Geographic and Governmental Profile of 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.
Northern Europe, island group between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, about half way between Iceland and Norway
Geographic coordinates
62 00 N, 7 00 W
Continent / Subcontinent
1,393 sq km
1,393 sq km
0 sq km (some lakes and streams)
Area - comparative
eight times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries
0 km
1,117 km
Maritime claims
territorial sea:
3 nm
continental shelf:
200 nm or agreed boundaries or median line
exclusive fishing zone:
200 nm or agreed boundaries or median line
mild winters, cool summers; usually overcast; foggy, windy
rugged, rocky, some low peaks; cliffs along most of coast
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point:
Slaettaratindur 882 m
Natural resources
fish, whales, hydropower, possible oil and gas
Land use
arable land:
permanent crops:
97.86% (2005)
Get Chart Code
Get Chart Code
Irrigated land
0 sq km
Natural hazards
Environment - current issues
Environment - international agreements
party to:
Marine Dumping - associate member to the London Convention and Ship Pollution
Geography - note
archipelago of 17 inhabited islands and one uninhabited island, and a few uninhabited islets; strategically located along important sea lanes in northeastern Atlantic; precipitous terrain limits habitation to small coastal lowlands
Country name
conventional long form:
conventional short form:
Faroe Islands
local long form:
local short form:
Dependency status
part of the Kingdom of Denmark; self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark since 1948
Government type
geographic coordinates:
62 00 N, 6 46 W
time difference:
UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time:
+1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions
none (part of the Kingdom of Denmark; self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark); there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are 34 municipalities
none (part of the Kingdom of Denmark; self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark)
National holiday
Olaifest (Olavsoka), 29 July
5 June 1953 (Danish Constitution)
Legal system
the laws of Denmark, where applicable, apply
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
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 Kaj Leo JOHANNESSEN (since 26 September 2008)
Landsstyri appointed by the prime minister
the monarchy is hereditary; high commissioner appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually elected prime minister by the Faroese Parliament; election last held on 14 November 2011 (next to be held no later than November 2015)
election results:
Kaj Leo JOHANNESSEN re-elected prime minister in 2011
Legislative branch
unicameral Faroese Parliament or Logting (33 seats; members elected by popular vote on a proportional basis from the seven constituencies to serve four-year terms)
last held on 29 October 2011 (next to be held no later than October 2015)
election results:
percent of vote by party - Union Party 24.7%, People's Party 22.5%, Republican Party 18.3%, Social Democratic Party 17.7%, Progressive Party 6.3%, Center Party 6.2%, Independence Party 4.2%, other 0.1%; seats by party - Union Party 8, People's Party 8, Republican Party 6, Social Democratic Party 6, Progressive Party 2, Center Party 2, Independence Party 1
election of two seats to the Danish Parliament was last held on 15 September 2011 (next to be held no later than September 2015); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Social Democratic Party 1, Union Party 1
Judicial branch
The Faroese Court or Raett (Rett (Danish)) decides both civil and criminal cases; the Court is part of the Danish legal system
Political parties and leaders
Center Party (Midflokkurin) [Jenis av RANA]; Independence Party (Sjalvstyrisflokkurin) [Kari P. HOJGAARD]; People's Party (Folkaflokkurin) [Jorgen NICLASEN]; Republican Party (Tjodveldisflokkurin) [Hogni HOYDAL]; Social Democratic Party (Javnadarflokkurin) [Aksel JOHANNESEN]; Union Party (Sambandsflokkurin) [Kaj Leo JOHANNESEN]
Political pressure groups and leaders
International organization participation
Arctic Council, IMO (associate), NC, NIB, UNESCO (associate), UPU
Diplomatic representation in the US
none (self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark)
Diplomatic representation from the US
none (self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark)
Flag description
white with a red cross outlined in blue extending to the edges of the flag; the vertical part of the cross is shifted toward the hoist side in the style of the Dannebrog (Danish flag); referred to as Merkid, meaning "the banner" or "the mark," the flag resembles those of neighboring Iceland and Norway, and uses the same three colors - but in a different sequence; white represents the clear Faroese sky as well as the foam of the waves; red and blue are traditional Faroese colors
National symbol(s)
National anthem
"Mitt alfagra land" (My Fairest Land)
Simun av SKAROI/Peter ALBERG
adopted 1948; the anthem is also known as "Tu alfagra land mitt" (Thou Fairest Land of Mine); as an autonomous overseas division of Denmark, the Faroe Islands are permitted their own national anthem
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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