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The people of the Faroe Islands

Think about the best holidays you’ve had. In many cases, the best parts of trips are the moments spent with locals, hearing their stories and seeing how they live. Those are often the moments that truly allow you to experience a culture and country.

But getting to know the locals is sometimes easier said than done. Because of their quiet and shy demeanour, the people of the Faroe Islands can at times be perceived as cold and standoffish. Rest assured that this is far from reality.

Once you get past that initial first stage of shyness and reserve, Faroe Islanders are a very warm, generous, friendly and hospitable people. Faroe Islanders are family-orientated, down to earth and have a high regard for tradition. They also tend to have a reluctance to express emotion in normal discourse – apart from when they’re talking about the weather! Faroe Islanders are well educated and love nature. They tend not to brag, and are not particularly outspoken either, but love to tell stories. If there was a suitable anonym for “superficial”, that’s what they would be. In other words, when they invite you for dinner, they actually mean it and don’t plan on brushing you off. Faroe Islanders are particularly easy-going when it comes to timekeeping, which might result from their way of approaching most matters in life: “If not today, then tomorrow.” Oh, and let’s not forget their unconditional love of a good sunny holiday!

An important characteristic about Faroe Islanders is their openness towards visiting tourists. Faroe Islanders are proud of their country and culture, and are eager to show visitors the best of what the Faroe Islands have to offer. So don’t hesitate to make contact with Faroe Islanders – you never know, it might end up as the best part of your trip.

  • The population of the Faroe Islands totals at nearly 50,000 people, with nearly half living in the capital, Tórshavn.
  • With a fertility rate of 2.4, the Faroe Islands has a higher fertility rate than any other European country.
  • Life expectancy for men is 79 years and 84.4 years for women.
  • The majority of the Faroese population is made up of native Faroese people (originally of Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon descent). Other non-native inhabitants include Danes (7%), Icelanders (0.5%), Norwegians (0.37%), Greenlanders (0.31%), Filipinos (0.27%), Thai (0.23%) and Brits (0.2%).

 

Some facts about the people of the Faroe Islands

Population (2017) 50,451
Foreign citizens (2015) 1,282
Immigration (2015) 1,495
Emigration (2015) 1,176
Population growth (2015) 525
Live births (2015) 608
Deaths (2015) 377
Life expectancy, men (2015) 79.0
Life expectancy, women (2015) 84.4
Fertility rate (2015) 2.4

 

View a short documentary about the people of the Faroe Islands below. The film is made by Maximilian Specht and Eike Hollermann.

Okkara: The people of the Faroe Islands