Avannaa/Nordgrønland (North Greenland, also called Avannaarsua or Avanersuaq) is one of the three counties (amt) of Greenland. The county seat is at the main settlement, Qaanaaq, the town of the only municipality.

It is the least densely populated administrative division in the world with 843 people living in 106,700 km² of ice-free land with a density of 0.0079 people per square kilometre. The total land area including the land covered by the ice cap is over 500,000 km². North Greenland has a higher portion of ice-free land than most other areas of the country because much of the extreme north, such as Peary Land, is largely ice-free due to its low precipitation.

Local Divisions

Local occupations

Seal hunting is the most important source of income for a large part of the population, and this is why the settlements here are different from those in the rest of Greenland. There are many settlements in the region, and the way of life is different from the one in busier Greenlandic towns. During the winter, when the fjords freeze over, the dog sled is a commonly used means of transport for the fishermen and hunters.

Historical features

Greenland's oldest wooden house, dating from 1734, is in Qasigiannguit, which also has a museum with a collection of archaeological finds from different prehistoric cultures. The former settlement of Sermermiut near Ilulissat, the old storehouse, deserted settlements, the houses of the colonial administrators and the churches all bearing witness to aspects of Greenland's history. There is a museum in every town which will take you far back into the past.


There aren't many animals on land, perhaps just a fox or hare, but life is plentiful above and below the water. There are many species of gull to be seen resting on the ice fields, and large numbers of fulmars can be observed close to the towns when they make good use of the waste products from the fish factories. Prawns, also known as pink gold, and feature prominently among Greenland's exports, are the reason for many large trawlers and smaller fishing vessels which ply the waters of North Greenland. It is a great spot to the gigantic fin whale, especially around Qeqertarsuaq, Aasiaat and Qasigiannguit.


See also

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