Town pattern and population trends

Town pattern

The municipality's urban pattern includes 4 towns and 23 settlements, with a total of approx. 10,700 inhabitants. An urban pattern is set with Ilulissat as the main city and administrative centre, as well as Uummannaq, Upernavik and Qaanaaq as city centres for the settlements. Towns and settlements are mostly concentrated to the south at the eastern part of the Disko Bay, while there is longer between the northern habitations at Baffin Bay.

Ilulissat is one of the hubs of tourism in Greenland, among other things because of the location right next to Ilulissat Icefjord that is appointed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With its distinctive icebergs, drawing the landscape of the Disko Bay and the town's many sled dogs, which take the guests on a tour of the villages and to the icecap. Tourism around the icefjord is being developed continuously under the auspices of Ilulissat Icefjord Office. With the new icefjord centre at the old heliport at the start of the yellow, red and blue hiking routes, as well as the new expanded airport and better opportunities for cruise ship tourism, tourism is promoted with better accessibility for the tourists as well as better branding of the entire tourism industry. around the municipality. Simultaneously, it gains better accessibility and improved tourism branding, also positive influence on the surrounding towns and settlements.

Furthermore, Ilulissat has a large and efficient fishing industry primarily based on Greenland halibut and shrimps, as well as a number of service functions to support the many tourists visiting the region every year. The town has four nearby settlements: Saqqaq, Qeqertaq, Ilimanaq and Oqaatsut. The town has 4 surrounding settlements: Saqqaq, Qeqertaq, Ilimanaq and Oqaatsut with a total of approx. 350 inhabitants.

Uummannaq and Upernavik are medium-sized towns with respectively about 1,100 and 1,200 inhabitants. Uummannaq is located on an island north of the Nûgssuaq peninsula, while Upernavik lies further north at the Baffin Bay. Both towns have hunting and fishing as the main industries, but also play a role in tourism. Upernavik has 10 surrounding settlements: Innaarsuit, Kangersuatsiaq, Kullorsuaq, Nutaarmiut, Nuussuaq, Naajaat, Tasiusaq, Tussaaq, Upernavik Kujalleq and Aappilattoq with a total of approx. 1,700 inhabitants, while Ikerasak, Illorsuit, Niaqornat, Nuugaatsiaq, Qaarsut, Saattut and Ukkusissat are placed around Uummannaq, with a total of approx. 1,000 inhabitants.

The municipality's smallest town is Qaanaaq. Qaanaaq is located on the north coast of Inglefield Fjord and has about 600 inhabitants. Qaanaaq is a unique hunting and fishing community, but also benefits from tourism and activities in kayaking and dog sledding, mountain hiking, sailing, cruises, settlement visits, etc. Qaanaaq is also the nearest town to Thule Air Base. Qaanaaq comprises 3 settlements (Savissivik, Siorapaluk and Qeqertat) with a total of approx. 150 inhabitants.

Population trends

Overall, approximately 20% of the population of Greenland lives in Avannaata Kommunia, as of 1 January 2017, 10,647 persons lived in the municipality's 4 towns (70%) and 23 settlements (30%). S Since 2007, two percent of the rural population has moved to the towns of the municipality, which corresponds to a nationwide tendency towards rural areas shrinking and the towns are modestly growing. This despite the fact that the population in the municipality has fallen by 584 people (5.2%) in the last 10 years, which is a significantly greater decline than the average of Greenland at 1.4%. The decline is mainly in the municipalities (-423 persons), and to a lesser degree in the cities (-161) - however, there has been a smaller population growth in both the towns and the villages of 75 and 72 people, respectively.

In a future perspective, the population forecast 2016-2030 indicates that Greenland as a whole will experience a fall of 1,800 inhabitants over the next 15 years. However, development is expected to be unevenly distributed, as the towns and especially the capital Nuuk are expected to grow in population. In this connection, a smaller net migration from Avannaata Kommunia is still expected to go to towns and areas outside the municipality, especially to the capital Nuuk. See the statement presentation description_of_current_status.

The '2016 forecast' for the former Qaasuitsup municipality awaits regional decline until 2030 of about 2,600 inhabitants. The forecast is not divided on towns and settlements, but it is likely that there are major differences between the expected development in towns and settlements, and that future developments will more or less reflect the actual development of recent years, where the settlements have a larger relative population decline than the towns of Avannaata Kommunia.

It is expected that the establishment of an atlantic airport in Ilulissat and developments in the follow-up industries will have a positive effect on the development in both the town's and municipality's population.