Demographic perspectives

It is stated in the national planning forecast 'Landsplanredegørelse 2015 – Den nødvendige kooordinering' that, until 10-15 years ago, the general population in Greenland was increasing. Nevertheless, the shortage of young women may in just a few years result in a decrease in the total Greenlandic population. The same will be the case for Qaasuitsup Municipality.

The demographic lurches and migration between towns and settlements also affect residential demands. Some towns and settlements hold vacant homes, whereas others suffer from a shortage of homes and long waiting lists. The varying distribution of the population across different age groups may result in considerable demographic challenges.

Population and settlement

Almost a third of the Greenlandic population lives in Qaasuitsup Municipality. On 1 January 2015, the municipality's towns and settlements numbered 17,168 inhabitants.

The population of Qaasuitsup is expected (according to Statistics Greenland's regional forecast) to continue to decrease towards 2030. Stating an average decrease of some 1.3 per cent a year, corresponding to 200 persons, the expected decrease is larger than the decrease witnessed in recent years.

Since 2003, the population decrease has been most evident in settlements and in Kangaatsiaq. Ilulissat, Qaanaaq and Aasiaat have more or less maintained a steady population, whereas Qasigiannguit, Qeqertarsuaq and Uummannaq have also seen quite considerable decreases.

Befolkningstal i kommunen

Being the world's largest municipality, Qaasuitsup Municipality is characterised by numerous towns and settlements – in total, eight towns and 32 settlements. In fact, more than half of the Greenlandic settlements are located in Qaasuitsup Municipality. An increasing percentage of the municipality's population resides in one of the eight towns.

On 1 January 2010, there were 6,072 homes in Qaasuitsup Municipality. The Government of Greenland owns around one fourth of the homes.

  • 71% of the homes are located in towns, the average household size in 2010 being 2.3-2.7 persons per home. The national average is 2.4.
  • 29% of the homes are located in settlements, the average household size in 2010 ranging from 1.1 to 3.4 persons per home. The national average is 2.3.

Households have decreased in size in recent years – especially in settlements.

The number of households in Qaasuitsup has practically been stable, seeing a small increase, since the mid-90s. Given the population development in that period, this represents a decreasing household size, down from 3.2 persons per household to 2.7.

A decrease of some 200 households is expected towards 2030, equalling a little less than 15 a year. This decrease is expected to hit settlements and the smallest towns in particular.

Antal husstande i kommunen

Considering an expected decrease in population, the varying distribution of the population and the diminishing household size, there will be a need to construct new homes – especially in the three largest towns. This is to be further studied in the future sector planning.