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Faroe Islands, See : Flags, Maps

Faroe Islands (Europe)

Introduction ::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 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

Location:

Northern Europe, island group between the Norwegian Sea and the
North Atlantic Ocean, about half way between Iceland and Norway

Geographic coordinates:
62 00 N, 7 00 W

Map references:

Europe

Area:

total: 1,393 sq km country comparison to the world: 182 land: 1,393 sq km

water: 0 sq km (some lakes and streams)

Area - comparative:

eight times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:

0 km

Coastline:

1,117 km

Maritime claims:

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

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, possible oil and gas

Land use:

arable land: 2.14%

permanent crops: 0%

other: 97.86% (2005)

Irrigated land:

0 sq km

Natural hazards:
NA

Environment - current issues:
NA

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Marine Dumping - associate member to the London Convention and Ship Pollution

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:

49,057 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 208

Age structure:

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) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 37.1 years

male: 36.5 years

female: 37.9 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

0.424% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 158

Birth rate:

12.9 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 156

Death rate:

8.66 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 81

Net migration rate:

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 87

Urbanization:

urban population: 41% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 2% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.069 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.07 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.15 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.9 male(s)/female

total population: 1.09 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 6.18 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 176 male: 6.43 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 5.91 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 79.58 years country comparison to the world: 33 male: 77.13 years

female: 82.21 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

2.43 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 97

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 83.8%, other and unspecified 16.2% (2006 census)

Languages:

Faroese (derived from Old Norse), Danish

Literacy:

NA; note - probably 99%, the same as Denmark proper

Government ::Faroe Islands

Country name:

conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Faroe Islands

local long form: none

local short form: Foroyar

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

Government type:
NA

Capital:

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

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 34 municipalities

Independence:

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

National holiday:

Olaifest (Olavsoka ), 29 July

Constitution:

5 June 1953 (Danish constitution)

Legal system:

the laws of Denmark where applicable apply

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

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 (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) 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 19 January 2008 (next to be held no later than January 2012)

election results: Joannes EIDESGAARD elected prime minister in 2008; governing coalition collapses in September 2008, Kaj Leo JOHANNESSEN becomes prime minister

Legislative branch:

unicameral Faroese Parliament or Logting (33 seats; members elected by popular vote on a proportional basis from the seven constituencies to serve four-year terms)

elections: last held on 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 19.3%, Republican Party 23.3%, People's Party 20.1%, Center Party 8.4%, Independence Party 7.2%, other 0.7%; 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

Judicial branch:

none

Political parties and leaders:

Center Party [Jenis av RANA]; Independence Party [Kari P. HOJGAARD];
People's Party [Jorgen NICLASEN]; Republican Party [Hogni HOYDAL];
Social Democratic Party [Joannes EIDESGAARD]; Union Party [Kaj Leo
JOHANNESEN]

Political pressure groups and leaders:

conservationists

International organization participation:

Arctic Council, IMO (associate), NC, NIB, UNESCO (associate), UPU

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); 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

National anthem:

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

Economy - overview:

The Faroese economy is dependent on fishing, which makes the economy vulnerable to price swings. The sector 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 that continue to trouble the economy. Though oil prices have come down, reduced catches, especially of cod and haddock, have continued to strain the Faroese economy. GDP grew 0.5% in 2008-09. 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 the first half of 2008, but increased to 3.9% in 2009 and is rising. The Faroese Home Rule Government produced increasing budget surpluses that helped to reduce the large public debt, most of it to Denmark. However, total dependence on fishing and salmon farming make the Faroese economy very vulnerable to fluctuations in world demand. In addition, budget surpluses turned to deficits in 2008-09, and the economy at both the country and local level is running large deficits. 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 6% of Faroese GDP, the Faroese have a standard of living almost equal to that of Denmark and Greenland.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$1.642 billion (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 192

GDP (official exchange rate):

$2.45 billion (2008 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

0.5% (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 186

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$34,000 (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 39

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 16%

industry: 29%

services: 55% (2007 est.)

Labor force:

34,680 (November 2008) country comparison to the world: 201

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 10.2%

industry: 20.5%

services: 69.2% (2008)

Unemployment rate:

3.9% (2009) country comparison to the world: 34 1.2% (2008)

Population below poverty line:
NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

-1.1% (2009) country comparison to the world: 6 6.4% (2008)

Agriculture - products:

milk, potatoes, vegetables; sheep; salmon, other fish

Industries:

fishing, fish processing, small ship repair and refurbishment, handicrafts

Industrial production growth rate:

8% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 27

Electricity - production:

275.8 million kWh (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 171

Electricity - consumption:

264.4 million kWh (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 169

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2008)

Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2008)

Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 175

Oil - consumption:

5,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 169

Oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2008) country comparison to the world: 195

Oil - imports:

4,922 bbl/day (2008) country comparison to the world: 157

Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 180

Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2008) country comparison to the world: 196

Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2008) country comparison to the world: 185

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2008) country comparison to the world: 180

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2008) country comparison to the world: 180

Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 180

Exports:

$848 million (2008) country comparison to the world: 157 $634 million (2006)

Exports - commodities:

fish and fish products 94%, stamps, ships

Exports - partners:

Hungary 36.26%, Denmark 21.36%, UK 12.21%, Nigeria 7.72%, US 6.49%,
Norway 5.46% (2009)

Imports:

$983 million (2008) country comparison to the world: 171 $751 million (2006)

Imports - commodities:

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

Imports - partners:

Denmark 54.42%, Norway 20.76%, Sweden 4.79% (2009)

Debt - external:

$68.1 million (2006) country comparison to the world: 185

Exchange rates:

Danish kroner (DKK) per US dollar - 5.774 (2009), 5.0236 (2008), 5.4797 (2007), 5.9468 (2006)

Communications ::Faroe Islands

Telephones - main lines in use:

20,900 (2009) country comparison to the world: 192

Telephones - mobile cellular:

57,000 (2009) country comparison to the world: 194

Telephone system:

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

Broadcast media:

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)

Internet country code:

.fo

Internet hosts:

8,936 (2010) country comparison to the world: 128

Internet users:

37,500 (2009) country comparison to the world: 175

Transportation ::Faroe Islands

Airports:

1 (2010) country comparison to the world: 230

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2010)

Roadways:

total: 463 km (2006) country comparison to the world: 194

Merchant marine:

total: 26 country comparison to the world: 91 by type: cargo 11, chemical tanker 6, container 2, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 3, refrigerated cargo 2, roll on/roll off 1

foreign-owned: 11 (Norway 6, Sweden 5) (2010)

Ports and terminals:

Fuglafjordur, Torshavn, Vagur

Military ::Faroe Islands

Military branches:

no regular military forces

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 11,788 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 9,792

females age 16-49: 8,354 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 379

female: 368 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:
NA

Military - note:

defense is the responsibility of Denmark

Transnational Issues ::Faroe Islands

Disputes - international:

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

World

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