Faroe Islands Identity Card

Country name:
~ conventional form: Faroe Islands
~ local form: Foroyar
Area: 1,399 sq km
Coastline: 1,117 km
Highest point: Slaettaratindur 882 m
Population: 46,962
Density: 33/km2
Population growth rate: 0.62%
Language: Faroese, Danish
Religions: Evangelical Lutheran
Government type: self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark
Capital: Tórshavn
GDP - per capita: $22,000
Inflation rate: 5.1%
Currency (code): Danish krone (DKK)
Vehicle Country Id-Code: FR
Calling code: +298
Internet country code: .fo
Time Zone: + 0.0 H



The other name for a conglomeration of Islands in between the North Atlantic Ocean and the Norwegian Sea is Faroe Island. Comprising of 18 islands, Faroe Islands is not attached with any other country with a land border. This island, better known as a “romantic escape” is featured by rocky and uneven surface. Inhabited mostly by citizens having Scandinavian descent, the official language of Faroe Island is Faroese. However, Danish and English are the two most widely spoken languages in this island.
These groups of island generally enjoy cool summers and mild winters and often experience heavy wind and fog. The islands are separated into 34 municipalities, which comprises of 120 cities and villages. Conventionally, there are also the 6 syslur (Norooyar, Eysturoy, Streymoy, Vagar, Sandoy and Suouroy). Sysla denotes district and although it is only a police district nowadays, it is still universally understood as a geographical region. In former times, each sysla had an own ting, the so-called varting (spring ting).
In recent times, elections are held in the municipality: on national level for the Logting, and inside the Kingdom of Denmark for the Folketing. For the Logting elections there are 7 electoral districts, each one comprehending asyslur, while Streymoy is separated in a northern and southern part.
The Faroe Islands are not components of the EU, as clearly emphasized by both the Rome treaties. Moreover, it was clearly stated in a protocol to the treaty of attainment of Denmark to the European Communities that Danish national inhabitants of the Faroe Islands will be denied the “Danish nationals” status as per the underlying statement of the treaties and thus, not considered as lawful citizens of the European Union. The Faroes are however covered by the Schengen free movement agreement.


In the coast of Northern Europe, in between the North Atlantic Ocean and the Norwegian Sea, there are 18 islands, which are known as the Faroe Islands. Situated at 62°00′ N 06°47′ W, it covers 1,399 sq. Kms. in area and does not have any major river or lake. Faroe Islands does not have land border with any other country. Among the 18 islands, Lítla Dímun is the only island that is still unoccupied. There are 1,117 km of coastline and it falls between Scotland, Norway and Iceland. The islands are uneven and rocky with some low peaks and cliffs mostly border the coasts. The highest point is Slættaratindur, which is 882 metres above sea level.


Faroe Islands is normally featured by pleasant cold summers and meek winters. But the biggest climatic hindrance to transport and communication in Faroe Island is the excessive amount of fog and torrential winds. Since the foggy skyline and windy aura is recurrent almost throughout the whole year, the schedules of the flights running to and from this archipelago are often hampered.

View of Gjogv


The early history of the Faroe Islands is quite apparent. In 9th century many people left Norway to escape the wrath of the tyrant Harald I and settled in these islands. In the early part of the 11th century king of Norway Olaf Tryggvason sent Sigmund to take control of these islands. Previously Sigmund lived in the southern islands, but invaders from the north almost wiped them out of the Faroe Islands. He brought Christianity to these islands and helped Norwegians to uphold their domination. But soon he was murdered. Norwegian rule went on till 1386, before Faroe Islands became part of the Kalmar Union and later on the double monarchy Denmark–Norway. Eventually reformation reached the Faroe Island in 1568. But, later on Denmark became the soul-ruling nation of the Faroe Islands according to the Treaty of Kiel in 1814.
In 1856, the monopoly trade over the Faroe Islands was closed down. Since then, Faroe Islands have developed towards a modern fishery nation. The first struggle for identity had a cultural orientation. In 1888, the fight started for recognition of Faroese language.
On April 12, 1940, the Faroes Islands came under the control of British troops. This happened after Denmark was invaded by Nazi Germany. In 1942–43 the British Royal Engineers constructed the only airport in the Faroes, the Vagar Airport. After the war Denmark got control of the islands, but in 1948 a home rule regime was put into practice granting a high degree of local self-government. The Faroes Island refused to join Denmark in entering the European Community in 1973. As an obvious consequence of the shattering of the fishing industry in the first half of 1990s, the island’s economy went to a topsy-turvy state. But by dint of determination, it has regained the strength and the island is now all set to claim independence.


After undergoing severe economic crisis in the early 1990s, the Faroe Islands have come back in recent years, with unemployment rate cut down to 5% in mid-1998. But the vulnerability of the economy is deep set in the fact that it is still overtly dependent on fishing as the only means of earning. The only solution to this can be complete make over of the perspective of the inhabitant in this regard so that they can wide open their eyes and think about implementing modern technologies like newer fish-processing plants etc. Petroleum is another natural resource found close to the Faroese area.
Since the new millennium, fresh business plans and Information Technology have been promoted in the Faroe Islands to draw new investments. The result from these ventures is not yet known. But certainly everyone is hoping that this will bring a better market economy to the Faroe Islands.
Though the Faroes have a low unemployment rate, this is actually not a sign of an improving economy. Many young students are moving to Denmark and other countries once they complete high school. Consequently, the island is left with middle-aged and aged population on a whole whoever not fit enough to suit the IT ball game both in terms of theoretical as well as practical know-how.


Presently in Faroe Island, two systems of election are predominant. On the one hand, elections are held in the municipalities on a national level for the Logting and on the other it is conducted within the Kingdom of Denmark for the Folketing. For the Logting elections there are 7 electoral districts, each one comprehend asyslur, while Streymoy is separated in a northern and southern part.
The political structure of this island rests the executive power in the hands of the Government for taking care of every affair that is taking place in the local government. The Head of the government is better known as Logmaour or Prime Minister in English. Any other members of the cabinet are called a landsstýrismaour.




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