In 2017, close to five million inhabitants lived in 1162 permafrost settlements in the Arctic Circumpolar Permafrost Region. As a result of permafrost thaw, many of these inhabitants will live in permafrost-free areas by 2050.
The total number of inhabitants on permafrost is projected to decrease by 61.2%—from 4.9 million to 1.7 million by 2050.Permafrost will degrade and ultimately disappear in 534 permafrost settlements, impacting the life of 3.3 million inhabitants.
Settlements remaining on permafrost by 2050 will also have to adapt to permafrost thaw, as 42% of them will be located in high hazard zones. The impacts will vary depending on the future climate trajectory, the permafrost type and hazard zones in which settlements are located, and the extent to which settlements can adapt in the remaining time before the permafrost thaws.