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Faroe islands

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Introduction - Faroe Islands:
CountryFaroe Islands

BackgroundThe 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.

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

Geographic coordinates62 00 N, 7 00 W

Map referencesEurope

Areatotal: 1,399 sq km
land: 1,399 sq km
water: 0 sq km (some lakes and streams)

Area comparativeeight times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries0 km

Coastline1,117 km

Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 3 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or agreed boundaries or median line
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm or agreed boundaries or median line

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

Terrainrugged, rocky, some low peaks; cliffs along most of coast

Elevation extremeslowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Slaettaratindur 882 m

Natural resourcesfish, whales, hydropower, possible oil and gas

Land usearable land: 2.14%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 97.86% (2005)

Irrigated land0 sq km

Natural hazardsNA

Environment current issuesNA

Environment international agreementsparty to: Marine Dumping -associate member to the London Convention and Ship Pollution

Geography notearchipelago 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

People - Faroe Islands:
Population47,511 (July 2007 est.)

Age structure0-14 years: 20.6% (male 4,882/female 4,904)
15-64 years: 65.3% (male 16,353/female 14,668)
65 years and over: 14.1% (male 3,041/female 3,663) (2007 est.)

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

Median agetotal: 35 years
male: 34.8 years
female: 35.3 years (2007 est.)

Population growth rate0.543% (2007 est.)

Birth rate14.12 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Death rate8.69 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Net migration rate0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Sex ratioat birth: 1 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 0.996 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.115 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.83 male(s)/female
total population: 1.045 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Infant mortality ratetotal: 6.01 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 7.25 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.76 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)

Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 79.49 years
male: 76.06 years
female: 82.93 years (2007 est.)

Total fertility rate2.15 children born/woman (2007 est.)

Hiv aids adult prevalence rateNA

Hiv aids people living with hiv aidsNA

Hiv aids deathsNA

Nationalitynoun: Faroese (singular and plural)
adjective: Faroese

Ethnic groupsScandinavian

ReligionsEvangelical Lutheran

LanguagesFaroese (derived from Old Norse), Danish

Literacydefinition: NA
total population: NA%
male: NA%
female: NA%
note: probably 100%, the same as Denmark proper

Government - Faroe Islands:
Country nameconventional long form: none
conventional short form: Faroe Islands
local long form: none
local short form: Foroyar

Government typeNA

Capitalname: 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 divisionsnone (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

Independencenone (part of the Kingdom of Denmark; self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark)

National holidayOlaifest (Olavasoka), 29 July

Constitution5 June 1953 (Danish constitution)

Legal systemthe laws of Denmark, where applicable, apply

Suffrage18 years of age; universal

Executive branchchief of state: Queen MARGRETHE II of Denmark (since 14 January 1972), represented by High Commissioner Birgit KLEIS, chief administrative officer (since 1 November 2001)
head of government: Prime Minister Joannes EIDESGAARD (since 3 February 2004)
cabinet: Landsstyri appointed by the prime minister
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 20 January 2004 (next to be held no later than January 2008)
election results: Joannes EIDESGAARD elected prime minister; percent of parliamentary vote - NA

Legislative branchunicameral Faroese Parliament or Logting (32 seats; members are elected by popular vote on a proportional basis from the seven constituencies to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 20 January 2004 (next to be held no later than January 2008)
election results: percent of vote by party - Union Party 23.7%, Social Democratic Party 21.8%, Republican Party 21.7%, Peoples Party 20.6%, Center Party 5.2%, Independence Party 4.6%, other 2.4%; seats by party - Republican Party 8, Union Party 7, Social Democratic Party 7, Peoples Party 7, Center Party 2, Independence Party 1
note: election of two seats to the Danish Parliament was last held on 8 February 2005 (next to be held in February 2009); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Republican Party 1, Peoples Party 1

Judicial branchnone

Political parties and leadersCenter Party [Jenis A. RANA]; Independence Party [Kari P. HOJGAARD]; Peoples Party [Anfinn KALLSBERG]; Republican Party [Hogni HOYDAL]; Social Democratic Party [Joannes EIDESGAARD]; Union Party [Kaj Leo JOHANNESEN]

Political pressure groups and leadersNA

International organization participationArctic Council, IMO (associate), NC, NIB, UPU

Diplomatic representation in the usnone (self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark)

Diplomatic representation from the usnone (self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark)

Flag descriptionwhite 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)

Economy - Faroe Islands:
Economy overviewThe Faroese economy is dependent on fishing, which makes the economy vulnerable to price swings. Since 2003 the Faroese economy has picked up as a result of higher prices for fish and for housing. Unemployment is minimal and government finances are relatively sound. Oil finds close to the Islands give hope for economically recoverable deposits, which could eventually lay the basis for a more diversified economy and lessen dependence on Danish economic assistance. Aided by a substantial annual subsidy (about 15% of GDP) from Denmark, the Faroese have a standard of living not far below the Danes and other Scandinavians.

Gdp purchasing power parity $1 billion (2001 est.)

Gdp official exchange rate $1.7 billion (2005 est.)

Gdp real growth rate2.4% (2005 est.)

Gdp per capita ppp $31,000 (2001 est.)

Gdp composition by sectoragriculture: 27%
industry: 11%
services: 62% (1999)

Labor force24,250 (October 2000)

Labor force by occupationagriculture: 33%
industry: 33%
services: 34%

Unemployment rate2.1% (2006)

Population below poverty lineNA%

Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate consumer prices 1.8% (2005)

Budgetrevenues: $588 million
expenditures: $623 million; including capital expenditures of $34 million (2005)

Agriculture productsmilk, potatoes, vegetables; sheep; salmon, other fish

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

Industrial production growth rate8% (1999 est.)

Electricity production292.6 million kWh (2004)

Electricity consumption272.1 million kWh (2004)

Electricity exports0 kWh (2004)

Electricity imports0 kWh (2004)

Oil production0 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil consumption4,550 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil exportsNA bbl/day

Oil importsNA bbl/day

Oil proved reserves0 bbl

Natural gas production0 cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas consumption0 cu m (2004 est.)

Exports$598 million f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Exports commoditiesfish and fish products 94%, stamps, ships (1999)

Exports partnersDenmark 31.6%, UK 26.8%, Norway 10.1%, Nigeria 9.2%, Netherlands 5.4% (2006)

Imports$639 million c.i.f. (2004 est.)

Imports commoditiesconsumer goods 36%, raw materials and semi-manufactures 32%, machinery and transport equipment 29%, fuels, fish, salt (1999)

Imports partnersDenmark 52.4%, Norway 20.4%, Iceland 5.9%, Sweden 4.2% (2006)

Debt external$64 million (1999)

Economic aid recipient$105 million; note - annual subsidy from Denmark (2005)

Currency code Danish krone (DKK)

Exchange ratesDanish kroner per US dollar - 5.9468 (2006), 5.9969 (2005), 5.9911 (2004), 6.5877 (2003), 7.8947 (2002)

Communications - Faroe Islands:
Fiscal yearcalendar year

Telephones main lines in use23,000 (2006)

Telephones mobile cellular50,000 (2006)

Telephone systemgeneral 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: 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

Radio broadcast stationsAM 1, FM 13, shortwave 0 (1998)

Television broadcast stations3 (plus 43 repeaters) (September 1995)

Internet country code.fo

Internet hosts6,915 (2006)

Internet users34,000 (2006)

Transportation - Faroe Islands:
Airports1 (2006)

Airports with paved runwaystotal: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2006)

Roadwaystotal: 458 km
note: no roads between towns (2003)

Merchant marinetotal: 18 ships (1000 GRT or over) 19,265 GRT/9,171 DWT
by type: cargo 10, container 2, passenger/cargo 4, petroleum tanker 2
foreign-owned: 8 (Iceland 4, Norway 4) (2006)

Ports and terminalsTorshavn

Military - Faroe Islands:
Military branchesno regular military forces

Manpower available for military servicemales age 18-49: 10,695 (2005 est.)

Manpower fit for military servicemales age 18-49: 8,852 (2005 est.)

Military notedefense is the responsibility of Denmark

Manpower reaching military service age annuallymales age 18-49: 366 (2005 est.)

Military expenditures percent of gdpNA

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