Greenland Politics

Greenland Politics, Population and Geography

General information: The largest island in the world, approximately 84% is covered with ice. Greenland received self-government in 1978 by decree of the Danish Parliament. The law went into effect the following year. Denmark continues to control Greenland’s foreign policy.


Location: Northern North America, an island between the Arctic Ocean and the North Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Canada.
Geographic coordinates: 72° 00′ N. latitude, 40° 00′ W e.
Reference map: Arctic region.
Area: total: 2,175,600 km2; land surface area: 2,175,600 km2 (341,700 sq. km ice-free, 1,833,900 sq. km ice-covered) (est.).
Comparative area: slightly less than triple the area of ​​the state of Texas.
Land borders: 0 km.
Coastline: 44,087 km.
Maritime claims: exclusive fishing rights zone: 200 nautical miles; territorial waters: 3 nautical miles.
Climate: arctic to subarctic; cool summer, cold winter.
Terrain: flat, gradually turning into inclined glaciers cover the entire territory, except for a narrow, mountainous, infertile, rocky coastal strip.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m; highest point: Mount Gunbjorn 3,700 m.
Natural resources: zinc, lead, iron ore, coal, molybdenum, gold, platinum, uranium, fish, seals, whales, hydropower, possibly oil and gas deposits.
Land use: arable land: 0%; cultivated land: 0%; pastures: 1%; forests and plantations: 0%; others: 99% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: no data.
Natural Hazards: permafrost in the northern part of the island, that is, on two thirds of the island.
Current environmental issues: protection of the Arctic environment; preservation of the traditional way of life of the Inuit (Eskimos), including whaling.
International agreements on environmental protection:
Note to the section “Geography”: occupies an important position in the North Atlantic Ocean between North America and Europe; a small population lives in small towns along the coast, but almost a quarter of Greenlanders live in the capital; the second largest ice sheet in the world.


Population: 56352 people (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 26.69% (male 7,649; female 7,392); 15 to 64 years old: 67.87% (men 20,868; women 17,376); over 65: 5.44% (male 1,385; female 1,682) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 0.06% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 16.52 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 7.58 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: -8.38 people / 1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.02 male/female; up to 15 years: 1.03 male/female; from 15 to 64 years: 1.2 male/female; over 65: 0.82 male/female; for the general population: 13 male/female (2001 est.);
Infant mortality: 17.77 deaths/1000 live births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 68.37 years; men: 64.82 years; women: 72.01 years (2001 est.).
General birth rate: 2.44 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of the adult population infected with HIV: no data available.
Number of people infected with HIV: 100 (1999).
Mortality due to AIDS: no data available.
Nationality: noun: Greenlander; adjective: Greenlandic.
Ethnic groups: Greenlanders 88% (Eskimos and Greenland-born whites), Danes and others 12% (January 2000).
Believers: Evangelical Lutherans.
Language(s): Greenlandic (Eskimo), Danish, English.
Literacy: definition: no data; for the general population: no data available; men: no data; women: no data; note: about the same as in Denmark. State Name:


Common long form: no;
Common short form: Greenland; local long form: no; local short form: Kalaallit Nunaat. Dependency state: part of the Kingdom of Denmark; self-governing overseas administrative unit of Denmark since 1979
State structure: parliamentary democracy within the framework of a constitutional monarchy. See to know more about Greenland Political System.
Capital: Nuuk (Gothob).
Administrative division: 3 districts (lands-dele): Avannaa (Nordgronland), Kitaa (Vestgronland), Tunu (Ostgronland); note – there are also 18 municipalities.
Independence: none (part of the Kingdom of Denmark; self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark since 1979).
National holiday: Queen’s birthday, 16 April (1940).
Constitution: adopted 5 June 1953 (Danish constitution)
Legal system: Danish.
Suffrage: from 18 years old; universal.
chief of state: Queen MARGRET II of Denmark (since 14 January 1972), represented by High Commissioner Gunnar MARTENS (since 1995);
head of government: Prime Minister Jonathan MOTZFELDT (since September 1997);
Government: the government (Landsstyre) is formed on the basis of a parliamentary majority; elections: hereditary monarchy; the high commissioner is appointed by the monarch; the Prime Minister is elected by Parliament (usually the leader of the majority party); elections last held 11 March 1999 (next to be held in February 2003); election results: Jonathan MOTZFELD re-elected Prime Minister with 57.3% of the I votes of parliamentarians; note: the government coalition includes the Siumut and IA parties.
Legislature: unicameral Parliament (Landsting) (31 seats; members are elected by popular vote on a proportional basis for 4 years); elections: last held 17 February 1999 (next to be held in February 2003); election results: distribution of votes between parties: Siumut 35.2%, IA 22.1%, Atassut 25.2%, Candidate List 12.3%, independents 5.2%; distribution of seats among parties: ‘Siumut’ 11, ‘Atassuth’ 8,1A 7, candidate list 4, independents 1; note: two representatives are elected to the Danish Parliament (Folketing), last elections were held in March 1998 (next to be held in 2002); distribution of votes between parties: Siumut 35.6%, Atassut 35.2%; distribution of seats among the parties: ‘Siumut’ 1, ‘Atassut’ 1;
Judicial branch: High Court (Landsret) (appeals can be made to the Eastern Branch of the Supreme Court in Copenhagen).
Political parties and leaders: Party ‘Shark-lit’ (Bjorn KREUTZMANN [Bjarne KREUTZMANN]); Party ‘Atassut’ (‘Solidarity’, a conservative party advocating the development of close ties with Denmark) (Daniel SKIFTE [Daniel SKIFTE]); Eskimo Brotherhood (IA) (leftist party advocating the transition from self-government to full independence) (Josef MOTZ-FELDT [Josef MOTZFELDT]); ‘Issituup’ (Polar party) (Nicolai HEINRICH [Nicolai HEIN-RICH]); Candidate list (Kattusseqatigiit) (an independent centre-right party with no official program) (leader – NA); ‘Siumut’ (‘Forward’, a social democratic party that advocates the preservation of Greenlandic identity and greater autonomy) (Jonathan MOTZFELDT).
Political influence groups and their leaders:

Diplomatic representation in the United States: none (self-governing overseas administrative unit of Denmark).
U.S. Diplomatic Representation: None (self-governing overseas administrative unit of Denmark).
Description of the flag: two equal horizontal stripes of white (top) and red with a large disk slightly offset to the left of the center, the top of the disk is red, the bottom is white

Greenland Politics