Europe :: Faroe Islands
(part of the Kingdom of Denmark)
page last updated on October 28, 2009
Flag of Faroe Islands
Location of Faroe Islands
 
Map of Faroe Islands
Introduction ::Faroe Islands
The population of the Faroe Islands is largely descended from Viking settlers who arrived in the 9th century. The islands have been connected politically to Denmark since the 14th century. A high degree of self government was attained in 1948.
Geography ::Faroe Islands
Northern Europe, island group between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, about half way between Iceland and Norway
62 00 N, 7 00 W
total: 1,393 sq km
country comparison to the world: 182
land: 1,393 sq km
water: 0 sq km (some lakes and streams)
eight times the size of Washington, DC
0 km
1,117 km
territorial sea: 3 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or agreed boundaries or median line
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm or agreed boundaries or median line
mild winters, cool summers; usually overcast; foggy, windy
rugged, rocky, some low peaks; cliffs along most of coast
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Slaettaratindur 882 m
fish, whales, hydropower, possible oil and gas
arable land: 2.14%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 97.86% (2005)
0 sq km
NA
NA
party to: Marine Dumping - associate member to the London Convention and Ship Pollution
archipelago of 17 inhabited islands and one uninhabited island, and a few uninhabited islets; strategically located along important sea lanes in northeastern Atlantic; precipitous terrain limits habitation to small coastal lowlands
People ::Faroe Islands
48,856 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 208
0-14 years: 21.6% (male 5,451/female 5,108)
15-64 years: 64% (male 16,708/female 14,544)
65 years and over: 14.4% (male 3,324/female 3,721) (2009 est.)
total: 36.9 years
male: 36.3 years
female: 37.7 years (2009 est.)
0.397% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 164
13.04 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 156
8.66 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 87
-0.41 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 106
urban population: 41% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 2% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.15 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.89 male(s)/female
total population: 1.09 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
total: 6.32 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 179
male: 6.56 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 6.06 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
total population: 79.44 years
country comparison to the world: 28
male: 77 years
female: 82.05 years (2009 est.)
2.44 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 101
NA
NA
NA
noun: Faroese (singular and plural)
adjective: Faroese
Scandinavian
Evangelical Lutheran 83.8%, other and unspecified 16.2% (2006 administrative data)
Faroese (derived from Old Norse), Danish
NA; note - probably 99%, the same as Denmark proper
Government ::Faroe Islands
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Faroe Islands
local long form: none
local short form: Foroyar
part of the Kingdom of Denmark; self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark since 1948
NA
name: Torshavn
geographic coordinates: 62 01 N, 6 46 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
none (part of the Kingdom of Denmark; self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark); there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are 34 municipalities
none (part of the Kingdom of Denmark; self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark)
Olaifest (Olavasoka), 29 July
5 June 1953 (Danish constitution)
the laws of Denmark, where applicable, apply
18 years of age; universal
chief of state: Queen MARGRETHE II of Denmark (since 14 January 1972), represented by High Commissioner Birgit KLEIS, chief administrative officer (since 1 November 2001)
head of government: Prime Minister Kaj Leo JOHANNESSEN (since 26 September 2008)
cabinet: Landsstyri appointed by the prime minister
elections: the monarch is hereditary; high commissioner appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually elected prime minister by the Faroese Parliament; election last held 19 January 2008 (next to be held no later than January 2012)
election results: Joannes EIDESGAARD elected prime minister; governing coalition collapses in September 2008, Kaj Leo JOHANNESSEN becomes Prime Minister
unicameral Faroese Parliament or Logting (33 seats; members are elected by popular vote on a proportional basis from the seven constituencies to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 19 January 2008 (next to be held no later than January 2012)
election results: percent of vote by party - Union Party 21%, Social Democratic Party 19.4%, Republican Party 23.3%, People's Party 20.1%, Center Party 8.4%, Self-Government Party 7.2%, other 0.6%; seats by party - Republican Party 8, Union Party 7, Social Democratic Party 6, People's Party 7, Center Party 3, Independence Party 2
note: election of two seats to the Danish Parliament was last held on 13 November 2007 (next to be held no later than November 2011); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Republican Party 1, Union Party 1
none
Center Party [Jenis A. RANA]; Independence Party [Kari P. HOJGAARD]; People's Party [Jorgen NICLASEN]; Republican Party [Hogni HOYDAL]; Social Democratic Party [Joannes EIDESGAARD]; Self-Government Party [Kari P. HOJGAARD]; Union Party [Kaj Leo JOHANNESEN]
Sea Shepard [Paul WATSON] (preservation of small whales)
other: conservationists
Arctic Council, FAO, IMO (associate), NC, NIB, UPU
none (self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark)
none (self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark)
white with a red cross outlined in blue extending to the edges of the flag; the vertical part of the cross is shifted toward the hoist side in the style of the Dannebrog (Danish flag); the flag resembles those of neighboring Iceland and Norway, and uses the same three colors - but in a different sequence
Economy ::Faroe Islands
The Faroese economy is dependent on fishing, which makes the economy vulnerable to price swings. The sector accounts for 95% of exports and nearly half of GDP. Since 2003 the Faroese economy has picked up as a result of higher prices for fish and for housing. Unemployment is minimal and government finances are relatively sound. Oil finds close to the Islands give hope for economically recoverable deposits, which could eventually lay the basis for a more diversified economy and lessen dependence on Danish economic assistance. Aided by a substantial annual subsidy (about 15% of GDP) from Denmark, the Faroese have a standard of living not far below the Danes and other Scandinavians.
$1 billion (2001 est.)
country comparison to the world: 199
$1.7 billion (2005 est.)
2.4% (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 150
$31,000 (2001 est.)
country comparison to the world: 43
agriculture: 27%
industry: 11%
services: 62% (1999)
24,250 (October 2000)
country comparison to the world: 199
agriculture: 11.2%
industry: 21.9%
services: 66.9% (2007)
1.4% (2007)
country comparison to the world: 7
2.1% (2006)
NA%
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
revenues: $588 million
expenditures: $623 million (2005)
1.8% (2005)
country comparison to the world: 14
milk, potatoes, vegetables; sheep; salmon, other fish
fishing, fish processing, small ship repair and refurbishment, handicrafts
8% (1999 est.)
country comparison to the world: 21
243.7 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 173
226.6 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 176
0 kWh (2008 est.)
0 kWh (2008 est.)
0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 174
5,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 165
0 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 178
4,922 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 157
0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 168
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 180
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 184
0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 56
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 181
0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 179
$634 million (2006)
country comparison to the world: 160
fish and fish products 94%, stamps, ships (1999)
Denmark 27.5%, UK 18.6%, Croatia 12%, Norway 11.7%, Nigeria 10%, Netherlands 5.5% (2008)
$751 million (2006)
country comparison to the world: 179
consumer goods 36%, raw materials and semi-manufactures 32%, machinery and transport equipment 29%, fuels, fish, salt (1999)
Denmark 50.1%, Norway 20%, Sweden 6.3%, UK 4.2%, Iceland 4.1% (2008)
$64 million (1999)
country comparison to the world: 192
Danish kroner (DKK) per US dollar - 5.0236 (2008 est.), 5.4797 (2007), 5.9468 (2006), 5.9969 (2005), 5.9911 (2004)
Communications ::Faroe Islands
21,800 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 192
54,900 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 192
general assessment: good international communications; good domestic facilities
domestic: digitalization was completed in 1998; both NMT (analog) and GSM (digital) mobile telephone systems are installed
international: country code - 298; satellite earth stations - 1 Orion; 1 fiber-optic submarine cable to the Shetland Islands, linking the Faroe Islands with Denmark and Iceland; fiber-optic submarine cable connection to Canada-Europe cable
AM 1, FM 13, shortwave 0 (1998)
3 (plus 43 repeaters) (September 1995)
.fo
8,833 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 120
37,500 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 175
Transportation ::Faroe Islands
1 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 233
total: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2009)
total: 463 km (2006)
country comparison to the world: 192
total: 12
country comparison to the world: 110
by type: cargo 9, passenger/cargo 3
foreign-owned: 5 (Iceland 1, Norway 4) (2008)
Torshavn, Vagur
Military ::Faroe Islands
no regular military forces
males age 16-49: 11,725 (2008 est.)
males age 16-49: 9,759
females age 16-49: 8,311 (2009 est.)
male: 386
female: 375 (2009 est.)
NA
defense is the responsibility of Denmark
Transnational Issues ::Faroe Islands
because anticipated offshore hydrocarbon resources have not been realized, earlier Faroese proposals for full independence have been deferred; Iceland, the UK, and Ireland dispute Denmark's claim that the Faroe Islands' continental shelf extends beyond 200 nm