Faroe Islands

ABOUT Faroe Islands

Country Briefs: A place caressed by nature and blessed with divinely beauty, Faroe Islands are unknown to none. The charisma of these wonderful islands is breathtaking. No wonder that the mesmerizing beauty of these islands enchants every visitor.

Faroe Islands are basically a chain or cluster of islands that lie in the North Atlantic Ocean and in between Scotland, Norway and Iceland. The Faroe Islands are also referred to as "Sheep Islands" or simply Faroes.

The Faroe Islands cover a small area of around thirteen hundred square kilometers on globe and the population here is not more than fifty thousand people.

The capital city of the Faroe Islands is Torshavn, a territory of Denmark. This is because of the fact that the Faroe Islands have served as an autonomous region of kingdom of Denmark since 1948. Till date the defense and foreign affairs matters of Faroe Islands are not separate from the kingdom of Denmark.

If we ponder over the past of the Faroe Islands we find that the first settlement began in this region around 9th century. The foremost inhabitants were the emigrants who left Norway due to the terror of the founder and the first king of Norway, Harald Fairhair.

The Norwegians dominated the Faroe Islands till 1380 after which Norway entered into a union with Denmark. This union resulted in a double monarchy of Denmark-Norway in the region. The Kingdom of Denmark- Norway that meant the conjoining of two separate nations as one comprised of Denmark and Norway and also Norwegian territories of Iceland, Greenland and Faroe Islands.

However the Denmark- Norway unification broke up with the Treaty of Kiel in 1814. Though the treaty was never actually implemented it segregated Norway from Denmark. Consequently the Faroe Islands came under the governance of Denmark.

Faroe Islands acquired their much known modern fishery after the abolition of monopoly trade over them in 1856. In 1888 the Faroes protested and struggled to have their own national language, the Faroese language.

The spirit of nationalism grew stronger with time and a consequence of which was the formation of the political parties of Faroe Islands around 1906.

In 1940 Faroe Islands witnessed another great change. As Denmark was invaded by the Nazi Germany under the Weserubung operation during that time, the Faroe Islands were captured by the British troops. The British forces over the cluster of islands saved them from becoming a victim of disastrous German invasion.

Under the British rule the famous Vagar Airport of the Faroes was constructed.

Around 1942-43, after the Second World War the British ceded the possession of Faroe Islands back to Denmark.

But in 1948 a home rule regime was implemented that granted a high degree of local autonomy to the Faores.


In 1973 The Faroes did not accompany Denmark in becoming a member nation of the European Union.

In 1990 the highly beneficial fishing industry of Faroe Islands collapsed and the islands confronted economic crisis.

However over the years Faroe Islands have stabilized their economy and have undergone remarkable development in various spheres.

Faroe Islands Regions
Region HASC Population Area(km.²) Area(mi.²) Faroese
Norderøerne FO.NO 5,814 241 93 Norðoya
Østerø FO.OS 9,998 286 111 Eysturoyar
Sandø FO.SA 2,615 125 48 Sandoyar
Strømø FO.ST 20,562 392 151 Streymoyar
Suderø Nordre FO.SN 2,684 97 37 Suðuroyar Norðra
Suderø Søndre FO.SS 2,287 70 27 Suðuroyar Sunnara
Vågø FO.VG 1,449 188 73 Vága
7 regions   45,409 1,399 540  
  • Region: Region names in Danish.
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
  • Population: 1999-12-31; population figures were compiled from population registers.
  • Faroese: Region names in Faroese.
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