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 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


 Total: 1,393 sq km
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


 1,117 km (Rank: 81)

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


 Mild winters, cool summers; usually overcast; foggy, windy


 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

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

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 Noun: Faroese (singular and plural)
Adjective: Faroese

Ethnic Groups:



 Faroese (derived from Old Norse), Danish


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


 49,267 (July 2011 est.)

Age Structure:

 0-14 years: 21% (male 5,362/female 4,975)
15-64 years: 64.2% (male 16,837/female 14,788)
65 years and over: 14.8% (male 3,487/female 3,818) (2011 est.)

Median Age:

 Total: 37.3 years
Male: 36.6 years
Female: 38.1 years (2011 est.)

Population Growth Rate:

 0.428% (2011 est.)

Birth Rate:

 12.95 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)

Death Rate:

 8.67 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)

Net Migration Rate:

 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)


 Urban population: 40% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: 0.9% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Sex Ratio:

 At birth: 1.071 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 (2011 est.)

Infant Mortality Rate:

 Total: 6.06 deaths/1,000 live births
Male: 6.31 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 5.79 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)

Life Expectancy At Birth:

 Total population: 79.72 years
Male: 77.25 years
Female: 82.35 years (2011 est.)

Total Fertility Rate:

 2.42 children born/woman (2011 est.)


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

Unemployment, Youth Ages 15-24:

 Total: 9.4%
Male: 6.9%
Female: 12.5% (2005)

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Country Name:

 Conventional long form: none
Conventional short form: Faroe Islands
Local long form: none
Local short form: Foroyar


 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

Dependency Status:

 Part of the Kingdom of Denmark; self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark since 1948


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

National Holiday:

 Olaifest (Olavsoka ), 29 July


 5 June 1953 (Danish Constitution)

Legal System:

 The laws of Denmark, where applicable, apply


 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

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 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%, Self-Government 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, Self-Government Party 1

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

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:


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 Symbols:


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


 (part of the Kingdom of Denmark)

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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. 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):

 $1.59 billion (2008 est.)

GDP (Official Exchange Rate):

 $2.45 billion (2008 est.)

GDP - Real Growth Rate:

 0.5% (2008 est.)

GDP - Per Capita (PPP):

 $32,900 (2008 est.)

GDP - Composition By Sector:

 Agriculture: 16%
Industry: 29%
Services: 55% (2007 est.)

Labor Force:

 34,680 (November 2008)

Labor Force - By Occupation:

 Agriculture: 10.2%
Industry: 20.5%
Services: 69.2% (2008)

Unemployment Rate:

 3.9% (2009)
1.2% (2008)

Population Below Poverty Line:


Household Income / Consumption By Share:

 Lowest 10%: NA%
Highest 10%: NA%


 Revenues: $1.163 billion
Expenditures: $1.139 billion

Note: Denmark supplies the Faroe Islands with almost one-third of their public funds (2006)

Taxes and Other Revenues:

 47.5% of GDP (2006)

Budget Surplus / Deficit:

 1% of GDP (2006)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices):

 -1.1% (2009)
6.4% (2008)

Agriculture - Products:

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


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

Industrial Production Growth Rate:

 8% (2007 est.)

Electricity - Production:

 251.9 million kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Production By Source:

 Fossil fuel: 62.4%
Hydro: 37.6%
Nuclear: 0%
Other: 0% (2001)

Electricity - Consumption:

 234.3 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:

 5,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Exports:

 0 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Imports:

 4,776 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.)


 $848 million (2008)
$634 million (2006)

Exports - Commodities:

 Fish and fish products 94%, stamps, ships

Exports - Partners:

 Denmark 33%, UK 19.8%, Nigeria 12.5%, US 10%, Netherlands 5.4%, Norway 4.8% (2010)


 $983 million (2008)
$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 51.1%, Norway 22.4%, Sweden 6.7%, UK 4.2%, Iceland 4.1% (2010)

Debt - External:

 $68.1 million (2006)

Exchange Rates:

 Convert Danish Krone to Any Currency

Danish kroner (DKK) per US dollar -
5.624 (2009)
5.0236 (2008)
5.4797 (2007)
5.9468 (2006)

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Telephones - Main Lines In Use:

 20,200 (2010)

Telephones - Cellular:

 59,400 (2010)

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)

Radio Broadcast Stations:

 AM 1, FM 13, shortwave 0 (1998)

Television Broadcast Stations:

 3 (plus 43 repeaters) (September 1995)

Internet Country Code:


Internet Hosts:

 8,936 (2010)

Internet Users:

 37,500 (2009)

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 1 (2010)

Airports - With Paved Runways:

 Total: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2010)


 Total: 463 km (2006)

Merchant Marine:

 Total: 26
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

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Military Branches:

 No regular military forces

Manpower Available For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 11,831 (2010 est.)

Manpower Fit For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 9,827
Females age 16-49: 8,418 (2010 est.)

Manpower Reaching Militarily Significant Age Annually:

 Male: 372
Female: 373 (2010 est.)

Military - Note:

 Defense is the responsibility of Denmark

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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

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Last Updated: December 2011

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