Size and growth
There are 56.452 persons living in Greenland (by January 1st 2010). This has been the size of the population +/ 1000 persons during the past 20 years. Through this period the population has grown slightly except from 2005 to 2009, where the population declined. From 2009 to 2010 the population increased by 258 persons.
Overview 1
Population by place of birth 19802010

1980 
1985 
1990 
1995 
2000 
2005 
2010 
Total ....... 
49.773 
52.940 
55.558 
55.732 
56.107 
56.969 
56.452 
Born in Greenland ... 
40.947 
43.587 
46.142 
48.412 
49.355 
50.272 
50.226 
Proportion born in Greenland . 
0,82 
0,82 
0,83 
0,87 
0,88 
0,88 
0,89 
Source: Statistics Greenland
The size of the population and growth over time is explained by changes in the number of live birth, deaths, immigrants and emigrant. In figure 1 you can see the interaction between growth, birth surplus and net migration. Typically the birth surplus and net emigration contributes to a positive growth.
Figure 1
Population growth, birth surplus and net emigrations
Source: Statistics Greenland
The birth surplus was extremely high in the early 1960s due to a very high fertility level. Within a few years the fertility level was halved, and the birth cohorts was equally halved. We talk of ‘the big cohorts’ from the 1960s. These cohorts were twice as big as cohorts 10 years prior and after. The agedistribution over the past 50 years has been heavily influenced by these cohorts, and are still very visual in a population pyramid. In 2010 the cohorts are between 40 and 50 years old.
Figure 2
Population pyramid 2010
Source: Statistics Greenland