Facts about the Faroe Islands

Nes, Hvalba
Photographer
Erik Christensen, Nes, Hvalba
Fisheries and rugged scenery characterise the Faroe Islands, an archipelago in the North Atlantic.

The Faroe Islands – 18 islands of various sizes connected by tunnels and ferries – is one of three autonomous territories in the Nordic Region. The landscape is rugged with steep cliffs, grassy ridges and a very few trees.

Politics

The Faroe Islands are part of the Kingdom of Denmark but have extensive home rule. The parliament, known as Lagtinget, is the highest authority in the islands. The country is not a member of the EU, but has entered into a fisheries and trading agreement with the Union.

  • National day: July 29 (Ólavsøka)
  • Form of government: Home rule – within the kingdom of Denmark
  • Parliament: Lagtinget (33 MPs)
  • EU membership: No
  • NATO membership: Since 1949 (as part of Denmark)
  • Head of state: Queen Margrethe II
  • Head of government (since September 2019): Bárður á Steig Nielsen (Sambandsflokkurin/Union Party)

Population

The population of the Faroe Islands is 52,967, almost half of whom live in the capital, Tórshavn.

  • Population in 2020: 52,967 (January 2021)
  • Population of the capital in 2017: 22,371 in the area covered by Tórshavn Council (1)

Population trend

Economy

Fishing is by far the most important industry in the Faroe Islands, and about 90% of exports consist of fishery products. Shipping and tourism are other important industries.

  • Currency: Danish krone (DKK)

Geography

The Faroes consist of 18 islands. At 1,400 km2, it has the smallest landmass of the three autonomous territories in the Nordic Region.

  • Total area: 1,396 km2
  • Highest point: Slættartindur 880 m
  • Coastline: 1,117 km
  • Borders: 0 km
  • Lakes and rivers: 9 km2

Climate and environment

The Faroe Islands have mild winters and cool summers. Weather and precipitation levels vary greatly from island to island, with most rainfall in the north.

  • Average temperature Tórshavn (2019): 7.1°C (max. 19.1°C, min. -5.3°C)
  • Normal precipitation Tórshavn (1981-2010): 1,321 mm

Average temperature Tórshavn, the Faroe Islands

Faroese

Faroese, like Danish, Norwegian, Swedish and Icelandic, is a North Germanic language. About 70,000 people speak it.

  • Official language: Faroese

Interested in moving to the Faroe Islands?

If you are interested in moving to the Faroe Islands, contact Info Norden, the Nordic Council of Ministers’ information service.

Do you want to know more about the Faroe Islands and the rest of the Nordic countries?

The report State of the Nordic Region is published every two years and provides a comprehensive and unique insight into the Nordic countries. It draws on statistical data on demographics, the labour market, education and the economy in the Region.

Interested in more statistics?

We have collated relevant Nordic data and statistics in the Nordic Statistics database. The database covers multiple subject areas and all of the Nordic countries.

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1) Tórshavn Council covers six areas that are geographically separated from the capital and not, therefore, considered part of it.