Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

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Introduction - Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas):


Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)


Although first sighted by an English navigator in 1592, the first landing (English) did not occur until almost a century later in 1690, and the first settlement (French) was not established until 1764. The colony was turned over to Spain two years later and the islands have since been the subject of a territorial dispute, first between Britain and Spain, then between Britain and Argentina. The UK asserted its claim to the islands by establishing a naval garrison there in 1833. Argentina invaded the islands on 2 April 1982. The British responded with an expeditionary force that landed seven weeks later and after fierce fighting forced an Argentine surrender on 14 June 1982.

Location - Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas):


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

Geographic coordinates

51 45 S, 59 00 W

Map references

South America


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

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 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)

Irrigated land


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

People - Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas):


3,105 (July 2007 est.)

Age structure

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

Dependency status

overseas territory of the UK; also claimed by Argentina

Population growth rate

2.44% (2007 est.)

Birth rate


Death rate


Net migration rate


Infant mortality rate

total: NA
male: NA
female: NA

Life expectancy at birth

total population: NA
male: NA
female: NA

Total fertility rate


Hiv aids adult prevalence rate


Hiv aids people living with hiv aids


Hiv aids deaths



noun: Falkland Islander(s)
adjective: Falkland Island

Ethnic groups



primarily Anglican, Roman Catholic, United Free Church, Evangelist Church, Jehovahs Witnesses, Lutheran, Seventh-Day Adventist





Government - Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas):

Country name

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

Government type



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

Administrative divisions

none (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)


3 October 1985; amended 1997 and 1998

Legal system

English common law


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952)
head of government: Governor Alan HUCKLE (since 25 August 2006); Chief Executive Chris SIMPKINS (since March 2003)
cabinet: Executive Council; three members elected by the Legislative Council, two ex officio members (chief executive and the financial secretary), and the governor
elections: none; the monarchy is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch

Legislative branch

unicameral Legislative Council (10 seats; 2 members are ex officio and 8 are elected by popular vote; to serve four-year terms); presided over by the governor
elections: last held 17 November 2005 (next to be held in November 2009)
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


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

Economy - Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas):

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 islands health, education, and welfare system. Squid accounts for 75% of the fish taken. Dairy farming supports domestic consumption; crops furnish winter fodder. Exports feature 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. 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

$75 million (2002 est.)

Gdp official exchange rate


Gdp real growth rate


Gdp per capita ppp

$25,000 (2002 est.)

Gdp composition by sector

agriculture: 95%
industry: NA%
services: NA%

Labor force

1,724 (est.) (1996)

Labor force by occupation

agriculture: 95% (mostly sheepherding and fishing)
industry and services: 5%

Unemployment rate

full employment; labor shortage (2001)

Population below poverty line


Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate consumer prices

3.6% (1998)


revenues: $66.2 million
expenditures: $67.9 million; including capital expenditures of $23.2 million (FY98/99 est.)

Agriculture products

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


fish and wool processing; tourism

Industrial production growth rate


Electricity production

16 million kWh (2004)

Electricity consumption

14.88 million kWh (2004)

Electricity exports

0 kWh (2004)

Electricity imports

0 kWh (2004)

Oil production

0 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil consumption

230 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil exports

NA bbl/day

Oil imports

NA bbl/day

Oil proved reserves

0 bbl

Natural gas production

0 cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas consumption

0 cu m (2004 est.)


$125 million (2004 est.)

Exports commodities

wool, hides, meat, fish, squid

Exports partners

Spain 81.9%, US 6%, UK 4.5% (2006)


$90 million (2004 est.)

Imports commodities

fuel, food and drink, building materials, clothing

Imports partners

UK 72.5%, US 15.1%, Netherlands 8.5% (2006)

Debt external


Economic aid recipient

$0 (1997 est.)

Currency code

Falkland pound (FKP)

Exchange rates

Falkland pounds per US dollar - 0.5434 (2006), 0.5504 (2005), 0.5462 (2004), 0.6125 (2003), 0.6672 (2002)
note: the Falkland pound is at par with the British pound

Communications - Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas):

Fiscal year

1 April - 31 March

Telephones main lines in use

2,400 (2002)

Telephones mobile cellular

0 (2001)

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

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

103 (2006)

Internet users

1,900 (2002)

Transportation - Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas):


5 (2006)

Airports with paved runways

total: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2006)

Airports with unpaved runways

total: 3
under 914 m: 3 (2006)


total: 440 km
paved: 50 km
unpaved: 390 km (2003)

Ports and terminals


Military - Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas):

Military branches

no regular military forces

Military note

defense is the responsibility of the UK

Military expenditures percent of gdp


This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>

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Photo: Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

Photo: Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

Photo: Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

Photo: Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

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Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

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