Do People Live in Antarctica?

people-live-antarctica Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/CC-BY 2.0

There are no permanent residents of Antarctica. However, there are many research stations in Antarctica that are populated throughout the year by professionals sent to study the continent.

Most of the temporary residents of the research facilities, which are owned by the governments of various nations, are scientists. During the winter, the population of scientists and researchers in Antarctica is about 1,000. That population rises to about 5,000 during the summer. Much of Antarctica is located within the Antarctic Circle, which makes it almost uninhabitable on a permanent basis. Although its surface is almost entirely ice and snow, Antarctica is considered a desert because of the very limited amount of precipitation it receives each year.