Library

 
View Text Low Bandwidth Version
Download Publication
Europe :: Faroe Islands
(part of the Kingdom of Denmark)
Page last updated on March 11, 2015
 
view 1 photo 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 granted the Faroese in 1948, who have autonomy over most internal affairs while Denmark is responsible for justice, defense, and foreign affairs. The Faroe Islands are not part of the European Union.
  • 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
    Europe
    total: 1,393 sq km
    land: 1,393 sq km
    water: 0 sq km (some lakes and streams)
    country comparison to the world: 183
    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: 2.15%
    permanent crops: 0%
    other: 97.85% (2012 est.)
    0 sq km (2011)
    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 and Society :: FAROE ISLANDS

  • noun: Faroese (singular and plural)
    adjective: Faroese
    Scandinavian
    Faroese (derived from Old Norse), Danish
    Evangelical Lutheran 83.8%, other and unspecified 16.2% (2006 census)
    49,947 (July 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 211
    0-14 years: 20.3% (male 5,251/female 4,877)
    15-24 years: 15.3% (male 3,942/female 3,701)
    25-54 years: 36.8% (male 9,958/female 8,445)
    55-64 years: 11.8% (male 3,035/female 2,859)
    65 years and over: 15.8% (male 3,819/female 4,060) (2014 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total: 37.7 years
    male: 37.1 years
    female: 38.4 years (2014 est.)
    0.49% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 156
    13.57 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 147
    8.71 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 72
    0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    urban population: 41.7% of total population (2014)
    rate of urbanization: 0.47% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    TORSHAVN (capital) 21,000 (2014)
    at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.18 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 1.09 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.93 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.09 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
    total: 5.71 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 5.97 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 5.43 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 174
    total population: 80.11 years
    male: 77.61 years
    female: 82.79 years (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 34
    2.38 children born/woman (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 84
    4.7 beds/1,000 population (2012)
    NA
    NA
    NA
    total: 9.4%
    male: 6.9%
    female: 12.5% (2005 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 103
  • 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 00 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 (Olavsoka), 29 July
    5 June 1953 (Danish Constitution), 23 March 1948 (Home Rule Act), and 24 June 2005 (Takeover Act ) serve as the Faroe Islands’ constitutional position in the Unity of the Realm (2013)
    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 Dan Michael KNUDSEN, chief administrative officer (since 2008)
    head of government: Prime Minister Kaj Leo JOHANNESSEN (since 26 September 2008)
    cabinet: Landsstyri appointed by the prime minister
    elections: the monarchy 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 on 14 November 2011 (next to be held no later than November 2015)
    election results: Kaj Leo JOHANNESSEN reelected prime minister in 2011
    description: unicameral Faroese Parliament or Logting (33 seats; members directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms)
    note: election of two seats to the Danish Parliament was last held on 15 September 2011 (next to be held no later than September 2015); percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Social Democratic Party 1, Union Party 1
    elections: last held on 29 October 2011 (next to be held no later than October 2015)
    election results: percent of vote by party - Union Party 24.7%, People's Party 22.5%, Republican Party 18.3%, Social Democratic Party 17.7%, Progressive Party 6.3%, Center Party 6.2%, Independence Party 4.2%, other 0.1%; seats by party - Union Party 8, People's Party 8, Republican Party 6, Social Democratic Party 6, Progressive Party 2, Center Party 2, Independence Party 1
    the Faroese Court or Raett (Rett - Danish) decides both civil and criminal cases; the Court is part of the Danish legal system
    Center Party (Midflokkurin) [Jenis av RANA]
    Independence Party (Sjalvstyrisflokkurin) [Kari P. HOJGAARD]
    People's Party (Folkaflokkurin) [Jorgen NICLASEN]
    Progressive Party (Framsokn) [Poul MICHELSEN]
    Republican Party (Tjodveldi) [Hogni HOYDAL]
    Social Democratic Party (Javnadarflokkurin) [Aksel JOHANNESEN]
    Union Party (Sambandsflokkurin) [Kaj Leo JOHANNESEN]
    other: conservationists
    Arctic Council, IMO (associate), NC, NIB, UNESCO (associate), 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); referred to as Merkid, meaning "the banner" or "the mark," the flag resembles those of neighboring Iceland and Norway, and uses the same three colors - but in a different sequence; white represents the clear Faroese sky as well as the foam of the waves; red and blue are traditional Faroese colors
    ram; national colors: red, white, blue
    name: "Mitt alfagra land" (My Fairest Land)
    lyrics/music: Simun av SKAROI/Peter ALBERG
    note: adopted 1948; the anthem is also known as "Tu alfagra land mitt" (Thou Fairest Land of Mine); as an autonomous overseas division of Denmark, the Faroe Islands are permitted their own national anthem
  • Economy :: FAROE ISLANDS

  • The Faroese economy is dependent on fishing, which makes the economy vulnerable to price fluctuations. The sector normally accounts for about 95% of exports and nearly half of GDP. In early 2008 the Faroese economy began to slow as a result of smaller catches and historically high oil prices. The slowdown in the Faroese economy followed a strong performance since the mid-1990s with annual growth rates averaging close to 6%, mostly a result of increased fish landings and salmon farming, and high export prices. Unemployment reached its lowest level in June 2008 at 1.1% but gradually increased to about 5.5% in 2012. Total dependence on fishing and salmon farming make the Faroese economy vulnerable to fluctuations in world demand. Initial discoveries of oil in the Faroese area give hope for eventual oil production, which may provide a foundation for a more diversified economy and less dependence on Danish economic assistance. Aided by an annual subsidy from Denmark amounting to about 3% of Faroese GDP, the Faroese have a standard of living almost equal to that of Denmark and Greenland. The Faroese Government ran relatively large deficits from 2008 to 2010 and budget deficits are forecast for several years ahead. At year-end 2010 gross external debt had reached approximately US$900 million.
    $1.471 billion (2010 est.)
    $1.389 billion (2008 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 198
    $2.32 billion (2010 est.)
    2.9% (2010 est.)
    0.5% (2008 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 116
    $30,500 (2008 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 55
    agriculture: 16%
    industry: 29%
    services: 55% (2007 est.)
    milk, potatoes, vegetables; sheep; salmon, other fish
    fishing, fish processing, small ship repair and refurbishment, handicrafts
    3.4% (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 86
    34,710 (November 2010)
    country comparison to the world: 203
    agriculture: 10.7%
    industry: 18.9%
    services: 70.3% (November 2010)
    5.5% (2012)
    6.8% (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 56
    NA%
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%
    revenues: $1.025 billion
    expenditures: $1.301 billion
    note: Denmark supplies the Faroe Islands with almost one-third of their public funds (2010)
    44.2% of GDP (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 26
    -11.9% of GDP (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 206
    calendar year
    2.3% (2011)
    0.4% (2010)
    $824 million (2010)
    $767 million (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 166
    fish and fish products 94%, stamps, ships (2009 est.)
    UK 25.2%, Denmark 20.2%, Nigeria 12.7%, US 11.1%, Netherlands 5.8%, Russia 5.7%, China 5.7% (2013)
    $776 million (2010)
    $786 million (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 186
    goods for household consumption, machinery and transport equipment, fuels, raw materials and semi-manufactures, salt
    Denmark 47.9%, Norway 28%, Iceland 5.2%, Germany 4.2% (2013)
    $888.8 million (2010)
    $68.1 million (2006)
    country comparison to the world: 166
    Danish kroner (DKK) per US dollar -
    5.587 (2011)
    5.3687 (2011)
    5.79 (2012 est.)
    5.3687 (2011 est.)
    5.6241 (2010 est.)
  • Energy :: FAROE ISLANDS

  • 261 million kWh (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 181
    242.7 million kWh (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 184
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 140
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 147
    100,100 kW (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    64.9% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 123
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    31% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 74
    4.1% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 58
    0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 174
    0 bbl (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 134
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 144
    4,900 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 169
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 177
    4,661 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 157
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 132
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 144
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 98
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 194
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 139
    753,400 Mt (2012 est.)
  • Communications :: FAROE ISLANDS

  • 24,000 (2012)
    61,000 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 199
    general assessment: good international communications; good domestic facilities
    domestic: conversion to digital system 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 (2011)
    1 publicly owned TV station; the Faroese telecommunications company distributes local and international channels through its digital terrestrial network; publicly owned radio station supplemented by 2 privately owned stations broadcasting over multiple frequencies (2008)
    AM 1, FM 13, shortwave 0 (1998)
    3 (plus 43 repeaters) (September 1995)
    .fo
    7,575 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 140
    37,500 (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 172
  • Transportation :: FAROE ISLANDS

  • 1 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 217
    total: 1
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
    total: 463 km (2006)
    country comparison to the world: 197
    total: 37
    by type: cargo 20, chemical tanker 7, container 2, passenger/cargo 3, refrigerated cargo 3, roll on/roll off 2
    foreign-owned: 28 (Iceland 4, Norway 13, Sweden 11) (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 79
    major seaport(s): Fuglafjordur, Torshavn, Vagur
  • Military :: FAROE ISLANDS

  • no regular military forces (2012)
    males age 16-49: 11,831 (2010 est.)
    males age 16-49: 9,827
    females age 16-49: 8,418 (2010 est.)
    male: 372
    female: 373 (2010 est.)
    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
GO TOP