The World's Northernmost Cities

Northernmost City
A boat lies in Longyearbyen harbor in Longyearbyen, Norway. Longyearbyen is the seat of Norwegian local administration in Svalbard and is the world's northermost city. Getty Images

The Northern Hemisphere is known for having more land than the Southern Hemisphere, but much of that land is undeveloped and the areas that are developed into large cities and towns are clustered in lower latitudes in places like the United States and central Europe.

The largest city with the highest latitude is Helsinki, Finland, which is located at a latitude of 60°10'15''N and it has a metropolitan population of over one million people.

Meanwhile, Reykjavík, Iceland is the world's northernmost capital city with a latitude just under the Arctic Circle at 64°08'N with a population of just over 122,000 people as of 2018.

Large cities like Helsinki and Reykjavík are rare in the far north. There are however, some small towns and cities that are located very far north in the harsh climates of the Arctic Circle above 66.5°N latitude. The following are the world's ten northernmost settlements with a permanent population of over 500, arranged in order of latitude with population numbers included for reference.

Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway

Latitude: 78°13'N

Population: 2,144 (2015)

Qaanaaq, Greenland

Latitude: 77°29'N

Population: 656 (2013)

Upernavik, Greenland

Latitude: 72°47'N

Population: 1,181 (2013)

Khatanga, Russia

Latitude: 71°58'N

Population: 3,450 (2002)

Tiksi, Russia

Latitude: 71°39'N

Population: 5,063 (2010)

Belushya Guba, Russia

Latitude: 71°33'N

Population: 1,972 (2010)

Barrow, Alaska, United States

Latitude: 71°18'N

Population: 4,335 (2016)

Honningsvåg, Norway

Latitude: 70°58'N

Population: 2,415 (2013)

The status of Honningsvåg as a city is in question because in as of 1997 a Norwegian city must have 5,000 residents to be a city, but Honningsvåg was declared a city in 1996, exempting it from this rule.

Uummannaq, Greenland

Latitude: 70°58'N

Population: 1,282 (2013)

Hammerfest, Norway

Latitude: 70°39'N

Population: 10,527 (2017)

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Briney, Amanda. "The World's Northernmost Cities." ThoughtCo, Jan. 31, 2018, thoughtco.com/the-worlds-northernmost-cities-1435151. Briney, Amanda. (2018, January 31). The World's Northernmost Cities. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/the-worlds-northernmost-cities-1435151 Briney, Amanda. "The World's Northernmost Cities." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/the-worlds-northernmost-cities-1435151 (accessed February 21, 2018).