Arctic Yearbook 2014
Figure 2: Key export product groups from 1982-2010 at constant 1979 prices. The only significant exports for the
period, in addition to seafood, are lead and zinc ore from the Maarmorilik mine, which closed in 1990.
The geographic and economic centralization has not reduced Greenland’s almost mono-product
economic dependence on exports of fish and seafood (Figure 2), and the value of exports has been
gradually decreasing while imports have been increasing. The overall development has meant that
many of the cities and villages are now left without any real business or livelihood besides
maintaining the settlement’s operation (Hendriksen 2013).
The large imbalance between exports and imports has prohibited the creation of a self-sustaining
economy in Greenland, and left Denmark funding half of the public spending through transfer
payments (Figure 3).
Hendriksen & Christensen