Greenland may be viewed as an empty, bare island covered with ice and snow that is indented by lacy fjords. However, this image tells only a part of the story.
What else do you know about this country? Do you know its location or how big it is? Here, we aim to tell you the missing parts to give you a complete picture of this ice-covered land.
Do people live in Greenland or not? What attractions does it offer to tourists? These are the questions we answer below. So join us in our deep dive into Greenland to learn more about the world’s largest island that is not a continent.
Where Is Greenland Located?
First, we need to learn a bit about Greenland’s geography.
Greenland is an autonomous country that is part of the Realm of Denmark. It lies between the Atlantic and Arctic oceans.
It is technically closer to Canada than Europe but is nominally a part of Denmark. Geographically, Greenland belongs to North America and not the Old Continent.
Canada’s Ellesmere Island is the closest point in North America to Greenland, located just 26km away.
Greenland — How Big Is It?
Greenland, which covers 2.17 million square kilometers, is massive. And, as we said, it is the biggest island that isn’t a continent.
Its southernmost point is located at the same latitude as Oslo, Norway. At the same time, it is a mere 740km away from the North Pole.
Greenland’s coastline, which is deeply indented by fjords and almost 40,000 kilometers long, is more or less equal to the length of the Equator, which circles the entire globe.
Do People Live in Greenland?
So, is Greenland a place where you can find other people? The simple answer to this question is yes. Greenland has 57,000 permanent residents.
It is admittedly a small population for the largest island in the world, making Greenland one of the countries with the smallest population densities on the planet.
Greenland is often ranked as the least populated country in the world, with 0.03 people per square km.
Why Do So Few People Live in Greenland?
Greenland is a remote island with few inhabitants. It is home to 80 percent of the world’s permanent ice sheets, making it almost uninhabitable.
Traveling between the Greenland settlements is challenging because they are not connected by roads or railways.
Moreover, Greenland’s cold climate is not to be underestimated. Nearly every village on the island records temperatures below freezing for six months.
Which Areas in Greenland Are Most Populated?
What is the best place to live in Greenland? More than 25% of Greenland’s population lives in the island’s capital, Nuuk. Sometimes, it is incorrectly spelled Nuke. But we assure you, it does not have anything to do with nuclear weapons!
With a population of approximately 17,000-19,000, it is the largest settlement on the island. However, it still is one of the world’s smallest capital cities.
Why Is Greenland’s Southwest Coast So Popular?
Greenland’s capital, Nuuk, is located on the southwest coast. It houses most of the island’s infrastructure, including its parliament building and main hospital. Plus, it is also where you can find the only university on the island. So it’s not surprising that many Greenlanders have chosen to settle in this area.
Nuuk, one of the greenest parts of the island, is indented by fjords. It offers one of Greenland’s mildest climates — though temperatures can still drop to a low level.
Greenland’s second- and third-largest towns, Sisimiut and Ilulissat, respectively, are also located along the more protected west coast. This makes it home to more than half of the island’s inhabitants.
Are There People Who Live in Northern Greenland?
Greenland’s entire coastline is covered in ice all year, so it is rare for people to live anywhere else than on the sheltered west coast.
Do people still live in the upper half of Greenland? Yes, they do, but not many people live there. Only ten percent of Greenland’s population lives in northern or eastern Greenland.
Denmark has ruled Greenland for more than 250 years. However, 90 percent of Greenlanders are primarily of Inuit ancestry. Still, these are mixed with early European immigrant blood.
Only ten percent are of Danish descent.
Like many Nordic countries, Greenland is experiencing a drop in population. It had a relatively stable population until 2000, when its fertility rates were at replacement level.
Nevertheless, rates have started to fall since 2000, and it is predicted that Greenland’s working-age population will drop by 16 percent by 2040.
What Is the Name of Greenlanders?
People who live in Greenland are called Inuit or Kalaallit. It means “indigenous Greenlander” in Kalaallisut — the native language of people living there — and is a more appropriate term than “Eskimo.”
In the same language, Greenland is referred to as Kalaallit Nunaat. It means “land for the Kalaallit people.”
How Do People Live in Greenland?
Greenland’s largest employers are the public and service sectors, which employ approximately 11,000 people.
Next are agriculture, forestry, and fishing, employing around 4500 people.
Why Do People Live in Greenland?
Greenland is a beautiful place to live, despite its isolation and cold.
Its small population is one thing that draws people to it — if this is what you are looking for, you will feel right at home.
Greenland has few roads, so using a boat is the most popular mode of transport. However, snowmobiles, dogsleds, and ski- or helicopter transportation are all excellent alternatives.
Because the Greenland population is small and there are more boats than cars, the air quality is excellent.
Besides, it’s not all remote and wild places. Greenland is home to several high-quality, comfortable hotels. There are even plans for opening a Michelin-starred restaurant!
Greenland is also a great place to view the northern lights. Because it is so far north, Greenland has one of the longest seasons to view the northern lights, so there are good chances of seeing the fantastic display of lights and colors.