The Seven Largest Islands in the World

1. Greenland

The world’s largest island encompasses 840,003 square miles of land. Nearly 75 percent of that is a permanent ice sheet.

Settlements in Greenland date back nearly 4,500 years. Norse settlers are known to have lived there in the 10th Century. Inuit settlers are known to have lived there in 13th Century. Portuguese explorers arrived in the 15th Century. Denmark and Norway claimed sovereignty over Greenland in the 18th Century. Norway lost its claim in 1814. Greenland joined with Denmark in joining the European Economic Community in 1973; Greenland withdrew from the EEC in 1985. A few years before that, Denmark had granted home rule to Greenland; in 2008, Greenland became self-governing, with a capital at Nuuk.

With a large amount of coastline, Greenland depends in large part on fish exports; nearly half of the country’s total exports are of fish. Mining for aluminum, cooper, iron, and platinum is common as well.

Today, Greenland is home to about 57,000 people, making its the least densely populated country in the world.

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Social Studies for Kids
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David White