Faroe Islands

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Faroe Islands
Føroyar (Faroese)
Færøerne (Danish)
Anthem: Tú alfagra land mítt
Thou, my most beauteous land
Location of the Faroe Islands in Northern Europe
Location of the Faroe Islands in Northern Europe
Capital
and largest city
Tórshavn
62°00′N 06°47′W / 62°N 6.783°W / 62; -6.783
Official languages Faroese, Danish[1]
Ethnic groups 91% Faroese
5.8% Danish
0.7% British
0.4% Icelanders
0.2% Norwegian
0.2% Poles
Demonym Faroese
Government Parliamentary democracy within a constitutional monarchy
 -  Queen Margrethe II
 -  High Commissioner Dan M. Knudsen
 -  Prime Minister Kaj Leo Johannesen
Autonomy within the Kingdom of Denmark
 -  Unified with Norway[a] 1035 
 -  Ceded to Denmark[b] 14 January 1814 
 -  Home rule 1 April 1948 
Area
 -  Total 1,399 km2 (180th)
540 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) 0.5
Population
 -  July 2011 estimate 49,267 [2] (206th)
 -  2007 census 48,760
 -  Density 35/km2
91/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2008 estimate
 -  Total $1.642 billion
 -  Per capita $33,700
GDP (nominal) 2008 estimate
 -  Total $2.45 billion
 -  Per capita $50,300
HDI (2006) 0.943[c]
very high
Currency Faroese króna[d] (DKK)
Time zone WET (UTC+0)
 -  Summer (DST) WEST (UTC+1)
Calling code 298
Internet TLD .fo
a. ^  Danish monarchy reached the Faeroes in 1380 with the reign of Olav IV in Norway.

b. ^  The Faeroes, Greenland and Iceland were formally Norwegian possessions until 1814 despite 400 years of Danish monarchy beforehand.
c. ^  Information for Denmark including the Faroe Islands and Greenland.

d. ^  The currency, printed with Faroese motifs, is issued at par with the Danish krone, incorporates the same security features and uses the same sizes and standards as Danish coins and banknotes. Faroese krónur (singular króna) use the Danish ISO 4217 code "DKK".
Faroe Islands NASA satellite image.
Map of the Faroe Islands

The Faroe Islands or Føroyar (that meaning "Sheep Islands") are a group of eighteen islands in the north Atlantic Ocean between Scotland, Norway, and Iceland.

They are a part of the Kingdom of Denmark, but have had local (autocratic) rule since 1948, and people in the Faroe Islands have had the right to do business with people from all countries since 1856. Most government matters are controlled by the Faroese government, except for military defense. The Faroes have similarities to Iceland, Shetland, the Orkney Islands, the Outer Hebrides and Greenland. The island group, or archipelago, left Norway in 1815. The Faroes have their own representatives in the Nordic Council.

Regions and municipalities[change | change source]

Administratively, the islands are divided into 34 municipalities within which there are 120 or so cities and villages. Traditionally, there are also the six sýslur ("regions"; Norðoyar, Eysturoy, Streymoy, Vágar, Sandoy and Suðuroy).

Geography[change | change source]

The uninhabited island Lítla Dímun.

The Faroe Islands are eighteen islands off the coast of Northern Europe, between the Norwegian Sea and the north Atlantic Ocean. Its area is 1,399 square kilometres (540 sq. mi), and has no major lakes or rivers. There are 1,117 kilometres (694 mi) of coastline, and no land boundaries with any other country. The only island that does not have anybody living on it is Lítla Dímun.

Distances to nearest countries and islands[change | change source]

Economy[change | change source]

Fish, raising sheep, and tourism are important parts of the economy of the Faroe Islands. The economy was in trouble around 1990. Unemployment decreased in the later 1990s. It was down to about 6% at the end of 1998.[3] By June 2008 unemployment had declined to 1.1%, before rising to 3.4% in early 2009.[3] However, since fishing is so important to the economy, if there are problems with fishing, the economy could be in trouble Since 2000, new business projects have been created in the Faroe Islands to attract new investment. The introduction of Burger King in Tórshavn was widely publicized but no one knows how things will go for this company. Trades on the Faroer are easy by the bridges or the tunnels that connect 80% of the population in the islands.

Faroese sheep, Hvalba.
The new ferry Smyril enters the Faroe Islands

Population (1327-2004)[change | change source]

Year Inhabitants
1327 ca. 4,000
1350 ca. 2,000
1769 4,773
1801 5,255
1834 6,928
1840 7,314
1845 7,782
1850 8,137
1855 8,651
1880 11,220
1900 15,230
1911 ca. 18,800
1925 22,835
1950 31,781
Year Inhabitants
1970 ca. 38,000
1975 40,441
1985 45,749
1989 47,787
1995 43,358
1996 43,784
1997 44,262
1998 44,817
1999 45,409
2000 46,196
2001 46,996
2002 47,704
2003 48,214
2004 48,353

Culture[change | change source]

Ólavsøka[change | change source]

The annual ólavsøka parade on the 28th of July

The national holiday Ólavsøka, is on 29 July. It commemorates the death of Saint Olaf. The celebrations are held in Tórshavn. They start on the evening of the 28th, and go until 31 July.

The official part of the celebration starts on the 29th, with the opening of the Faroese Parliament. In the day there is a procession with many people from the churches in the islands.

The Nordic House in the Faroe Islands[change | change source]

The Nordic House in the Faroe Islands (Faroese: Norðurlandahúsið) is the most important cultural institution in the Faroes. It supports Nordic and Faroese culture, locally and in the Nordic region. The House is managed by a director changed every four years.

Music[change | change source]

In the islands there are many artists and musicians, with the most famous listed below:

Musicians:

Bands:

In the Islands,there are music festivals,where international musicians participating, like

Food[change | change source]

Traditional Faroese food is mainly based on meat and potatoes and uses few fresh vegetables. A very important meat in the islands is lamb, the first ingredient of many dishes. Other typical dishes from the islands are fresh fish, blubber, whale, seabirds, and Faroese puffins and their eggs.

Climate[change | change source]

The climate is defined as Maritime Subarctic, with not hot summers, and with cold winters. Usually there is fog or a heavy wind that causes air traffic problems.

Animals and vegetation in the islands[change | change source]

Many species of birds live sometimes in the islands, like Eider, Starling, Wren, Guillemot, and Black Guillemot. Only a few species of wild land seals live in the Faroe Islands today, the Grey Seals. Sometimes tourists can see whales,in the waters near the islands. Grey Seals are very common around the Faroese shores. The natural vegetation of the Faroe Islands is like in the Scottish islands or in Ireland. It is mostly wild flowers, grasses, moss and lichen.

Other websites[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Statistical Facts about the Faroe Islands, http://www.tinganes.fo/Default.aspx?ID=219, The Prime Minister's Office. Retrieved 13 July 2011.
  2. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/fo.html CIA - The World Factbook. Retrieved 13 July 2011. Archived 1 February 2010 at WebCite
  3. 3.0 3.1 Statistics Faroe Islands; Labour Market and Wages, accessed 4 August 2009