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 Southern South America, islands in the South Atlantic Ocean, east of southern Argentina

Geographic Coordinates:

 51 45 S, 59 00 W


 Total: 12,173 sq km
Land: 12,173 sq km
Water: 0 sq km

Note: includes the two main islands of East and West Falkland and about 200 small islands

Area - Comparative:

 Slightly smaller than Connecticut

Land Boundaries:

 0 km


 1,288 km (Rank: 76)

Maritime Claims:

 Territorial sea: 12 nm
Continental shelf: 200 nm
Exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm


 Cold marine; strong westerly winds, cloudy, humid; rain occurs on more than half of days in year; average annual rainfall is 24 inches in Stanley; occasional snow all year, except in January and February, but typically does not accumulate


 Rocky, hilly, mountainous with some boggy, undulating plains

Elevation Extremes:

 Lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
Highest point: Mount Usborne 705 m

Natural Resources:

 Fish, squid, wildlife, calcified seaweed, sphagnum moss

Land Use:

 Arable land: 0%
Permanent crops: 0%
Other: 100% (99% permanent pastures, 1% other) (2005)

Natural Hazards:

 Strong winds persist throughout the year

Environment - Current Issues:

 Overfishing by unlicensed vessels is a problem; reindeer were introduced to the islands in 2001 for commercial reasons; this is the only commercial reindeer herd in the world unaffected by the 1986 Chornobyl disaster

Geography - Note:

 Deeply indented coast provides good natural harbors; short growing season

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 Noun: Falkland Islander(s)
Adjective: Falkland Island

Ethnic Groups:





 Christian 67.2%, none 31.5%, other 1.3% (2006 census)


 3,140 (July 2008 est.)

Age Structure:

 0-14 years: NA
15-64 years: NA
65 years and over: NA

Population Growth Rate:

 0.011% (2009 est.)


 Urban population: 74% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: 0.9% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major Cities - Population:

 STANLEY (capital) 2,000 (2009)

Infant Mortality Rate:

 Total: NA
Male: NA
Female: NA

Life Expectancy At Birth:

 Total population: NA
Male: NA
Female: NA

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Country Name:

 Conventional long form: none
Conventional short form: Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)


 Name: Stanley
Geographic coordinates: 51 42 S, 57 51 W
Time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Daylight saving time: +1hr, begins first Sunday in September; ends third Sunday in April; note - DST will be observed throughout 2011 on a trial basis

Administrative Divisions:

 None (overseas territory of the UK; also claimed by Argentina)

Dependency Status:

 Overseas territory of the UK; also claimed by Argentina


 None (overseas territory of the UK; also claimed by Argentina)

National Holiday:

 Liberation Day, 14 June (1982)


 January 1, 2009

Legal System:

 English common law and local statutes


 18 years of age; universal

Executive Branch:

 Chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952)

Head of government: Governor Nigel HAYWOOD (since 16 October 2010) is the Queen's representative; Chief Executive Dr. Tim THOROGOOD (since 3 January 2008)

Cabinet: Executive Council; three members elected by the Legislative Council, two ex officio members (chief executive and the financial secretary), and the governor; the governor must obey the rulings of the Executive Council on domestic affairs

Elections: the monarchy is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch; chief executive appointed by the governor

Legislative Branch:

 Unicameral Legislative Assembly (10 seats; 2 members are ex officio and 8 are elected by popular vote; members to serve four-year terms); presided over by the governor

Elections: last held on 5 November 2009 (next to be held in November 2013)

Election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - independents 8

Judicial Branch:

 Supreme Court (chief justice is a nonresident); Magistrates Court (senior magistrate presides over civil and criminal divisions); Court of Summary Jurisdiction

Political Parties and Leaders:

 None; all independents

Political Pressure Groups and Leaders:

 Falkland Islands Association (supports freedom of the people from external causes)

International Organization Participation:


Diplomatic Representation in the US:

 None (overseas territory of the UK; also claimed by Argentina)

Diplomatic Representation From the US:

 None (overseas territory of the UK; also claimed by Argentina)

Flag Description:

 Blue with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Falkland Island coat of arms centered on the outer half of the flag; the coat of arms contains a white ram (sheep raising was once the major economic activity) above the sailing ship Desire (whose crew discovered the islands) with a scroll at the bottom bearing the motto DESIRE THE RIGHT

National Symbols:


National Anthem:

 Name: "Song of the Falklands""
Lyrics/music: Christopher LANHAM

Note: adopted 1930s; the song is the local unofficial anthem; as a territory of the United Kingdom, "God Save the Queen" is official (see United Kingdom)


 (overseas territory of the UK; also claimed by Argentina)

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Economy - Overview:

 The economy was formerly based on agriculture, mainly sheep farming, but today fishing contributes the bulk of economic activity. In 1987, the government began selling fishing licenses to foreign trawlers operating within the Falkland Islands' exclusive fishing zone. These license fees total more than $40 million per year, which help support the island's health, education, and welfare system. Squid accounts for 75% of the fish taken. Dairy farming supports domestic consumption; crops furnish winter fodder. Foreign exchange earnings come from shipments of high-grade wool to the UK and the sale of postage stamps and coins. The islands are now self-financing except for defense. The British Geological Survey announced a 200-mile oil exploration zone around the islands in 1993, and early seismic surveys suggest substantial reserves capable of producing 500,000 barrels per day; to date, no exploitable site has been identified. An agreement between Argentina and the UK in 1995 seeks to defuse licensing and sovereignty conflicts that would dampen foreign interest in exploiting potential oil reserves. Political tensions between the UK and Argentina rose in early 2010 after a UK company began oil drilling activities in the waters around the Falkland Islands but abated somewhat when the drilling operation failed to discover commercially exploitable oil reserves. Tourism, especially eco-tourism, is increasing rapidly, with about 30,000 visitors in 2001. Another large source of income is interest paid on money the government has in the bank. The British military presence also provides a sizeable economic boost.

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity):

 $105.1 million (2002 est.)

GDP (Official Exchange Rate):

 $105.1 million (2002 est.)

GDP - Per Capita (PPP):

 $35,400 (2002 est.)

GDP - Composition By Sector:

 Agriculture: 95%
Industry: NA%
Services: NA% (1996)

Labor Force:

 1,724 (1996)

Labor Force - By Occupation:

 Agriculture: 95% (mostly sheepherding and fishing)
Industry and services: 5% (1996)

Unemployment Rate:


Population Below Poverty Line:


Household Income / Consumption By Share:

 Lowest 10%: NA%
Highest 10%: NA%


 Revenues: $66.2 million
Expenditures: $67.9 million (FY98/99)

Taxes and Other Revenues:

 63% of GDP (FY98/99)

Budget Surplus / Deficit:

 -1.6% of GDP (FY98/99)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices):

 3.6% (1998)

Agriculture - Products:

 Fodder and vegetable crops; sheep, dairy products; fish, squid


 Fish and wool processing; tourism

Industrial Production Growth Rate:


Electricity - Production:

 17 million kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Production By Source:

 Fossil fuel: 100%
Hydro: 0%
Nuclear: 0%
Other: 0% (2001)

Electricity - Consumption:

 15.81 million kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Exports:

 0 kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - Imports:

 0 kWh (2009 est.)

Oil - Production:

 0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Consumption:

 300 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Exports:

 0 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Imports:

 313 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Proven Reserves:

 0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural Gas - Production:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Consumption:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Exports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Imports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Proven Reserves:

 0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)


 $125 million (2004 est.)

Exports - Commodities:

 Wool, hides, meat, fish, squid


 $90 million (2004 est.)

Imports - Commodities:

 Fuel, food and drink, building materials, clothing

Exchange Rates:

 Convert Falkland Islands Pound to Any Currency

Falkland pounds (FKP) per US dollar -
0.6388 (2010)
0.6175 (2009)
0.5418 (2006)
0.5493 (2005)
0.5462 (2004)

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Telephones - Main Lines In Use:

 2,000 (2010)

Telephones - Cellular:

 3,300 (2010)

Telephone System:

 General assessment: NA

Domestic: government-operated radiotelephone and private VHF/CB radiotelephone networks provide effective service to almost all points on both islands

International: country code - 500; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) with links through London to other countries

Broadcast Media:

 Television service provided by a multi-channel service provider; radio services provided by the public broadcaster Falkland Islands Radio Service (FIRS), broadcasting on both AM and FM frequencies, and by the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) (2007)

Radio Broadcast Stations:

 AM 1, FM 7, shortwave 0 (British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) provides Radio 1 and Radio 2 service) (2006)

Television Broadcast Stations:

 2 (British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) provides multi-channel satellite service to members of UK Forces as well as islanders); cable television is available in Stanley (2006)

Internet Country Code:


Internet Hosts:

 91 (2010)

Internet Users:

 2,900 (2009)

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 7 (2010)

Airports - With Paved Runways:

 Total: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2010)

Airports - With Unpaved Runways:

 Total: 5
Under 914 m: 5 (2010)


 Total: 440 km
Paved: 50 km
Unpaved: 390 km (2008)

Ports and Terminals:


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Military Branches:

 No regular military forces

Military - Note:

 Defense is the responsibility of the UK

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Disputes - International:

 Argentina, which claims the islands in its constitution and briefly occupied them by force in 1982, agreed in 1995 to no longer seek settlement by force; UK continues to reject Argentine requests for sovereignty talks

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Last Updated: December 2011

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