Faroe Islands 2002Faroe%20Islands

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Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands 

Faroe Islands - Introduction 2002
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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 2002
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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
Water: 0 km² (some lakes and streams)
Land: 1,399 km²
Comparative: eight times the size of Washington DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 1117 km

Maritime claims
Continental shelf: 200 NM or agreed boundaries or median line
Exclusive fishing zone: 200 NM or agreed boundaries or median line
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 hydropower
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 2.14%
Permanent crops: 0%
Other: 97.86% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land: 0 km² (1998 est.)

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 2002
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Population: 46,011 (July 2002 est.)
Growth rate: 0.74% (2002 est.)
Below poverty line: NA%

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: 22.3% (male 5,149; female 5,110)
15-64 years: 64% (male 15,650; female 13,801)
65 years and over: 13.7% (male 2,818; female 3,483) (2002 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 0.74% (2002 est.)

Birth rate: 13.74 births/1000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate: 8.69 deaths/1000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate: 2.39 migrant(s)/1000 population (2002 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: NA

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1 male/female
Under 15 years: 1.01 male/female
15-64 years: 1.13 male/female
65 years and over: 0.81 male/female
Total population: 1.06 male/female (2002 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 6.66 deaths/1000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 78.74 years
Female: 82.21 years (2002 est.)
Male: 75.28 years

Total fertility rate: 2.27 children born/woman (2002 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access

Adult prevalence rate: NA%
People living with hivaids: NA
Deaths: NA

Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: NA
Total population: NA%
Male: NA%
Female: NA%
Note: similar to Denmark proper

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Faroe Islands - Government 2002
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Country name
Conventional long form: none
Conventional short form: Faroe Islands
Local short form: Foroyar
Local long form: none

Government type: NA

Capital: Torshavn

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 49 municipalities

Dependent areas

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

National holiday: Olaifest 29 July

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 Birgit KLEIS, chief administrative officer (since 1 November 2001)
Election results: Anfinn KALLSBERG elected prime minister; percent of parliamentary vote - 52.8%
Note: coalition of People's Party, Republican Party, and Home Rule Party
Elections: the monarch 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 30 April 1998 (next to be held no later than April 2002)
Head of government: Prime Minister Anfinn KALLSBERG (since 15 May 1998)
Cabinet: Landsstyri appointed by the prime minister

Legislative branch
Election results: percent of vote by party - Union Party 26%, Republican Party 23.7%, Social Democrats 20.9%, People's Party 20.8% Independence Party 4.4%, Center Party 4.2%; seats by party - Union Party 8, Republican Party 8, Social Democrats 7, People's Party 7, Independence Party 1, Center Party 1
Note: election of 2 seats to the Danish Parliament was last held on 20 November 2001 (next to be held no later than November 2005); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Republican Party 1, Union Party 1
Elections: last held 30 April 2002 (next to be held no later than April 2006)

Judicial branch: none

Political parties and leaders: Center Party [Tordur NICALSEN]; Home Rule Party [Helena Dam a NEYSTABO]; Independence Party [leader NA]; People's Party [Oli BRECKMANN]; Republican Party [Finnabogi ISAKSON]; Social Democratic Party [Joannes EIDESGAARD]; Union Party [Edmund JOENSEN]

International organization participation: NC NIB

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 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)

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Faroe Islands - Economy 2002
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Economy overview: The Faroese economy has had a strong performance since 1994 mostly as a result of increasing fish landings and high and stable export prices. Unemployment is falling and there are signs of labor shortages in several sectors. The positive economic development has helped the Faroese Home Rule Government produce increasing budget surpluses which in turn help to reduce the large public debt most of it owed to Denmark. However the total dependence on fishing makes the Faroese economy extremely vulnerable and the present fishing efforts appear in excess of what is a sustainable level of fishing in the long term. Oil finds close to the Faroese area give hope for deposits in the immediate Faroese area which may eventually lay the basis for a more diversified economy and thus lessen dependence on Denmark and Danish economic assistance. Aided by a substantial annual subsidy (15% of GDP) from Denmark the Faroese have a standard of living not far below the Danes and other Scandinavians.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 5% (2000 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: 27%
Industry: 11%
Services: 62% (1999)

Agriculture products: milk potatoes vegetables; sheep; salmon other fish

Industries: fishing fish processing shipbuilding construction handicrafts

Industrial production growth rate: 8% (1999 est.)

Labor force: 24,250 (October 2000 )
By occupation: fishing fish processing and manufacturing 33% construction and private services 33% public services 34%
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 1% (October 2000 )

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line: NA%

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10: NA%
Highest 10: NA%

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $488 million
Expenditures: $484 million, including capital expenditures of $21 million (1999)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices: 5.1% (1999)

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

Exports: $471 million f.o.b. (1999)
Commodities: fish and fish products 94% stamps ships (1999)
Partners: Denmark 32% UK 21% France 9% Germany 7% Iceland 5% US 5% (1996)

Imports: $469 million c.i.f. (1999)
Commodities: machinery and transport equipment 29% consumer goods 36% raw materials and semi-manufactures 32% fuels fish and salt (1999)
Partners: Denmark 28% Norway 26% Germany 7% UK 6% Sweden 5% Iceland 4% US (1999)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $64 million (1999)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Danish kroner per US dollar - 8.418 (January 2002) 8.323 (2001) 8.083 (2000) 6.976 (1999) 6.701 (1998) 6.604 (1997)

Faroe Islands - Energy 2002
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 165 million kWh (2000)
By source fossil fuel: 61%
By source hydro: 39%
By source other: 0% (2000)
By source nuclear: 0%

Electricity consumption: 153.45 million kWh (2000)

Electricity exports: 0 kWh (2000)

Electricity imports: 0 kWh (2000)

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 2002
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular: 10,761 (1999)

Telephone system
General assessment: good international communications; good domestic facilities
Domestic: digitalization was completed in 1998; both NMT (analog) and GSM (digital) mobile telephone systems are installed
International: 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

Internet country code: .fo

Internet users: 3,000 (2000)

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Faroe Islands - Military 2002
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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 2002
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 1 (2001)
With paved runways total: 1
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 1 (2002)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 1
914 to 1523 m: 1 (2002)

Airports with unpaved runways



Railways: 0 km


Waterways: none

Merchant marine
Total: 7 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 100,951 GRT/139,396 DWT
Note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Denmark 3, Norway 1, United Kingdom 1 (2002 est.)
Ships by type: cargo 2, petroleum tanker 2, refrigerated cargo 1, roll on/roll off 1, short-sea passenger 1

Ports and terminals

Faroe Islands - Transnational issues 2002
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Disputes international: Faroese are considering proposals for full independence; Denmark dispute with Iceland over the Faroe Islands fisheries median line boundary of 200 NM; Denmark disputes with Iceland the UK and Ireland over the Faroe Islands continental shelf boundary outside 200 NM

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs


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