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Greenlandic Norse

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Greenlandic Norse
Total population
 Greenland 58,083
Regions with significant populations
 Skandinavia 2,201
 Superior 1,792
 Sierra 1,184
 Manitoba 576
 United Commonwealth 139
Other countries c. 1,200
Primarily Danish (but also Norwegian, English, and Greenlandic Norse language)

The Greenlandic Norse people, sometimes called the Norse for short, are a North Germanic ethnic group who are native to the island country of Greenland and speak Danish. They are primarily descended from Norsemen (mainly from Denmark and Norway, Skandinavia) that that first colonised the island in the 10th century. As of 2020, the make up just over half of Greenland's population and most of them speak Danish as their native language.

The earliest Norse colonists arrived in Greenland around the year 1000, led by the Erik the Red, becoming a colony of the old Norwegian Kingdom. The population of the colonies always remained small because of the harsh Arctic conditions, being estimated at no more than 15,000 by 1350. The onset of the Little Ice Age during the 1400s caused the weather to suddenly become much colder, making agriculture more difficult, along with an increase in sea ice around Greenland's coast, complicating travel to Europe. The spread of the Black Death in Europe around the same time made contact between the continent sporadic and eventually it cut off entirely, not resuming until around 1500. In the meantime, the Norse population dwindled as the worsening climate made survival harder, forcing them to work with the Inuit people to adapt and survive.

Several thousand Norsemen survived the period of isolation through adapting to the changing environment and integrating with the Inuit. The main religion of the Norse is Catholicism, as they were cut off from Europe before the Reformation occurred in Denmark and Norway. During the recolonization of Greenland by Denmark, which lasted from the 1600s until the late 19th century, the Danish language was introduced to the Norse and became the official language in the colonies, leading to the Greenlandic Norse language going nearly extinct. That is why in the 21st century most Greenlandic Norse speak Danish rather than the dialect of Old West Norse of their ancestors, and are still mostly Catholic rather than Protestant.

The majority of the Greenlandic Norse population, some 58,000 people, live in Greenland. It is estimated that at least 3,900 Greenlandic Norse people live in other countries, notably with Skandinavia, Superior, Sierra, and Manitoba having the most significant number of such immigrants.





Notable people