The World Factbook (1990)/Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) (dependent territory of the UK)

World Factbook (1990) Falkland Islands.jpg

 See regional map IV


Total area: 12,170 km²; land area: 12,170 km²; includes the two main islands of East and West Falkland and about 200 small islands

Comparative area: slightly smaller than Connecticut

Land boundaries: none

Coastline: 1,288 km

Maritime claims:

Continental shelf: 100 meter depth
Exclusive fishing zone: 150 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm

Disputes: administered by the UK, claimed by Argentina

Climate: cold marine; strong westerly winds, cloudy, humid; rain occurs on more than half of days in year; occasional snow all year, except in January and February, but does not accumulate

Terrain: rocky, hilly, mountainous with some boggy, undulating plains

Natural resources: fish and wildlife

Land use: 0% arable land; 0% permanent crops; 99% meadows and pastures; 0% forest and woodland; 1% other

Environment: poor soil fertility and a short growing season

Note: deeply indented coast provides good natural harbors


Population: 1,958 (July 1990), growth rate 0.5% (1990)

Birth rate: NA births/1,000 population (1990)

Death rate: NA deaths/1,000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: NA migrants/1,000 population (1990)

Infant mortality rate: NA deaths/1,000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: NA years male, NA years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: NA children born/woman (1990)

Nationality: noun—Falkland Islander(s); adjective—Falkland Island

Ethnic divisions: almost totally British

Religion: primarily Anglican, Roman Catholic, and United Free Church; Evangelist Church, Jehovah's Witnesses, Lutheran, Seventh-Day Adventist

Language: English

Literacy: NA%, but compulsory education up to age 15

Labor force: 1,100 (est.); about 95% in agriculture, mostly sheepherding

Organized labor: Falkland Islands General Employees Union, 400 members


Long-form name: Colony of the Falkland Islands

Type: dependent territory of the UK

Capital: Stanley

Administrative divisions: none (dependent territory of the UK)

Independence: none (dependent territory of the UK)

Constitution: 3 October 1985

Legal system: English common law

National holiday: Liberation Day, 14 June (1982)

Executive branch: British monarch, governor, Executive Council

Legislative branch: unicameral Legislative Council

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Leaders: Chief of State—Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952);

Head of Government—Governor William Hugh FULLERTON (since NA 1988)

Political parties: NA

Suffrage: universal at age 18

Elections: Legislative Council—last held 3 October 1985 (next to be held October 1990); results—percent of vote by party NA; seats—(10 total, 8 elected) number of seats by party NA

Diplomatic representation: none (dependent territory of the UK)

Flag: blue with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Falkland Island coat of arms in a white disk centered on the outer half of the flag; the coat of arms contains a white ram (sheep raising is 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


Overview: The economy is based on sheep farming, which directly or indirectly employs most of the work force. A few dairy herds are kept to meet domestic consumption of milk and milk products, and crops grown are primarily those for providing winter fodder. Major sources of income are from the export of high-grade wool to the UK and the sale of stamps and coins. Rich stocks of fish in the surrounding waters are not presently exploited by the islanders, but development plans called for the islands to have six trawlers by 1989. In 1987 the government began to sell fishing licenses to foreign trawlers operating within the Falklands exclusive fishing zone. These license fees amount to more than $25 million per year. To encourage tourism, the Falkland Islands Development Corporation has built three lodges for visitors who are attracted by the abundant wildlife and trout fishing.

GNP: $NA, per capita $NA; real growth rate NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices): NA%

Unemployment rate: 0%

Budget: revenues $11 million; expenditures $11.8 million, including capital expenditures of $1.2 million (FY87)

Exports: at least $14.7 million; commodities—wool, hides and skins, and other; partners—UK, Netherlands, Japan (1987 est.)

Imports: at least $13.9 million; commodities—food, clothing, fuels, and machinery; partners—UK, Netherlands Antilles (Curaçao), Japan (1987 est.)

External debt: $NA

Industrial production: growth rate NA%

Electricity: 9,200 kW capacity; 17 million kWh produced, 8,700 kWh per capita (1989)

Industries: wool processing

Agriculture: predominantly sheep farming; small dairy herds and fodder crops

Aid: Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-87), $102 million

Currency: Falkland pound (plural—pounds); 1 Falkland pound (£F) = 100 pence

Exchange rates: Falkland pound (£F) per US$1—0.6055 (January 1990), 0.6099 (1989), 0.5614 (1988), 0.6102 (1987), 0.6817 (1986), 0.7714 (1985); note—the Falkland pound is at par with the British pound

Fiscal year: 1 April-31 March


Highways: 510 km total; 30 km paved, 80 km gravel, and 400 km unimproved earth

Ports: Port Stanley

Civil air: no major transport aircraft

Airports: 5 total, 5 usable; 2 with permanent-surface runways; none with runways over 3,659 m; 1 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; none with runways 1,220 to 2,439 m

Telecommunications: government-operated radiotelephone and private VHF/CB radio networks provide effective service to almost all points on both islands; 590 telephones; stations—2 AM, 3 FM, no TV; 1 Atlantic Ocean INTELSAT earth station with links through London to other countries

Defense Forces

Note: defense is the responsibility of the UK