Greenland - Its Economy And Resources


  • Lise Lyck
  • Jørgen Taagholt



Economic conditions, Economic policy, Education, Energy resources, Foreign trade, Government, Home rule in Greenland, Labour supply, Mineral resources, Greenland


This paper describes the development in Greenland toward greater autonomy, presenting economic statistics and what is known about the extent of its mineral deposits and energy resources. Until 1953 Greenland was a Danish colony. In 1953 it became a Danish country, and on 1 May 1979 it obtained home rule. In early 1985 Greenland left the European Economic Community (EEC). During this period Greenland obtained increasingly greater political autonomy. Up to World War II access to Greenland was greatly restricted by Denmark. Since World War II Greenland has developed a local national economy, characterized as small, mixed and vulnerable, with a big public sector and comprehensive foreign trade - an economy with strong growth, considerable inflation, the beginnings of unemployment problems and extreme dependence on capital inflow from Denmark and use of Danish skilled labour. As well, the population has been growing. In 1953 it was 25,000, of which 94% was born in Greenland. In 1985 it amounted to 52,000, 80% born in Greenland.

Key words: Greenlandic economy, Greenlandic trade, Greenlandic education, Greenlandic labour force, Greenlandic resources, political development in Greenland, European Economic Community and Greenland