|Official Country Name:||Faroe Islands|
|Region (Map name):||Europe|
|Literacy rate:||similar to Denmark proper|
The Faroe Islands were settled by Vikings in the ninth century and have been connected to Denmark for more than 700 years. Located between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, the country includes 17 inhabited islands, one uninhabited island and several uninhabited islets. The country was granted self-government within the Kingdom of Denmark in 1948. Its chief of state is the Danish monarch, represented in local government by a High Commissioner. The head of government is a Prime Minister, who is elected by the majority party in the popularly elected, 32-seat Faroese Parliament. The population of the Faroe Islands is approximately 45,000 thousand. Danish is the official language, but most citizens speak Faroese, a Nordic language related to West Norwegian and Icelandic. The economy is almost totally dependent on fishing, but the recent discovery of oil may allow the country an opportunity for future diversification.
As Danish subjects, the Faroese people enjoy freedom of the press and of speech. Dimmalaetting is the largest of the Faroe Islands' two major newspapers, and it is generally the only profitable publication in the country. Founded in 1878, the independent publication is written partly in Danish and partly in Faroese. It appears Monday through Friday in print and online; in 2000, its approximate circulation was 10,000. Sosialurin, the country's second-largest newspaper, publishes in Faroese. Also politically independent, it publishes daily Tuesday through Saturday in print and online. In 2000, its estimated circulation was 7,300. The Faroe Islands has four other newspapers, with circulations in 2000 below 4,000. All four are affiliated with political parties, and all rely on the government subsidies and private contributions. Oyggjatidindi is published twice weekly, Dagbladid is published three times a week, Norolysio appears once a week, and FF/FA-bladid is published fortnightly.
The Faroe Islands supports 13 FM radio stations for approximately 26,000 radios and three television stations broadcasting to about 15,000 televisions. Neither radio nor television broadcasting runs 24 hours. There are two Internet service providers.
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). "Faroe Islands," World Fact Book (2001). Available from http://www.cia.gov .
Dimmalaetting, (2002) Home Page. Available from http://www.dimma.fo .
" The Faroese Media," Royal Danish Embassy (2002). Available from http://www.denmarkemb.org .
Socialurin, (2002) Home Page. Available from http://www.sosialurin.fo/ .
Statistical Yearbook of the Faroe Islands -2001, p. 323.
Jenny B. Davis