Introduction

Background

Although first sighted by an English navigator in 1592, the first landing (English) did not occur until almost a century later in 1690, and the first settlement (French) was not established until 1764. The colony was turned over to Spain two years later and the islands have since been the subject of a territorial dispute, first between Britain and Spain, then between Britain and Argentina.

Geography

Area

total: 12,173 sq km

land: 12,173 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Climate

cold marine; strong westerly winds, cloudy, humid; rain occurs on more than half of days in year; average annual rainfall is 60 cm in Stanley; occasional snow all year, except in January and February, but typically does not accumulate

Natural resources

fish, squid, wildlife, calcified seaweed, sphagnum moss

People and Society

Population

3,198 (2016 est.)

Ethnic groups

Falkland Islander 48.3%, British 23.1%, St. Helenian 7.5%, Chilean 4.6%, mixed 6%, other 8.5%, unspecified 2% (2016 est.)

Languages

English 89%, Spanish 7.7%, other 3.3% (2006 est.)

Religions

Christian 57.1%, other 1.6%, none 35.4%, unspecified 6% (2016 est.)

Population growth rate

0.01% (2014 est.)

Government

Government type

parliamentary democracy (Legislative Assembly); self-governing overseas territory of the UK

Capital

name: Stanley

Executive branch

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor Nigel PHILLIPS (since 12 September 2017)

head of government: Chief Executive Andy KEELING (since April 2021)

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Legislative Assembly, formerly the Legislative Council (10 seats; 5 members directly elected in the Stanley constituency and 3 members in the Camp constituency by simple majority vote, 2 appointed non-voting ex-officio members - the chief executive, appointed by the governor, and the financial secretary; members serve 4-year terms); note - several previous referendums -  the latest in September 2020 - on whether to merge the Stanley and Camp constituencies into a single islands wide constituency, failed

Economy

Economic overview

British South American territorial economy; longstanding fishing industry; surging tourism prior to COVID-19 and Brexit; recent offshore hydrocarbon discoveries threaten ecotourism industries; no central bank and must have British approval on currency shifts

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$206.4 million (2015 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$70,800 (2015 est.)

Agricultural products

fodder and vegetable crops; venison, sheep, dairy products; fish, squid

Industries

fish and wool processing; tourism

Exports

$257.3 million (2015 est.)

Exports - partners

Spain 78%, United States 6% (2019)

Exports - commodities

mollusks, fish, wool, sheep/goat meats, engine parts (2019)

Imports

$90 million (2004 est.)

Imports - partners

United Kingdom 79%, Netherlands 16% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, spark-ignition engines, stone processing machinery, construction vehicles, cars (2019)


Page last updated: Wednesday, May 11, 2022