Location: Northern North America, island between the Arctic Ocean and the North Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Canada.
Greenland dominates the North Atlantic Ocean between North America and Europe. The area is approximately 2,175,600 sq km (Est: 410,449 sq km ice-free. 1,755,637 sq km ice-covered). Terrain consists of flat to gradually sloping icecap which covers all but a narrow, mountainous, barren, rocky coast. Natural hazard is the continuous permafrost over northern two-thirds of the island. Climate consists of cool summers, and cold winters.
Population: About 57,728 people live in Greenland.
The majority of residents are Inuit. Approximately 12% include Danish and other ethnic groups. Sparse population is confined to small settlements along coast, but close to one-quarter of the population lives in the capital, Nuuk (Godthab); world's second largest ice cap. Main languages spoken are Greenlandic (East Inuit), Danish, and English.
Religions: Evangelical Lutheran (Main), traditional Inuit spiritual beliefs.
Agriculture: Products include forage crops, garden and greenhouse vegetables; sheep, reindeer; fish.
Exports (commodities): Fish and shrimp.
Economy: Greenland's economy remains critically dependent on exports of fish and shrimp, income from resource exploration and extraction, and on a substantial subsidy from the Danish Government. The Greenlandic economy has benefitted from increasing catches of shrimp, Greenland halibut and, more recently, crabs. Due to continued dependence on exports of fish the economy remains very sensitive to foreign developments.
The public sector, including publicly owned enterprises and the municipalities, plays the dominant role in Greenland's economy. Tourism offers potential, with the increasing numbers of cruise lines now operating in Greenland's western and southern waters during the summertime, but even this is limited due to a short season and high costs.
Currency: The Danish krone (DKK).
This page was last updated on 02 February, 2018