Facts about Greenland

Oqaatsut
Photographer
Silje Bergum Kinsten/norden.org
The inhabitants of Greenland originate from Central Asia. The country is part of the North American continent, but geopolitically the island is part of Europe.

Greenland is the world’s largest island and almost eighty per cent of this self-governed area is covered by an ice cap and many glaciers. The ice-free area is still almost as large as the whole of Sweden but only a very small part of this is arable land.

Greenland has fewer than 56,000 inhabitants of whom about 18,000 live in the capital Nuuk.

Greenland is part of the kingdom of Denmark but has a great degree of self-government, which will be further expanded in 2009. This does, however, not include affairs of state which include foreign and security policy and foreign exchange policy.

Greenland is not a member of the EU, but has a special fisheries agreement and was accepted as one of the overseas countries and territories with special association with the EU.

Sealing and whaling, fishing and hunting are the predominant sources of income in Greenland. The country also has a growing income from tourism as well as some mining.

GDP per capita is EUR 25,000 (2006)

Total area: 2,166,086 km2

Inland ice and glaciers: 1,755,637 km2

Ice-free area: 410,449 km2

Highest point: Gunnbjørn’s Fjeld 3,693 m

Coastline: 44,087 km

Borders: 0 km

Forests: 1 km2

Average temperature in Nuuk (1990-2018): 1.7° C (maximum 19.3 °C, minimum -20.7 °C)

Precipitation (2006): Aasiaat 352 mm, Tasiilaq 742 mm

Population in 2020: 56,081

Population of the capital in 2017: 18,000 (Nuuk) (1) 

National day: 21 June (longest day of the year)

Form of government: Self-government, within the kingdom of Denmark

Parliament: Inatsisartut (31 seats)

EU membership: From 1 January 1973 to 1 February 1985

NATO membership: Since 1949 (as part of Denmark’s membership)

Head of state: Queen Margrethe II

Head of government (since October 2014): Kim Kielsen (S)

Currency: Danish krone (DKK)

Officielt website: http://dk.nanoq.gl/

Official language: Greenlandic

1) Sermersooq municipality