World Factbook

Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

Introduction

South America :: Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) (overseas territory of the UK; also claimed by Argentina)

Background:
Although first sighted by an English navigator in 1592, the first landing (English) did not occur until almost a century later in 1690, and the first settlement (French) was not established until 1764. The colony was turned over to Spain two years later and the islands have since been the subject of a territorial dispute, first between Britain and Spain, then between Britain and Argentina. The UK asserted its claim to the islands by establishing a naval garrison there in 1833. Argentina invaded the islands on 2 April 1982. The British responded with an expeditionary force that landed seven weeks later and after fierce fighting forced an Argentine surrender on 14 June 1982. With hostilities ended and Argentine forces withdrawn, UK administration resumed. In response to renewed calls from Argentina for Britain to relinquish control of the islands, a referendum was held in March 2013, which resulted in 99.8% of the population voting to remain a part of the UK.

Geography

Location:
Southern South America, islands in the South Atlantic Ocean, east of southern Argentina

Geographic coordinates:
51 45 S, 59 00 W

Map references:
South America

Area:
Total: 12,173 sq km
Country comparison to the world: 165
Land: 12,173 sq km
Water: 0 sq km
note: includes the two main islands of East and West Falkland and about 200 small islands

Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Connecticut

Land boundaries:
0 km

Coastline:
1,288 km

Maritime claims:
Territorial sea: 12 nm
Continental shelf: 200 nm
Exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm

Climate:
cold marine; strong westerly winds, cloudy, humid; rain occurs on more than half of days in year; average annual rainfall is 24 inches in Stanley; occasional snow all year, except in January and February, but typically does not accumulate

Terrain:
rocky, hilly, mountainous with some boggy, undulating plains

Elevation extremes:
Lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
Highest point: Mount Usborne 705 m

Natural resources:
fish, squid, wildlife, calcified seaweed, sphagnum moss

Land use:
Arable land: 0%
Permanent crops: 0%
Other: 100% (99% permanent pastures, 1% other) (2011)

Irrigated land:
NA

Natural hazards:
strong winds persist throughout the year

Environment - current issues:
overfishing by unlicensed vessels is a problem; reindeer were introduced to the islands in 2001 for commercial reasons; this is the only commercial reindeer herd in the world unaffected by the 1986 Chornobyl disaster

Geography - note:
deeply indented coast provides good natural harbors; short growing season

People and Society

Nationality:
Noun: Falkland Islander(s)
Adjective: Falkland Island

Ethnic groups:
British

Languages:
English

Religions:
Christian 67.2%, none 31.5%, other 1.3% (2006 census)

Population:
3,140 (July 2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 231

Population growth rate:
0.01% (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 192

Birth rate:
NA

Net migration rate:
NA

Urbanization:
Urban population: 74% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: 0.9% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population:
STANLEY (capital) 2,000 (2009)

Infant mortality rate:
Total: NA
Male: NA
Female: NA

Life expectancy at birth:
Total population: NA
Male: NA
Female: NA

Total fertility rate:
NA

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
NA

Literacy:
NA

Government

Country name:
Conventional long form: none
Conventional short form: Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

Dependency status:
overseas territory of the UK; also claimed by Argentina

Government type:
NA

Capital:
Name: Stanley
Geographic coordinates: 51 42 S, 57 51 W
Time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Daylight saving time: +1hr, observed all year in 2013

Administrative divisions:
none (overseas territory of the UK; also claimed by Argentina)

Independence:
none (overseas territory of the UK; also claimed by Argentina)

National holiday:
Liberation Day, 14 June (1982)

Constitution:
1 January 2009

Legal system:
English common law and local statutes

Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
Chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952)
Head of government: Governor Nigel HAYWOOD (since 16 October 2010) is the Queen's representative; Chief Executive Keith PADGETT (since 1 February 2012)
Cabinet: Executive Council; three members elected by the Legislative Council, two ex officio members (chief executive and the financial secretary), and the governor; the governor must obey the rulings of the Executive Council on domestic affairs
Elections: the monarchy is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch; chief executive appointed by the governor

Legislative branch:
unicameral Legislative Assembly (10 seats; 2 members are ex officio and 8 are elected by popular vote; members to serve four-year terms); presided over by the governor
Elections: last held on 5 November 2009 (next to be held in November 2013)
Election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - independents 8

Judicial branch:
Highest court(s): Court of Appeal (consists of the court president, the chief justice as an ex officio, non-resident member, and 2 justices of appeal); Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice)
note - appeals beyond the Court of Appeal are referred to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London)
Judge selection and term of office: all justices appointed by the governor; tenure specified in each justice's instrument of appointment
Subordinate courts: Magistrate's Court (senior magistrate presides over civil and criminal divisions); Court of Summary Jurisdiction

Political parties and leaders:
none; all independents

Political pressure groups and leaders:
Falkland Islands Association (supports freedom of the people from external causes)

International organization participation:
UPU

Diplomatic representation in the US:
none (overseas territory of the UK)

Diplomatic representation from the US:
none (overseas territory of the UK; also claimed by Argentina)

National symbol(s):
ram

National anthem:
Name: "Song of the Falklands""
Lyrics/music: Christopher LANHAM
note: adopted 1930s; the song is the local unofficial anthem; as a territory of the United Kingdom, "God Save the Queen" is official (see United Kingdom)

Economy

Economy - overview:
The economy was formerly based on agriculture, mainly sheep farming but fishing and tourism currently comprise the bulk of economic activity. In 1987, the government began selling fishing licenses to foreign trawlers operating within the Falkland Islands' exclusive fishing zone. These license fees net more than $40 million per year, which help support the island's health, education, and welfare system. The waters around the Falkland Islands are known for their squid, which account for around 75% of the annual 200,000 ton fish catch. Dairy farming supports domestic consumption; crops furnish winter fodder. Foreign exchange earnings come from shipments of high-grade wool to the UK and from the sale of postage stamps and coins. In 2001, the government purchased 100 reindeer with the intent to increase the number to 10,000 over the following 20 years so that venison could be exported to Scandinavia and Chile. Tourism, especially eco-tourism, is increasing rapidly, with about 69,000 visitors in 2009. The British military presence also provides a sizeable economic boost. The islands are now self-financing except for defense. In 1993 the British Geological Survey announced a 200-mile oil exploration zone around the islands, and early seismic surveys suggest substantial reserves capable of producing 500,000 barrels per day. Political tensions between the UK and Argentina remain high following the start of oil drilling activities in the waters. In September 2011, a British exploration firm announced that it plans to commence oil production in 2016.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$164.5 million (2007 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 222
$105.1 million (2002 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):
$164.5 million (2007 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$55,400 (2002 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 10

GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
Agriculture: 95%
Industry: NA%
Services: NA% (1996)

Agriculture - products:
fodder and vegetable crops; venison, sheep, dairy products; fish, squid

Industries:
fish and wool processing; tourism

Industrial production growth rate:
NA%

Labor force:
5,246 (2006)
Country comparison to the world: 221

Labor force - by occupation:
Agriculture: 95% (mostly sheepherding and fishing)
Industry and services: 5% (1996)

Unemployment rate:
4.1% (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 33

Population below poverty line:
NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Lowest 10%: NA%
Highest 10%: NA%

Budget:
Revenues: $67.1 million
Expenditures: $75.3 million (FY09/10)

Taxes and other revenues:
40.8% of GDP (FY09/10)
Country comparison to the world: 40

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
-5% of GDP (FY09/10)
Country comparison to the world: 167

Fiscal year:
1 April - 31 March

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
1.2% (2003)
Country comparison to the world: 20
3.6% (1998)

Exports:
$125 million (2004 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 188

Exports - commodities:
wool, hides, meat, venison, fish, squid

Imports:
$90 million (2004 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 214

Imports - commodities:
fuel, food and drink, building materials, clothing

Debt - external:
$NA

Exchange rates:
Falkland pounds (FKP) per US dollar -
0.6307 (2012)
0.6236 (2011)
0.6472 (2010)
0.6175 (2009)

Energy

Electricity - production:
19 million kWh (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 213

Electricity - consumption:
17.67 million kWh (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 213

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 193

Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 185

Electricity - installed generating capacity:
10,000 kW (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 203

Electricity - from fossil fuels:
90% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 76

Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 88

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 169

Electricity - from other renewable sources:
10% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 23

Crude oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 134

Crude oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 111

Crude oil - imports:
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 183

Crude oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 132

Refined petroleum products - production:
0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 177

Refined petroleum products - consumption:
300 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 208

Refined petroleum products - exports:
0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 176

Refined petroleum products - imports:
312.5 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 203

Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 129

Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 142

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 98

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 192

Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 136

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
45,780 Mt (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 205

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use:
2,000 (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 217

Telephones - mobile cellular:
3,300 (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 215

Telephone system:
Domestic: government-operated radiotelephone and private VHF/CB radiotelephone networks provide effective service to almost all points on both islands
International: country code - 500; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) with links through London to other countries (2011)

Broadcast media:
TV service provided by a multi-channel service provider; radio services provided by the public broadcaster, Falkland Islands Radio Service, broadcasting on both AM and FM frequencies, and by the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) (2007)

Internet country code:
.fk

Internet hosts:
110 (2012)
Country comparison to the world: 206

Internet users:
2,900 (2009)
Country comparison to the world: 209

Transportation

Airports:
7 (2013)
Country comparison to the world: 170

Airports - with paved runways:
Total: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
Total: 5
Under 914 m:
5 (2013)

Roadways:
Total: 440 km
Country comparison to the world: 198
Paved: 50 km
Unpaved: 390 km (2008)

Ports and terminals:
Major seaport(s): Stanley

Military

Military branches:
no regular military forces

Military expenditures:
NA

Military - note:
defense is the responsibility of the UK

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international:
Argentina, which claims the islands in its constitution and briefly occupied them by force in 1982, agreed in 1995 to no longer seek settlement by force; UK continues to reject Argentine requests for sovereignty talks

Flag of Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)



Flag description:
blue with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Falkland Island coat of arms centered on the outer half of the flag; the coat of arms contains a white ram (sheep raising was once the major economic activity) above the sailing ship Desire (whose crew discovered the islands) with a scroll at the bottom bearing the motto DESIRE THE RIGHT