Nuuk is the capital and largest city of Greenland and the municipality of Sermersooq. It is the seat of government and the country's largest cultural and economic centre. The major cities closest to the capital are Iqaluit and St. John's in Canada and Reykjavík in Iceland. Nuuk contains almost a third of Greenland's population, and also has the tallest building in Greenland. Nuuk is the seat of government for the Sermersooq municipality. In January 2016, it had a population of 17,316, making it one of the smallest capital cities in the world by population.
Nuuk is the Kalaallisut word for "cape". It is so named because of its position at the end of the Nuup Kangerlua fjord on the eastern shore of the Labrador Sea. Its latitude, at 64°10' N, makes it the world's northernmost capital, located only a few kilometres farther north than the Icelandic capital Reykjavík. Since 2009, the city bus service Nuup Bussii provides city transport services in Nuuk for the new Sermersooq municipality, linking the town centre with the outlying districts and neighborhoods of Nuussuaq, Qinngorput, as well as Qernertunnguit in Quassussuup Tungaa. In 2012 the buses transported more than 2 million passengers around the city of Nuuk. The campus of the University of Greenland, hosting Statistics Greenland, and the main holdings of the Public and National Library of Greenland is located at the northern end of the district, near the road to the Nuuk Airport.
Nuuk receives its electric power mainly from the renewable energy-powered Buksefjord hydroelectric power plant by way of a 132 kV powerline crossing Ameralik fjord over a distance of 5,376 m (17,638 ft), the world's longest free span.
Nuuk is located at approximately 64°10′N 51°44′W at the mouth of Nuup Kangerlua (formerly Baal's River), some 10 km (6.2 mi) from the shores of the Labrador Sea on the southwestern coast of Greenland, and about 240 km (150 mi) south of the Arctic Circle. Initially, the fjord flows to the northwest, to then turn southwest at 64°43′N 50°37′W, splitting into three arms in its lower run, with three big islands in between the arms: Sermitsiaq Island, Qeqertarsuaq Island, and Qoornuup Qeqertarsua. The fjord widens into a bay dotted with skerries near its mouth, opening into Labrador Sea at approximately 64°03′N 51°58′W. Some 20 km (12 mi) to the northeast, reaching a height of 1,210 m (3,970 ft), Sermitsiaq can be seen from almost everywhere in Nuuk. The mountain has given its name to the nationwide newspaper Sermitsiaq. Closer to the town are the peaks of Store Malene, 790 m (2,590 ft), and Lille Malene, 420 m (1,380 ft). The magnetic declination at Nuuk is extreme.
With 16,992 inhabitants as of 2015, Nuuk is by far the largest and fastest growing town in Greenland. Despite an overall decline in the country's population, there was an increase of 174 from 2014 to 2015. Nuuk, Paamiut and Tasiilaq are the only towns in the Sermersooq commune (a third of Greenland) which have grown steadily over the last two decades. The population of Nuuk has doubled since 1977, increased by over a third since 1990, and risen by almost 21% since 2000. In addition to those born in Greenland, 3,636 were born outside the country. Attracted by good employment opportunities with high wages, Danes have continued to settle in the town. Today, Nuuk has the highest proportion of Danes of any town in Greenland. Half of Greenland's immigrants live in Nuuk, which also accounts for a quarter of the country's native population.