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Introduction 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
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 fishing zone: 200 NM or
agreed boundaries or median line
territorial sea: 3 NM
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
Death rate: 7.61 deaths/1,000 population (2002
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)/
total population: 1.13 male(s)/
female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 17.28 deaths/1,000 live births (2002
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 68.69 years
female: 72.32 years (2002 est.)
male: 65.13 years
Total fertility rate: 2.43 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: NA%
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/ 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,
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
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
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: government coalition - Siumut
and Atasuut Party
election results: 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
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
Political pressure groups and NA
International organization NC, NIB
Diplomatic representation in the US: none (self-governing overseas
administrative division of Denmark)
Diplomatic representation from the none (self-governing overseas
US: 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
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 lowest 10%: NA%
percentage share: 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,
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
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
Imports - partners: EU (mostly Denmark), Norway, US,
Debt - external: $25 million (1999)
Economic aid - recipient: $380 million subsidy from Denmark
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 in 1995
domestic: microwave radio relay and
international: satellite earth
stations - 12 Intelsat, 1 Eutelsat,
2 Americom GE-2 (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

Transnational Issues Greenland
Disputes - international: none
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