Greenland 2004

Greenland People

Yearbook 2004

Greenland. According to CountryAAH, the total population in Greenland is 56,781 people in 2020. In May, Greenland, Denmark and the United States signed an agreement that gave the United States the opportunity to modernize the Thule radar station in northern Greenland so that it could be part of the new US global robotic defense. At the same time, the original Thule population turned to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg with the request that the US base be removed, so that the Thule residents can return to the place they were forcibly displaced from 1953. The request to Strasbourg followed a previous denial in the Supreme Court of Denmark, where the request on return to Thule rejected.

In connection with the 25th anniversary of Greenland’s autonomy, Denmark and Greenland decided on a joint commission to investigate the possibilities for greater Greenlandic independence, both financially and politically. The task of the Commission is to investigate which areas of society can be transferred from Danish to Greenland administration. Greenland’s self-government already includes, among other things, taxes, education, social policy, infrastructure and cultural issues. At the same time, Denmark makes an annual financial contribution to Greenland of approximately DKK 3 billion.

At the end of the year, the Arctic Council presented a report on the warming of the Arctic climate. At the same time, the Greenland Autonomous Government launched a comprehensive campaign to inform how Greenland’s future will be affected as the polar ice melts more and more.

Greenland People


By the end of the 9th century, the fjord tracts were farthest south and the fjords within the present Nuuk were inhabited by Norwegian and Icelandic peasants. It was from here that the mainland of America was discovered around the year 1000 and investigated by several expeditions.

When the northernmost colony was the largest, it had over 3,000 inhabitants with churches, monasteries and from 1124 a bishop. In 1261, the colony was subordinated to the Norwegian king and then followed with Norway into the union with Denmark in 1380. During the 1400s, the Norse disappeared from Greenland. It is not clear why they disappeared, but it is known that the Norse and Inuit had contact with each other.

In 1721, Greenland was again colonized by Denmark-Norway. Missionary Hans Egede settled down at Nuuk and traders followed suit. When Norway was separated from Denmark in 1814 after the Napoleonic Wars, Greenland remained Danish.

During World War II, Greenland was under American protection and played an important role in US-England aviation relations. In 1951, a defense agreement was signed between Denmark and the United States. Under the military alliance Nato, the US was granted the right to have bases in Greenland. In particular, the Thule base on the northwest coast was of great importance for the strategic bombing and subsequently as the most important radar facility to warn the United States of missile attacks. The Thule base also became the most important station for communication with scouting satellites. When the base was built, the small local population of just over 50 people was forced to move 11 miles north where a new village, Qaanaaq, was built. Today it has grown to include 650 inhabitants.

After the war, it was unsustainable to maintain Greenland’s status as a Danish colony. In 1953 Greenland became the Danish county (county) and a rapid development of society followed without the Greenlanders really having to adapt. It had many negative social and economic consequences. It gradually became clear that the Greenlanders must have greater influence over decision-making. When Greenland joined the then EC (now the EU) in 1973, despite the majority of Greenlanders voting no, a Danish-Greenlandic commission was appointed to investigate the matter. On the basis of the Commission’s proposal, the Parliament passed a law on internal self-government, “home rule”, for Greenland. The law came into force on May 1, 1979.

The Danish monarch would continue to be the head of state and Denmark would continue to carry out foreign and defense policy, the judiciary, the coinage and the administration of natural resources. All other areas would be transferred to the Greenlanders, but with unchanged financial support from Denmark.