Arctic Yearbook 2014
The historically high mobility of the Greenlandic population has continued or even accelerated.
From 1993 to 2013 the mobility from one town or settlement to another town or settlement
increased from 10% to 13% of the total population. This mobility is partly based on job mobility,
and the fact that it is not possible to commute on a daily base from one town or settlement to
another anywhere in Greenland. But it can also be seen in correlation with education where many
youth have to move to one of the larger towns to finalize their basic education, and for a growing
number in additional education. There is also relatively high mobility of people moving for family
reasons or the desire to get away from personal problems.
As the foreign part of the Greenland population is not increasing this figure shows that the
migration between town and settlements is high and even increasing. It also shows that the net
difference is quite small compared to the total migration and to the migration between settlements.
Figure 1: Mobility in Greenland between towns and settlements by number of migrants and year. The figures
are based on data from different sources in Greenland Statistics 1993 to 2013 (see e.g. GS 2013).
Challenges to Governance and Planning
In this section the role of social impact assessments (SIAs) and public planning and involvement in
relation to mining activities are discussed in order to point to how to open up for alternative
strategies. On this basis the section outlines perspectives for governance and research that shall
assess the rationales behind the dominant fly-in-fly-out strategies of several mining companies
compared to strategies that plan for and prioritize the involvement of local settlements and local
workforce not just as a supplement, but as part of the core strategy. This may entail public planning
Hendriksen, Hoffmann & Jørgensen