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  Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)  
Flag of Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
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  Introduction
  Geography
  People
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  Economy
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In general, information available as of 1 January, 2004
was used in the preparation of The World Factbook 2004.


This page was last updated on 30 November, 2004


Map of Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
Background:
Definition Field Listing
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 Argentine surrender on 14 June 1982.
   Geography    Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Southern South America, islands in the South Atlantic Ocean, east of southern Argentina
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
51 45 S, 59 00 W
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
South America
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 12,173 sq km
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:
Definition Field Listing
slightly smaller than Connecticut
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
0 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
1,288 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 12 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
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 does not accumulate
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
rocky, hilly, mountainous with some boggy, undulating plains
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Usborne 705 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
fish, squid, wildlife, calcified seaweed, sphagnum moss
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (99% permanent pastures, 1% other) (2001)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
NA sq km
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
strong winds persist throughout the year
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
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 Chornobyl disaster
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
deeply indented coast provides good natural harbors; short growing season
   People    Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2,967 (July 2004 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: NA
15-64 years: NA
65 years and over: NA (2004 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
2.44% (2004 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
NA migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: NA
male: NA
female: NA (2004 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: NA years
male: NA years
female: NA years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA children born/woman (2004 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Falkland Islander(s)
adjective: Falkland Island
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
British
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
primarily Anglican, Roman Catholic, United Free Church, Evangelist Church, Jehovah's Witnesses, Lutheran, Seventh-Day Adventist
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
English
   Government    Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
Dependency status:
Definition Field Listing
overseas territory of the UK; also claimed by Argentina
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Stanley
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
none (overseas territory of the UK; also claimed by Argentina)
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
none (overseas territory of the UK; also claimed by Argentina)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Liberation Day, 14 June (1982)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
3 October 1985; amended 1997 and 1998
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
English common law
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952)
head of government: Governor Howard PEARCE (since 3 December 2002); Chief Executive Chris SIMPKINS (since NA March 2003); Financial Secretary Derek F. HOWATT (since NA)
cabinet: Executive Council; three members elected by the Legislative Council, two ex officio members (chief executive and the financial secretary), and the governor
elections: none; the monarchy is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral Legislative Council (10 seats - 2 ex officio, 8 elected by popular vote, members serve four-year terms); presided over by the governor
elections: last held 22 November 2001 (next to be held NA November 2005)
election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - independents 8; note - 71% voter turnout
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme Court (chief justice is a nonresident); Magistrates Court (senior magistrate presides over civil and criminal divisions); Court of Summary Jurisdiction
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
none; all independents
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
none
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
ICFTU
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
none (overseas territory of the UK; also claimed by Argentina)
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
none (overseas territory of the UK; also claimed by Argentina)
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
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 is 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
   Economy    Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
The economy was formerly based on agriculture, mainly sheep farming, but today fishing contributes the bulk of economic activity. In 1987 the government began selling fishing licenses to foreign trawlers operating within the Falklands exclusive fishing zone. These license fees total more than $40 million per year, which goes to support the island's health, education, and welfare system. Squid accounts for 75% of the fish taken. Dairy farming supports domestic consumption; crops furnish winter fodder. Exports feature shipments of high-grade wool to the UK and the sale of postage stamps and coins. The islands are now self-financing except for defense. The British Geological Survey announced a 200-mile oil exploration zone around the islands in 1993, and early seismic surveys suggest substantial reserves capable of producing 500,000 barrels per day; to date no exploitable site has been identified. An agreement between Argentina and the UK in 1995 seeks to defuse licensing and sovereignty conflicts that would dampen foreign interest in exploiting potential oil reserves. Tourism, especially eco-tourism, is increasing rapidly, with about 30,000 visitors in 2001. Another large source of income is interest paid on money the government has in the bank. The British military presence also provides a sizeable economic boost.
GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $75 million (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $25,000 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: NA
industry: NA
services: NA
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: NA
highest 10%: NA
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.6% (1998)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1,100 (est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture 95% (mostly sheepherding and fishing)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
full employment; labor shortage (2001)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $66.2 million
expenditures: $67.9 million, including capital expenditures of $23.2 million (FY98/99 est.)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
fodder and vegetable crops; sheep, dairy products
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
fish and wool processing; tourism
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
16.33 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
15.19 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
200 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$82 million (2002)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
wool, hides, meat
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Spain 80%, UK 9.3%, US 3.6% (2003)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$53 million (2002)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
fuel, food and drink, building materials, clothing
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
UK 62%, Spain 30.4%, Italy 2.5% (2003)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (1999 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
none (1997 est.)
Currency:
Definition Field Listing
Falkland pound (FKP)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
FKP
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Falkland pounds per US dollar - 0.6125 (2003), 0.6661 (2002), 0.6944 (2001), 0.6596 (2000), 0.618 (1999), 0.6037 (1998); note - the Falkland pound is at par with the British pound
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
1 April - 31 March
   Communications    Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2,400 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 (2001)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: NA
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
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 1, FM 7, shortwave 0 (1998)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
2 (operated by the British Forces Broadcasting Service)
note: cable television is available in Stanley (2002)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.fk
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA; however one-half of all households are reported to have internet access (2002)
   Transportation    Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
Highways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 440 km
paved: 50 km
unpaved: 390 km (2002)
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Stanley
note: the primary port is located in Stanley Harbour and known locally as FIPASS (Falkland Interim Port and Storage System); the facility consists of seven permanently moored barges providing 300 meters of berthing space; it was installed by the military after 1982 and handed over to the Falkland Islands Government in 1988
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
none
Airports:
Definition Field Listing
5 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2003 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 3
under 914 m: 3 (2003 est.)
   Military    Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
no regular military forces
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Military - note:
Definition Field Listing
defense is the responsibility of the UK
   Transnational Issues    Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
claimed by Argentina whose forces briefly occupied it in 1982, but now declares it will no longer seek settlement by force; UK continues to reject Argentine requests for sovereignty talks

This page was last updated on 30 November, 2004


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