Where Are Faeroe Islands and What Are They Famous For?
The Faroe Islands (Føroyar) are a small island group in the middle of the Gulf Stream in the North Atlantic at 62º00’N and 06º47’W, halfway between Scotland and Iceland. Capital, Tórshavn; area, Faroese archipelago, 113km (70 miles) long and 75km (47 miles) wide. Total coastline of 1,100km (687 miles). No point in the Faroe Islands is further than 5km (3 miles) from the sea.
Famous for their peaceful community, unique culture with old ballads and chain-dance, hospitality and cosmopolitanism – despite, or due to their isolated islands in the North Atlantic. The Faeroe’s are a self-governing part of Denmark. They are hilly and rather bleak. Some of the smaller islands are uninhabited. Sheep-raising, fishing and aquaculture, shipping and offshore services, tourism and prospects for petroleum in Faroese area are the main occupations.
The Faroe Islands is an archipelago of 18 mountainous islands first settled in year 300 AD, although no one knows by whom. The first known settlers, according to stories passed down through generations, were Irish monks in the sixth century. The name Faroe Islands first appeared as Faereyjar (in approximately 1225), which means “Sheep Islands”. This presumably led to the national symbol, which is a ram. This name was given by the Viking age settlers from Norway in the ninth century.
Since 1948, the Faroe Islands have been a self-governing nation under the external sovereignty of the Kingdom of Denmark. This means the islands have exclusive competence to legislate and govern independently within a wide range of areas, such as trade, taxation, social security and education. The Faroe Islands is not a member of the European Union, even though Denmark is.
The islands’ population of nearly 50,000 is spread out across the 17 inhabited islands. These islands are connected by excellent infrastructure linked by together by a comprehensive road network and tunnel and ferry connections. This, along with first class telecommunications and high-speed internet, provides a superb base for maintaining the economic, social and cultural sustainability of communities all around the country.
The main industry in the Faroe Islands is fishing. This sector accounts for approximately 90% of exports and about 20% of GDP. In April 2019, unemployment was registered at 1.2%. The Faroese education system is well developed, with free primary and secondary schooling for all and a number of institutions for higher education and research. Many Faroe Islanders choose to study and work abroad during their younger years before returning home to settle.
In recent years the Faroes have experienced population decline, with young people leaving, often in search of education, and not returning. Women have proved more likely to settle abroad. As a result, according to Prime Minister Axel Johannesen, the Faroes have a “gender deficit” with approximately 2,000 fewer women than men. This, in turn, has lead Faroese men to look beyond the islands for romance.