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State structure

Greenland has belonged to Denmark as a colony since 1380, but only became an integral part of the Danish Kingdom in 1953. From that time onwards, Greenlanders were granted full Danish citizenship with the same rights and privileges as Danes in Denmark. Denmark is represented in Greenland by a High Commissioner.

Following a referendum among the Greenlandic population, Greenland has had a domestic administration, the Hjemmestyre, since 1979. Only the judiciary, foreign policy and defence are still governed from Denmark. The government consists of the prime minister and six ministers.

Every four years a new Landsting is elected in Greenland, with 31 representatives. Greenland is divided into three administrative areas: Avanersuaq (North Greenland), Tunul (East Greenland) and Kitaa (West Greenland). The three administrative regions are further divided into 18 municipalities, one in the North, two in the East and 15 in the West. Municipal councils are elected every four years. Greenland is a member of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference, which includes Inuit from Alaska, Canada and Greenland. Since 1953, Greenland has had two representatives in the Danish Parliament. For the current political situation, see History.


Greenland has the same educational structure as Denmark. Education is free and compulsory from the age of seven. Primary education takes place in the village or town where one lives. Secondary education is often provided in boarding schools in the cities. The capital city, Nuuk, is the educational centre of the country. It is home to the University of Greenland (approx. 100 students!), as well as a teacher training college and a nurse training college.

Five hundred Greenlandic students study in Denmark every year and mainly return as engineers, doctors or psychologists. Most secondary school teachers in Greenland are Danes.


Stadler, H. / Groenland

Swaney, D. / Iceland, Greenland & Faroe Islands
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CIA - World Factbook

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Last updated May 2024
Copyright: Team The World of Info