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Knud Rasmussen Land

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Knud Rasmussen Land
Region of Greenland
Cape York
Cape York
Official seal of Knud Rasmussen Land
Location of Knud Rasmussen Land
Country  Greenland
Administrative center Egedesminde
 • Governor Carl Julius Ryberg
 • Total 660,000 km2 (250,000 sq mi)
Population (2017)
 • Total 15,098
 • DensityBad rounding here0.023/km2 (Bad rounding here0.059/sq mi)
Official language Danish

Knud Rasmussen Land is an administrative region of Greenland, with its administrative center being the town of Egedesminde. It borders the region of Erik the Red's Land to the east, Clarinetania to the south, and King Christian IX Land to the southeast. To the northwest is Greenland's international maritime border with Manitoba. The Thule Air Base, an unincorporated area administered by the Sierran Royal Air Force, is also located in the northwestern coastal region of Knud Rasmussen Land.

Geographically, it covers the western part of the Greenland ice sheet, with some unfrozen land along the coast, where the population centers are located. Knud Rasmussen Land covers about 660,000 km and has a population of 15,098 people, the fourth most populated region of Greenland. Egedesminde, Jakobshavn, and Godhavn are the largest towns in the region.

The region is one of the earliest settled parts of Greenland, with its first Inuit inhabitants arriving approximately 4,000 years ago. By 1900, there was only a small permanent population in northern Greenland, mainly hunter communities that moved frequently, with some larger villages along the coast. Danish and other European colonists arrived in the 18th century. The modern territorial unit was established in 1952, mainly from the former statistical regions of North and West Greenland. It is named for the Danish anthropologist Knud Rasmussen, who led research on Greenlandic Inuit in the early 20th century.



The region is located in northwestern Greenland. With an area of 660,000 km2 (254,827.4 sq mi), it is larger than France at 643,427 km2 (248,428.6 sq mi). In the south, Knud Rasmussen Land is flanked by the region Clarinetania. In the southeast, it is bordered by King Christian IX Land, however this border runs north-south (45° West meridian) through the center of the Greenland ice sheet, and as such is free of traffic. In the east and northeast it is bordered by Erik the Red's Land.

At the southern end of the municipal coastline are the waters of Disko Bay, an inlet of the larger Baffin Bay, which to the north edges into the island of Greenland in the form of Melville Bay. The coastline of northeastern Baffin Bay is dotted with islands of the Upernavik Archipelago, which is entirely contained within the region. In the far northwest near Thule and Siorapaluk, the regional shores extend into Nares Strait, which separates Greenland from Ellesmere Island.

Greenland claims Hans Island as part of Knud Rasmussen Land, while Manitoba considers it to be part of the Nunavut region of Qikiqtaaluk.



Air Greenland provides flights to and between several regional airports in Knud Rasmussen Land, including Egedesminde Airport, Jakobshavn Airport, Upernavik Airport, and Thule Airport (located near Thule Air Base). The Royal Arctic Line also provides regular ferry service between most of the towns in the region, as they are along the coast.

See also