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Does Anyone Live In Greenland? 1

Does anyone live in Greenland? Meet the Greenlandic people

Does anyone live in Greenland? The simple answer is absolutely. Greenland is home to one of the world’s smallest populations, with only around 56,225 people spread across 2.166 million km2. 

Many of Greenland’s people come from Iceland, Denmark, and other Scandinavian locations. 

Although Greenland is quite large (about a third of the size of the USA), most of the country is untouched. The giant ice sheets covering the country make much of it uninhabitable. At least a quarter of Greenlandic people live in the capital, Nuuk

Outside of the bustling capital, most of Greenland is constructed of small coastal settlements and towns that still rely heavily on hunting and fishing.

Here’s what you need to know about the population of Greenland.

Does Anyone Live In Greenland? 2

What is the population of Greenland?

In the early days, much of Greenland’s population was made up of Vikings and Icelandic travellers. So, who lives in Greenland now? A vast selection of people from various parts of the world. There are around 56,225 people living in Greenland, as of the 2019 census

The majority of the people living in Greenland are the Inuit, the indigenous people who learned how to thrive in the icy coldness of one of the world’s harshest climates. 

What are you called if you live in Greenland?

The population of Greenland is much more diverse than you may think. Many of the people living in Greenland say Greenlandic is the official language of the country. This language is taught to children alongside English and Danish. 

Modern Greenlandic locals call themselves Greenlanders, or kalaallit. However, around 89% of Greenland’s population is made up of Inuit. 

Inuit Greenlanders have their own language, and their own unique names for themselves. 

  • The Kalaallit of Western Greenland (Greenlanders) who speak Greenlandic, Danish, and English.
  • The Tunumiit of Tune (Eastern Greenland) who speak Eastern Greenlandic, or Tunumiit Oraasait. 
  • The Inguhuit of Northern Greenland who speak Polar Greenlandic, or “Inuktun”.

Interestingly, the Greenlandic people don’t call the country Greenland. Although Greenland is a recognizable name for the locals, they prefer Kalaallit Nunaat, which means “Land of the People”, or “Land of the Greenlanders”. 

Who lives in Greenland? Life in Greenland

It’s easy to see why people might think Greenland is uninhabited. Life in Greenland is quite different to life in the rest of the world. As the world’s largest island, Greenland is a vast place, but it’s also brimming with harsh conditions. 

Interestingly, living in Greenland can feel like turning your world upside down. The country doesn’t rely as heavily on time as we do in Western parts of the world. The population of Greenland plan their days around the weather. 

In Greenland, there also aren’t any roads between settlements and towns. Most traffic moves through small planes, boats, and helicopters. 

One of the major things that makes life in Greenland so unusual, is how spread out the Greenlandic people are. In Europe and the United States, people are used to being constantly surrounded by people. 

In Greenland, it’s more likely to spend days alone. There are some days were you may go without phones or internet connection too.  

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It’s not easy to drive from one country to another or check out other parts of Scandinavia on a whim if you live in Greenland. Part of the beauty of the country is how isolated it is. This country is one of the few parts of the world where you have an opportunity to truly get back to nature.

The scarcity of the population even means you’re less exposed to pollution. With no roads and little travel available, the air in Greenland is incredibly clean. However, the atmosphere is also extremely cold, with winters lasting months. 

One bonus is the Greenlandic people have a unique opportunity to spot the Northern Lights. The lack of pollution, long nights, and minimal man-made lighting allows for a great view. 

Does Anyone Live In Greenland? 3

What is it like to live in Greenland?

In many ways, Greenland has a lot in common with other parts of Scandinavia. Though the country is sparsely populated, the population of Greenland has a strong appreciation for nature. Like many other Scandi countries, life in Greenland involves a deep respect for nature. 

In return for minimal pollution and cleaner air, Greenlandic people are rewarded with incredible scenery. There are miles of icy fjords to see, and unique rainbow-colored ice fields. 

Many of the icebergs that drift ashore around the region have been building for hundreds of thousands of years.

Although the answer to “Does anyone live in Greenland” is “yes, but not many”, it’s worth noting the heritage of the country. Greenland’s population might not be huge. However, according to historians, the first humans arrived in the region around 2500 BC. 

The original locals were gradually succeeded by various other groups migrating from North America.

It wasn’t until the beginning of the 10th century that Norsemen from Iceland settled into the uninhabited southern parts of Greenland, though they did disappear in the late 15th century. 

The Intuit, which now make up the majority of Greenland’s people, migrated to the country from Asia in the 13th century. The Intuit make up the largest percentage of Greenland’s population, and their bloodline survives to this day. 

Many Intuit Greenlanders can trace their lineage back thousands of years. The locals of Greenland also continue to practice many Intuit tradition. Notably, Greenlandic people don’t appreciate the name “eskimo”. 

If you meet someone in Greenland, show them a little respect by calling them Kalaallit.

What are the Greenlandic people like today?

The easy answer to “does anyone live in Greenland?”, is yes. The more advanced answer is yes — a lot of different kinds of people. The population of Greenland is more varied than many people realise. 

Although 88% of the population is made up of a selection of Inuit and Danish, there are still plenty of people here from around Europe. 

Greenlandic Inuit also feel a strong connection to Inuits in other parts of the world, making the community even larger. Local Greenlandic people share similarities with Inuit from Alaska and Canada. Even some parts of the languages are the same. 

Do people in Greenland speak English?

Greenlandic people aren’t just diverse because they come from different places. The locals are also equipped to speak a range of languages, including English, Danish, and Greenlandic. The heavy use of Danish comes from the establishment of home rule that began in 1979. 

The younger generation today learn English to help them with exploring the world. 

As mentioned above, most of the Greenland’s population lives in the capital of Nuuk. This vibrant and rich environment is the largest cosmopolitan town on the island. Though the city might be less crowded with people than other capital cities, there’s still plenty to do. 

You can find a wide variety of museums, fashion boutiques and art galleries here. Plus, if you want to see a more natural side of Greenland, you’ll never be far from beautiful sights. There are plenty of mountains to discover, and of course an amazing fjord system.

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Living in Greenland today

Greenland is a unique place with an incredible background. Brimming with natural sights to marvel at, this location might be cold, but it’s brimming with ways to warm your heart. Greenland might not have the largest population, but it’s one that you won’t regret getting to know. 

If you ever have an opportunity to go out and explore the wonders of Greenland for yourself, make sure that you strike up a conversation with one of its people. You’re sure to learn something amazing. 

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