The Faroe Islands in Brief

Located half way between Scotland and Iceland in the Northeast Atlantic, the Faroe Islands are an archipelago of 18 mountainous islands, with a total land area of 1,399 square kilometres, a sea area of 274,000 square kilometres and a population of 50,000.

The language of the Faroe Islands is Faroese. It is a Nordic language, which derives from the language of the Norsemen, who settled in the islands some 1200 years ago. The name Føroyar (Faroe Islands) is derived from old Norse and means Sheep Islands, a name given by the Viking age settlers.

The Faroe Islands are a self-governing nation under the external sovereignty of the Kingdom of Denmark. Faroe Islands have exclusive competence to legislate and govern independently in a wide range of areas. These include for example the conservation and management of living marine resources, protection of the environment, sub-surface resources, trade, taxation, industrial relations, energy, transport, communications, social security, culture, education and research.

A treaty between the Faroe Islands and Denmark enacted in legislation provides Faroese autonomy in foreign relations. Although Denmark is a member state of the European Union, the Faroe Islands have chosen to remain outside the Union. Accordingly, the Faroe Islands negotiate their own trade and fisheries agreements with the EU and other countries, and participate actively in a range of international fisheries management arrangements and organisations.

The population is scattered over 17 of the islands, although 40% live in the capital, Tórshavn.

Active participation in all aspects of local community life characterises the Faroe Islands. This contributes to social cohesion and a strong sense of local identity. The Faroe Islands have a highly developed infrastructure: telecommunications and high-speed internet plus a comprehensive road network and tunnel and ferry connections all provide an excellent base for maintaining the economic, social and cultural viability of communities all around the country.

Positioned strategically between Europe and North America, the Faroe Islands are only a couple of hours’ flight from the metropolitan centres in Northern Europe. From the Faroe Islands there are daily flights and regular ferry and cargo links to all neighboring countries.

The Faroe Islands have a well-educated population, with free primary and secondary schooling for all and a number of institutions for higher education and research. Many Faroese study and work abroad in a wide range of fields for a period in their younger years before returning home to settle. With the characteristic mobility and flexibility of many island nations, the Faroese people, too, have long maintained and nurtured a broad international perspective in today’s globalised world.

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Facts and Figures


Faroe Islands




51,999 (November 2019)

Average life expectancy (2016):

Female: 84.8. Male: 80.1

Fertility rate (2016):









Parliamentary democracy

Prime Minister:

Bárður á Steig Nielsen


Tú alfagra land mítt



Main industries:

Fishing and aquaculture, shipping and offshore services, tourism and prospects for petroleum in Faroese area

Employees in number:

26,282 (January 2018)

Gross domestic product:

DKK 18,708 million (2017)

GDP per capita:

DKK 373,000 (2017)

Unemployment in %:

1.3 (July 2019)

Imports m. DKK:

7,743 (2018)

Exports m. DKK:

8,023 (2018)




Faroese króna (DKK)

Calling code:


Internet TLD:


Time zone:


Summer (DST):



62⁰00’N 06⁰47W


18 (17 inhabited)

Connected by road:

85% of population

Total land area:

1,399 sq km / 540 sq mi

Total marine area:

274,000 sq km / 105,792 sq mi

Highest peak:                                            

Slættaratindur 882 m / 2894 ft

The Population

Population (May 2018)


Foreign citizens (2015)


Immigration (2015)


Emigration (2015)


Population growth (2015)


Live births (2015)


Deaths (2015)


Life expectancy, men (2016)


Life expectancy, women (2016)


Fertility rate (2016)



Passport and Visas

The Faroe Islands are tied to the Danish immigration policy. However, there are some differences in working, residing and visiting in the Faroe Islands compared to Denmark.

Click this link to find all the information at Visit Faroe Islands

Tradition and modernity side by side

The Faroe Islands may be remote and even exotic to some, but they are simultaneously well positioned strategically in the middle of the shipping lane between the two wealthiest continents on earth, and nowadays they are but a couple of hours’ flight from the big cities in Northern Europe.

However, centuries of relative isolation from the outside world has resulted in the preservation of ancient traditions that to this day shape life in the Faroes. The unique mixture of tradition and modernisation makes the Faroe Islands stand out amongst other nations, creating a population with a very strong identity – where teenagers still proudly wear the national dress on national holidays, while they also stay updated on Twitter and Snapchat, just like any other modern teen.

Tourist Guide 2020

Click on the cover or HERE to read Faroe Islands Tourist Guide 2020


Unspoiled, Unexplored and Unbelievable

A branding film from Visit Faroe Islands.

A winter film from Visit Faroe Islands.

Coronavirus in the Faroe Islands

The website provides the latest official information and advice on measures to combat the coronavirus, COVID19, in the Faroe Islands. 

If you have questions regarding official recommendations and measures, including travels to the Faroe Islands, please go to