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Economy of the Faroe Islands

Economy of Faroe Islands
File:Vestaravag torshavn, faroe islands, feb 2005.jpg
Tórshavn is the capital and largest town of the Faroe Islands
Currency Faroese króna (pegged with Danish krone, (DKK))
calendar year
Trade organisations
GDP $2.22 billion (2009 est.)[1]
GDP rank 166th (nominal) / 179th (PPP)
GDP growth
2.9% (2010 est.)
GDP per capita
$45,709 (2010 est.)
GDP by sector
agriculture: 16%, industry: 29%, services: 55% (2007)
2.3% (2011)
Population below poverty line
no data
Labour force
34,710 (March 2010)
Labour force by occupation
agriculture: 10.7%, industry: 18.9%, services: 70.3% (2010)
Unemployment 5.5% (May 2012)[2]
Main industries
fishing, fish processing, small ship repair and refurbishment, handicrafts
Exports $824 million f.o.b. (2010 est.)
Export goods
fish and fish products 94%, stamps, ships
Main export partners
Denmark 27.1%, UK 22.5%, US 12.2%, Nigeria 12%, Netherlands 7.8%, Norway 4.5% (2011)
Imports $776 million c.i.f. (2010 est.)
Import goods
consumer goods 24%, machinery and transport equipment 23.5%, fuels 21.4%, raw materials and semi-manufactures, fish, salt
Main import partners
Denmark 49.6%, Norway 29%, Iceland 4.1% (2011)
Public finances
$888.8 million (2010)
Revenues $1.22 billion (2010)
Expenses $1.301 billion (2010)
Economic aid recipient: $100 million (annual subsidy from Denmark) (2007)
Main data source: CIA World Fact Book
All values, unless otherwise stated, are in US dollars.

After the severe economic troubles of the early 1990s, brought on by a drop in the vital fish catch and poor management of the economy, the Faroe Islands have come back in the last few years, with unemployment down to 5% in mid-1998, and holding below 3% since 2006, one of the lowest rates in Europe. Nevertheless, the almost total dependence on fishing means the economy remains extremely vulnerable. The Faroese hope to broaden their economic base by building new fish-processing plants. Petroleum found close to the Faroese area gives hope for deposits in the immediate area, which may lay the basis to sustained economic prosperity. Also important are the annual subsidy from Denmark, which amounts to about 6% of the GDP.[3]

Since 2000, new information technology and business projects have been fostered in the Faroe Islands to attract new investment. The result from these projects is not yet known but is hoped to bring a better market economy to the Faroe Islands.

The Faroes have one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe, but this is not necessarily a sign of a recovering economy, as many young students move to Denmark and other countries once they are finished with high school. This leaves a largely middle-aged and elderly population that may lack the skills and knowledge to take IT positions on the Faroes.

Other statistics

Export 2013[4] Import 2013
1. European Union 51.2% European Union 55.3%
2. China 6.7% Norway 28.7%
3. Norway 3.5% Iceland, China 4.4%

24.6% of the import from European Union countries were imported from Denmark in 2013, 10% were imported from Germany. 11.3% of the export to EU countries in 2013 were exported to the UK, 6.8% were exported to Denmark.[4]

Electricity - production: 280.3 GWh (2010)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 64.9%
hydro: 31.0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 4.1% (2010)

Electricity - consumption: 268.8 GWh (2010)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2010)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2010)

Agriculture - products: milk, potatoes, vegetables; sheep; salmon, other fish

Currency: 1 Danish krone (DKr) = 100 ører

Exchange rates: Danish kroner (DKr) per US$1 – 5.560 (2008), 7.336 (January 2000), 6.976 (1999), 6.701 (1998), 6.604 (1997), 5.799 (1996), 5.602 (1995)

Further reading

  • Apostle, Richard A. The Restructuration of the Faroese Economy The Significance of the Inner Periphery. Frederiksberg, Denmark: Samfundslitteratur, 2002. ISBN 87-593-0891-5
  • Elkjær-Hansen, Niels. The Faroe Islands Scenery, Culture, and Economy. Copenhagen: Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 1959.


External links