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Greenland
(part of the Kingdom of Denmark)

 
Flag of Greenland
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Coordinates:
72.00 N  40.00 W

 
 
Introduction  Geography  People  Government  Economy
 
Communications  Transportation  Military  Transnational Issues

Map of Greenland

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Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Greenland Top of Page
Background:
Definition Field Listing
Greenland, the world's largest island, is about 81% ice-capped. Vikings reached the island in the 10th century from Iceland; Danish colonization began in the 18th century, and Greenland was made an integral part of Denmark in 1953. It joined the European Community (now the EU) with Denmark in 1973 but withdrew in 1985 over a dispute over stringent fishing quotas. Greenland was granted self-government in 1979 by the Danish parliament. The law went into effect the following year. Denmark continues to exercise control of Greenland's foreign affairs.
   Geography    Greenland Top of Page
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Northern North America, island between the Arctic Ocean and the North Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Canada
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
72 00 N, 40 00 W
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Arctic Region
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
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) (2000 est.)
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly more than three times the size of Texas
Land boundaries:
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0 km
Coastline:
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44,087 km
Maritime claims:
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territorial sea: 3 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or agreed boundaries or median line
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm or agreed boundaries or median line
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
arctic to subarctic; cool summers, cold winters
Terrain:
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flat to gradually sloping icecap covers all but a narrow, mountainous, barren, rocky coast
Elevation extremes:
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lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Gunnbjorn 3,700 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
coal, iron ore, lead, zinc, molybdenum, gold, platinum, uranium, fish, seals, whales, hydropower, possible oil and gas
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Natural hazards:
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continuous permafrost over northern two-thirds of the island
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
protection of the arctic environment; preservation of the Inuit traditional way of life, including whaling and seal hunting
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
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 Top of Page
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
56,361 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 24.5% (male 7,072/female 6,740)
15-64 years: 68.9% (male 20,904/female 17,919)
65 years and over: 6.6% (male 1,768/female 1,958) (2006 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 34 years
male: 35.3 years
female: 32.3 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
-0.03% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
15.93 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
7.84 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
-8.37 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.17 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.9 male(s)/female
total population: 1.12 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 15.4 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 16.73 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 14.03 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 69.94 years
male: 66.36 years
female: 73.6 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.4 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
100 (1999)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Greenlander(s)
adjective: Greenlandic
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Greenlander 88% (Inuit and Greenland-born whites), Danish and others 12% (2000)
Religions:
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Evangelical Lutheran
Languages:
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Greenlandic (East Inuit), Danish, English
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 100%
male: 100%
female: 100% (2001 est.)
   Government    Greenland Top of Page
Country name:
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conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Greenland
local long form: none
local short form: Kalaallit Nunaat
Dependency status:
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part of the Kingdom of Denmark; self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark since 1979
Government type:
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parliamentary democracy within a constitutional monarchy
Capital:
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Nuuk (Godthab)
Administrative divisions:
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3 districts (landsdele); Avannaa (Nordgronland), Tunu (Ostgronland), Kitaa (Vestgronland)
note: there are 18 municipalities in Greenland
Independence:
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none (part of the Kingdom of Denmark; foreign affairs is the responsibility of Denmark, but Greenland actively participates in international agreements relating to Greenland)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
June 21 (longest day)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
5 June 1953 (Danish constitution)
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
Danish
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
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chief of state: Queen MARGRETHE II of Denmark (since 14 January 1972), represented by High Commissioner Soren MOLLER (since April 2005)
head of government: Prime Minister Hans ENOKSEN (since 14 December 2002)
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 3 December 2002 (next to be held December 2006)
election results: Hans ENOKSEN elected prime minister
note: government coalition - Siumut and Inuit Ataqatigiit
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral Parliament or Landstinget (31 seats; members are elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional representation to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held on 15 November 2005 (next to be held by December 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - Siumut 30.7%, Demokratiit 22.8%, Inuit Ataqatigiit 22.6%, Atassut Party 19.1%; Katusseqatigiit 4.1%, other 0.7%; seats by party - Siumut 10, Demokratiit 7, Inuit Ataqatigiit 7, Atassut 6, Katusseqatigiit 1
note: two representatives were elected to the Danish Parliament or Folketing on 8 February 2005 (next to be held February 2009); percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Siumut 1, Inuit Ataqatigiit 1
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
Atassut Party (Solidarity, a conservative party favoring continuing close relations with Denmark) [Finn KARLSEN]; Demokratiit [Per BERTHELSEN]; 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; Siumut (Forward Party, a social democratic party advocating more distinct Greenlandic identity and greater autonomy from Denmark) [Hans ENOKSEN]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
NA
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
Arctic Council, NC, NIB, UPU
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
none (self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark)
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
none (self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark)
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
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 Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
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 mineral exploration activities, it will take a number of 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):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$1.1 billion (2001 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
Definition Field Listing
NA
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.8% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$20,000 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
24,500 (1999 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
10% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.6% (1999 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $646 million
expenditures: $629 million; including capital expenditures of $85 million (1999)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
forage crops, garden and greenhouse vegetables; sheep, reindeer; fish
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
fish processing (mainly shrimp and Greenland halibut); gold, niobium, tantalite, uranium, iron and diamond mining; handicrafts, hides and skins, small shipyards
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA%
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
242.2 million kWh (2003)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
225.3 million kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2003)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3,850 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$480 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
fish and fish products 94% (prawns 63%)
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Denmark 62.4%, Japan 12.2%, China 5.2% (2005)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$601 million c.i.f. (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, petroleum products
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Denmark 75.2%, Sweden 12%, Canada 2.7% (2005)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$25 million (1999)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$380 million subsidy from Denmark (1997)
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing
Danish krone (DKK)
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Danish kroner per US dollar - 5.9969 (2005), 5.9911 (2004), 6.5877 (2003), 7.8947 (2002), 8.3228 (2001)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Greenland Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
25,300 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
19,900 (2002)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: adequate domestic and international service provided by satellite, cables and microwave radio relay; totally digitalized in 1995
domestic: microwave radio relay and satellite
international: country code - 299; satellite earth stations - 12 Intelsat, 1 Eutelsat, 2 Americom GE-2 (all Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 5, FM 12, shortwave 0 (1998)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
1 publicly-owned station, some local low-power stations, and three AFRTS (US Air Force) stations (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.gl
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
8,775 (2005)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
38,000 (2005)
   Transportation    Greenland Top of Page
Airports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
14 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 9
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 5 (2005)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 2 (2005)
Roadways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: NA
note: while there are short roads in towns, there are no roads between towns; inter-town transport takes place either by sea or air (2005)
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 2 ships (1000 GRT or over) 4,236 GRT/400 DWT
by type: passenger 2
registered in other countries: 2 (Cyprus 1, Denmark 1) (2005)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing
Sisimiut
   Military    Greenland Top of Page
Manpower available for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 14,653 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 10,199 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 440 (2005 est.)
Military - note:
Definition Field Listing
defense is the responsibility of Denmark
   Transnational Issues    Greenland Top of Page
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
managed dispute between Canada and Denmark over Hans Island in the Kennedy Channel between Canada's Ellesmere Island and Greenland

This page was last updated on 20 July, 2006


Source: CIA Factbook