Falkland Islands

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British territory suddenly prosperous from seafood

The Falkland Islands consist of around 200 islands in the South Atlantic. This British dependency is disputed with Argentina, which claims it as the Islas Malvinas. The main islands are East and West Falkland.

The population are of British extraction. They have a British-appointed governor but the islands are self-governing with their own executive and legislative councils. Many people have made their living from agriculture, predominantly sheep farming. But the economy is now booming from selling licences to foreign fishing vessels, bringing in $40 million per year. In addition there are 40,000 tourists annually.

The UK and Argentina had been trying to resolve their dispute when the Argentine military government invaded in 1982, provoking a war which ended when British troops reoccupied the islands. The UK maintains a military presence.

The islanders, now financially independent, want to maintain the status quo—a view the UK supports. Relations with Argentina improved following an agreement to cooperate, but subsequently deteriorated because of UK claims over seabed oil deposits in the South Atlantic.

People:3,140, of British origin, speaking English.

Government:Dependency of the UK. Capital: Stanley. Territory also claimed by Argentina as the Islas Malvinas

Economy:GDP per capita: $PPP 35,000. Main exports: wool, mutton

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