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The World Factbook (1982)/Faroe Islands


World Factbook (1982) Faroe Islands.jpg
(See reference map V)


1,340 km2; less than 5% arable, of which only a fraction cultivated; archipelago consisting of 18 inhabited islands and a few uninhabited islets


Limits of territorial waters (claimed): 3 nm; fishing 200 nm

Coastline: 764 km


Population: 45,000 (July 1982), average annual growth rate 1.2% (current)

Nationality: noun—Faroese (sing., pl.); adjective—Faroese

Ethnic divisions: homogeneous white population

Religion: Evangelical Lutheran

Languages: Faroese (derived from Old Norse), Danish

Literacy: 99%

Labor force: 15,000; largely engaged in fishing, manufacturing, transportation, and commerce


Official name: Faroe Islands

Type: self-governing province within the Kingdom of Denmark; 2 representatives in Danish parliament

Capital: Torshavn on the island of Streymoy

Political subdivisions: 7 districts, 49 communes, 1 town

Legal system: based on Danish law; Home Rule Act enacted 1948

Branches: legislative authority rests jointly with Crown, acting through appointed High Commissioner,' and 32-members provincial parliament (Lagting) in matters of strictly Faroese concern; executive power vested in Crown, acting through High Commissioner, but exercised by provincial cabinet responsible to provincial parliament

Government leaders: Queen MARGRETHE II; Lagmand (Chairman) Pauli ELLEFSEN; Danish Governor Leif GROTH

Suffrage: universal, but not compulsory, over age 21

Elections: held every four years; most recent, 8 November 1980

Political parties and leaders: Coalition, Pauli Effefsen; Peoples, Jogvan Sundstein; Republican, Erlendur Patursson; Home Rule, Tobjern Poulsen; Progressive and Fishermen's, Adolf Hansen; Social Democratic, Atli Dam

Voting strength (1980 election): Coalition, 23.8%; Social Democratic, 21.7%; Republican, 17.0%; Peoples, 17.9%; Home Rule, 8.4%; Progressive and Fishermen's, 8.2%

Communists: insignificant number

Member of: Nordic Council


GDP: $420.8 million (1979), about $8,280 per capita

Agriculture: sheep and cattle grazing

Fishing: catch 261,800 metric tons (1979); exports, $131.6 million (1979 est.)

Major industry: fishing

Electric power: 48,000 kW capacity (1980); 90 million kWh produced (1980), 2,140 kWh per capita

Exports: $150.7 million (f.o.b., 1979); mostly fish and fish products

Imports: $205 8 million (c.i.f., 1979); machinery and transport equipment, petroleum and petroleum products, food products

Major trade partners: 48.1% Denmark, 8.9% US, 8.6% Norway, 8.1% UK (1978)

Budget: (FY78) expenditures $73.3 million, revenues $73.3 million

Monetary conversion rate: 5.261 Danish Kroner=US$1

Fiscal year: calendar year beginning 1 January 1979


Railroads: none

Highways: 200 km

Ports: 1 minor

Civil air: no major transport aircraft

Airfields: 1 with permanent-surface runways 1,220-2,439m

Telecommunications: good international communications; fair domestic facilities; 15,000 telephones (35 per 100 popl.); 1 AM and 3 FM stations; 3 coaxial submarine cables


Military manpower: males 15-49 included with Denmark