Location: Northern Europe. An island group situated in the North Atlantic Ocean between Iceland, Scotland and Norway.
Geographic coordinates: 62 00 N, 7 00 W
Geography: Archipelago of which 17 inhabited islands; 1399 square kilometres; strategically located along important sea lanes in north eastern Atlantic.
Climate: Mild winters, cool summers; usually overcast, foggy and windy.
Population: Roughly 48.000
Capital: Tórshavn; population roughly 19.500
Language: Faroese is the national language, rooted in Old Norse. Nordic languages are understood by most Faroese, and English is also widely spoken.
Government: Part of the Kingdom of Denmark; self-governing territory within the Kingdom of Denmark since 1948. The leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually elected prime minister by the Faroese Parliament. The cabinet “Landsstyri” is appointed by the prime minister. The Faroese Parliament “Løgting”, has 32 seats.
Religion: Evangelical Lutheran Church: 80% - Christian Brethren (Plymouth Brethren):10 %
Background: The first settlers were Irish monks who arrived in the 7th century. The population of the Faroe Islands is largely descended from Viking settlers who arrived in the 9th century. The islands were colonized by Norway in 1035. The islands have been connected politically to Denmark since 1380. The islands were colonized by Denmark in 1814.
Core industries include fishing, fish processing, shipbuilding, construction, maritime services and handicrafts.
GDP: Roughly DKK10billion. GDP per capita ranking: nr. 20. The Faroese economy is dependent on fishing, which makes the economy vulnerable to price swings. Aided by a substantial annual subsidy from Denmark, the Faroese have a standard of living not far below the Danes and other Scandinavians.
More information available at www.trade.fo