Falkland Islands Travel Information

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Facts About the Falkland Islands

Background: 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 on 2 April 1982. The British responded with an expeditionary force that landed seven weeks later and after fierce fighting forced Argentine surrender on 14 June 1982.
Dependency status: overseas territory of the UK, also claimed by Argentina
Capital: Stanley
Currency: 1 Falkland pound = 100 pence

Geography of the Falkland Islands

Location: Southern South America, islands in the South Atlantic Ocean, east of southern Argentina
Geographic coordinates: 51 45 S, 59 00 W
Area:
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
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 1,288 km
Maritime claims:
continental shelf: 200 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
Climate: cold marine; strong westerly winds, cloudy, humid; rain occurs on more than half of days in year; occasional snow all year, except in January and February, but does not accumulate
Terrain: rocky, hilly, mountainous with some boggy, undulating plains
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Usborne 705 m
Natural resources: fish, wildlife
Land use:
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 99%
forests and woodland: 0%
other: 1% (1993 est.)
Natural hazards: strong winds persist throughout the year
Geography - note: deeply indented coast provides good natural harbors; short growing season

People of the Falkland Islands

Population: 2,967 (July 2005 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.43% 
Nationality:
noun: Falkland Islander(s)
adjective: Falkland Island
Ethnic groups: British
Religions: primarily Anglican, Roman Catholic, United Free Church, Evangelist Church, Jehovah's Witnesses, Lutheran, Seventh-Day Adventist
Languages: English

SOURCE: The World Factbook

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