Demographics of the Faroe Islands

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This article is about the demographic features of the population of the Faroe Islands, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.

Faroese student in national costume.

The vast majority of the population are ethnic Faroese, of Norse descent. Ethnic Faroese are, in genetic terms, among the most homogenous groups ever found.

Recent DNA analysis have revealed that Y chromosomes, tracing male descent, are 87% Scandinavian.[1] The studies show that mitochondrial DNA, tracing female descent, is 84% Scottish / Irish.[2]

Of the approximately 48,000 inhabitants of the Faroe Islands (16,921 private households (2004)), 98% are Danish realm citizens, meaning Faroese, Danish, or Greenlandic. By birthplace one can derive the following origins of the inhabitants: born on the Faroes 91.7%, in Denmark 5.8%, and in Greenland 0.3%. The largest group of foreigners are Icelanders comprising 0.4% of the population, followed by Norwegians and Poles, each comprising 0.2%. Altogether, on the Faroe Islands there are people from 77 different nationalities. The Faroe Islands have the highest rate of adoption in the world, despite a relatively high fertility rate of 2.6 children. [1]

Faroese is spoken in the entire country as a first language. It is not possible to say exactly how many people worldwide speak the Faroese language. This is for two reasons: Firstly, many ethnic Faroese live in Denmark and few who are born there return to the Faroes with their parents or as adults. Secondly, there are some established Danish families on the Faroes who speak Danish at home.

The Faroese language is one of the smallest of the Germanic languages. It is most similar to Icelandic and Old Norse. In the twentieth century Faroese became the official language and since the Faroes are a part of the Danish realm Danish is taught in schools as a compulsory second language.

Faroese language policy provides for the active creation of new terms in Faroese suitable for modern life.

Vital statistics since 1900 [3][4][edit]

Average population Live births Deaths Natural change Crude birth rate (per 1000) Crude death rate (per 1000) Natural change (per 1000)
1900 15 000 455 233 222 30.3 15.5 14.8
1901 15 300 457 228 229 29.9 14.9 15.0
1902 15 600 502 217 285 32.2 13.9 18.3
1903 15 900 435 199 236 27.4 12.5 14.8
1904 16 200 489 234 255 30.2 14.4 15.7
1905 16 500 498 296 202 30.2 17.9 12.2
1906 16 700 493 229 264 29.5 13.7 15.8
1907 17 000 479 196 283 28.2 11.5 16.6
1908 17 300 576 182 394 33.3 10.5 22.8
1909 17 600 528 196 332 30.0 11.1 18.9
1910 17 900 576 157 419 32.2 8.8 23.4
1911 18 200 559 164 395 30.7 9.0 21.7
1912 18 600 624 184 440 33.5 9.9 23.7
1913 18 900 650 169 481 34.4 8.9 25.4
1914 19 200 580 182 398 30.2 9.5 20.7
1915 19 600 643 288 355 32.8 14.7 18.1
1916 19 900 636 261 375 32.0 13.1 18.8
1917 20 200 570 240 330 28.2 11.9 16.3
1918 20 600 625 199 426 30.3 9.7 20.7
1919 20 900 607 221 386 29.0 10.6 18.5
1920 21 200 665 227 438 31.4 10.7 20.7
1921 21 500 614 230 384 28.6 10.7 17.9
1922 21 800 668 211 457 30.6 9.7 21.0
1923 22 100 652 255 397 29.5 11.5 18.0
1924 22 400 631 268 363 28.2 12.0 16.2
1925 22 700 599 228 371 26.4 10.0 16.3
1926 23 000 592 199 393 25.7 8.7 17.1
1927 23 300 579 157 422 24.8 6.7 18.1
1928 23 600 620 194 426 26.3 8.2 18.1
1929 23 900 575 253 322 24.1 10.6 13.5
1930 24 200 633 273 360 26.2 11.3 14.9
1931 24 500 607 239 368 24.8 9.8 15.0
1932 24 700 604 210 394 24.5 8.5 16.0
1933 25 000 545 248 297 21.8 9.9 11.9
1934 25 300 578 231 347 22.8 9.1 13.7
1935 25 600 585 269 316 22.9 10.5 12.3
1936 25 900 565 265 300 21.8 10.2 11.6
1937 26 200 615 212 403 23.5 8.1 15.4
1938 26 600 617 241 376 23.2 9.1 14.1
1939 26 900 577 182 395 21.4 6.8 14.7
1940 27 300 698 228 470 25.6 8.4 17.2
1941 27 600 690 286 404 25.0 10.4 14.6
1942 28 000 721 250 471 25.8 8.9 16.8
1943 28 300 804 235 569 28.4 8.3 20.1
1944 28 700 732 247 485 25.5 8.6 16.9
1945 29 000 718 247 471 24.8 8.5 16.2
1946 29 000 708 248 460 24.4 8.6 15.9
1947 30 000 742 242 500 24.7 8.1 16.7
1948 30 000 821 227 595 27.4 7.6 19.8
1949 31 000 876 256 626 28.3 8.3 20.2
1950 31 000 856 282 585 27.6 9.1 18.9
1951 31 000 857 229 628 27.6 7.4 20.3
1952 32 000 809 240 569 25.3 7.5 17.8
1953 33 000 758 228 530 23.0 6.9 16.1
1954 33 000 757 248 509 22.9 7.5 15.4
1955 32 000 749 221 528 23.4 6.9 16.5
1956 33 000 767 239 528 23.2 7.2 16.0
1957 33 000 746 268 478 22.6 8.1 14.5
1958 34 000 845 226 619 24.9 6.6 18.2
1959 34 000 856 242 614 25.2 7.1 18.1
1960 34 000 764 274 490 22.5 8.1 14.4
1961 35 000 781 206 575 22.3 5.9 16.4
1962 36 000 800 234 566 22.2 6.5 15.7
1963 36 000 848 242 606 23.6 6.7 16.8
1964 36 000 857 253 604 23.8 7.0 16.8
1965 37 000 889 261 628 24.0 7.1 17.0
1966 37 000 969 262 707 26.2 7.1 19.1
1967 38 000 956 289 667 25.2 7.6 17.6
1968 38 000 878 262 616 23.1 6.9 16.2
1969 38 300 843 269 574 22.0 7.0 15.0
1970 38 700 814 287 527 21.0 7.4 13.6
1971 38 700 779 308 471 20.1 8.0 12.2
1972 38 900 798 267 531 20.5 6.9 13.7
1973 39 400 808 303 505 20.5 7.7 12.8
1974 40 100 798 303 495 19.9 7.6 12.3
1975 40 800 781 280 501 19.1 6.9 12.3
1976 41 300 756 291 465 18.3 7.0 11.3
1977 41 800 759 271 488 18.2 6.5 11.7
1978 42 400 742 303 439 17.5 7.1 10.4
1979 43 000 790 269 521 18.4 6.3 12.1
1980 43 400 741 309 432 17.1 7.1 10.0
1981 43 800 753 293 460 17.2 6.7 10.5
1982 44 200 726 316 410 16.4 7.1 9.3
1983 44 500 688 361 327 15.5 8.1 7.3
1984 45 000 695 350 345 15.4 7.8 7.7
1985 45 500 760 342 418 16.7 7.5 9.2
1986 46 000 794 371 423 17.3 8.1 9.2
1987 46 600 785 377 408 16.8 8.1 8.8
1988 47 300 880 426 454 18.6 9.0 9.6
1989 47 700 946 375 571 19.8 7.9 12.0
1990 47 600 955 359 596 20.1 7.5 12.5
1991 47 400 873 397 476 18.4 8.4 10.0
1992 47 100 811 401 410 17.2 8.5 8.7
1993 46 100 771 380 391 16.7 8.2 8.5
1994 44 500 670 354 316 15.1 8.0 7.1
1995 43 600 641 363 278 14.7 8.3 6.4
1996 43 600 673 396 277 15.4 9.1 6.4
1997 44 000 663 376 287 15.1 8.5 6.5
1998 44 500 625 377 248 14.0 8.5 5.6
1999 45 100 626 401 225 13.9 8.9 5.0
2000 45 700 692 352 340 15.1 7.7 7.4
2001 46 600 632 358 274 13.6 7.7 5.9
2002 47 300 709 392 317 15.0 8.3 6.7
2003 47 900 705 404 301 14.7 8.4 6.3
2004 48 300 713 379 334 14.8 7.8 6.9
2005 48 300 712 419 293 14.7 8.7 6.1
2006 48 200 662 416 246 13.7 8.6 5.1
2007 48 400 672 380 292 13.9 7.9 6.0
2008 48 600 661 373 288 13.6 7.7 5.9
2009 48 700 598 386 212 12.3 7.9 4.4
2010 639 348 291 13.2 7.2 6.0
2011 578 371 207 12.0 7.7 4.3
2012 617 407 210 12.8 8.4 4.4
2013

CIA World Factbook demographic statistics[edit]

Demographics of the Faroe Islands, Data of FAO, year 2005 ; Number of inhabitants in thousands.

The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook, unless otherwise indicated.

Age structure[edit]


0-14 years: 21% (male 5,362; female 4,975)
15-64 years: 64.2% (male 16,837; female 14,788)
65 years and over: 14,8% (male 3,487; female 3,818) (2011 est.)

Sex ratio[edit]


at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.13 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.93 male(s)/female
total population: 1.09 male(s)/female (2012 est.)

Infant mortality rate[edit]

5.94 deaths/1,000 live births (2012 est.)

Life expectancy at birth[edit]


total population: 79.85 years
male: 77.37 years
female: 82.50 years (2012 est.)

Total fertility rate[edit]

2.4 children born/woman (2012 est.)

Nationality[edit]


noun: Faroese (singular and plural)
adjective: Faroese

Ethnic groups[edit]

Faroese (mixed Scandinavian - British)

Religions[edit]

Christianity

Languages[edit]

Faroese (derived from Old Norse), Danish

Literacy[edit]


definition: NA
total population: NA%
male: NA%
female: NA%
note: similar to Denmark proper

Population by island[edit]

Name Area Inhabitants People per km² Main places Regions
Streymoy 373.5 21,717 57.4 Tórshavn and Vestmanna Tórshavn and rest of Streymoy
Eysturoy 286.3 10,738 37 Fuglafjørður and Runavík North Eysturoy and South Eysturoy
Vágar 177.6 2,856 15.7 Míðvágur and Sørvágur Vágar
Suðuroy 166 5,074 30.9 Tvøroyri and Vágur Suðuroy
Sandoy 112.1 1,428 12.4 Sandur Sandoy
Borðoy 95 5,030 52.4 Klaksvík Klaksvík and rest of northern Faroes (Norðoyar)
Viðoy 41 605 15 Viðareiði Norðoyar
Kunoy 35.5 135 3.8 Kunoy Norðoyar
Kalsoy 30.9 136 4.8 Mikladalur and Húsar Norðoyar
Svínoy 27.4 58 2.7 Svínoy Norðoyar
Fugloy 11.2 46 4 Kirkja Norðoyar
Nólsoy 10.3 262 26.1 Nólsoy Streymoy
Mykines 10.3 19 2 Mykines Vágar
Skúvoy 10 61 5.7 Skúvoy Sandoy
Hestur 6.1 40 7.1 Hestur Streymoy
Stóra Dímun 2.7 7 1.9 Dímun Sandoy
Koltur 2.5 2 0.8 Koltur Streymoy
Lítla Dímun 0.8 0 0 Sandoy

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The origin of the isolated population of the Faroe Islands investigated using Y chromosomal markers, http://www.springerlink.com/content/4yuhf5m7a22gc4qm/, Tove H. Jorgensen, Henriette N. Buttenschön, August G. Wang, Thomas D. Als, Anders D. Børglum and Henrik Ewald1, 8 April 2004.
  2. ^ Wang, C. August. 2006. Ílegur og Føroya Søga. In: Frøði pp.20-23
  3. ^ Statistical yearbooks of Denmark
  4. ^ Statistics Faroe Islands