Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 89

Arctic Yearbook 2014 89 There are similar differences in the age and sex compositions in Greenland, between those born in Greenland and migrants who were born outside of Greenland. Thirty-one percent of those born in Greenland are below 20 against only 12 percent of those born outside. For persons not from Greenland, it is obviously a place of work as 80 percent of those born outside Greenland are in the working ages of 20 to 64, versus 61 percent of those born in Greenland. Further demonstrating that Greenland is a place of work for those from outside the country is that the male-female gender ratio is 200 males per 100 females for those born outside the country while it is a more expected 104 males per 100 females for those born inside Greenland. These differences are especially pronounced from age 38 and older as the gender ratio for those born outside the country is 2 or 3 males per each female. Arctic regions tend to have higher male sex ratios than the southern regions of the Arctic countries because of gender-specific in- and out-migration trends. Figure 4 shows the gender composition of the population by region in the Arctic (using the regions used in the Arctic Human Development Report and shown relative to the national averages). Regions in blue have higher male sex ratios; the darker the shade of blue, the higher the male sex ratio relative to females. Regions in pink have higher female sex ratios. As can be seen, the majority of regions in the Arctic have significantly higher male sex ratios than the national averages. Only a few of the larger urban settlements, with more diversified economies, have high female sex ratios. This is due to two gender-specific migration trends. The first is that because of the economic structure of the Arctic, with an emphasis on resource extraction, transportation, construction, and fishing – typically more male occupations – more males tend to migrate to the region than females. In the early days of outsider migration to the Arctic, the flows were significantly more male. According to the 1900 census for Alaska, at the time of Alaska Gold Rush, there were 258 males per 100 females. The male sex ratio steadily declined as more families moved to the area but then increased again to 162 males per 100 females in 1950 with the migration of predominantly-male military personnel during World War II and the onset of the Cold War. Again, a pattern of more permanent settlement followed including wives and children which lower the male sex ratio. A similar pattern of high male gender ratios in the period of initial contact and exploration took place across the Arctic. However, as the economies of Alaska and other Arctic regions have diversified the percent male has declined. The second trend is that many females in the Arctic are becoming more educated than males and seeking jobs in the larger cities or even outside the Arctic (Rasmussen, 2011). Women across many Arctic regions are gaining the necessary skills to compete in the knowledge economy. This allows women in the Arctic to compete in a different and wider labor market, which often takes them out of the Arctic. This outmigration of women can have negative consequences on life in smaller, rural areas in the Arctic where the deficit of women is most pronounced.   Migration in the Arctic