Greenland is a self-governing region within the Kingdom of Denmark, and geographically a part of the North American continent. Along with Denmark, Greenland was an EU member from 1973. In 1985, however, Greenland left the union and has not been a member since. The Greenlandic government is actively working to attract investments to Greenland to diversify the economy and integrate it into the world economy.
Two-thirds of Greenland lies within the Arctic Circle, and its northern tip is less than 500 miles from the North Pole. Its land area is over 50 times that of Denmark but has the lowest population density in the world, with approximately 56,000 inhabitants (or 1/100th the population of mainland Denmark). Greenland can be reached by air from Denmark or Iceland. There are currently no direct commercial flights to or from the United States. Transportation infrastructure in Greenland is focused on air and sea, due to the climate and geography. Greenland has no railroads or roads to connect towns and settlements, and passengers and goods are transported between regions by sea or air only.
Greenland’s GDP is estimated at DKK 19.6 billion (USD 2.94 billion) in 2019. A large proportion of the Greenlandic labor market consists of public jobs in municipalities or with the Government of Greenland (GoG) or companies wholly-owned by the GoG. Denmark’s annual block grant equals roughly 20 percent of GDP.
Fishing is Greenland’s single most important commercial industry, and is dominated by two companies, the GoG-owned Royal Greenland and the privately owned Polar Seafood. The government is promoting development of tourism and mineral extractives sector.
Greenland’s status within the Kingdom of Denmark is outlined in the Self Rule Act (SRA) of 2009, which details the Greenlandic government’s right to assume a number of additional responsibilities from the Danish government, including the administration of justice, business and labor, aviation, immigration and border control, as well as financial regulation and supervision. Greenland had already acquired control over taxation, fisheries, internal labor negotiations, natural resources, and oversight of offshore labor, environment, and safety regulations. Denmark continues to have control over the Realm’s foreign affairs, security, and defense policy, in consultation with Greenland and the Faroe Islands. Denmark also retains authority over border control issues, including immigration into Greenland. Greenland is not a part of the EU or Schengen Area, and special rules apply for foreigners arriving from a Schengen country. Denmark provides Greenland with an annual block grant of DKK 3.8 billion — roughly USD 605 million — that accounts for about 20 percent of Greenland’s GDP and half of the Greenlandic government’s revenue.
The Greenlandic government seeks to increase economic growth and government revenues by promoting greater development of fisheries, extractive resources, and tourism, and by trimming the public sector through privatization of enterprises currently owned by the government. Key initiatives include improving access to financing for new businesses and enhancing Greenland’s corporate tax competitiveness. Rising prices for fish and shellfish, the predominant Greenlandic exports, have generated strong earnings for large parts of the fisheries sector in recent years. Catches of prawn, by far the most important single species, have increased following years of declines.
Capital city Nuuk and Ilulissat, Greenland’s primary tourist destination, have seen extensive construction activity in recent years and the planned expansion of their respective airports will lead to further growth and facilitate expansion of tourism. Other efforts to develop tourism include increases in accommodation (hotel rooms), a reduction in passenger tax for cruise ships, and a focus on promoting foreign language education to create a more multilingual workforce. The government is calling for stricter safety requirements for navigation in Greenlandic waters.
In the mineral extractives sector, two smaller mines (ruby and anorthosite) are in production. One company was granted an exploitation license to restart a gold mine in southern Greenland. Two other companies applied for permission to extract rare earth elements in southern Greenland. The resources in both of these projects are globally significant, and each would rank in the top five worldwide if they were developed. One of the projects also contains uranium. The government endorses maintaining the previous government’s relaxation on a ban on uranium mining, and states that all IAEA and EURATOM standards must be met. The issue of uranium mining in Greenland remains sensitive, however, and further public consultation processes would be required.
Greenlandic Economic Outlook
Greenland was enjoying an economic upswing with GDP growth projected at 3.8 percent for 2020 prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Greenlandic economy has exhibited strong growth in recent years, mainly driven by large catches and high prices of fish and shellfish, but also supported by consumption, investments and recently the resource extraction industry. The Greenlandic Economic Council (GEC) – an independent advisory council – estimated that real GDP grew on average by 2.4 percent annually from 2014 to 2018. The Council estimated that GDP grew by 2.2 percent in 2019 and was expected to accelerate to 3.8 percent in 2020. The strong economy led to labor shortages, both geographically and by sector, increasing the risk that the economy could overheat, especially in connection with large construction projects. The Council estimated unemployment declined from about 10 percent in 2014 to below 4 percent in 2019, while the Bank of Greenland calculated the ratio of job-ready job-seekers to only around 3 percent of the total workforce, but with major regional variations and low geographic mobility. Currently, 70 percent of all available jobs are in the capital Nuuk, and 90 percent of all available jobs are in just three locations: Nuuk, Sisimiut, and Pituffik (Thule Air Base).
The long-term health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is currently unknown, but Greenland has had a very limited number of infected citizens. Its lock-down initiatives – which included the suspension of commercial flights into Greenland beginning March 20 – will have a detrimental economic impact, with tourism and exports expected to decline. Global prices for shrimp had declined by up to 30 percent from the end of 2019 to early May 2020, and the Bank of Greenland had previously predicted that a global price drop in seafood values of 20 percent would reduce annual government revenue by $34 million (DKK 232 million). The GEC estimated that the lock-down initiatives alone, in 2020, will lead to a contraction of GDP for the whole year between 3 percent and 7.4 percent depending on the severity and persistence of the pandemic. This does not account for the decline in global seafood prices, other global impacts, changed tourism patterns or secondary effects. Growth and employment are expected to decline.
The public budget has exhibited surpluses since 2015. The Greenlandic economy continues to be buttressed by a yearly block grant from the Danish Government which amounted to about half of the Greenlandic government budget and 20 percent of Greenland’s (estimated) DKK 19.6 billion (USD 2.94 billion) GDP in 2019. The Greenlandic economy is characterized by the unusual condition of having higher public than private consumption. Consequently, government consumption is of proportionally greater importance to economic growth. For instance, public consumption in Greenland was 43 percent of GDP in 2016, compared to 25 percent in Denmark.
The Greenland Parliament (called “Inatsisartut”) and the Government of Greenland (“Naalakkersuisut”) adopted a Budget Law in 2016 which mandates that the budget is not in deficit over a four-year period. The 2020–2023 budget barely upheld the Budget Law requirement. Recent years’ budget surpluses have been used to consolidate the public coffers and the municipalities, the government and government-owned enterprises have had a gross debt of approximately 19.5 percent of GDP in 2018, down from 22 percent of GDP by the end of 2017.
The GEC reported in 2017 that “projections for the public finances show a major sustainability problem.” The Council has reaffirmed that finding in subsequent reports. The GEC has warned of the effects of increasing public expenditures as larger portions of the population age into retirement, resulting in fewer wage earners in the labor market. The GEC has also noted that a realistic plan to close the gap between expected expenditures and revenues could require the Government to cut social spending. For Greenland to become a more self-sufficient economy, the GEC asserted that the extractive and tourism sectors would need further development. The GEC noted that the Greenland has not sufficiently addressed its sustainability challenges and estimated that the public budget will need to be reinforced by DKK 1 billion annually by 2040 to accommodate the increasing number of elders in the Greenlandic society. Activity in natural resource exploration has increased only gradually since the global industry downturn in 2015. The two mines currently in operation, however, have generated optimism that more small-scale mining operations could follow.
Greenland exported DKK 5.208 billion (USD 780 million) in 2019, which is the first year that Greenland had a trade surplus with the rest of the world, though it is partly due to a change in how the data is calculated. Greenland imported DKK 4.984 billion (USD 746 million) worth of goods in 2019. Some 93 percent of Greenlandic exports, measured in local currency, were fish products, with the remainder being mainly raw materials and machinery. The vast majority of Greenlandic exports and imports pass through Denmark to and from the rest of the world but are reported as trade between the two. Greenlandic exports are dominated by seafood, with Royal Greenland and Polar Seafood being the two main exporters. Royal Greenland’s largest country market is China, and one-third of its revenues are generated in Asia, half in Europe, and 10 percent in North America. Polar Seafood has its main markets in Scandinavia, China and Japan. Similarly Greenland imports goods from all over the world, primarily through Denmark and to a lesser extent via Iceland.
Due to its vast geographic expanse, Greenland’s physical and telecommunications infrastructure is less interconnected and developed than in other parts of the Kingdom of Denmark. Greenland’s government-owned telecommunications company predominantly uses Ericsson equipment and announced that it will continue to do so for future upgrades, including 5G.
Establishing a Company in Greenland
In order to conduct business in Greenland, Danish business (CVR) registration is required. This must be performed digitally on: https://indberet.virk.dk/. Furthermore, companies planning to have employees must register as an employer with the employer register Sulinal: https://sulinal.nanoq.gl. In July 2018, an updated Companies Act entered into force which opened up new ways of establishing a company, e.g., with reduced share capital requirements with the possibility of partial payment of the share capital, the possibility of establishing entrepreneur companies with a share capital of DKK 1 (USD 0.15), etc. Foreign companies may start their businesses in Greenland either through a subsidiary (both ApS and A/S type companies) or via a registered branch office.
ApS and A/S
An ApS (private limited company) or A/S (public limited company) is a separate legal entity with limited liability for its shareholders. The main difference between a private (ApS) and a public (A/S) limited company is that the shares of a private limited company cannot be issued publicly. An ApS can therefore not be subject to listing, or otherwise issue shares to the public to secure more capital. In addition, there are a few differences in relation to capital and management requirements. Under the Companies Act, the minimum share capital requirement for an ApS is DKK 40,000 (USD 5,800). The minimum share capital requirement for an A/S is DKK 400,000 (USD 58,000). However, under the Danish Companies Act, it is possible to incorporate an A/S and only pay 25 percent of this amount (i.e., DKK 100,000 or USD 15,000), leaving the company with a receivable on the shareholders for the outstanding amount (i.e., DKK 300,000 or USD 44,000). A founder of a company may be both foreign or Greenlandic individuals or corporate entities. Both types of company can be registered via the Danish Business Authority’s online system. No registration fees are required.
Registered Branch Office
A foreign company may normally establish a registered branch office in Greenland instead of establishing a Greenlandic company. A branch of a foreign company may be created through application with the Danish Business Authority. Companies within the EU and European Economic Area (EEA) may set up a branch in Greenland and Denmark without further approval from the Danish Business Authority. However, companies outside of the EU/EEA must obtain approval before registering.
A foreign company can do business in Greenland in a consecutive or non-consecutive 90-day period over 12 months without being required to register as a business.
The Greenlandic tax system is based on a flat-rate taxation of business profit for both resident and non-resident corporations. The Greenlandic tax system is based on a net income principle, where the taxable income is calculated as a total net amount after deductions. The net income principle means that all income is treated equally, regardless of whether the income comes from employment, self-employment, investment income or pensions, etc. The rules of taxation of businesses can be complicated, thus it is recommended to retain guidance from the Greenlandic Tax Authorities or professional consultants.
Greenland has double taxation agreements with Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, and Norway. Greenland has signed a Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) agreement with the United States.
The corporate income tax rate is 25 percent (down from 30 percent in 2019); an additional surcharge of six percent of the tax payable brings the total corporate tax rate to 26.5 percent.
Taxation of royalty payments is 30 percent. Greenland has no value added tax (VAT) system, property tax, sales tax, or similar taxes. There are, however, some payable duties, such as taxes for cruise liners, ports duties, etc. There are four types of depreciation in the Greenlandic tax law. Buildings can be depreciated five percent annually. Ships, planes, and hydrocarbon prospecting can be depreciated 10 percent annually. Mineral licenses can be depreciated 25 percent each year for four years, and operating equipment can be depreciated at a rate of 30 percent annually. Assets with a cost of less than DKK 100,000 (USD 15,170) may be depreciated in the year of acquisition.
Greenlandic permanent establishments of foreign companies are taxed under the same rules and rates as Greenlandic resident companies. There is no branch profits remittance tax or other similar tax on branch profits. If a foreign company has more than one location or permanent establishment in Greenland, these are treated as separate taxable entities with no possibility of consolidation.
The Greenlandic labor force was 27,231 persons in 2018. Average unemployment for 2018 was 5.8 percent – higher than the OECD average of 5.3 percent, though a decrease from 10.3 percent in 2014. Unemployment has decreased significantly since, especially in Nuuk, however, more than a third of 16 to 25-year-olds are neither employed nor in school. According to Statistics Greenland, 47.4 percent of the Greenlandic workforce in 2018 have an education beyond primary school. Of the workforce, 26.8 percent have a vocational education, while 14.6 percent have a tertiary education. For the non-employed part of the workforce, however, 84 percent have no education beyond primary school.
In December 2012, Greenland passed legislation known as the “Large Scale Act,” which allows companies to use foreign labor during the construction phase of development when project costs exceed DKK 5 billion (USD 759 million) and workforce requirements exceed the local labor supply. The Act is intended for potential mining or infrastructure projects in Greenland. The Act lays out the framework for politically negotiated Impact Benefit Agreements (IBA) for the Government of Greenland and the employer to agree on the exact conditions of employment for foreign labor. The scale of Greenlandic labor utilized will be negotiated for each project and will vary depending on local capacity and the negotiated agreement for each project.
Foreign workers enjoy the same legal protections as Greenlandic workers, including the same USD 13.85 per hour minimum wage and retention of the right to strike. However, employers may deduct up to USD 180 from foreign workers’ pay each week to cover the cost of company-provided lodging, food, and clothing.
Investment in Natural Resources
Greenland possesses sizable discovered and undiscovered mineral resource potential. Some deposits are among the largest in the world. The country’s resources include iron and ferro-alloys (iron, nickel, molybdenum, tungsten and others), base metals (copper, zinc and lead), specialty metals (rare earth elements, uranium, niobium, tantalum and others), precious metals (platinum, gold and others) and gemstones (diamonds, rubies, and sapphires). Mining industry experts anticipate that Greenland’s retreating ice will make the island’s rich stores of raw materials more easily accessible, but exploration and exploitation projects will still face higher costs because of remote locations, lack of infrastructure, harsh climate, and distance to world markets. .
In October 2013, the Greenlandic Parliament abolished the country’s 25-year “zero-tolerance” policy towards uranium and other radioactive minerals, lifting the ban on mining where uranium is present. This decision will facilitate the exploitation of certain rare earth mineral deposits, which are often found co-mingled with radioactive minerals in Greenland.
With the 2009 SRA, Greenland gained rights to its mineral and hydrocarbon resources, and it acquired the regulatory authority over these on January 1, 2010. The SRA also created a revenue mechanism: if exploitation of Greenland’s natural resources becomes commercially viable, Greenland will keep the first DKK 75 million (USD 11.38 million) in annual revenues derived from these resources, with further revenues split equally between the Danish and Greenlandic Governments. Denmark’s share will be transferred by deducting the equivalent amount from the annual block grant to Greenland of DKK 3.8 billion (approximately USD 605 million). Once the full value of the block grant is reached, any additional revenue will be subject to negotiations between the Danish and Greenlandic governments. The Greenlandic Government welcomes this scenario but remains aware of the potential adverse impacts that a rapid influx of wealth from these activities could have on Greenlandic society.
Most of Greenland’s identified rare earth deposits are licensed by the Mineral License and Safety Authority and some have reached advanced stages of exploration. In 2019, Greenland rose globally to 41st out of 76 jurisdictions n the annual mining survey from Canadian Fraser Institute. Despite being the lowest ranked European jurisdiction, Greenland increased its rankings from 69th (of 83) in 2018 in terms of investment attractiveness. Challenges cited in the industry survey include regulatory duplication and inconsistencies and the availability of local labor.
Greenland General Business Information
Information about the Greenlandic Government can be found at http://naalakkersuisut.gl/en . Information from the Greenlandic Government on natural resource exploration and extraction can be found at http://www.govmin.gl . Information about doing business in Greenland can be found at https://www.businessingreenland.gl/en . Statistics on Greenland can be found at http://www.stat.gl/default.asp?lang=en .
By law, private property can only be expropriated for public purposes in areas where the Greenlandic government has the competencies, in a non-discriminatory manner, and with reasonable compensation. There have been no recent expropriations of significance in Greenland.
In Greenland it is not possible to acquire private ownership of land, but a right of use may be sold for an area, e.g., if you buy property, you own the building, not the land on which it sits.
There have been no major disputes over foreign investment in Greenland in recent years. While it is common that disputes are settled in Greenlandic courts, the Danish Supreme Court remains the highest appeals court for disputes in Greenland. If a dispute is very specialized and within the purview of the Danish Administration of Justice Act, the parties involved can choose the Danish Maritime and Commercial Court as a court of first instance.
While Greenland’s democratic institutions and legal framework in general are strong, there have been some concerns about legislation being passed by parliament without significant hearing processes and public input.
Contact for More Information on Greenland
U.S. Consulate Nuuk, Greenland
THE FAROE ISLANDS
The Faroe Islands have an open economy and multiple trade agreements with other countries. For more than two centuries the Faroese economy has relied on fisheries and related industries. Fisheries (including agriculture, hunting and forestry) account for 22 percent of domestic factor income in the Faroe Islands. About 94 percent of goods exports are fisheries. Salmon alone accounts for 42 percent of exports. As a non-EU member, the Faroe Islands continue to have open access to the Russian market despite Russia’s retaliatory trade embargo on certain food imports from the EU. This has allowed the Faroese to sell increased quantities of salmon to the Russian market at higher than normal prices, even while prices have dropped significantly in the European market.
The Islands exported DKK 9,539.6 million (USD 1.43 billion) worth of goods in 2019, 93.7 percent of which were fish products, with the remainder being marine vessels, and aircraft resales. In recent years, construction, transportation, banking, and other financial services sectors have grown, and offshore oil and gas exploration is developing, though commercially viable finds have not been made. In 2019, the majority of goods exports went to Russia (23.4 percent), followed by Denmark (11.1 percent), the United State (10.1 percent) and the UK (9,1 percent). Goods imports totaled DKK 8,147.6 million (USD 1.222 billion) in 2019. The vast majority of imports came from Europe in 2019; 1.4 percent originated in the United States. Denmark provided 36.5 percent of imports, Germany 10.4 percent, Norway 7.5 percent, China 6.1 percent, and the Netherlands 5.2 percent. Imports consist of input to industry (Machinery and transport equipment, 30.1 percent, Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials 15.4 percent), items for household consumption (Food and live animals 16.3 percent, Manufactured goods 25.1%).
The Faroe Islands’ small, open, but non-diversified economy makes it highly vulnerable to changes in international markets. The Faroe Islands have full autonomy to set tax rates and fees, and to set levels of spending on the services they provide. Denmark upholds an annual block grant of DKK 642 million – roughly USD 96 million.
The closure of the Faroe Islands as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic can be seen in the Faroese unemployment figures. In mid-April, 3,812 workers received support through the special COVID-19 scheme. To this should be added the 384 persons who already received regular unemployment benefits. A total of 4,196 persons, corresponding to 15 percent unemployed. As early as the beginning of May, however, there is a large decline in the number of COVID-19 related unemployment, which now represents 2,866 employees.
On April 15, 2020, the Minister of Finance presented a note on the financial impact on the Faroe Islands as a result of COVID-19. In light of the Faroe Islands’ strong economic growth since 2013, low public debt, and historically low unemployment, the Ministry concluded that the Faroese economy is well equipped to cope with a period of economic decline as a result of COVID-19 in 2020 and possibly 2021. The Minister expects a deficit of DKK 800 million (USD 118 million) in 2020 and a somewhat smaller deficit in 2021, compared to the budgeted surplus for the Finance Act 2020 of just under DKK 200 million (USD 29.4 million). If the economy can be restarted in a short period of time, and if the world economy starts to grow at the same time, Faroese GDP is estimated to fall by 3-5 percent in 2020. With a protracted process, the Faroese economy may experience a 10 percent fall in GDP in 2020. The Ministry estimates that the public debt will increase to 23 – 30 percent of GDP from 18 percent currently.
In 2013, the Faroese economy began a strong recovery, after several years of stagnation. Official statistics list 2017 as the most recent year available for GDP figures, at DKK 18,708 million (USD 2,837 million). However the Economic Council for the Faroe Islands, together with Statistics Faroe Islands, estimate that nominal GDP rose 6.9 in 2016 followed by estimated growth of 3.3 percent in 2017, 3.0 percent in 2018 and 9.0 percent in 2019. The estimate for 2019 reflects an unexpectedly high salmon harvest. The growth in salmon farming is the result of new farming methods. The Economic Council estimated 7.0 percent GDP growth for 2020 (?) prior to the COVID-19 pandemic According to the Danish Central Bank, the strongest underlying drivers are substantial price increases for farmed salmon and larger catches of mackerel and herring in particular. These two factors have boosted incomes and led to higher private and public sector demand. Employment has risen notably, which has pushed down unemployment. The need for labor has increasingly been met via high net immigration, which has prolonged the economic upswing. However, the many new inhabitants have put the housing market under pressure, especially in and around Tórshavn. Growth in employment continued in the 1st half of 2019. Unemployment has fallen to just above 1 per cent of the labor force, which is the same low level as immediately before the financial crisis in 2008. During the current upswing, fiscal policy has also contributed to growth and hence to increasing labor market pressures. Wage growth has accelerated as spare resources in the economy have shrunk. All the same, wage growth remains moderate and lower than during the most recent boom. The low wage growth should be seen in the light of an expanded labor force and subdued consumer price inflation.
Since 2013, real wages have increased by almost 20 per cent. Investment in 2016-2018 is estimated to total DKK1.7 billion (USD 258 million) or 10.2 per cent of GDP. Construction of the Eysturoy and Sundoy tunnels, with an expected cost of approximately DKK 2.64 billion (USD 400 million) or 16 percent of GDP are planned for completion by 2021. According to Moody’s the infrastructure project reached an important milestone in June 2019 with the breakthrough of the tunnel construction. Although the project has a low risk profile, the progress of the construction and milestone reached reduces materially the related construction risk. The Economic Council has repeatedly called for long-term planning of public investments to more effectively balance the business cycles.
Announcement of these enormous investments resulted in the Danish Systemic Risk Council issuing an unprecedented official warning of the increase of systemic risk on the Faroe Islands in the fall of 2016. By April 2018, the Council recommended increasing the banking sectors’ countercyclical capital buffer from 1 percent to 3 percent by 2020. The Economic Council for the Faroe Islands estimates that a permanent fiscal improvement of 5 percent of GDP will be required to stabilize government debt, which is currently at a low level. On August 16, 2019, , credit agency Moody’s upgraded to Aa2 from Aa3 the long-term issuer rating of the Government of Faroe Islands. The outlook remains stable., reflecting credit fundamentals that have continuously improved over the last years, as shown by better than expected economic and financial indicators, a trend which should continue going forward.. The stable and historical relationship with Denmark is deemed an additional strength.
The Faroe Islands opened their own securities exchange in 2000; active trading of shares followed in 2005. The exchange is a collaboration with the VMF Icelandic exchange on the Nasdaq OMX Nordic Exchange Iceland.
The most recent figures available show Foreign Direct Investment into the Faroe Islands totaled DKK 1.6 billion (USD 243 million) in 2012, about half of which originated from Denmark. The Faroese government has indicated interest in attracting further foreign investment. “Invest in the Faroes” is the Faroese government unit promoting Faroese trade. The website is http://www.government.fo/ .
Looking ahead, the Faroe Islands face a demographic challenge. Currently there are 4.5 people in the working age group “16 to 66”, for every person aged 67 or older. By 2050, that number is projected to be less than half; an estimated 2.1 persons for every dependent retiree. The Economic Council for the Faroe Islands estimates that a permanent fiscal consolidation of 5 percent of GDP will be required to stabilize government debt, which is currently at a low level.
The Faroe Islands have in recent years engaged in several disputes with the EU over-fishing quotas. The disagreements escalated in September 2012 when the EU adopted measures which allowed it to impose sanctions on the Faroe Islands. In March 2013, the Faroe Islands unilaterally increased their quota for herring and mackerel. EU member states responded by voting in favor of imposing sanctions which went into force in August 2013. Sanctions were lifted a year later after a political understanding between the two parties was reached on herring catches. Subsequently a five-year agreement with the other coastal states in the North Atlantic was signed on mackerel quotas, reducing uncertainty for fisheries and improving profitability, since the agreement allows for more sustainable harvesting. In December, 2019 the EU and Faroe Islands reached an agreement on reciprocal exchanges of fishing opportunities in each other’s waters for 2020.
The Faroe Islands retain control over most internal affairs, including the conservation and management of living marine resources within the 200 nautical mile fisheries zone, natural resources, financial regulation and supervision and transport. Denmark continues to exercise control over foreign affairs, security, and defense, in consultation with the Faroese Government.
The labor force comprised 31,667 people in 2019. In many areas, the Faroese labor market model resembles that of the other Nordic countries, with high standards of living, well-established welfare schemes and independent labor unions. Most people in the Faroe Islands are bilingual or multilingual, with Danish and English being most widely spoken after Faroese. The Islands boast well-developed physical and telecommunications infrastructure and have well-established political, legal, and social structures. The standard of living for the population of 52,428 (which exceeded 50,000 for the first time in May 2017) is high by world standards, and Gross National Disposable Income per capita eclipsed that of Denmark in 2014, while GDP per capita remains slightly higher in Denmark.
Contact for More Information on the Faroe Islands
U.S. Embassy Denmark
Dag Hammarskjolds Alle 24,
2100 Copenhagen, Denmark