The World Factbook (1982)/Greenland

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The World Factbook (1982)
by the Central Intelligence Agency


World Factbook (1982) Greenland.jpg
(See reference map II)


2,175,600 km2; less than 1% arable (of which only a fraction cultivated), 84% permanent ice and snow, 15% other


Limits of territorial waters (claimed): 3 nm (fishing 200 nm)

Coastline: approx. 44,087 km, (includes minor islands)


Population: 51,000 (July 1982) ?? annual growth rate 0.6%

Nationality: noun—Greenlander(s); adjective—Greenlandic

Ethnic divisions: 86% Greenlander (Eskimos and Greenland-born whites), 14% Danes

Religion: Evangelical Lutheran

Language: Danish, Eskimo dialects

Literacy: 99%

Labor force: 12,000; largely engaged in fishing and sheep breeding


Official name: Greenland

Type: province of Kingdom of Denmark; two representatives in Danish parliament; separate Minister for Greenland in the Danish Cabinet

Capital: Godthab (administrative center)

Political subdivisions: 3 counties, 19 communes

Legal system: Danish law; transformed from colony to province in 1953; limited home rule began in spring 1979

Branches: legislative authorityjests jointly with the elected 21-seat Landsting and Danish parliament; executive power vested in Premier and four-person council; 19 lower courts

Government leaders: Queen MARGRETHE II, Premier Jonathan MOTZFELDT Suffrage: universal, but not compulsory, over age 21

Elections: held every four years

Political parties: Siumut—leading party in present government with 13 seats (moderate socialist, advocating more distinct Greenland identity and greater autonomy from Denmark); the Atassut Party, which controls the remaining eight seats, is more conservative, favors continuing close relations with Denmark and the EC; Sulissartut Partiat, the political wing of the Greenland labor movement; and the Inuit Atagatigik, a Marxist-Leninist party favoring complete independence from Denmark rather than home rule


GNP: included in that of Denmark

Agriculture: arable areas largely in hay; sheep grazing; garden produce

Fishing: catch 82,000 tons (1979); exports $53.7 million (1978)

Major industries: mining, slaughtering, fishing, sealing

Electric power: 77,000 kW capacity (1980); 125 million k Wh produced (1980), 2,500 k Wh per capita

Exports: $101.4 million (f.o.b., 1978); fish and fish products, metallic ores and concentrates

Imports: $177.8 million (c.i.f., 1978); petroleum and petroleum products, machinery and transport equipment, food products

Major trade partners: (1978) Denmark 67.2%, US 7.9%, Finland 5.3%, West Germany 5.3%, UK 5.3%

Monetary conversion rate: 5.6359 Danish Kroner=US$1 (1980)

Fiscal year: calendar year beginning 1 January 1979


Railroads: none

Highways: 80 km

Ports: 7 major, 16 minor

Civil air: 2 major transport aircraft

Airfields: 12 total, 7 usable; 4 with permanent-surface runways; 3 with runways 2,440-3,659 m, 2 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: adequate domestic and international service provided by cables and radio relay; 9,000 telephones (18.4 per 100 popl.); 9 AM, 11 FM, and 2 TV stations; 2 coaxial submarine cables; 1 Atlantic Ocean satellite station


Military manpower: included with Denmark