Falkland Islands – 23 Facts, Geography, History, and Economy

The Falkland Islands, also known as the Malvinas Islands or the Spanish Islas Malvinas, are a British overseas territory in the South Atlantic Ocean. They are self-governing and have their own government. It’s approximately 300 miles (480 kilometres) northeast of South America’s southernmost point and roughly the same distance east of the Magellan Strait. Stanley is the capital and largest town on the island of East Falkland. There are also a few small settlements and a Royal Air Force base at Mount Pleasant, about 35 miles (56 km) south of Stanley. In South America, the islands are called Islas Malvinas because early French settlers called them Malouines, or Malovines, in 1764. This is because Saint-Malo, France, was their homeport at the time. An area of 4,700 sq miles (12,200 sq km).


The Falkland Islands are a group of 740 islands situated 400 miles (650 km) off the coast of South America. East Falkland, as well as West Falkland, are the two biggest islands in the Falkland Islands archipelago, with Stanley, the capital of the former, being on the latter. As a whole, there are 4,700 sq miles (12,173 sq km) of land on the Falkland Islands, which is about as big a state as Connecticut and as small as Wales. The landscape comprises mountainous regions, flat plains, sandy beaches, and cliffs. Mount Usborne, located on East Falkland, might be the highest point in the Falklands, with its highest peak standing at 705 meters (2,312 ft.). Below you’ll find a map showing the location of the Falkland Islands.


John Davis, an English sea captain, was on the Desire when he saw the Falkland Islands for the first time in 1592. He wrote about it in his journal. The British, French, as well as Spanish all, held garrisons on the Islands from 1765 until 1811, when they all retreated. Following that, British and American ships came to the islands a lot.

Argentina’s military garrison arrived in the Falkland Islands on October 6, 1832, to assert Argentine sovereignty over the islands, despite the British claim to the islands made 67 years earlier. In 1833, the Royal Navy took over the Argentine military garrison and did not kill any of the people there. The people living on the Islands who had asked Britain for permission to live there were told they could stay. It took a year to create a tiny, permanent British government in the country. In 1845, Stanley was built and had been the islands’ capital ever since.

People used to come to Stanley in the Falklands a lot in the 19th century because of ships’ damage when they went around Cape Horn. This made Stanley one of the world’s busiest ports. This was abolished in 1914, whenever the Panama Canal opened, allowing vessels to sail between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans through the canal.

Cultural Life

Because Stanley is the main town on the islands, it’s where people go to learn about them. In the museum, there is a focus on the history of the Falkland Islands, as well as the Falkland Islands Museum as well as National Trust. The town also has the Falkland Islands Philatelic Bureau. Since the late 1800s, the Falklands have been making stamps that show the area’s history and wildlife. Stanley has several pubs, red mailboxes, and well-kept lawns displaying the islands’ British past. There are a lot of sports to do on the islands, like bird-watching, fishing, as well as horseback riding. This is the Stanley Marathon, held every year in March since 2005.


Until the mid-1980s, the Falkland Islands’ economy was relatively tiny and primarily reliant on the sale of wool to maintain its survival. It has been more than 30 years since the Shackleton Report, made after the Falklands War. It recommended many significant economic changes, including the subdividing of farms, the creation of a development corporation, and the construction of new roads and bridges. Shackleton also recommended the creation of a fishery zone, which was implemented in the mid-1980s. They have been able to diversify their economy and move away from relying on the agriculture industry. The Falkland Islands economy and government have become self-sufficient because of this.

The Falkland Islands’ gross domestic product (GDP) reached a high of around £204 million in 2012, while the newest data suggest that the Falkland Islands’ GDP is between £170 and £200 million. The fishing industry has been the Falkland Islands’ primary source of income for a long time. It can make up between 30 and 50 percent of the islands’ GDP. Oil and gas development on the islands and global tourist recovery, notably the cruise sector, has increased the importance of these businesses in recent years. Many people work in agriculture on the Falklands both culturally and economically. It is one of the biggest private-sector employers in Falklands, and it is also imperative.

23 Fascinating Facts

The Falklands are a small group of 740 islands that make up about the size of Connecticut. In comparison to London, they are as near to the South Pole.
They make money from fishing licence fees, tourism, and farming (over 160 sheep per person).
Two thousand nine hundred thirty-two people live in Stanley, and 2502 live in the city itself. More than half were born upon that island. Many high schools in North America have more people.
These people are a part of the United Kingdom, but they have their own government and money, except for defence services (provided by Britain). They have their own money, too.
The British military has 1300 personnel on the islands, with various planes, SAMs, and other weapons.
The Islanders seem to be like a British rural village of 50 years ago.
99.8% of people who took part in a referendum in 2013 said they wanted to stay in British overseas territory.
Once a week, LAN flies from Santiago (Chile) through Punta Arenas, and British Defense flies from England twice a week.
In fact, Mount Pleasant is a military airport. The military uses the arrivals and departures sections created explicitly for them.
The FIGAS flies Britten Norman Islander planes to airstrips around the islands and places where people can stay. People can get to the town centre less than 10 minutes from the airport.
Many places can only be reached by air or 4WD (usually land rover).
Everything outside of Stanley is called "camp," which comes from "campo," the Spanish word for the countryside.
A fact of life is that the wind blows. People should be ready for four different seasons in one day, and they should layer up their clothes to stay warm.
There have been around 220 different bird species found in the Falkland Islands. This isn't the only thing you'll find there: Whales, dolphins, sea lions, delicate plants, and rocky landscapes.
There are five types of penguins, and each one is different. King, Gentoo (with a population of 30% of the world's total), Rockhopper, Macaroni, and Magellanic Penguins are the most common species found in the world's oceans.
Volunteer Point is the world's biggest and most accessible King penguin colony (which is by 4WD)
There are more than 500,000 pairs of penguins in the world.
The Falklands are credited for taking most of the world's penguin images.
The Falkland Islands are home to around 65 percent of the world's black-browed albatrosses.
They are the only spot where you may view the Falkland steamer duck and Cobb's wren.
One of the few local pubs is a must, and you're sure to meet some interesting people.
The name of the newspaper is "The Penguin News."
An Ungentlemanly Act, a 1992 BBC television film chronicling the initial days of the invasion, "Shackleton," a 2002 British television film, and "March of the Penguins" are recommended.