The archipelgo's name may derive from the Old Norse word "faer," meaning sheep.

      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, and a high degree of self-government was attained in 1948.

      Because anticipated offshore hydrocarbon resources have not been realized, earlier Faroese proposals for full independence have been deferred; Iceland, the UK, and Ireland dispute Denmark's claim that the Faroe Islands' continental shelf extends beyond 200 nm.

      Chief of State: Queen Margrethe II of Denmark (since 14 January 1972), represented by High Commissioner Dan Michael Knudsen, chief administrative officer (since 2008).

      Head of government: Prime Minister Aksel V. Johannesen (since 15 September 2015).

      Olaifest (29 July) is the National holiday.

      Capital of Faroe Islands is Torshavn.

      Location: Northern Europe, island group between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, about one-half of the way from Iceland to Norway. The area is approximately 1,399 sq km of land (some lakes and streams). Terrain is rugged and rocky, with some low peaks; cliffs along most of coast. Faroe Islands climate consists of mild winters, and cool summers (usually overcast; foggy, windy).

      Population: About 50,456 people live on the Faroe Islands.
      Archipelago (sea of many islands) with 17 inhabited islands, one uninhabited island, and a few uninhabited islets; strategically located along important sea lanes in northeastern Atlantic. The precipitous terrain limits habitation to small coastal lowlands. The majority of residents are Faroese (singular and plural). The ethnic group is Scandinavian. Main languages spoken are Faroese (derived from Old Norse), and Danish.

      Religions: Evangelical Lutheran (Main), other and unspecified.

      Agriculture: Products include milk, potatoes, vegetables; sheep; salmon and other fish.

      Exports (commodities): Products include fish, stamps, and ships.

      Economy: The Faroese economy is dependent on fishing, which makes the economy vulnerable to price swings. The sector normally accounts for about 95% of exports and nearly half of GDP. In early 2008 the Faroese economy began to slow as a result of smaller catches and historically high oil prices. The slowdown in the Faroese economy followed a strong performance since the mid-1990s with annual growth rates averaging close to 6%, mostly a result of increased fish landings and salmon farming, and high export prices.

      Total dependence on fishing and salmon farming make the Faroese economy vulnerable to fluctuations in world demand. Initial discoveries of oil in the Faroese area give hope for eventual oil production, which may provide a foundation for a more diversified economy and less dependence on Danish economic assistance.

      The Faroese have a standard of living not far below the Danes and other Scandinavians.

      Currency: The Danish krone (DKK).

      Faroe Island's flag shall take you back

      Source~The World Factbook

      This page was last updated on 02 February, 2018