Update 1 to the U.S. standard "Geopolitical Entities and Codes" is dated 2010-08-20. It assigns FIPS codes to the new communes. Newsletter II-2, an update to the ISO 3166-2 standard, dated 2010-06-30, does the same thing for ISO codes.
|Languages||Greenlandic (kl), Danish (da)|
|Time zone||(see note)|
Greenland began the 20th century as a Danish colony. On 1953-06-05 it became constitutionally part of Denmark as an overseas county. It still retains that status, although it has a great measure of autonomy. Places in Greenland usually have both Danish and Greenlandic names, which are not in the least similar, and can cause confusion.
Time zone note: Most of Greenland is currently on -3 ~ (three hours earlier than GMT, with daylight saving time in the summer). The far northwest, around Thule, is on -4 ~; a small part of the east coast, around Scoresbysund and Constable Pynt, is on -1 ~.
Icelandic grænland: green land, named by Erik the Red to attract settlers.
Greenland is divided into four kommuner (communes); some of the country is unorganized territory, not belonging to any commune.
Note: the area estimates are too large, because the accepted total area of Greenland is about 2,170,000 km.². Multiply them by .9 to get estimates that add up to the right amount.
Greenland uses postal codes from the Danish system. They are four-digit numbers, beginning with 39 for Greenland. If a country prefix is wanted, use "DK-".
See the Municipalities of Greenland page.
The country is further subdivided into 18 kommuner (municipalities). These may be obsolete, following the reorganization in 2009. A publication of Statistics Greenland distinguishes between the four new kommuner and the eighteen old kommuner by calling the former Storkommuner ("great communes") and the latter gamle kommuner ("old communes"). I have chosen to make the same distinction using the terms communes and municipalities, respectively.
The unorganized territory consists of two very unequal parts: the Northeast Greenland National Park, and Pituffik (Thule Air Base, which occupies less than 10 mi.², enclaved within Qaasuitsup). The National Park includes the northernmost point of land in the world, a tiny unnamed island, as well as Kaffeklubben and Oodaaq Islands, which have also been cited as northernmost. Qaasuitsup includes the island of Disko.
Since 1953, and probably earlier, Greenland was divided into three lansdele ("country-parts"), sometimes called amter (counties), as shown here.
2009-01-01: The lansdele were abolished and replaced by four kommuner, as shown in the main table.
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