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Faroe Islands
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Flag of Faeroe Islands
Faroe Islands

Country Profile

Capital City: Tórshavn
Tórshavnar Kommuna (pop.: 18 500), Municipality of Tórshavn (in Faroese).
Tourist & Information Office for Tórshavn

Other Cities: Fuglafjørdur, Runavik, Tvøroyri, Vestmanna

Local Time
: UTC+0h

Location: Northern Europe. Island group between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, about one-half of the way from Iceland to Norway.
Area: Land Area 1399 square kilometres; 545.3 square miles.
Archipelago of which 17 inhabited islands; strategically located along important sea lanes in northeastern Atlantic; precipitous terrain limits habitation to small coastal lowlands.
Terrain: Rugged, rocky, some low peaks; cliffs along most of coast

Climate: Mild winters, cool summers; usually overcast; foggy and windy.

Part of the Kingdom of Denmark; self-governing territory within the Kingdom of Denmark since 1948.

Population: 47,703 (January2003).
Ethnic groups: Scandinavian, descendants from Viking settlers who arrived in the 9th century.
Language: Faroese is the national language, rooted in Old Norse. Nordic languages are understood by most Faroese, and English is also widely spoken.
Religion: Evangelical Lutheran Church: 80% - Christian Brethren (Plymouth Brethren):10 %


: Danish Krone (DKK)

Natural resources: Fish, whales, hydropower

Internet Links

Official Sites of Faroe Islands



Føroyskt Fullveldi

Hagstova Føroya

Map of the Faroe Islands


Faroe Islands

Background:  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

Location:  Northern Europe, island group between the Norwegian Sea and
the North Atlantic Ocean, about one-half of the way from Iceland to Norway

Geographic coordinates:  62 00 N, 7 00 W

Map references:  Europe

Area:  total: 1,399 sq km water: 0 sq km (some lakes and streams) land:
1,399 sq km

Area - comparative:  eight times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:  0 km

Coastline:  1,117 km

Maritime claims:  continental shelf: 200 NM or agreed boundaries or
median line exclusive
 200 NM or agreed boundaries or median line territorial sea:
Climate:  mild winters, cool summers; usually overcast; foggy, windy

Terrain:  rugged, rocky, some low peaks; cliffs along most of coast

Elevation extremes:  lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m highest point:
Slaettaratindur 882 m

Natural resources:  fish, whales, hydropower

Land use:  arable land: 2% permanent crops: 0% other: 98% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land:  0 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural hazards:  NA

Environment - current issues:  NA

Geography - note:  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

Population:  46,011 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:  0-14 years: 22.3% (male 5,149; female 5,110) 15-64 years:
64% (male 15,650; female 13,801) 65 years and over: 13.7% (male 2,818;
female 3,483) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate:  0.74% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:  13.74 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:  8.69 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:  2.39 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:  at birth: 1 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.13 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female
total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate:  6.66 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:   82.21 years (2002 est.)  male: Total fertility
rate:  2.27 children born/woman (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  NA%

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:  NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths:  NA

Nationality:  noun: Faroese (singular and plural) adjective: Faroese

Ethnic groups:  Scandinavian

Religions:  Evangelical Lutheran

Languages:  Faroese (derived from Old Norse), Danish

Literacy:  definition: NA total population: NA% male: NA% female: NA%
note: similar to Denmark proper

Government Faroe Islands

Country name:  conventional long form: none conventional short form:
Faroe Islands local short form: Foroyar local long form: none

Dependency status:  part of the Kingdom of Denmark; self-governing
overseas administrative division of Denmark since 1948

Government type:  NA

Capital:  Torshavn

Administrative divisions:  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 49 municipalities

Independence:  none (part of the Kingdom of Denmark; self-governing
overseas administrative division of Denmark)

National holiday:  Olaifest, 29 July

Constitution:  5 June 1953 (Danish constitution)

Legal system:  Danish

Suffrage:  18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:  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) election results: Anfinn
KALLSBERG elected prime minister; percent of parliamentary vote - 52.8%
note: coalition of People's Party, Republican Party, and Home Rule Party
elections:  following legislative elections, the leader of the party that
wins the most seats is usually elected prime minister by the Faroese
Parliament; election last held 30 April 1998 (next to be held no later
than April 2002) head of government: Prime Minister Anfinn KALLSBERG
(since 15 May 1998) cabinet: Landsstyri appointed by the prime minister

Legislative branch:  unicameral Faroese Parliament or Logting (32 seats;
members are elected by popular vote on a proportional basis from the seven
constituencies to serve four-year terms) election results: percent of
vote by party - NA; seats by party - Union Party 8, Republican Party 8,
Social Democrats 7, People's Party 7, Independence Party 1, Center Party
1 note: election of 2 seats to the Danish Parliament was last held on 20
November 2001 (next to be held no later than November 2005); results -
percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Republican Party 1,
Union Party 1 elections: Judicial branch:  none

Political parties and leaders:  Center Party [Tordur NICALSEN]; Home
Rule Party [Helena Dam a NEYSTABO]; Independence Party [leader NA];
People's Party [Oli BRECKMANN]; Republican Party [Finnabogi ISAKSON];
Social Democratic Party [Joannes EIDESGAARD]; Union Party [Edmund JOENSEN]

Political pressure groups and leaders:  NA

International organization participation:  NC, NIB

Diplomatic representation in the US:  none (self-governing overseas
administrative division of Denmark)

Diplomatic representation from the US:  none (self-governing overseas
administrative division of Denmark)

Flag description:  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)

Economy Faroe Islands

Economy - overview:  The Faroese economy has had a strong performance
since 1994, mostly as a result of increasing fish landings and high and
stable export prices.  Unemployment is falling and there are signs of
labor shortages in several sectors. The positive economic development
has helped the Faroese Home Rule Government produce increasing budget
surpluses which in turn help to reduce the large public debt, most of
it owed to Denmark. However, the total dependence on fishing makes the
Faroese economy extremely vulnerable, and the present fishing efforts
appear in excess of what is a sustainable level of fishing in the long
term. Oil finds close to the Faroese area give hope for deposits in the
immediate Faroese area, which may eventually lay the basis for a more
diversified economy and thus lessen dependence on Denmark and Danish
economic assistance. Aided by a substantial annual subsidy (15% of GDP)
from Denmark, the Faroese have a standard of living not far below the
Danes and other Scandinavians.

GDP:  purchasing power parity - $910 million (2000 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:  5% (2000 est.)

GDP - per capita:  purchasing power parity - $20,000 (2000 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:  agriculture: 27% industry: 11% services:
62% (1999)

Population below poverty line:  NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:  lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices):  5.1% (1999)

Labor force:  24,250 (October 2000)

Labor force - by occupation:  fishing, fish processing, and manufacturing
33%, construction and private services 33%, public services 34%

Unemployment rate:  1% (October 2000)

Budget:  revenues: $488 million expenditures: $484 million, including
capital expenditures of $21 million (1999)

Industries:  fishing, fish processing, shipbuilding, construction,

Industrial production growth rate:  8% (1999 est.)

Electricity - production:  165 million kWh (2000)

Electricity - production by source:  fossil fuel: 60.61% hydro: 39.39%
other: 0% (2000) nuclear: 0%

Electricity - consumption:  153.45 million kWh (2000)

Electricity - exports:  0 kWh (2000)

Electricity - imports:  0 kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products:  milk, potatoes, vegetables; sheep; salmon,
other fish

Exports:  $471 million (f.o.b., 1999)

Exports - commodities:  fish and fish products 94%, stamps, ships (1999)

Exports - partners:  Denmark 32%, UK 21%, France 9%, Germany 7%, Iceland
5%, US 5% (1996)

Imports:  $469 million (c.i.f., 1999)

Imports - commodities:  machinery and transport equipment 29%, consumer
goods 36%, raw materials and semi-manufactures 32%, fuels, fish and salt

Imports - partners:  Denmark 28%, Norway 26%, Germany 7%, UK 6% Sweden
5%, Iceland 4%, US (1999)

Debt - external:  $64 million (1999)

Economic aid - recipient:  $135 million (annual subsidy from Denmark)

Currency:  Danish krone (DKK)

Currency code:  DKK

Exchange rates:  Danish kroner per US dollar - 8.418 (January 2002),
8.323 (2001), 8.083 (2000), 6.976 (1999), 6.701 (1998), 6.604 (1997)

Fiscal year:  calendar year

Communications Faroe Islands

Telephones - main lines in use:  24,851 (1999)

Telephones - mobile cellular:  10,761 (1999)

Telephone system:  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: 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

Radio broadcast stations:  AM 1, FM 13, shortwave 0 (1998)

Radios:  26,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations:  3 (plus 43 low-power repeaters)
(September 1995)

Televisions:  15,000 (1997)

Internet country code:  .fo

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):  2 (2000)

Internet users:  3,000 (2000)

Transportation Faroe Islands

Railways:  0 km

Highways:  total: 463 km paved: 454 km unpaved: 9 km (1999)

Waterways:  none

Ports and harbors:  Torshavn, Klaksvik, Tvoroyri, Runavik, Fuglafjordhur

Merchant marine:  total: 7 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 100,951
GRT/139,396 DWT note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as
a flag of convenience: Denmark 3, Norway 1, United Kingdom 1 (2002 est.)
ships by type: cargo 2, petroleum tanker 2, refrigerated cargo 1, roll
on/roll off 1, short-sea passenger 1

Airports:  1 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:  total: 1 914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2001)

Military Faroe Islands

Military branches:  no regular indigenous military forces; small Police
Force and Coast Guard are maintained

Military expenditures - dollar figure:  $NA

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:  NA%

Military - note:  defense is the responsibility of Denmark

Transnational Issues Faroe Islands

Disputes - international:  Faroese are considering proposals for
full independence; Denmark dispute with Iceland over the Faroe Islands
fisheries median line boundary of 200 NM; Denmark disputes with Iceland,
the UK, and Ireland over the Faroe Islands continental shelf boundary
outside 200 NM

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002


Sosialurin - føroyski portalurin

Faroe Times

Útvarp Føroya

Sjónvarp Føroyar

Arts & Culture

Føroya Náttúrugripasavn

Frantisek Staud's Photo Gallery of The Faroe Islands

LISA - Faroese Council of Artists

Listasavn Føroya

Llistastevna Føroya

The Nordic House in the Faroes

Business & Economy
Landsbanki Føroya

Faroe Islands Trade Council

House of Industry

Busine Directory

Business Line
Faroe Seafood

Atlantic Airways

Smyril Line

Strandfaraskip Landsins

Country Guides
Faroe Islands Tourist Board

Faroe Islands Tourist Guide




Vest Norden

Føroya Landsbókasavn

Fródskaparsetur Føroyar

Faroese Historical Museum

Language History of the Faroes

The Historical Perspective



Fótbóltssamband Føroya




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