Falkland Islands - FK - FLK - South America

Last updated: April 17, 2024
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Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) Factbook Data

Dependency status

overseas territory of the UK; also claimed by Argentina

Diplomatic representation from the US

embassy: none (administered by the UK; claimed by Argentina)

Geographic coordinates

51 45 S, 59 00 W

Sex ratio

total population: 1.12 male(s)/female (2016 est.)

note: sex ratio is somewhat skewed by the high proportion of males at the Royal Air Force station, Mount Pleasant Airport (MPA); excluding MPA, the sex ratio of the total population would be 1.04

Natural hazards

strong winds persist throughout the year

Area - comparative

slightly smaller than Connecticut

Environment - current issues

overfishing by unlicensed vessels is a problem; reindeer - introduced to the islands in 2001 from South Georgia - are part of a farming effort to produce specialty meat and diversify the islands' economy; this is the only commercial reindeer herd in the world unaffected by the 1986 Chornobyl disaster; grazing threatens important habitats including tussac grass and its ecosystem with penguins and sea lions; soil erosion from fires

Population below poverty line


Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA

highest 10%: NA

Exports - commodities

mollusks, fish, wool, sheep and goat meats, aircraft parts (2021)

Exports - partners

Spain 78%, United States 6% (2019)

Administrative divisions

none (administered by the UK; claimed by Argentina)

Agricultural products

fodder and vegetable crops; venison, sheep, dairy products; fish, squid

Military and security forces

no regular military forces


revenues: $67.1 million (FY09/10)

expenditures: $75.3 million (FY09/10)


name: Stanley

geographic coordinates: 51 42 S, 57 51 W

time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: named after Edward SMITH-STANLEY (1799-1869), the 14th Earl of Derby, a British statesman and three-time prime minister of the UK who never visited the islands

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, spark-ignition engines, stone processing machinery, construction vehicles, cars (2019)


cold marine; strong westerly winds, cloudy, humid; rain occurs on more than half of days in year; average annual rainfall is 60 cm in Stanley; occasional snow all year, except in January and February, but typically does not accumulate


1,288 km


history: previous 1985; latest entered into force 1 January 2009 (The Falkland Islands Constitution Order 2008)

Exchange rates

Falkland pounds (FKP) per US dollar -

Exchange rates:
0.7836 (2017 est.)
0.6542 (2016 est.)
0.6542 (2015)
0.6542 (2014 est.)
0.6391 (2013 est.)

Executive branch

chief of state: King CHARLES III (since 8 September 2022); represented by Governor Alison BLAKE (since 23 July 2022)

head of government: Chief Executive Andy KEELING (since April 2021)

cabinet: Executive Council elected by the Legislative Council

elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch; chief executive appointed by the governor

Fiscal year

1 April - 31 March

Flag description

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 was once 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


none (overseas territory of the UK; also claimed by Argentina)


fish and wool processing; tourism

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Court of Appeal (consists of the court president, the chief justice as an ex officio non-resident member, and 2 justices of appeal); Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice); note - appeals beyond the Court of Appeal are referred to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London)

judge selection and term of office: chief justice, court of appeal president, and justices appointed by the governor; tenure specified in each justice's instrument of appointment

subordinate courts: Magistrate's Court (senior magistrate presides over civil and criminal divisions); Court of Summary Jurisdiction

Land boundaries

total: 0 km

Land use

agricultural land: 92.4% (2018 est.)

arable land: 0% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 92.4% (2018 est.)

forest: 0% (2018 est.)

other: 7.6% (2018 est.)

Legal system

English common law and local statutes

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Legislative Assembly, formerly the Legislative Council (10 seats; 5 members directly elected from the Stanley constituency and 3 members from the Camp constituency, both by simple majority vote, 2 appointed non-voting ex-officio members - the chief executive, appointed by the governor, and the financial secretary; the attorney general and Commander British Forces South Atlantic Islands are also invited to attend; members serve 4-year terms)

last held on 4 November 2021 (next to be held in November 2025)

election results:
percent of vote - NA; seats - independent 8; composition of elected members - men 6, women 2, percentage women 25%

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm

exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm

International organization participation


National holiday

Liberation Day, 14 June (1982)


noun: Falkland Islander(s)

adjective: Falkland Island

Natural resources

fish, squid, wildlife, calcified seaweed, sphagnum moss

Geography - note

deeply indented coast provides good natural harbors; short growing season

Economic overview

British South American territorial economy; longstanding fishing industry; surging tourism prior to COVID-19 and Brexit; recent offshore hydrocarbon discoveries threaten ecotourism industries; no central bank and must have British approval on currency shifts

Political parties and leaders

none; all independents

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Stanley


18 years of age; universal

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: the replacement of the rural internet and phone system was delayed due to COVID; upgrades started at the end of 2019, this included the replacement of all Multi Service Access Nodes (MSANs), the technology used to connect larger settlements; in early 2020 a new system to replace the WiMAX system (the technology used to connect smaller settlements and households) had been delayed as well due to COVID-19; once the equipment is received it will be installed in the largest base stations on East Falklands: Malo, Bombilla, and Mt Pleasant peak

“We also have MSAN equipment and radio links due to arrive towards the end of this month, and these and will be installed at Chartres, New Island, Sea Lion Island, Onion Range, Sand Bay, and Mare Harbour enabling us to migrate additional customers from the existing WiMAX network and also releasing equipment for spares.” (2020)

domestic: fixed-line subscriptions approximately 53 per 100, 160 per 100 for mobile-cellular (2021)

international: country code - 500; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) with links through London to other countries (2015)


rocky, hilly, mountainous with some boggy, undulating plains

Government type

parliamentary democracy (Legislative Assembly); self-governing overseas territory of the UK

Military - note

defense is the responsibility of the UK, which maintains about 1,200 troops on the islands (2023)

Country name

conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

etymology: the archipelago takes its name from the Falkland Sound, the strait separating the two main islands; the channel itself was named after the Viscount of FALKLAND, who sponsored an expedition to the islands in 1690; the Spanish name for the archipelago derives from the French "Iles Malouines," meaning Islands of Malo, the name applied to the islands by French explorer Louis-Antoine de BOUGAINVILLE in 1764 after the port of Saint-Malo


Southern South America, islands in the South Atlantic Ocean, about 500 km east of southern Argentina

Map references

South America

Irrigated land


Diplomatic representation in the US

none (administered by the UK; claimed by Argentina)

Internet country code


GDP (official exchange rate)

$206.4 million (2015 est.)


urban population: 79.7% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 0.53% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Broadcast media

TV service provided by a multi-channel service provider; radio services provided by the public broadcaster, Falkland Islands Radio Service, broadcasting on both AM and FM frequencies, and by the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) (2007)

National anthem

name: "Song of the Falklands"

lyrics/music: Christopher LANHAM

note: adopted 1930s; the song is the local unofficial anthem; as a territory of the United Kingdom, "God Save the King" is official (see United Kingdom)

Major urban areas - population

2,000 STANLEY (capital) (2018)

National symbol(s)



see United Kingdom

Population distribution

a very small population, with most residents living in and around Stanley

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 1 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 5

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix


Ethnic groups

Falkland Islander 48.3%, British 23.1%, St. Helenian 7.5%, Chilean 4.6%, mixed 6%, other 8.5%, unspecified 2% (2016 est.)

note: data represent population by national identity


Christian 57.1%, other 1.6%, none 35.4%, unspecified 6% (2016 est.)


English 89%, Spanish 7.7%, other 3.3% (2006 est.)

Imports - partners

United Kingdom 79%, Netherlands 16% (2019)

Disputes - international

Argentina, which claims the islands in its constitution and briefly occupied them by force in 1982, agreed in 1995 to no longer seek settlement by force; UK continues to reject Argentine requests for sovereignty talks


highest point: Mount Usborne 705 m

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

Age structure

0-14 years: NA

15-64 years: NA

65 years and over: NA

Physicians density


Contraceptive prevalence rate


Current health expenditure



total population: NA

male: NA

female: NA

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 39.8

youth dependency ratio: 24.8

elderly dependency ratio: 14.9

potential support ratio: 6.7 (2021)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 78.2% of population

total: 95.3% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 21.8% of population

total: 4.7% of population (2020)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 100% of population

total: 100% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 0% of population

total: 0% of population (2020)


production: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 0 metric tons (2019 est.)

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 66.7% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

nuclear: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

solar: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

wind: 33.3% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

hydroelectricity: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

biomass and waste: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

Natural gas

production: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

consumption: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

exports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

imports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

proven reserves: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)


total petroleum production: 0 bbl/day (2021 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 300 bbl/day (2019 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 0 barrels (2021 est.)

Currently married women (ages 15-49)

44.8% (2023 est.)

Labor force

1,850 (2016 est.)

Net migration rate


Debt - external

$0 (2017 est.)
$0 (2016 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports

286 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Public debt

0% of GDP (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate


Unemployment rate

1% (2016 est.)


3,662 (2021 est.)

note: data include all persons usually resident in the islands at the time of the 2021 census

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-4% (of GDP) (FY09/10)

Internet users

total: 3,762 (2021 est.)

percent of population: 99% (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

46,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 0 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 46,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 0 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)


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

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$206.4 million (2015 est.)
$164.5 million (2014 est.)
$167.5 million (2013 est.)


total: 440 km

paved: 50 km

unpaved: 390 km (2008)


34 (2024)

Infant mortality rate

total: NA

male: NA

female: NA

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 6,000 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 160 (2021 est.)

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

36 (2015)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

1.4% (2014 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$70,800 (2015 est.)
$63,000 (2014 est.)

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 1,000 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 33 (2020 est.)

Energy consumption per capita

0 Btu/person (2019 est.)

Death rate

4.9 deaths/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Birth rate

10.9 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)


installed generating capacity: 11,000 kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 19.133 million kWh (2019 est.)

exports: 0 kWh (2020 est.)

imports: 0 kWh (2020 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 1 million kWh (2019 est.)

Merchant marine

total: 2 (2023)

by type: general cargo 1, other 1

Children under the age of 5 years underweight



$257.3 million (2015 est.)

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 2,000 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 53 (2021 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production

0 bbl/day (2017 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: (2017 est.) 77.9

male: 75.6

female: 79.6

Real GDP growth rate

25.5% (2015 est.)
-1.8% (2014 est.)
-20.4% (2013 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 41% (2015 est.)

industry: 20.6% (2015 est.)

services: 38.4% (2015 est.)

Education expenditures


Population growth rate

0.01% (2014 est.)


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 in 1982. The British responded with an expeditionary force and after fierce fighting forced an Argentine surrender on 14 June 1982. With hostilities ended and Argentine forces withdrawn, UK administration resumed. In response to renewed calls from Argentina for Britain to relinquish control of the islands, a referendum was held in 2013 that resulted in 99.8% of the population voting to remain a part of the UK.