Statistical information Faroe Islands 1997Faroe%20Islands

Map of Faroe Islands | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
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Faroe Islands in the World
Faroe Islands in the World

Faroe Islands - Introduction 1997
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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 attained in 1948.

Faroe Islands - Geography 1997
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Location: Northern Europe, island group between the Norwegian Sea and the north Atlantic Ocean, about one-half of the way from Iceland to Norway

Geographic coordinates: 62 00 N, 7 00 W

Map referenceEurope

Total: 1,399 km²
Land: 1,399 km²
Water: 0 km² (some lakes and streams)
Comparative: eight times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 1,117 km

Maritime claims
Exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 3 nm

Climate: mild winters, cool summers; usually overcast; foggy, windy

Terrain: rugged, rocky, some low peaks; cliffs along most of coast

Extremes lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
Extremes highest point: Slaettaratindur 882 m

Natural resources: fish, whales
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 6%
Permanent crops: 0%
Permanent pastures: 0%
Forests and woodland: 0%
Other: 94% (1996)

Irrigated land: 0 km²

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: NA

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

Faroe Islands - People 1997
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Population: 39,873 (July 1997 est.)
Growth rate: -6.36% (1997 est.)

Noun: Faroese (singular and plural)
Adjective: Faroese

Ethnic groups: Scandinavian

Languages: Faroese (derived from Old Norse), Danish

Religions: Evangelical Lutheran

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 25% (male 4,960; female 4,812)
15-64 years: 60% (male 12,913; female 11,117)
65 years and over: 15% (male 2,708; female 3,363) (July 1997 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: -6.36% (1997 est.)

Birth rate: 11.46 births/1000 population (1997 est.)

Death rate: 9.05 deaths/1000 population (1997 est.)

Net migration rate: -38.75 migrant(s)/1000 population (1997 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: NA

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.16 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female
Total population: 1.07 male(s)/female (1997 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 10.7 deaths/1000 live births (1997 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 78.37 years
Male: 75.41 years
Female: 81.32 years (1997 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.37 children born/woman (1997 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Literacy: NA
Note: similar to Denmark proper

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Faroe Islands - Government 1997
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Country name
Conventional long form: none
Conventional short form: Faroe Islands
Local long form: none
Local short form: Foroyar

Government type: NA

Capital: Torshavn

Administrative divisions: none (self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark)

Dependent areas

Independence: none (part of the Danish realm; self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark)

National holiday: Birthday of the Queen, 16 April (1940)

Constitution: 5 June 1953 (Danish constitution)

Legal system: Danish

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state: Queen MARGRETHE II of Denmark (since 14 January 1972), represented by High Commissioner Ms. Vibeke LARSEN, chief administrative officer (since mid-1995)
Head of government: Prime Minister Edmund JOENSEN (since 15 September 1994)
Cabinet: Landsstyri elected by the Faroese Parliament
Elections: the queen is a constitutional monarch; high commissioner appointed by the queen; following legislative elections, the leader of the party that wins the most seats is usually elected prime minister by the Faroese Parliament; election last held NA 1994 (next to be held NA 1998)
Election results: Edmund JOENSEN elected prime minister; percent of parliamentary vote - 23.4%

Legislative branch: unicameral Faroese Parliament or Logting (32 seats; members are elected on a proportional basis from the seven constituencies to serve four-year terms)
Elections: last held 7 July 1994 (next to be held by NA July 1998)
Election results: percent of vote by party - Unionist Party 23.4%, People's Party 16.0%, Social Democrats 15.4%, Republicans 13.7%, Workers' Party 9.5%, Christian People 6.3%, Center Party 5.8%, Home Rule Party 5.6%; seats by party - Unionist Party 8, People's Party 6, Social Democrats 5, Republicans 4, Workers' Party 3, Christian People 2, Center Party 2, Home Rule Party 2
Note: election of 2 seats to the Danish Parliament was last held on 21 September 1994 (next to be held by September 1998); results - percent of vote by party - Unionist Party 22.5%, People's Party 21.7%; seats by party - Unionist Party 1, People's Party 1

Judicial branch: none

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: none

Diplomatic representation
In the us: none (self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark)
From the us: none (self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark)

Flag descriptionflag of Faroe%20Islands: white with a red cross outlined in blue that extends to the edges of the flag; the vertical part of the cross is shifted to the hoist side in the style of the Dannebrog (Danish flag)

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Faroe Islands - Economy 1997
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Economy overview: The Faroese economy in 1995 and 1996 saw a noticeable upturn after several years of decline brought on by a drop in fish catches and declining prices and by over-spending by the Faroese Home Rule Government (FHRG). In the early 1990s, property values plummeted, and the FHRG had to bail out and merge the two largest Faroese banks. Fishing is now improving; wage costs are increasing; the FHRG's budget is almost in balance; and the large foreign debt has come down significantly. Nevertheless, the total dependence on fishing makes the Faroese economy extremely vulnerable, and the reduction in the foreign debt is at the cost of low investment. Oil finds close to the Faroese area give hope for deposits in the immediate Faroese area, which may lay the basis for an eventual economic rebound. Aided by a substantial annual subsidy from Denmark, the Faroese have a standard of living comparable to the Danes and other Scandinavians.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 6% (1996 est.)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin
Agriculture: 20%
Industry: 16%
Services: 64% (1996 est.)

Agriculture products: milk, potatoes, vegetables; sheep; salmon farming; fish

Industries: fishing, shipbuilding, construction, handicrafts

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Labor force
Total: 20,345 (1995 est.)
Note: largely engaged in fishing, transportation and commerce
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 11% (1996 est.)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $467 million
Expenditures: $468 million, including capital expenditures of $11 million (1996 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Total value: $362 million (f.o.b., 1995)
Commodities: fish and fish products 92%, animal feedstuffs, transport equipment (ships)
Partners: Denmark 22.2%, UK 25.8%, Germany 9.7%, France 8.3%, Norway 6.2%, US 2.0%

Total value: $315.6 (c.i.f., 1995)
Commodities: machinery and transport equipment 17.0%, consumer goods 33%, raw materials and semi-manufactures 26.9%, fuels 11.4%, fish and salt 6.7%
Partners: Denmark 34.5%, Norway 15.9%, UK 8.4% Germany 7.8%, Sweden 5.8%, US 1.5%

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $767 million (1995 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Danish kroner (DKr) per US$1 - 6.117 (January 1997), 5.799 (1966), 5.602 (1995), 6.361 (1994), 6.484 (1993), 6.036 (1992)

Faroe Islands - Energy 1997
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 175.4 million kWh

Electricity consumption
Per capita: 4,043 kWh (1995)

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Faroe Islands - Communication 1997
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: good international communications; good domestic facilities
Domestic: digitalization to be completed in 1998
International: satellite earth stations - 1 Orion; 1 optical fiber submarine cable linking the Faroe Islands with Denmark and Iceland

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Faroe Islands - Military 1997
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $NA
Percent of gdp: NA%

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Faroe Islands - Transportation 1997
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 1 (1996 est.)
With paved runways total: 1
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 1 (1996 est.)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 1
914 to 1523 m: 1 (1996 est.)

Airports with unpaved runways



Railways: 0 km



Merchant marine
Total: 6 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 18,979 GRT/14,531 DWT
Ships by type: cargo 3, refrigerated cargo 1, roll-on/roll-off cargo 1, short-sea passenger 1 (1996 est.)

Ports and terminals

Faroe Islands - Transnational issues 1997
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Disputes international: none

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs

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