Greenland Economy

Is Greenland a rich country?

Greenland’s economy depends on exports of shrimp and fish, and on a substantial subsidy from the Danish Government. Fish account for over 90% of its exports, subjecting the economy to price fluctuations. The subsidy from the Danish Government is budgeted to be about $535 million in 2017, more than 50% of government revenues, and 25% of GDP.

The economy is expanding after a period of decline. The economy contracted between 2012 and 2014, grew by 1.7% in 2015 and by 7.7%in 2016. The expansion has been driven by larger quotas for shrimp, the predominant Greenlandic export, and also by increased activity in the construction sector, especially in Nuuk, the capital. Private consumption and tourism also are contributing to GDP growth more than in previous years. Tourism in Greenland grew annually around 20% in 2015 and 2016, largely a result of increasing numbers of cruise lines now operating in Greenland's western and southern waters during the peak summer tourism season.

The public sector, including publicly owned enterprises and the municipalities, plays a dominant role in Greenland's economy. During the last decade the Greenland Self Rule Government pursued conservative fiscal and monetary policies, but public pressure has increased for better schools, health care, and retirement systems. The budget was in deficit in 2014 and 2016, but public debt remains low at about 5% of GDP. The government plans a balanced budget for the 2017–20 period.

Significant challenges face the island, including low levels of qualified labor, geographic dispersion, lack of industry diversification, the long-term sustainability of the public budget, and a declining population due to emigration. Hydrocarbon exploration has ceased with declining oil prices. The island has potential for natural resource exploitation with rare-earth, uranium, and iron ore mineral projects proposed, but a lack of infrastructure hinders development.

Greenland Economy Data

What is the GDP of Greenland?

GDP - Gross Domestic Product (PPP) $2,133,000,000 (USD)
GDP - official exchange rate $2,160,000,000 (USD)
GDP - real growth rate 0.9%
GDP Per Capita $37,900.00 (USD)
GDP by Sector- agriculture 13.9%
GDP by Sector- Industry 19.2%
GDP by Sector- services 67%
Population Below Poverty Line 9.2%
Inflation Rate 9.4%
Labor Force 28,240
Labor Force By Occupation- agriculture 4%
Labor Force By Occupation- industry 29%
Labor Force By Occupation- services 67%
Unemployment Rate 6.8%
Fiscal Year calendar year
Annual Budget $1,470,000,000 (USD)
Budget Surplus or Deficit - percent of GDP 1.9%
Taxes and other revenues - percent of GDP 79.6%
Major Industries fish processing (mainly shrimp and Greenland halibut), handicrafts, hides and skins, small shipyards, mining
Agriculture Products forage crops, garden and greenhouse vegetables; sheep, reindeer; fish
Currency Code Danish krone (DKK)

Labor Force by Occupation- As reported by Greenland

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