Population living on permafrost in the Arctic in 2017

This map shows the share of the population living in settlements located on permafrost at the regional level in 2017.

While majority of the population in the Arctic lives on permafrost, regional differences are evident. A small portion of the Arctic population from the Nordic countries as well as from Alaska (USA), Kamchatka, and Murmansk (Russian Federation) live in settlements on permafrost. On the contrary, in the most densely populated regions of the Arctic – Khanty-Mansi, Yamalo-Nenets, and Sakha (Russian Federation) – a large majority of the population lives in settlements located on permafrost. Majority of the population living in a permafrost settlement lives along the coast, except in Sakha and Khanty-Mansi (Russian Federation), the Yukon and the Northwest Territories (Canada). Coastal settlements have a lower population density (mean = 2 428,4 inhabitants) than the average Arctic settlements (mean = 3 501,8 inhabitants). This demographic structure is specific to the Arctic and should be considered when assessing the impact of climate change on the Arctic population.