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World Mission

Faroe Islands

Basic info

The Faroe Islands (also called the Faeroes) is an archipelago between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic, about halfway between Norway and Iceland, 320 kilometres (200 miles) north-northwest of Scotland. The Islands are an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark. Its area is about 1,400 square kilometres (541 square miles) with a population of 50,030 in April 2017.
  • Area: 541 square mile
  • Population: 50,030
  • Infant mortality: 5.5 per 1000
  • Life expectancy: 80.4
  • Urbanisation: 42%
  • Literacy: 99

History

The earliest settlers may have come from Ireland, Scotland and Scandanavia around 400AD. An Irish monk called Brendan in his description of a voyage in the early 6th Century in this area described islands resembling the Faroe Islands. Another monk called Dicuil visited in the 9th Century. The earliest evidence of Christianity on the islands suggests a Celtic origin. Norsemen arrived around the early 800s bringing their language, Old West Norse which gradually became the modern Faroese language.

Environment

The land of the Faroes is rugged, and these islands have a climate which is windy, wet, cloudy, and cool. The natural vegetation of the Faroe Islands is dominated by arctic-alpine plants, wildflowers, grasses, moss and lichen. Most of the lowland area is grassland and some is heath, dominated by shrubby heathers. Although there are no trees native to the Faroe Islands, limited species were able to be successfully introduced to the region, including the Black Cottonwood.

Economy

The economy of the Faroe Islands is dominated by the sea. If you have a job (and most islanders do) then it will either have something to do with fish or boats!

Ethnic groups

Ethnic Groups(%)

Faroese

89.2

Danish

7.1

Other

3.7

Religion

Religion(%)

Christian (Predominantly Evangelical Lutheran)

89.3

unspecified

6

None

3.8

Other

0.7

more than one

0.2

Protestant Denominations

Most of the population belong to the state Church - The Church of the Faroe Islands. Around 10% of the population belong to Open Brethren congregations. About 3% belong to Charismatic churches.

Languages

  • 93.8%

    Faroese (derived from Old Norse)

  • 3.2%

    Danish

  • 3%

    Other