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Economy of Greenland

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 costs. GDP: purchasing power parity - $1.1 billion (2001 est.) GDP - real growth rate: 1.8% (2001 est.) 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 percentage share: lowest 10%: NA 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) Agriculture - products: forage crops, garden and greenhouse vegetables; sheep, reindeer; fish Industries: fish processing (mainly shrimp and Greenland halibut), handicrafts, hides and skins, small shipyards, mining Industrial production growth rate: NA Electricity - production: 245 million kWh (2001) Electricity - consumption: 227.9 million kWh (2001) Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2001) Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2001) Oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2001 est.) Oil - consumption: 3,700 bbl/day (2001 est.) Oil - exports: NA (2001) Oil - imports: NA (2001) Exports: $388 million f.o.b. (2002) Exports - commodities: fish and fish products 94% (prawns 63%) Exports - partners: Denmark 64.7%, Japan 14.2%, China 4.4% (2003) Imports: $445 million c.i.f. (2002) Imports - commodities: machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, petroleum products Imports - partners: Denmark 82.6%, Norway 7.5%, Sweden 3.5% (2003) Debt - external: $25 million (1999) Economic aid - recipient: $380 million subsidy from Denmark (1997) Currency: Danish krone (DKK) is the official legal tender. Currency code: DKK Exchange rates: Danish kroner per US dollar - 6.5877 (2003), 7.8947 (2002), 8.323 (2001), 8.083 (2000), 6.976 (1999) Fiscal year: calendar year

Geography of Greenland

Location: Northern North America, island between the Arctic Ocean and the North Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Canada Geographic coordinates: 72 00 N, 40 00 W Map references: Arctic Region Area: total: 2,175,600 sq km land: 2,175,600 sq km (341,600 sq km ice-free, 1,834,000 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: exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm 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 Land use: arable land: 0% permanent crops: 0% permanent pastures: 1% forests and woodland: 0% other: 99% (1993 est.) Irrigated land: NA sq km

Government of Greenland

Country name: conventional long form: none conventional short form: Greenland local long form: none local short form: Kalaallit Nunaat 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 Greenland Independence: none (part of the Kingdom of Denmark; foreign affairs is the responsibility of Denmark, but Greenland actively participates in international agreements relating to Greenland) 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 Peter LAURITEEN (since NA 2002) head of government: Prime Minister Hans ENOKSEN (since 14 December 2002) 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 3 December 2002 (next to be held December 2006) election results: Hans ENOKSEN elected prime minister note: government coalition - Siumut and Inuit Ataqatigiit 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) elections: last held on 3 December 2002 (next to be held by NA December 2006) election results: percent of vote by party - Siumut 28.7%, Inuit Ataqatigiit 25.5%, Atassut Party 20.4%, Demokratiit 15.6%, Katusseqatigiit 5.3%; seats by party - Siumut 10, Inuit Ataqatigiit 8, Atassut 7, Demokratiit 5, Katusseqatigiit 1 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 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: Atassut Party (Solidarity, a conservative party favoring continuing close relations with Denmark) [Augusta SALLING]; Demokratiit [Per BERTHELSEN]; 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 ENOKSEN] Political pressure groups and leaders: NA International organization participation: NC, NIB Diplomatic representation in the US: none (self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark) Diplomatic representation from the US: none (self-governing overseas 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

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History of Greenland

Greenland was first explored by Eric the Red, a Norwegian settler in Iceland and father of Leif Eriksson, toward the end of the 10th century, and Icelandic settlements were subsequently established there under his leadership. By the early 15th century, however, these settlements had vanished, and all contact with Greenland was lost. In the course of the search for the Northwest Passage, Greenland was sighted again. The English navigator John Davis visited the island in 1585, and his explorative work, together with that of the English explorers Henry Hudson and William Baffin, afforded knowledge of the west coast of Greenland. The United States relinquished its claim to land in northern Greenland, based on the explorations of the American explorer Robert Edwin Peary, when it purchased the Virgin Islands from Denmark in 1917. In May 1921, Denmark declared the entire island of Greenland to be Danish territory, causing a dispute with Norway over hunting and fishing rights. In 1931 a strip of land on the east coast was claimed by some Norwegian hunters, whose action was later recognized by the Norwegian government. The occupation was invalidated by the Permanent Court of International Justice at The Hague in 1933. Germany's occupation of Denmark in 1940, during World War II, brought the status of Greenland again into question. Negotiations between the U.S. government and the Danish minister to Washington resulted in an agreement on April 9, 1941, granting the United States the right “to construct, maintain and operate such landing fields, seaplane facilities and radio and meteorological installations as may be necessary” to protect the status quo in the western hemisphere; the United States also assumed protective custody over Greenland for the duration of World War II, although recognizing Danish sovereignty. Greenland is the source of many of the weather changes in the northern hemisphere, and knowledge of Greenland weather is of prime importance for the prediction of conditions in the North Atlantic Ocean and in western Europe. Weather and radio stations are of inestimable value for Atlantic air traffic. In 1944, during World War II, a German radio-weather station on the northeast coast was destroyed by the U.S. Coast Guard, and various German attempts to establish weather bases on Greenland were thwarted by Coast Guard vessels. In May 1947, Denmark requested that the United States end the 1941 agreement. Protracted negotiations culminated during April 1951, in a 20-year pact providing for Danish control of the chief U.S. naval station in Greenland and for the establishment of jointly operated defense areas. By the terms of other provisions, the armed forces of the members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization were authorized to use all naval, air, and military bases on the island.

People of Greenland

Population: 56,384 (July 2004 est.) Age structure: 0-14 years: 25.5% (male 7,344; female 7,029) 15-64 years: 68.5% (male 20,894; female 17,715) 65 years and over: 6% (male 1,585; female 1,817) (2004 est.) Median age: total: 33.5 years male: 34.8 years female: 31.9 years (2004 est.) Population growth rate: -0.01% (2004 est.) Birth rate: 15.96 births/1,000 population (2004 est.) Death rate: 7.7 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.) Net migration rate: -8.37 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.) Sex ratio: at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.18 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.87 male(s)/female total population: 1.12 male(s)/female (2004 est.) Infant mortality rate: total: 16.31 deaths/1,000 live births male: 17.62 deaths/1,000 live births female: 14.96 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.) Life expectancy at birth: total population: 69.32 years male: 65.75 years female: 72.98 years (2004 est.) Total fertility rate: 2.42 children born/woman (2004 est.) 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, English Literacy: definition: NA total population: NA male: NA female: NA note: similar to Denmark proper
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