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The world’s largest island occupies a northerly location at the junction of Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, just east of the Canadian Archipelago. While it is physically a part of North America due to its location, it is politically and culturally more closely linked with Europe. The country has some degree of self-government, but is technically a part of the kingdom of Denmark.

Being surrounded by cold ocean currents means the coasts are forever being cooled. This coupled with radiating cold from inland endows Greenland with its arctic climate. Sealing, whaling, fishing and hunting are the main sources of income. More recently tourism along with mining are adding to the country’s income. There is also some farming focused on sheep raising in the southern part of the island.

The country’s existing population is believed to be decendents of the Northern Alaska Inuit who migrated to the island around 1,000 years ago, naming the island Kalaallit Nunaat. It then became a colony of Denmark in 1775. Most of the country’s culture is in common with Inuit tradition, where the people build their own houses. Meat forms major part of the diet and blubber constitutes fuel. Ice-fishing, and dog-sledge racing are some of the favourite pastimes. The Viking-Inuit is one of the major festivals and constitutes and integral part of Greenland culture.   

The topography of Greenland is mainly flat terrain with over eighty percent of it covered with a sloping icecap. The only land is made up of the narrow mountains and barren rocky coast. They country possesses only a nominal amount of arable land, but it has a wealth of other resources like Zinc, iron, lead, coal, gold, molybdenum, platinum, and uranium.

One of the major attractions of the country is the Northern Lights, a natural astronomical phenomenon with display of amazing colours seen almost every night in the sky. The midnight sun is another natural phenomenon seen in the north Arctic Circle. The closer north you get the long the daylight hours, until it stays daylight round the clock.


Also see our pages on living and working in Greenland, volunteering in Greenland, studying in Greenland, visa information for Greenland, where to stay in Greenland and things to do in Greenland.


Greenland Fast Facts:

Area: 2,166,086 km2  

Population: 57,564  

Capital: Nuuk (Gothåb)

Dialing Code: 299

Currency: Danish Krone (DKK)

Languages: Greenlandic

Main Industries: Mining, Fishing And Sealing

Government Immigration Service: Ministry Of Foreign Affairs Of Denmark

Government Tax Service: Greenland Ministry Of Finance

Government Employment Service: The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training

Main Banks: Bank Of Greenland


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