Governance and SocietyImmigration

Growing basis for cultural diversity in the Faroe Islands

Image credits: Clay Banks — Unsplash.

A growing proportion of the Faroese population now consists of ‘immigrants’ or ‘foreigners’ — people born in a foreign country or persons without citizenship in the Kingdom of Denmark.

According to Statistics Faroe Islands, more than 7,400 of a total approx. 53,000 inhabitants in the Faroes were born overseas, out of these some 4,300 in Denmark and about 3,100 elsewhere. As for citizenship, the statistics indicate that of the 53,000 inhabitants there are some 2,200 who don’t hold a Faroese or Danish passport.

In percentage terms, the figures show that more than 14 percent of those who are residents in the Faroe Islands were born abroad, well over half of these in Denmark (8.2 pc.) and the remainder (5.9 pc.) in other countries around the world.

By comparison, in 1985 figures, less than one out of 100 residents in Faroe at that time did not have Danish citizenship, whereas every thirteenth resident was born elsewhere than in Faroe, of whom more than three fourths were born in Denmark.

So the key figures have risen considerably since 1985. The ratio of those born elsewhere than in the Faroe Islands in 2021 has thus almost doubled from 7.6 to 14.1 percentage points; meanwhile the ratio of persons born outside of the Kingdom of Denmark has increased more than three-fold from 1.8 to 5.9 pc.; during the same period of time, the ratio of residents without Danish citizenship has more than quadrupled from 0.9 to 4.1 pc.

Among countries of birth that have become more common among Faroese residents, beyond the Nordic countries: Philippines, Thailand, South Korea, India, USA, Great Britain, Germany, Romania, and Poland.

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