Faroe Islands

Constituent part of the ‌Kingdom of Denmark
Flag of the Faroe Islands Coat of Arms of the Faroe Islands
Tú alfagra land mítt
Location of the Faroe Islands
Government Autonomous constituent country and parliamentary democracy
- 1948-1972Frederik IX
- From 1972Margrethe II
Legislature Løgting
March 30, 1948Self-government
June 5, 1953Constitution of Denmark
Area1,399 km²
- 201048,917
GDP2010 (PPP)
- TotalUS$ 1.6 billion
- Per capitaUS$ 33,700
CurrencyFaroese króna
Flag of None Denmark–Norway

The Faroe Islands is a constituent part of the Kingdom of Denmark located in Northern Europe, between the Norwegian Sea (|) and the North Atlantic Ocean (|). Faroese nationals are citizens of Denmark, and even if Danish citizens also are citizens of the European Union, they are not able to exercise any those provisions as long as they reside in the Faroe Islands.


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. A high degree of self government was granted the Faroese in 1948, who have autonomy over most internal affairs while Denmark is responsible for justice, defense, and foreign affairs. The Faroe Islands are not part of the European Union.[1]


The Faroese economy is dependent on fishing, which makes the economy vulnerable to price swings. The sector 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 that continue to trouble the economy. Though oil prices have come down, reduced catches, especially of cod and haddock, have continued to strain the Faroese economy. GDP grew 0.5% in 2008-09. 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. Unemployment reached its lowest level in the first half of 2008, but increased to 3.9% in 2009 and is rising. The Faroese Home Rule Government produced increasing budget surpluses that helped to reduce the large public debt, most of it to Denmark. However, total dependence on fishing and salmon farming make the Faroese economy very vulnerable to fluctuations in world demand. In addition, budget surpluses turned to deficits in 2008-09, and the economy at both the country and local level is running large deficits. 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. Aided by an annual subsidy from Denmark amounting to about 6% of Faroese GDP, the Faroese have a standard of living almost equal to that of Denmark and Greenland.[2]


  • Frederik IX () (March 30, 1948 - January 14, 1972)
  • Margrethe II () (January 14, 1972 - )


Danish Polities

Neighbouring Nations


  1. The CIA World Factbook: Introduction - Background
  2. The CIA World Factbook: Economy - Overview