Rule Government

Greenland Home Rule - International relations

Grønlands Statistiks

Map of Greenland



Background:  The world's largest non-continental island, about 84%
ice-capped, Greenland was granted self-government in 1978 by the Danish
parliament. The law went into effect the following year. Denmark continues
to exercise control of Greenland's foreign affairs.

Geography Greenland

Location:  Northern North America, island between the Arctic Ocean and
the North Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Canada

Geographic coordinates:  72 00 N, 40 00 W

Map references:  Arctic Region

Area:  total: 2,166,086 sq km land: 2,166,086 sq km (410,449 sq km
ice-free, 1,755,637 sq km ice-covered) (est.)

Area - comparative:  slightly more than three times the size of Texas

Land boundaries:  0 km

Coastline:  44,087 km

Maritime claims:  continental shelf: 200 NM or agreed boundaries or
median line exclusive
 200 NM or agreed boundaries or median line territorial sea:
Climate:  arctic to subarctic; cool summers, cold winters

Terrain:  flat to gradually sloping icecap covers all but a narrow,
mountainous, barren, rocky coast

Elevation extremes:  lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m highest point:
Gunnbjorn 3,700 m

Natural resources:  zinc, lead, iron ore, coal, molybdenum, gold,
platinum, uranium, fish, seals, whales, hydropower, possible oil and gas

Land use:  arable land: 0% permanent crops: 0% other: 100% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land:  NA sq km

Natural hazards:  continuous permafrost over northern two-thirds of
the island

Environment - current issues:  protection of the arctic environment;
preservation of the Inuit traditional way of life, including whaling
and seal hunting

Geography - note:  dominates North Atlantic Ocean between North America
and Europe; sparse population confined to small settlements along coast,
but close to one-quarter of the population lives in the capital, Nuuk;
world's second largest ice cap

People Greenland

Population:  56,376 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:  0-14 years: 26.3% (male 7,561; female 7,284) 15-64 years:
68.1% (male 20,880; female 17,489) 65 years and over: 5.6% (male 1,442;
female 1,720) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate:  0.03% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:  16.27 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:  7.61 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:  -8.37 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:  at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.04
male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.19 male(s)/female 65 years and over:
0.84 male(s)/female total population: 1.13 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate:  17.28 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:   72.32 years (2002 est.)  male: Total fertility
rate:  2.43 children born/woman (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  NA%

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:  100 (1999)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:  NA

Nationality:  noun: Greenlander(s) adjective: Greenlandic

Ethnic groups:  Greenlander 88% (Inuit and Greenland-born whites),
Danish and others 12% (January 2000)

Religions:  Evangelical Lutheran

Languages:  Greenlandic (East Inuit), Danish, English

Literacy:  definition: NA total population: NA% male: NA% female: NA%
note: similar to Denmark proper

Government Greenland

Country name:  conventional long form: none conventional short form:
Greenland local short form: Kalaallit Nunaat local long form: none

Dependency status:  part of the Kingdom of Denmark; self-governing
overseas administrative division of Denmark since 1979

Government type:  parliamentary democracy within a constitutional monarchy

Capital:  Nuuk (Godthab)

Administrative divisions:  3 districts (landsdele); Avannaa
(Nordgronland), Tunu (Ostgronland), Kitaa (Vestgronland) note: there
are 18 municipalities in Greenland

Independence:  none (part of the Kingdom of Denmark; self-governing
overseas administrative division of Denmark since 1979) note: foreign
affairs is the responsibility of Denmark, but Greenland actively
participates in international agreements relating to Greenland

National holiday:  June 21 (longest day)

Constitution:  5 June 1953 (Danish constitution)

Legal system:  Danish

Suffrage:  18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:  chief of state: Queen MARGRETHE II of Denmark
(since 14 January 1972), represented by High Commissioner Gunnar
MARTENS (since NA 1995) note:  Jonathan MOTZFELDT reelected prime
minister; percent of parliamentary vote - 57.3% head of government:
Prime Minister Jonathan MOTZFELDT (since 19 September 1997) cabinet:
Home Rule Government is elected by the Parliament (Landstinget) on the
basis of the strength of parties elections: the monarchy is hereditary;
high commissioner appointed by the monarch; prime minister is elected
by Parliament (usually the leader of the majority party); election last
held 16 February 1999 (next to be held NA February 2003)

Legislative branch:  unicameral Parliament or Landstinget (31 seats;
members are elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional
representation to serve four-year terms) note: two representatives were
elected to the Danish Parliament or Folketing on 20 November 2001 (next
to be held no later than November 2005); percent of vote by party -
NA%; seats by party - Siumut 1, Inuit Ataqatigiit 1 election results:
percent of vote by party - Siumut 35.2%, Inuit Ataqatigiit 22.1%,
Atassut Party 25.2%, Candidate's League 12.3%, independent 5.2%; seats
by party - Siumut 11, Atassut 8, Inuit Ataqatigiit 7, Candidate List 4,
independent 1 elections: last held on 16 February 1999 (next to be held
by NA February 2003)

Judicial branch:  High Court or Landsret (appeals can be made to the
Ostre Landsret or Eastern Division of the High Court or Supreme Court
in Copenhagen)

Political parties and leaders:  Akulliit Party [Bjarne KREUTZMANN];
Atassut Party (Solidarity, a conservative party favoring continuing
close relations with Denmark) [Daniel SKIFTE]; Inuit Ataqatigiit or IA
(Eskimo Brotherhood, a leftist party favoring complete independence from
Denmark rather than home rule) [Josef MOTZFELDT]; Issituup (Polar Party)
[Nicolai HEINRICH]; Kattusseqatigiit (Candidate List, an independent
right-of-center party with no official platform [leader NA]; Siumut
(Forward Party, a social democratic party advocating more distinct
Greenlandic identity and greater autonomy from Denmark) [Hans ENOKSEN]

Political pressure groups and leaders:  NA

International organization participation:  NC, NIB

Diplomatic representation in the US:  none (self-governing overseas
administrative division of Denmark)

Diplomatic representation from the US:  none (self-governing overseas
administrative division of Denmark)

Flag description:  two equal horizontal bands of white (top) and red
with a large disk slightly to the hoist side of center - the top half
of the disk is red, the bottom half is white

Economy Greenland

Economy - overview:  The economy remains critically dependent on exports
of fish and substantial support from the Danish Government, which supplies
about half of government revenues. The public sector, including publicly
owned enterprises and the municipalities, plays the dominant role
in the economy.  Despite several interesting hydrocarbon and minerals
exploration activities, it will take several years before production can
materialize. Tourism is the only sector offering any near-term potential,
and even this is limited due to a short season and high costs.

GDP:  purchasing power parity - $1.1 billion (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:  NA%

GDP - per capita:  purchasing power parity - $20,000 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:  agriculture: NA% industry: NA% services: NA%

Population below poverty line:  NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:  lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices):  1.6% (1999 est.)

Labor force:  24,500 (1999 est.)

Unemployment rate:  10% (2000 est.)

Budget:  revenues: $646 million expenditures: $629 million, including
capital expenditures of $85 million (1999)

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

Industrial production growth rate:  NA%

Electricity - production:  250 million kWh (2000)

Electricity - production by source:  fossil fuel: 100% note: Greenland
is shifting its electricity production from fossil fuel to hydroelectric
power production (2000) hydro: 0% other: 0% nuclear: 0%

Electricity - consumption:  232.5 million kWh (2000)

Electricity - exports:  0 kWh (2000)

Electricity - imports:  0 kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products:  forage crops, garden and greenhouse vegetables;
sheep, reindeer; fish

Exports:  $264 million (f.o.b., 2000)

Exports - commodities:  fish and fish products 94% (prawns 63%)

Exports - partners:  EU (mainly Denmark) 85%, Japan 8%, US 2% (1999)

Imports:  $349 million (c.i.f., 2000)

Imports - commodities:  machinery and transport equipment, manufactured
goods, food, petroleum products

Imports - partners:  EU (mostly Denmark), Norway, US, Canada

Debt - external:  $25 million (1999)

Economic aid - recipient:  $380 million subsidy from Denmark (1999)

Currency:  Danish krone (DKK)

Currency code:  DKK

Exchange rates:  Danish kroner per US dollar - 8.418 (January 2002),
8.323 (2001), 8.083 (2000), 6.976 (1999), 6.701 (1998), 6.604 (1997)

Fiscal year:  calendar year

Communications Greenland

Telephones - main lines in use:  25,617 (yearend 1999)

Telephones - mobile cellular:  12,676 (yearend 1999)

Telephone system:  general assessment: adequate domestic and international
service provided by satellite, cables and microwave radio relay;
totally digitalized
 microwave radio relay and satellite international:  (all Atlantic Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations:  AM 5, FM 12, shortwave 0 (1998)

Radios:  30,000 (1998 est.)

Television broadcast stations:  1 publicly-owned station, some local
low-power stations, and three AFRTS (US Air Force) stations (1997)

Televisions:  30,000 (1998 est.)

Internet country code:  .gl

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):  1 (2000)

Internet users:  17,800 (2001)

Transportation Greenland

Railways:  0 km

Highways:  total: 150 km paved: 60 km unpaved: 90 km

Waterways:  none

Ports and harbors:  Aasiaat (Egedesminde), Ilulissat (Jakobshavn),
Kangerlussuaq, Nanortalik, Narsarsuaq, Nuuk (Godthab), Qaqortoq
(Julianehab), Sisimiut (Holsteinsborg), Tasiilaq (March 2001)

Merchant marine:  total: 2 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling
3,289 GRT/1,500 DWT ships by type: cargo 1, passenger 1, includes a
foreign-owned ship registered here as a flag of convenience: Denmark 1
(2002 est.)

Airports:  15 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:  total: 9 over 3,047 m: 1 2,438 to 3,047 m:
1 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 914 to 1,523 m: 1 under 914 m: 5 (2001)

Airports - with unpaved runways:  total: 6 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 914 to
1,523 m: 3 under 914 m: 2 (2001)

Military Greenland

Military - note:  defense is the responsibility of Denmark

Transnational Issues Greenland

Disputes - international:  none

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002

Kalaallit Nunaata Radio

Arts & Culture

Julemandens hjemmeside

Kulturi Kalaallit Nunaat


Museums in Greenland

National Library of Greenland

Greenland National Museum & Archives


Ulo Greenlandic Music

Ultima Thule

Business & Economy
air greenland

Maritime Shipping
Arctic Umiaq Line A/S

Royal Arctic Line

Products of Greenland
Great Greenland - Furhouse

Royal Greenland

Country Guides

Greenland basic facts

Greenland Guide

Books about Greenland
Greenland Books

Education and Research
Arktisk Station

Danish Polar Center

Cambridge Greenland Glaciology Expedition 2002

Education in Greenland

Greenland Ice Sheet Project Two


Grønlands Naturinstitute

Culture and History in Greenland

The Fate of Greenland's Vikings

What about Greenland?

Greenland Kayak Association




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