Greenland Overview

Greenland Overview

Greenland, located in the Arctic Glacial Ocean, after Antarctica, is an island that constitutes the largest expanse of frozen land on the planet. More than four fifths of its surface is covered by a layer of ice. It has the second largest sheet of ice in the world, it is an autonomous region belonging to the Kingdom of Denmark.


According to abbreviationfinder, Greenland is the largest island in the world; however, only 410,000 of its nearly 2,200,000 km² area are ice-free. Its northernmost point, Cape Morris Jesup, is the northernmost territory in the world, only about 730 km from the North Pole. 2,670 km further south is the southernmost point of Greenland, Cape Farvel. The inlandsis is the second largest ice cap in the world.


The climate, with the exception of some protected valleys in southern Greenland, is polar, with an average temperature below 10 ° C in the warmest month. The eastern polar current determines the characteristics of the east coast of Greenland, covered by a layer of ice one meter thick during the long winter season. A relatively warm current acts on the southern part of the western coast that allows it to be ice-free throughout the year. Navigation is only hampered in the southernmost area during the spring and summer monthsdue to large masses of ice from the eastern coast and the area south of Cape Farvel. North of Disko Bay the sea is completely covered in ice during the six winter months, but is navigable during some periods of the rest of the year.


Vegetation is generally sparse, with the only patch of wooded land being found in Nanortalik Township in the extreme south near goodbye of the cape.


The Head of State of Greenland is currently Margaret II. The Queen’s government in Denmark appoints a Rigsombudsmand (High Commissioner) who represents the Danish government and monarchy. As an integral part of Denmark it elects two representatives in the Danish parliament. Legislative power corresponds to a 31-member Parliament. The parliament elected in the 2005 elections is made up of five parties. The main one, with ten seats, was the Social Democrat Siumut. The head of government is the prime minister, who is usually the leader of the majority party in Parliament. Hans Enoksen held that position since 2002, being replaced in 2009 by Kuupik Kleist of the Inuit Ataqatigiit, which after the June 2009 elections became the most voted party. In 1985, Greenland left the European Community (EC). The EC would later become the EU (European Union), following the expansion of the organization’s powers approved in 1992. Greenland maintains some ties to the EU through Denmark. However, EU law largely does not apply to Greenland except in the area of trade.

Political-administrative organization

Se administratively divide en tres distritos (landsdele): Avannaa (Nordgrønland, en danés), Tunu (Østgrønland, en danés), Kitaa (Vestgrønland, en danés)

It is divided into four municipalities.

  • It covers 32,500 km
  • Qaasuitsup 000 km²
  • Qeqqata 115,500 km² 15,300
  • Sermersooq 635,600 km² 27,500


About 56,700 people live in Greenland, of which about 50,000 are natives of the island. Central West Greenland is the most densely populated. Most of the population (approx. 47,000 residents) lives in cities, the largest of which is Nuuk. About 60% of the residents of West Greenland live in the six main cities; the rest are in its more than 120 towns, stations and livestock centers. 88 percent of the population are indigenous Greenlanders, Inuit, while 12 percent are Danish expatriates or permanently residing there. See population of Greenland.


The national language is Greenlandic (‘kalaallisut’) and Danish is the first foreign language. Both languages are taught in schools and both Danish and Greenlandic are official languages.


The economy depends on fishing and the export of fish. Shrimp export is the largest source of foreign exchange, along with the issuance and sale of postage stamps. The hunting of marine mammals is important for the subsistence of the population. Mining and tourism are second in importance.


Greenland has considerable raw material potential. Cryolite has been mined from the Ivittuut deposits, fossil coal from Qullissat, marble and later zinc, lead and silver from Maarmorilik, and zinc, molybdenum and lead from the Mester Bay area. There are also a number of raw materials that are interesting from an economic point of view, such as the oil fields located outside Nuuk and Jameson Land, in eastern Greenland, or those of gold, niobium, tantalum, uranium, iron and diamonds.. In the Bukse Fjord, south of Nuuk, the country’s first major hydroelectric power station has been built.

Greenland Overview

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