Facts about the Faroe Islands

Location and size

Situated in the heart of th­­­­­­e Gulf Stream in the North Atlantic at 62°00’N, the Fa­r­oe Islands lie n­­­­orthwest of Scotland and halfway be­tween Iceland and Nor­­way. The archipelago is compos­ed of 18 islands cover­ing 1399 km2 (545.3 sq.­miles) and is 113 km (70 mi­­les) long and 75 km (47 miles) wide, roughly in the shape of an arrow­head. There are 1100 km (687 mi­les) of coastline and at no time is one more than 5 km (3 miles) away from the ocean. The highest moun­tain is 882 m (2883 ft) ab­ove sea level and the a­v­­e­­­­rage height above sea level for the country is 300 m (982 ft).
 
Climate
The weather is maritime and quite changeable, from mo­ments of brilliant sun­shine to misty hill fog, to showers. The Gulf Stream encircling the islands tem­pers the climate. The har­bours never freeze and the temperature in winter time is very mod­erate consi­der­ing the high latitude. Snow­fall occurs, but is shortliv­ed. The aver­ag­e tempera­ture ranges from 3,5°C in win­ter to 12°C in the sum­mer. In sheltered areas, the tem­perature can be much high­er, but the air is always fresh and clean no matter what the season.

Population
The population is 48,193 (1st February 2013). About 19,900 people li­v­­­­­­e­ in the metro­politan area which com­­­prises Tórs­­havn, Kirkjubøur, Velba­staður, Nólsoy, Hestur, Kolt­ur, Hoyvík, Argir, Kald­bak, Kaldbaksbotnur,  Norð­radalur, Syðradalur,  Hvít­a­nes, Sund, Kolla­fjørð­ur, Signabøur and Oyra­reingir, while about 4,600 people live in Klaks­vík, the s­e­c­­o­­nd lar­gest town in the Faroe Islands.  

Form of Government
Since 1948, the Faroe Island­s have been a self gover­ning region of the King­dom of Denmark. It has its own parlia­­ment and its own flag. It is not, however, a member of the European Union and all trade is go­ver­ned by special treaties.

Languages Spoken
Faroese is the national lan­guage and is rooted in Old Norse. Nordic langu­ages are readily understood by most Faroese, and Eng­lish is also widely spoken, especially among the youn­ger people.

Religion
Religion plays an important part in Faroese culture and over 80% of the population belong to the established church, the Evan­gelical-Lu­theran. 10% of the popu­lation belong to the Chris­t­ian Breth­ren (Plymouth Breth­ren).

Industry
The fishing industry is the most important source of income for the Faroes. Fish products account for over 97% of the export volume. Tourism is the second lar­gest industry, followed by woollen and other manu­factured pro­ducts.
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